Robber fly - Nature photographer Thomas Shahan specializes in amazing portraits of tiny insects. It isn't easy. Shahan says that this Robber Fly (Holcocephala fusca), for instance, is "skittish" and doesn't like its picture taken.

Eye-popping bug photos

Nature by Numbers (Video)

"The Greater Akashic System" – July 15, 2012 (Kryon Channelling by Lee Caroll) (Subjects: Lightworkers, Intent, To meet God, Past lives, Universe/Galaxy, Earth, Pleiadians, Souls Reincarnate, Invention: Measure Quantum state in 3D, Recalibrates, Multi-Dimensional/Divine, Akashic System to change to new system, Before religion changed the system, DNA, Old system react to Karma, New system react to intent now for next life, Animals (around humans) reincarnate again, This Animal want to come back to the same human, Akashic Inheritance, Reincarnate as Family, Other Planets, Global Unity … etc.)

Question: Dear Kryon: I live in Spain. I am sorry if I will ask you a question you might have already answered, but the translations of your books are very slow and I might not have gathered all information you have already given. I am quite concerned about abandoned animals. It seems that many people buy animals for their children and as soon as they grow, they set them out somewhere. Recently I had the occasion to see a small kitten in the middle of the street. I did not immediately react, since I could have stopped and taken it, without getting out of the car. So, I went on and at the first occasion I could turn, I went back to see if I could take the kitten, but it was to late, somebody had already killed it. This happened some month ago, but I still feel very sorry for that kitten. I just would like to know, what kind of entity are these animals and how does this fit in our world. Are these entities which choose this kind of life, like we do choose our kind of Human life? I see so many abandoned animals and every time I see one, my heart aches... I would like to know more about them.

Answer: Dear one, indeed the answer has been given, but let us give it again so you all understand. Animals are here on earth for three (3) reasons.

(1) The balance of biological life. . . the circle of energy that is needed for you to exist in what you call "nature."

(2) To be harvested. Yes, it's true. Many exist for your sustenance, and this is appropriate. It is a harmony between Human and animal, and always has. Remember the buffalo that willingly came into the indigenous tribes to be sacrificed when called? These are stories that you should examine again. The inappropriateness of today's culture is how these precious creatures are treated. Did you know that if there was an honoring ceremony at their death, they would nourish you better? Did you know that there is ceremony that could benefit all of humanity in this way. Perhaps it's time you saw it.

(3) To be loved and to love. For many cultures, animals serve as surrogate children, loved and taken care of. It gives Humans a chance to show compassion when they need it, and to have unconditional love when they need it. This is extremely important to many, and provides balance and centering for many.

Do animals know all this? At a basic level, they do. Not in the way you "know," but in a cellular awareness they understand that they are here in service to planet earth. If you honor them in all three instances, then balance will be the result. Your feelings about their treatment is important. Temper your reactions with the spiritual logic of their appropriateness and their service to humanity. Honor them in all three cases.

Dian Fossey's birthday celebrated with a Google doodle

Dian Fossey's birthday celebrated with a Google doodle
American zoologist played by Sigourney Weaver in the film Gorillas in the Mist would have been 82 on Thursday (16 January 2014)

Friday, December 20, 2013

Tanzania embraces new system of growing rice

Deutsche Welle, 19 December 2013

Residents of Morogoro,Tanzania,have adapted a new system of growing rice that is weather friendly and cost effective.


Until recently, farmers in this village located 218km (135 miles) from the capital Dar es Salaam, believed it was impossible to grow rice without flooding the field, but due to water shortages, the new technique known as 'System of Rice Intensification' (SRI), reduces the need to supply water to the fields.

With this system seedlings are grown in a non-flooded nursery and replanted, at a shallow depth of only 1-2 cm deep in a paddy field.

The plot is then left to dry until cracks become visible when another thin layer of water is introduced, unlike in the past when large amounts of water were supplied in the field.

As the rice seedlings grow some farmers irrigate every evening, others leave the fields to dry over a 3-8 day period, depending on soil and climate conditions.

With this system farmers have been able to reduce on the use of chemical fertilizers and production costs and as a result, their incomes have greatly improved.

Happy farmers

Mwajuma Ramadhani, a farmer from Kiroka village can now plan for her children's education better than before as she doesn't have to worry about food for her family anymore.

The 47-year-old widow is among farmers who can testify on the benefits of the new system. “I am very happy with this technique because since I started using it, my crop yields have gone up, she told DW,” I can now get enough food for my family and sell the surplus.”

From her humble beginnings, Ramadhani hardly got 5 bags of rice per acre when she was still using the old method, but with SRI her yields have remarkably improved.

“I harvested 30 bags of rice last season and that was the highest since I started using this method” she said.

Morogoro Rural Agriculture Field Officer who oversees farming activities in the village, Edith Kija told DW that with SRI paddy seedling can thrive well with minimum soil moisture.

“We tell them to keep a distance of 25cms between paddy seedlings to provide room for the robust growth and redistribution of the stems,” she said.

Every farmer in Morogoro has a positive story to tell about SRI because the new technique has not only enabled them to conserve land but also be mindful about the effects of climate change.

International support

Under the project,' Strengthening the capacity for climate Change Adaptation through Sustainable Land and Water Management', the United Nation's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has trained 268 farmers with multiple skills to prevent soil erosion, reduce deforestation and manage water and soil fertility.

FAO representative to Tanzania Diana Tempelman, told DW that the agency promotes conservation agriculture in Tanzania with the view to reduce carbon emissions and also to increase carbon sequestration in the soil.

“We are aiming to work together with local populations in Tanzania who can identify crop varieties suitable for drier circumstances,” she said.

Fighting soil erosion

To address soil erosion, farmers in Tanzania have been taught to dig contours bunds locally known in the Swahili language as ‘Fanya Chini' in order to maintain soil fertility.

“We trained them how to align the contours using local tools, we also encouraged them to grow barrier crops including pineapples and bananas to strengthen the bunds,” said Henry Mahoo, a professor of agricultural engineering who supervised the project.

Rajabu Juma is one of the veteran farmers at Kiroka who finds water and soil management skills useful as he applies them on his farm.

“My friends see digging of trenches as an inconvenience, but I have seen the benefit since I am able to retain water and soil fertility,” he said.

The 60-year-old is among Kiroka farmers who have accepted multiple interventions to protect their livelihoods.

Climate change impacts

According to Economics of Climate Change study published in 2011, the country's average temperature has increased over the last 30 years with rainfall becoming erratic.

The government estimates that, without proper adaptation, yields from crops like maize could fall by up to 16% by 2030 which translates into a million tonne per year.

According to Prof. Mahoo, climate change has triggered the dwindling of water resources which have affected irrigation schemes thus causing water conflicts.

“We may not be the major cause of climate change but since it is a global issue we are entangled,” he said.

Prof. Mahoo said rice intensification system has been effective to most farmers in the lowlands who are affected by water shortages.“

Most farmers are better off with this method because rice production can increase up to four folds, last year we had a farmer who produced11.6 tonnes of rice per hectare,” he said.

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