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)

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Natural insecticide helps diversify Rwandan economy

Google – AFP, Stephanie Aglietti (AFP), 14 February 2014

A woman harvests pyrethre flowers, which will later be dried to produce pyrethrum,
 a natural insecticide, in Musanze, northern Rwanda , on October 24, 2013 (AFP,
Stephanie Aglietti)

Musanze — Tourists flock to Rwanda's mountains to see its famed gorillas, but now the small nation is working to diversify its economy with a natural insecticide farmed on nearby fertile foothills.

Pyrethrum, a natural insecticide, is ideally suited to the climate in the foothills of the Virunga mountains where the gorillas live, in the north of Rwanda.

"It's used to make natural insecticide," explains Laher Nyirakwiha, a barefoot 70-year-old farmer as she tosses a handful of small daisy-like flowers into a wicker basket.

A woman harvests pyrethre flowers, which will
 later be dried to produce pyrethrum, a natural
 insecticide, in Musanze, northern Rwanda , on
October 24, 2013 (AFP, Stephanie Aglietti)
Few grow the plant commercially: only here, in neighbouring Kenya and Tanzania and in Australia, mainly on the island of Tasmania.

The revival of this crop, first introduced in colonial times, is one of Rwanda's recent attempts to diversify its sources of foreign currency, generated mainly by tea, coffee and tourism.

Agriculture still accounted for one-third of the economy of this densely populated central African country in 2012.

"Rwanda decided to develop pyrethrum as a cash crop, so as to get an additional source of revenue for farmers and another foreign exchange earner," Jerome Mureramanzi, production manager at the Rwanda Pyrethrum Company (Sopyrwa) told AFP.

Pyrethrum was first introduced here as a crop in 1936, but dropped off after Rwanda's devastating 1994 genocide, only being revived a decade or so later.

Tasmania is currently thought to be the world's biggest producer, industry sources say, although Kenya, another big producer, stopped publishing statistics a decade ago.

The pyrethrum is exported to the United States, Europe and Asia, while some is sold to a local company that produces organic insecticides.

Pyrethrum cultivation, like every other type of economic activity, was abandoned after the 1994 genocide in which an estimated 800,000 people died, and which left the country's social and economic life in ruins.

Environmental considerations were a factor motivating its revival.

"As the world becomes more conscious of the need to protect the environment, Rwanda has seized the opportunity to develop this natural insecticide," Mureramanzi added.

Women harvest pyrethre flowers, which will later be dried to produce pyrethrum,
 a natural insecticide, in Musanze, northern Rwanda , on October 24, 2013
(AFP, Stephanie Aglietti)

Other producing countries are also seeking to revive or expand cultivation the crop. Australia is introducing pyrethrum to parts of the mainland, and the crop is also being revived in neighbouring Papua New Guinea.

Another east African country, Uganda, recently sent a team to Rwanda with a view to growing the crop.

'Win-win' scheme

The plant, from the chrysanthemum family, contains the organic substance pyrethrin, which acts on the central nervous system of insects.

"Pyrethrum kills a wide variety of insects without any impact on the environment, as its organic compound is very quickly destroyed by ultraviolet rays," Mureramanzi said.

The flowers are dried and processed, then the honey-coloured extract is exported, mainly to the United States and to Europe.

Between 2009 and 2013, annual production of dried flower heads rose from 200 tonnes to 1,300 tonnes, according to Sopyrwa, with revenue rising seven fold to $7 million (five million euros).

The plant will not grow at altitudes lower than 1800 metres (5,900 feet) and needs cold nights and generous rainfall.

This region of rich volcanic soil where northern Rwanda meets Uganda and neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo, with its lashing rain and chilly nights, fits the bill exactly.

Some 37,000 Rwandan peasant farmers live from this crop, whose cultivation covers some 3,000 hectares (7,500 acres).

Under the terms of a deal between the government and the farmers, some of the farmers have to use at least 40 percent of their land for growing pyrethrum.

Mountain Gorillas frolick in dense undergrowth at the Virunga National park
in Rwanda on June 17, 2012 (AFP/File, Aude Genet)

The remaining 60 percent can be planted with food crops, while the farmers are also obliged to alternate so that pyrethrum is not planted on the same part of every plot the whole time.

Sopyrwa's director general Gabriel Bizimungu said that the company provides its farmers with seeds and fertiliser, builds drying stations for the flowers and pays its farmers on time.

The farmers have organised themselves into cooperatives to which they sell their crops at fixed prices.

"It allows farmers to diversify their sources of income and Sopyrwa buys all of their production," Mureramanzi said, adding that farmers can access interest-free loans through the cooperatives.

"It's a win-win situation," said Jean-Claude Kayisinga from the Rwanda Pyrethrum Program.

The programme, funded by USAID and Wisconsin-based cleaning products manufacturer S.C.Johnson, has been training farmers since 2009 on how to increase yields and improve the quality of the pyrethrum flowers they cultivate.

Farmers get virtually the same profits as they do from growing potatoes and alternating crops means the productivity of food crops is improved.

Not only does growing pyrethrum help fight erosion, it also enriches the soil, meaning better crops of food staples such as potatoes or cabbages.

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Question: Dear Kryon: I would appreciate a perspective on the following: There seems to be two opposed schools of thought with respect to pesticides and their use. One group categorically states that they are very dangerous and that they are responsible for causing cancers etc... (there's a very long list!!) The other group naturally claims that they are perfectly safe with today's technological advances etc. 

Answer: The chemicals you are using today are dangerous to your health. The more they are used, the more it will be seen over time. We have indicated before that there are far better natural scientific solutions to protecting your crops. Use biology to balance biology. It is non-toxic and simply an alteration of what already exists.

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