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)

Sunday, May 4, 2014

In a Land of Volcanoes, Trying to Reduce the Risks

Jakarta Globe, May 03, 2014

A man and boy ride past Mount Sinabung in Berastepu village, Karo,
North Sumatra, on Feb. 3, 2014. (EPA Photo/Dedi Sahputra)

Millions of Indonesians who live near the country’s more than 130 active volcanoes are constantly having to decide whether to evacuate or not. Supporting “volcano cultures” with up-to-date evidence and strong leaders is one way to save more lives, say experts.

“Communities balance the risks from the volcanoes with the benefits from living in such a fertile area,” Kate Crowley, the disaster risk reduction adviser for the Catholic Aid Agency for UK and Wales (CAFOD), told IRIN.

According to Crowley and other experts, while some culturally accepted warnings serve to protect communities across the archipelago nation, others – such as the belief that rituals appease the supernatural entities that control eruptions – can also create a false sense of security.

“Communities have their own early warning systems based on tradition and natural signs, and [it can be a struggle for them] to believe scientific monitoring,” said Anat Prag, a supporting officer for Caritas, a humanitarian NGO in Indonesia.

More than 76,000 people fled their homes and more than 200,000 were affected when Mount Kelud on Indonesia’s densely populated Java Island erupted in February, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). However, some residents insisted on staying behind.

Mount Merapi, between Yogyakarta and Central Java, is Indonesia’s most dangerous volcano, with eruptions every two to three years sending pyroclastic flows — 815 degrees Celsius sulphuric gases mixed with debris — downhill at up to 240 kilometers per hour.

More than one million people live within a 10-kilometer radius of the summit, putting them at constant risk. Hundreds of lives have been lost due to its eruptions since the 1990s.

But volcanoes also offer a pull factor for farmers. Soil fed by volcanic ash is highly fertile and has attracted settlements on and near the slopes of volcanoes. Pyroclastic flows generally reach 10 to 15 kilometers from the peak; the blasts are most intense within the first 10 kilometers.

Merapi’s regular eruptions are a testing ground for humanitarian interventions — including those attempting to balance local knowledge with technical protection measures.

“Belief systems in Merapi have not yet been interpreted for risk reduction. If people don’t understand… what they are being told, and it isn’t relevant to them, they won’t accept it and they will get killed [by eruptions],” Crowley said.

Limits of local knowledge

Many communities near Merapi believe supernatural entities — or “creatures” — live at the summit of the volcano and control its behaviour. Other beliefs inspire some to conduct rituals such as burying a severed buffalo head near the summit.

“When people go missing, [others in the community] say the creatures, who in their belief offer protection from eruptions, took them, or that [it is because] they didn’t follow the rules or taboos required to make the creatures happy,” explained Crowley, who co-authored a 2012 article which examined local understanding of the Merapi risk, and strategies “produced through hazard experience… [which] can be developed as a coping mechanism for the at-risk communities.

“The people say ‘the creatures will protect us.’ It is a coping strategy because they have created rules or taboos from experience or myth to follow so you don’t get killed. Some are positive and can save lives, whilst others make people more vulnerable,” she added.

Indigenous warning signs include: Smoke plumes (hot gas clouds from the summit’s crater), small earthquakes, the descent of monkeys en masse from the hills, and lightning storms caused by the emission of ash into the atmosphere.

Experts say these represent only some of the signals people need to take seriously in order to stay safe.

For example, in 2006, government officials warned residents of Nargomulyio village, less than five kilometers from Merapi, to evacuate, as the volcano had reached a Level 5 alert (the highest possible). However, locals refused, citing the lack of signals they were familiar with.

“The residents had such deep spiritual relationships with Merapi that they believed it would provide further natural warnings before a major eruption,” said Caritas’s Prag.

Evacuating the cows

People who live around Merapi are farmers; for many, livestock is their sole asset. Evacuating requires leaving everything they own behind, which they are reluctant to do.

“They are extremely poor people and all they have is land, cattle, and homes,” Crowley said.

“While villagers know with 100 percent certainty that if they evacuate, their land will not be farmed and the cow will not be fed, when and to what extent the volcano will erupt is uncertain [and sometimes not believed] so people are often willing to take that risk,” she added.

“Imagine that your entire bank account is a cow tethered in a shed and if that cow starves to death your entire income is lost.”

Some agencies have begun to address livelihood concerns. “People are worried about their cows — who is feeding [them]. They ask, ‘will you take responsibility when our cow is dead because we are in the shelter and can’t feed it?’” said Ahmad Husein, a spokesman for the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) in Indonesia.

He explained that people, after evacuating, often sneak back to their farms while the eruption continues, to feed cows, putting their lives at risk.

To address this dilemma, since 2010 the government has incorporated the evacuation of livestock into the contingency plans of several districts. Cows are transported by truck at the same time as people, according to Iskander Lehman, a Livestock Emergency Guidelines (LEGS) and Sphere humanitarian standards trainer in Indonesia.

“The challenge was finding a suitable evacuation centre for the livestock… [finally] they found out the suitable place — down the hill where the families are,” Lehman said, explaining that the shelters have food and water for the cows, and that families can safely check on them without risking their lives.

‘Volcano heroes’

Experts say developing leaders who can motivate people to act is important.

“Despite early warnings having been given to the public, they [sometimes] have confidence that they are safe because traditional leaders or community leaders in the area do not want to evacuate,” Nugroho explained, pointing to a 2010 eruption of Merapi which killed more than 300 people and forced the evacuation of hundreds of thousands.

That year some communities around Merapi had strong faith in Mbah Maridjan, who had been designated the “gatekeeper” of the mountain by the sultan of Yogyakarta, an influential local religious and political leader. Maridjan refused to evacuate after the eruption, saying he preferred to “die on the volcano,” and influenced dozens of others to do the same, according to local media reports.

The government is trying to combat this by creating “volcano heroes” — leaders whose social position can influence community behavior.

Bas Surono, head of the Volcanology and Geological Disaster Mitigation Center at the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry, is becoming one such influential hero, according to the IFRC.

“He spreads information on TV and radio, and the reach is good, with roughly 70 million TV and Internet users in Indonesia,” Husein said, adding that because of Surono’s influence, “when the volcanoes start coughing, people [now] start to prepare themselves.”

IRIN

New Mini Ice Age

“… So now we've refreshed that which we have said before, a review. You are in the middle of a cycle that will bring cooling to the planet. It is not a heat cycle, but rather a cooling cycle. But it always starts with a short heat cycle. It has been here before. It will come again. It is a long cycle - one generation plus five years. That's how long it's going to last. It starts with the melting of the ice caps, which is far more than any of you have seen in your lifetime or those of your ancestors. It is a cycle whose repetition is thousands of years long, but one that has not yet been recorded to the books of Human record. But it's definitely been recorded in the cores of the ice and in the rings of the trees.

Thousands of years old, it is, and it happens in a cyclical way. It's about water. It starts with that which is the melting of the ice caps to a particular degree, which has a profound effect on the planet in all ways. You can't have that happen without seeing life change as well as Gaia change and you've seeing it already. What happens when you take that which is heavy on the poles [ice] and you melt it? It then becomes cold water added to that which is a very, very gentle and finite balance of temperature in the seas of the planet (1). The first thing that happens is a redistribution of the weight of water on the thin crust of the earth from ice at the poles to new water in the seas. The results become earthquakes and volcanoes, and you're seeing them, aren't you? You are having earthquakes in places that are not supposed to have earthquakes. Volcanoes are coming to life in a way that you've not seen before on a regular basis. There will be more. Expect them.

Is it too much to ask of a Human Being that if you live by a volcano that you know might erupt, maybe you ought to move? Yet there will be those who say, "It hasn't erupted in my lifetime or my parents' lifetime or my grandparents' lifetime; therefore, it won't." You may have a surprise, for all things are changing. That is what is happening to Gaia. ….“

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