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.

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)

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Kaliandra trekking: The march of the eco-tourists

Duncan Graham, Contributor Jakarta Post, Malang

Call them flashpackers, or backpackers-plus to their face. These knowledge-hungry 60-somethings can be found in every corner of the world, out to flex their muscles as well as their minds. 

Having conquered the Australasian wilderness they'll soon be heading for the mountains of East Java, if Janet Cochrane and her Indonesian colleagues have their way.

British academic Cochrane has done the hard yards in the tourism industry. Before teaching at Leeds University she led organized tours, including outdoor adventures. 

She's also been a frequent visitor to Indonesia, so her surprise at the lack of development in hiking, eco and cultural tourism carries some clout. 

"Trekking tours are extremely popular in other parts of the world," she said. "It's amazing that nothing has yet been successfully developed in Indonesia, other than hikes of a day or more up and down mountains that can be extremely challenging." 

This dearth is now being tackled in central East Java, where a group of young Indonesians, backed by a conservation center and some of Cochrane's students, are developing a one-week trekking tour with the pedestrian title "A Walk Around Arjuna" ( 


Local villagers carry bundles of firewood along one of the trekking paths at the foothills of Gunung Arjuana. Locals have enthusiastically welcomed the trekking program, as it will add to their income through the opportunity to build and maintain tracks, and act as trek guides and accomodation hosts. (JP/Wahyoe Boediwardhana)


Arjuna, 3,339 meters high, stands between Surabaya and Malang Mountains. It last erupted in 1952. Its neighbor, Mount Welirang, is just 183 meters lower and is a well-known sulfur mine. For those brave or driven enough to enter the smoking crater, there's a 1,000-meter deep valley between the two peaks to traverse first. 

"We want to create an experience where visitors can get involved in local culture and traditional arts," said Agus Wiyono, executive director of the Kaliandra Sejati Foundation, which runs an education and training center. "We'd like them to understand and maybe experience the cycles of rural life, including the harvesting of rice. 

"To do this successfully we need to be supported by the local communities. We are taking things slowly and smoothly. We are calling this our 'pride campaign' and want it to encourage conservation of the environment. We don't want them to feel threatened." 

Or exploited. The days when tourism was considered benign and a plus for the locals have long gone. The Bali experience, where farmers' land has been lost to hotels and the anticipated post-construction jobs went to outsiders, is a classic example of the downsides of tourism. 

Cochrane said the negative impacts included arousing the desire for material goods, particularly the shiny, buzzy things that tourists carry. However mobile phone coverage in the Arjuna area is like the landscape -- full of holes. So the pleasure of arousing envy by browsing emails from Exeter while standing on the crumbling cusp of a smoking caldera will be limited. 

Then there's the danger of infection from the glazy-eyed monotone "have a good day" virus that infects city supermarket checkout-chicks. It would be tragic if this sickness found its way into the Arjuna villages because the locals are genuinely friendly, even though their interrogation of visitors' age, faith and fertility can get a bit wearing. 

Agus and his Kaliandra colleagues, Sapto Siswoyo and Agus Sugianto, have been organizing village meetings to help people understand what might happen when the trekking program gets underway in a big way. So far there have been nine sessions involving farmers and householders. 

Agus Wiyono said the locals were enthusiastic because they had the chance to add to the income they currently earn from farming and forestry. They'll get the opportunity to build and maintain tracks, erect signs, act as tour guides and provide handicrafts, food and accommodation. 

The other issue concerning the organizers is whether they should try to limit visitors. 

If the trekking tours get too popular, cashed-up developers from outside might muscle in to build flashy resorts that would destroy the things that attract genuine eco-tourists. 

Although the trekkers are likely to be hardy Europeans and Australians enjoying an active retirement on handsome pensions, they will still want their little comforts. 

They may be prepared to forgo hot showers and sit-down toilets, but they will insist on cleanliness, and their desire for contact with nature will vanish if the little black things on the bedroom floor turn out to be rat droppings. 

So the Kaliandra crew are busy explaining foreigners' needs and funny customs, like wanting to take part in some of the most boringly repetitious jobs in agriculture -- threshing rice by hand and pushing buffaloes to plow paddy. 

As a tourist spot, Arjuna and its neighboring mountains have so many add-on attractions that even the most wilderness-worn will find something new. It's not just the views that make high-definition TV look like distorted transmissions. 

The area is rich in culture and history, mystery and magic. For in these lush and fecund mountains the major religions haven't had the missionary successes they've enjoyed in the coastal cities. 

Many ancient traditions and ceremonies have survived, particularly those involving planting and harvesting of crops. The locals will share these with outsiders, provided they're not trying to put a stop to these practices. 

Then there's the chance to spot a rare Javan hawk-eagle, or the grizzled langur. Both are heading down the one-way track made by hundreds of other Indonesian birds and beasts, as forests are felled. 

"There's a huge variety of things to see, from ancient temples and pristine montane forests to nightclubs, from hot springs and waterfalls, to tea plantations and rice fields," said Cochrane. The area is also cool -- Kaliandra is 850 meters up Arjuna. It's not quite outside mosquito range but they're not the saber-toothed brutes found on the steaming floodplains far below. 

Although it will be another year before the long tour is ready for its first corrugated-sole footfall, shorter one-day tramps around Kaliandra are almost ready for business.

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