Kordofan Giraffe’s really need our help.

 Table of Contents: Environmental Concerns and Solutions

Table of Contents: Save Our Home Endangered Species

    Kordofan Giraffes Extremely Endangered

A terribly sad story has surfaced regarding the Kordofan Giraffes, a severely endangered species that is found in Africa’s Democratic Republic of the Congo.  The following information comes from both The Huffington Post and The National Geographic Society.  The National Geographic video shot by David Hamlin telling the following story can be accessed here.  I suggest that you read this tiny summary of the story before watching so as to prepare yourself for an extremely gruesome tale, narrated by Hamlin.  

The story begins innocently.  The video introduces you to three of the 40 Kordofan Giraffes in existence.  Twelve hours after this video was shot, David Hamlin was told, a a ranger patrol heard ten shots.   Too late to investigate, they returned the next day to find these rare and beautiful animals dead, splayed, bellies sliced open, and tips of their tails gone. 

The poachers slice open their prey’s bellies to attract vultures in an attempt to destroy any evidence of the crime.  These poachers were not interested in the meat.  All they were after were the tips of their tails. 

What poachers kill for.
What poachers kill for.

The tails are used by Congoles men “as a dowry to the bride’s father if they want to ask for the hand of a bride” according to director for African Parks, Leon Lamprecht and National Geographic’s David Hamlin.  In the same article, it is noted that the American Wildlife Foundation reports that these long black hairs are also used in good luck bracelets, often sold by the blackmarket to tourists,  made into fly whisks and thread. (Chris D’Angelo: Huffington Post. 01/2017)

Giraffe Hair Bracelet
     Giraffe Hair Bracelet
     Giraffe Hair Bracelet






Hamlin’s anger and frustration with the investigation, lead him to make it his job to  “combat wildlife crime using his cameras.  Thank you Mr. Hamlin.  

The world population of giraffes is in decline, and all giraffes are endangered by poacher collecting tails.  The poaching of giraffes for meat and their coats has been on the increase.

Oddly, in their attempts to chase down a meal, spotted hyenas often bite off the giraffe’s tail, thus saving their lives from being massacred by poachers.  East African officials say that this phenomena is due the absence of lions, resulting in few to none carcasses for the hyenas to eat.  Giraffe’s have increasingly become a target for the hyenas, and often all they catch is the tail.   

Poaching policies have helped, but much more needs to be done: immediate help for Kodofan Giraffe. Many organizations are involved in saving all species of giraffes to save giraffes from extinction.   As one reads the various stories/reports on this blog, one may discover a pattern here.  The decreasing populations of large predators such as lions has a major effect on the ecosystems. Here, no carcasses for the hyenas.  In Allen Savory’s findings, large predators keep herds of grazers moving resulting in biodiversity and carbon rich soil.  Though some of nature’s genetic experiments fail, every ecosystem on this planet has evolved to ultimately flourish.  Humankind is increasingly destroying all of these ecosystems.  We must help stop the pending tragedies that face us.  Please help.  As there are many organization helping Giraffes, check out Google Save Giraffes or Save Kordofan Giraffes.

So that I and my blog don’t go extinct, consider buying my designs and make your voices heard visually.  Visit www.cafepress.com/earthandworldpeace

Gentle Giants

With much respect and love.

Save Our Home: Sharks

Table of Contents: Environmental Concerns and Solutions

Table of Contents: Save Our Home Endangered Species

In order to express the beauty and importance of the shark to it’s various ecosystems, Benjamin Von Wong created an extraordinary photograph entitled Shark Shepherd

He says, “Sharks are the shepherds of the sea, essentially to make sure everything flourishes.  The more the sharks in an area, the more the fish population, and these all work together in beautiful harmony to insure a healthy diverse  sea life and ultimately help to maintain the balance of the underwater ecosystem. The photos … are to help “transform the way we see sharks and prove that something beautiful is worth protecting.  Just like sharks are the shepherds of the sea, we are the shepherds of our generation, and  we can make a difference and have our voices heard (National Geographic).”

All of us are familiar with the Great White Shark, made infamous by the movie Jaws.  This move set into motion a shark killing spree that continues to this day.  The jaws of thousands of sharks are abundant.  They are exhibited and collected–the Jaw of the Great White Shark most valued.  These are trophy animals, shot, speared, harpooned for just being alive, feared and, yes, dangerous.  They are, however, what they are because of an evolutionary need.  They are more valuable alive then dead.  We need to value these and all animals for what they give to their ecosystems.  

Did you know that there are roughly 440 shark species known at this time, and that they live in every ocean/sea on our planet.

According to Michael Graham Richard whom is involved in Science and Ocean Conservation, “it is estimated that up to 100 million sharks are killed by people every year” as a result of commercial and recreational fishing.  As a result, many sharks species are endangered, and little regard is given to the protecting most of them.  Why?  Because of people’s fear of shark attacks.  “The average number of human fatalities worldwide per year between 2001 and 2006 from unprovoked shark attacks was 4.3.”

I argue, that this number may increase as seal populations disappear: once again due to human beings–the most dangerous animal on the planet.  So what do we do.  There is much evidence that sharks were swimming in the oceans during the dinosaurs.  As noted above, they are invaluable participants in maintaining healthy ocean ecosystems, and so it is time to protect them.  I am deeply grateful to Benjamin Von Wong, Michael Graham Richard, Wikipedia (an extensive list of threatened sharks) and others for bringing this to my attention.

A health diverse ocean ecosystems is dependent on sharks.
   A health diverse ocean ecosystems is dependent on sharks.

On Michael Graham Richards site, treehugger.com, he discusses 10 endangered shark species, many of which are unknown to us: some very odd indeed.  To see photos of these amazing creatures and to learn a little bit more about them go to his site, otherwise, do visit Wikipedia.  

In brief he includes the critically endangered Angel Shark that looks like a disc with a tail. He notes that “during the comprehensive Mediterranean International Trawl Survey program from 1995 to 1999, only two angel sharks were captured from 9,905 trawls.”

The Daggernose Shark is also critically endangered.  In one decade, a decline of 90% was recorded off the coast of Brazil.  They expect similar declines elsewhere.  Fishing pressures in the regions they live in “continues to grow more intense.

Another critically endangered species include the Dumb Gulper Shark, which lives off the coast of Australia.

The Zebra Shark, Great White, Shortfin Mako Shark, Basking Shark, Whale Shark, Dusky Shark are vulnerable, and lastly, the Speartooth Shark is endangered.

The World Conservation Union and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) are active in recommending the implementation of conservation schemes and the expansion of fishery monitoring of various species.  Nevertheless, there is great opposition from many countries to curb their fishing practices or the brutal and unnecessary killing of “man-eaters.”  As said earlier, the rarity of attacks on humans is not a reason to indiscriminately slaughter these very important animals.

Table of Contents: Environmental Concerns and Solutions

Table of Contents: Save Our Home Endangered Species

Pollinators: Butterflies

Butterflies.  Is there anyone that doesn’t like butterflies?  

 We sure to plant Native Milkweed

Children have always marveled at the flutter byes that visited their yards, gardens and vacant lots. It was in school that I discovered that these seemingly fragile insects were the result of a magical process called metamorphosis. In grammar school, many of us got to watch this happen.  We fed leaves to caterpillars in terrariums, and, in a short while. these caterpillars began to weave thin silk-like threads over their entire bodies ultimately disappearing for a number of days–finally emerging as beautiful butterflies.  Just before being ‘reborn’, the chrysalis became fairly transparent as the butterfly formed.  I was transfixed.  

           Plant Native Milkweed

Most people in North America can identify the Monarch Butterfly as millions of them visit every single state of the contiguous United States (the ‘lower 48’) during their yearly migration from their winter quarters in Mexico to as far north as the southern Canada–a one way journey measuring over 2000 miles one way. Four generations make this happen meaning that the great grandchildren of those that began this northern migration complete the round trip.  This is the reason that despite many butterflies being endangered, I am focusing on this particular species as it is one of the only insects that migrate like birds, traveling thousands of miles pollinating a variety of vibrantly colorful flowers along the way, maintaining biodiversity and thereby contributing to the health of the earth. The flowers that Monarchs favor are colorful, grow in clusters, are open during the day, and have flat landing pad surfaces.

Environmental Action recently reported that, according to scientists, “monarch butterflies may vanish from the American West within the next 20 years.  If you would like to help visit their website — Environmental Action. Sign the petition and consider becoming active.  This organization has a wonderful packet of information that can be taken to your local garden outlets.  If you decide to plant Milkweed, make sure that it is Native to the area.  In the east, many wonderful people wanting to save the Monarch planted Tropical Milkweed. This has hastened extinction for two reasons.  Tropical Milkweed is a Perennial, whereas Native Milkweed is an annual.  As a result, the Monarchs don’t migrate.  Even worse, Tropical Milkweed carries a protozoan parasite that is pass on to the Monarch Butterfly.  Those infected  are debilitated decreasing the population.  The fix, naturally, is to replace the Tropical with the Native Milkweed.  Ask your nursery which Milkweed is Native to your area.

Habitat loss, particularly associated with the destruction of Milkweed by the use of Monsanto’s Roundup (glyphosate), known as the ‘butterfly killer’ is the primary reason why the Monarch Butterfly population is in major decline.  Both Environmental Action and Friends of the Earth have called for immediate action to help save this amazing insect. It appears that the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) may cave to Monsanto’s pressures especially now since the Trump administration and Scott Pruitt, head of the EPA, is determined to dismantle the Environmental Protection Agency. 

Environmental Action recently reported that, according to scientists, “monarch butterflies may vanish from the American West within the next 20 years, recently lowered from 35 years.  This organization has a wonderful packet of information that can be taken to your local garden outlets.  Being actively involved is critical.  Just click on the link above.

Native Milkweed is the only food that Monarch Caterpillars eat.  As mentioned earlier, it takes four generations to make the round trip.  If there is no more milkweed, their are no new generations. As said, people are determined to save them, so I feel positive that we can.  Imagine the effect that this will have on all of us too as they are major pollinators.  This is serious.

                    Monarch Butterfly Migration Routes

The following focuses on the Monarch migration east of the Rocky Mountains.  Having wintered in Mexico, the wintering Monarchs (calling them the parent generation) begin their journey in March flying north stop in Texas and other southern states to feed and breed.  The offspring, or first generation, begin their journey north in April and May, summering in the Northern States and Southern Canada.  The second and third generations are born during the summer months.  Around mid-August, the last generation (3rd or 4th) heads south to their wintering grounds in Mexico.  The last generation that completes this roundtrip are the generation that begins the migration North the following year.  

There is a very good article describing the planting and care of Narrowleaf Milkweed that is native to California, Nevada Oregon and Washington online at Butterfly Encounters. Check it out if you live West of the Rockies.

One might wonder how is this roundtrip migration possible since adult butterflies only live 2 to 6, some say 8 weeks.  The wintering generation are unique in that they go through a cycle of suspended development known as diapause (a hibernation period). Their life span can be greater than seven months. These insects are so interesting, read on.

Butterflies do not actually sleep.  Rather, they rest or become quiescent (dormant), at night or during the day when it is cloudy or cool.  Their eyes are open, hanging upside down from twigs or leaves.  Though most butterflies are hidden from sight, the thousands of monarch butterflies at rest often turn the trees that they’re suspended from bright orange — certainly not hidden.  Thousands of people travel to Monterrey, California to see this wonder.

How is it that Monarch Butterflies make the same journey year after year especially when their trip requires many generations to complete?  How this travel plan is passed on is coded in the Monarch genetic makeup.  The navigational tool kit is one of those wonderful miracles of nature and the evolutionary process.

Monarch butterflies have a sophisticated system, named a time-adjusted sun compass by the scientists that study them.  A time-adjusted sun compass tells us that Monarchs use the sun to navigate. Since the sun/earth is always moving, the compass adjusts in accordance to the position of the sun to maintain the direction of their migration.  Knowing what time it is is essential, and a part of Monarch’s antennae contains a circadian clock (a 24-hour internal clock).  Depending upon the time of day, the butterflies can then tell approximately where the sun should be taking into account the changing tilt of the earth to the sun.  Special photoreceptors inside their eyes follow the angle of the sun. I wonder what this alogorithm looks like.

Again, if interested in helping to save the Monarch Butterfly and for more information, contact Environmental Action,  Friends of the Earth (petition) and/or  Save the Monarch Butterfly.  The later includes ’10 Neat Things about Monarch Butterflies’ and a wonderful video entitled ‘The Beauty of Pollination.’  Thank you.

P.S. I am not affiliated with any of the organizations, people, or reading materials and videos that I recommend or offer links to  (exceptions are the videos I make and take credit for).  My intention is to inform and to get people to make it known how important it is to get involved in helping to fix our planet.  It is possible.  One overlooked yet very important way to help heal our planet  is discussed in an article entitled Alan Savory and Schwartz’s Cows Save the Planet.  Go to Table of Contents: Environmental Concerns and scroll down.  Table of Contents: Environmental Concerns and Solutions Also highly recommend reading, Cows Save The Planet, Judith Schwartz.

Lastly, to support this blog and to get people to make loud statements about what they care about, many of the designs in this blog are available on wearing apparel, mugs, hats etc.  This is my job, and I do need to support for what I do.  I would be very grateful.  Even so, my main concern, especially now that we have climate change deniers in charge of the EPA and other departments in Washington, is to get loud about our concerns.  Visually state these whether you wear my designs or others.  It is vastly important that we act.  With all my love and respect for you, all sentient beings, and the beautiful home we call earth. NMRK

Save Our Home: Butterfly 3Save Our Home: Butterfly 2

It is my intention to get people active, to march, to wear t-shirts pointing to the things we need to do to Save Our Home and many of the endangered species threatened right now, such as the Monarch Butterfly.  Go to Cafe Press Earth and World Peace if interested.  

Donations to environmental groups will be made from these sales.  Join the Movement to Save Our Home.

Save Our Home: Butterfly 1

Save the EPA
                 Save the EPA

Sign the Petition to save the EPA    NRDC (Natural Defense Council)

Jane’s Ladder

Jane's Ladder
                                                      Jane’s Ladder


This is one of my favorite and most meaningful paintings: 2012. I was heartbroken at the time, and working on climbing out of despair, reaching for the stars. One of those happy accidents happened when I pulled off the tape, keeping the black areas black appeared and spoke volumes to me: a happy cartoonish three legged dog. Ordinarily, artists want to get rid of such objects, however, in this case, it was perfect, it made me smile. The other name given to this painting is Dog Star Constellation. The Dog Star is the North Star: the primary navigational star for sailors at one time. It said to me that I was on a  path towards better times. Another happy accident, also the result of pulling tape off, was what I saw as a crow falling from the sky. Many artist in the past, considered crows to represent death, and for me, this was emblematic of the death of a relationship. As with all tough times, great lessons come, and sometimes some very meaningful paintings. This is one. Much is also found in the details: a signature of my work.  To view this, more of my work, and details of my work, click here

Other Important Pollinators: Bats, Bumble Bees and Giraffes

Bats, Bumble Bees, and Giraffes are also important Pollinators.  Discussion coming.

Bumble Bees
                                  Bumble Bees
Gentle Giants
                                                                Gentle Giants

Sea Turtles

Table of Contents: Environmental Concerns and Solutions

Table of Contents: Save Our Home Endangered Species
 Three Hundred Sea Turtles Found Dead              8/29/2018

                                  General Information

One of the oldest living creatures on earth, Sea Turtles are believed to have begun populating the seas 65 million years ago, around the time when dinosaurs disappeared.  Though they developed in the oceans, it is believed that they did a stint out of the water only to return.

     Endangered due to over fishing, pollution, warming seas.

All six species of sea turtles are on the endangered species list.  Over fishing is one of the culprits.   Human population growth, and hence coastal development along with sea levels rising, are destroying their nesting habitats.  Pollutants and oil spills are also to blame for diminishing population of these important and beautiful animals.  Go to National Wildlife Federation to learn more about sea turtles and for donation information.  Restoring their habitats also means restoring environmental niches.  Everything on this planet is important.

All illustrations on this blog are available at Cafe Press.  Make your voices heard by wearing Save Our Home products. Create a movement in your community.  As the EPA and other environmental agencies are now on the endangered list, it is really important to spread the word and mention the organizations that are working toward helping animals and our planet.  Get loud.  March.  Also, I don’t want to go extinct, I’d like to keep working for the animals, and the environment. 

Table of Contents: Environmental Concerns and Solutions

Table of Contents: Save Our Home Endangered Species