1. Valentine thoughts from e.e. cummings and Ogden Nash
2. U.S. Senate about to reverse Obama's decision on Keystone XL tar sands pipeline
3. Knowland Park news - ways you can help
4. Tejon Ranch illegally killed 11 mountain lions
5. The Sturgeon in San Francisco Bay - Feb 16
6. Mission Blue Native Plant Nursery spring sale Feb 25
7. Native plant lecture in San Jose Feb 16/plant walk in Edgewood Feb 18
8. Forest v. climate change/evolving truth about fracking
9. Reason to keep your cat indoors or off your counters
10. Feedback: Dissent on Mary Oliver poem
11. The Wish to Be Generous - Wendell Berry
12. Notes & Queries: Latin a beautiful language - why did it decline?
13. Light and dark ruminations on the human condition
A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
Trying to determine what is going on in the world by reading newspapers is like trying to tell the time by watching the second hand of a clock.
-Ben Hecht, screenwriter, playwright, novelist, director, and producer (1894-1964)
“The man who reads nothing at all is better educated than the man who reads nothing but newspapers.” Thomas Jefferson
i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
i fear no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you
here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart
i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)
- e. e. cummings ~
(Complete Poems, 1904-1962) for H.T.
To keep your marriage brimming
With love in the loving cup,
Whenever you're wrong, admit it,
Whenever you're right, shut up.
2. The Senate is about to reverse President Obama's courageous decision last month to say no to the dangerous Keystone XL tar sands pipeline.
I have just read and signed the petition: "Stop Keystone XL"
Please take a moment to read about this important issue, and join me in signing the petition. It takes just 30 seconds, but can truly make a difference. Please sign here: http://www.democrats.com/stop-keystone-xl?source=afa%40mcn.org
Once you have signed, you can help even more by asking your friends and family to sign as well.
3. Knowland Park
The Conservation Committee announces the launch of the Knowland Park Coalition’s new website! The Coalition includes the East Bay Chapter of the California Native Plant Society, the Friends of Knowland Park, the California Native Grasslands Association, California Wildlife Foundation/California Oaks, and Defense of Place. We hope you will take a moment right now to go explore the site www.saveknowland.org and sign up for notifications of new content.
The new website aims to educate the public about Knowland Park and the campaign to protect its rare, beautiful natural resources from being lost to the “conservation”-themed Oakland Zoo expansion into the park.
This website will allow you to learn about the history of Knowland Park, the threat to its preservation, and the campaign to protect it. You will also be able to find out how to access its trails. Our blog will be published twice a week, on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and at other intervals as new events happen or new information becomes available.
Please go to www.saveknowland.org now and sign up to get updates from the Coalition! This site will help us be more efficient in our communications and widen our reach. And tell us what you think! This has been a true labor of love, with literally thousands of volunteer hours devoted to making a website that will do justice to the Park’s true value.
Ways you can help:
Visit the page! Once there, subscribe to our email list (enter your email address into the white subscription box half way down on the right side of the page) to get regular email updates on new blog posts and updates on our campaign
Let 5 friends (especially those interested in parks) know about the website.
Comment on our blog posts at http://www.saveknowland.org/blog/ and encourage your friends to do the same.
Follow us on social media!
Twitter: Knowland Park at https://twitter.com/#!/KnowlandPark
Facebook: Save Knowland Park at https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003102762663
Come out and visit the park! We are having a field trip on March 31st. For more information on this field trip, please email Mack Casterman at email@example.com .
Donate to our legal fund (your donation is tax deductable).
If you go to the park and take any photographs, please donate them to us. We are always looking for new pictures of the abundant plant and animal life present at the park for slideshows on the website.
Thank you so much for your help and interest in redefining conservation in the 21st Century, and for your ongoing support for our Park!
The EBCNPS Conservation Committee, firstname.lastname@example.org
4. By Louis Sahagun, Los Angeles Times February 11 2012
The Tejon Ranch has agreed to pay $136,500 in fines and restitution for illegally killing at least 11 mountain lions to prevent them from competing for game with high-paying trophy hunters, the Kern County district attorney's office announced Friday.
The complete article can be viewed at:
5. San Francisco Natural History Series
The Sturgeon in San Francisco Bay:
How critical can a 10,000 year old Bay be for a 100 million year old fish?
Guest Speaker: Michael McGowan
7:30pm, Thursday, February 16th, 2012
FREE at the Randall Museum, 199 Museum Way, San Francisco, CA
Michael McGowan, fisheries oceanographer and aquatic ecologist, will discuss his research on how the ecology of the green and white sturgeon differ in their life history and in how they use the Bay.
White sturgeon are the largest fresh water fish in North America that can live over a hundred years and can grow to 20 feet long, and weigh 1500lbs.
Green sturgeon, up to 7 feet long and 350lbs, seem to be a little more mysterious on the web, they are probably migratory salt water fish that probably spawn in fresh water.
Michael will fill in the details for us.
LAST MONTH's LECTURE NOTES: online at: http://sfnhs.com/2012/01/31/predators-amongst-us/
Glen Martin started off his talk with an anecdote: coming into his garage one night to find an opossum. He poked it with a broomstick to test the notion of “playing possum,” but the opossum did not play dead, but threatened him, opening up a mouthful of the biggest looking teeth he’d ever seen. Opossums (an introduced species) and their “cousins” skunks, raccoons and others are doing well with those teeth, living in amongst us, and living off of us. Skunks love our lawns for their grubs and worms, raccoons love our garbage cans, and opossums seem to like to eat anything. With restoration efforts some of the less human adapted meso predators are doing well, ringtail cats in riparian environments, mink in the delta, and river otters.
Meso predators are defined by a certain mass and a certain function — they are not the top tier predator, but if the top is eliminated they can actually do quite well as the apex predator. This is what has happened to the coyote where wolves have been eliminated. The apex predators are often extremely unforgiving of the mesopredators: wolves will kill coyotes, lions will kill cheetahs and hyenas.
Of course meso predators can also have devastating effects. A guest of Mr Martin’s: Dr Frank talked about his experience studying (as a FWS tech) the Aleutian Goose in the Aleutian Islands, and how a fox introduced for their fur (in 1750), wiped clean of birds island after island. The foxes managed to survive after this decimation by living off of the abundance of isopods on the beach. More details of the Foxes here:
Glen Martin discussed feral cats as being a significant cohort of this type of predator, and their potential as a force for habitat discussion.
This most interesting part of the evening was the talk around the interrelation of predators and how changing those relationships adding or removing predators can have profound impacts on the local environment. The most famous example is that of Yellowstone where the re-introduction of wolves has kept elk moving and out of the plains, which has allowed things like river side Willows to grow, which has provided fodder for beaver who also had been gone from the park.
But if you want to find out more about the meso-predators we live with, you can get an intro to the subject through his Bay Nature article from July 1st of 2011, the Middle Way: http://baynature.org/articles/jul-sep-2011/the-middle-way
Mar 15 – Return of the Harbor Porpoises - Bill Keener
Apr 19 – A Year of Sketching San Francisco's Wild Areas - Nancy King & Mary Swanson
May 17 – The UNnatural History of San Francisco Bay - Ariel Rubissow Okamoto
Jun 21 – Above and Below San Francisco Streets - Glenn Lym
San Bruno Mountain Watch
dedicated to preserving the unique ecosystems of San Bruno Mountain, in perpetuity
Mission Blue Native Plant Nursery
Spring 2012 Native Plant Sale
selling exclusively plants native to San Bruno Mountain
9am to 2pm
directions to nursery
San Bruno Mountain Watch operates the nursery in cooperation with Friends of San Bruno Mountain
Proceeds Benefit the Mountain: The nursery and our Stewardship Programs directly benefit San Bruno Mountain - a unique habitat that is under constant threat.
Plants are from the Mountain: All plants were grown from seeds or cuttings collected by permit on San Bruno Mountain.
A plant list is at Spring 2012 Native Plant Sale on our website
Cash or check only
-bring your own boxes-
7. Two events with the California Native Plant Society Santa Clara Valley Chapter
Thu, Feb 16, 12, 4:00 PM
Easy-to-Grow Native Plants
A talk by Radhika Thekkath
Joyce Ellington Library, 491 E Empire St, San Jose
Do you want to include native plants in the garden for beauty, habitat, low maintenance, and water conservation? Come to this talk and learn about easy-to-grow native trees, shrubs, perennials, and annuals for the home garden. Radhika Thekkath is the principal at Native Again Landscape Design with a special focus on using California native plants. She is the Secretary of the California Native Plant Society (Santa Clara Valley Chapter), and on the steering committee for Gardening With Natives.
Edgewood County Park and Natural Preserve (Redwood City)
Sat Feb 18 10am – 4pm
Plant Walk with Ken Himes
Join Ken Himes for a wide-ranging hike to see early season flowering plants. This 5-mile loop will also showcase ongoing efforts to control invasive plants at Edgewood. Bring lunch and liquids. We’ll have lunch at the Day Camp picnic area and restrooms are available there. Expect 600 feet elevation gain/loss and moderate grades. Dress in layers, but only heavy rains will cancel the walk.
For more information call Ken at (650) 591-8560.
Directions: From I-280 in Redwood City take Edgewood Rd. exit and head west on Edgewood Rd. to Cañada Rd.. Turn left (south) on to Cañada Rd. and proceed about a mile to reach the Clarkia trailhead. Park on the west side of Cañada Rd. next to the fence. We will meet at the parking area.
8. Forest Service Employees for Environmental Ethics (FSEEE)
Climate Change Bird Atlas – Mother Jones
There's an interesting database online through the U.S. Forest Service called the Climate Change Bird Atlas. It's based on another database, the Climate Change Tree Atlas (both are forecasts for eastern forests and birds). One leads to the other, since the fate of forests will affect the future of many species of birds.
Forests: Tracing the cause of yellow-cedar mortality – Summit County Citizens Voice
Forest Service scientists say huge Alaska tracts of yellow-cedar trees have been dying because their roots are freezing during cold weather in late winter and early spring, when there’s no snow to protect the roots.
U.S. Cities Are Losing 4 Million Trees a Year – Atlantic Cities
America is losing tree cover at a steady rate, according to a study published in the latest issue of the journal Urban Forestry & Urban Greening.
WEB EXCLUSIVES: The Evolving Truth about Fracking for Natural Gas [Updated]
Scientists speak out about risks, studies and testing
FEATURES: Can Cleaner Cooking and Solar Power Help Solve Energy Poverty in Africa? [Slide Show]
South Africa still struggles to ensure that all citizens enjoy modern energy services, just one example of how the U.N.'s International Year of Sustainable Energy for All aims to bring modern energy resources to the billions who lack it
9. ML Carle:
A reason to keep your cat indoors or make sure they stay off your counters.
Do you know active opponents of cell tower installations in The Richmond district? Friends of mine, immigrants, reasonably fear they are at the losing end of a proposed AT&T installation.
Any neighborhood opponents of RF irradiation (e-meters, what have you) might have wisdom to share in this particular, 11th hour, case.
I know nothing of "RF irradiation", in fact it's the first time I've heard the term. But I've gotten tidbits here and there; I'm sitting in the middle and guided missiles are whistling overhead on this subject. I just duck and hope that none of them are lethal.
All I can do is post your item. You'll get feedback, and you'll have to judge the soundness of the information. There's a lot of free-floating anxiety around, and paranoia is rife. It's hard to separate the wheat from the chaff--to switch metaphors.
Jake--I think even Mary Oliver, writer of many wonderful poems, goes overboard in "Straight Talk From The Fox" ... the "pathetic fallacy" it used to be called, and perhaps still is--wantonly attributing human emotions/characteristics to animals.
Dan, I'm surprised that you, a poet, would place this interpretation on her poem. It never occurred to me to think that. Poets, as you know, use license to convey their thoughts, and I don't think a literal interpretation is warranted. I love just about everything she writes, and this one connected with me. And I do not anthropomorphize.
As to the poem, to me imputing human sentiments and imaginings to animals, particularly on the scale this poem does, is taking the easy way out. It lets the poet off the hook of really trying to get in the animal's life and mind, or the poet's own life and mind by contrast to the animal's. Attributing human wishes to foxes is presumptuous and libels them, in my estimation. By the way, I am a critic as well as a poet, and as both I am quite sensitive to manipulation, which is what I feel this poem of Oliver's resorts to. As I said in my prior, in many other poems she is successful, but not in this one, I think. Perhaps, ultimately, it's a matter of taste, or my personal hobbyhorse, but I don't care to presume to know what an animal wants or thinks. Here are other poems about animals and humans that I feel is more deserving of praise, in that they praise or feel for animals but keeps them separate from human imputations that would belittle or misinterpret
The Wish to Be Generous
All that I serve will die, all my delights,
the flesh kindled from my flesh, garden and field,
the silent lilies standing in the woods,
the woods, the hill, the whole earth, all
will burn in man's evil, or dwindle
in its own age. Let the world bring on me
the sleep of darkness without stars, so I may know
my little light taken from me into the seed
of the beginning and the end, so I may bow
to mystery, and take my stand on the earth
like a tree in a field, passing without haste
or regret toward what will be, my life
a patient willing descent into the grass.
~ Wendell Berry ~
(The Collected Poems, 1957-1982)
12. Notes & Queries, Guardian Weekly
What happened to the Latin language?
Latin is such a beautiful and efficient language, so why did it decline?
Actually only nouns and adjectives declined - verbs conjugated!
NJ Wilson, Kendal, Cumbria, UK
The form of Latin that people normally study and revere is the classical Latin of the last century BC and the first century AD, as written by great authors such as Cicero, Livy, Virgil, and Tacitus. This is the equivalent of the works of the great English writers from the 17th to 19th centuries.
However, like any other language, Latin was a language of the masses and had numerous variations, dialects, argots and genres throughout the classical period and beyond. As such, it was subject to change. These forms evolved to become the modern Romance languages. Indeed French is little more than the Vulgar Latin that was spoken by soldiers, settlers and traders in Gaul.
For example, the French "tete" (head) comes from the Latin "testa", earthenware jar, or, as we might say, "jughead". The beauty of Latin also lives on in the myriad borrowings in hundreds of languages, not least English.
Marc Loewenthal, London, UK
When I was up at Oxford, a student friend of mine said to her Latin tutor: "Would you like a glass of sherry?" He said: "Puella, puella, puellam, puellae, puellae, puella." She repeated her question, and he said, "Didn't you hear me? I declined girl."
KC Prince, Trieste, Italy
Far too much declension that too many people declined to decline.
Martin Bryan, Churchdown, Gloucestershire, UK
13. Light and dark ruminations on the human condition
"I long ago came to realize that I am a putterer, a grazer, a dilettante. I create the impression of getting a lot done by dabbling through my days: I read two pages of a book, write half a letter, paint a portion of the front porch, bake half a tin of muffins, teach a class, wash a window."
Robert Klose; Confessions of a Dedicated Dilettante; The Christian Science Monitor (Boston, Massachusetts); May 10, 2004.
"I hate mankind, for I think myself one of the best of them, and I know how bad I am." Those candid words of Samuel Johnson, lexicographer extraordinaire, provide a perceptive observation on the human condition. A language is a mirror of its people.
Aleksandr Solzehnitsyn, who knew a few things about the capacity for evil inside all of our hearts of darkness, explained it trenchantly in The Gulag Archipelago: “If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?” (Quoted in the Skeptic column in Scientific American, Aug 2007)