Guinea Pig

Guinea pig UdineGiovanni Nanni (1487–1564)
(Giovanni de’ Ricamatori, Giovanni da Udine)

 

The earliest known written account of the guinea pig dates from 1547, in a description of the animal from Santo Domingo.
Based on excavations on West Indian islands, it seems that the animal must have been introduced by ceramic-making horticulturalists from South America to the Caribbean around 500 BC, and it was present in the Ostionoid period, for example, on Puerto Rico, long before the advent of the Spaniards.
The guinea pig was first described in the West in 1554 by the Swiss naturalist Conrad Gessner.

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Lost Colony

FLYING FISH  John White (c. 1540 – c. 1593)

FLYING FISH John White (c. 1540 – c. 1593)

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/georgemonbiot/2013/aug/05/neonicotinoids-ddt-pesticides-nature
by George Monbiot

Neonicotinoids are already known as a major cause of the decline of bees and other pollinators.
These pesticides can be applied to the seeds of crops, and they remain in the plant as it grows, killing the insects which eat it.
The quantities required to destroy insect life are astonishingly small: by volume these poisons are 10,000 times as powerful as DDT.
When honeybees are exposed to just 5 nanogrammes of neonicotinoids, half of them will die.

It is only now, when neonicotinoids are already the world’s most widely deployed insecticides, that we are beginning to understand how extensive their impacts are.

Only a tiny proportion of the neonicotinoids that farmers use enter the pollen or nectar of the flower.
Some of the residue blows off as dust, which is likely to wreak havoc among the populations of many species of insects in hedgerows and surrounding habitats.
But the great majority – Prof Dave Goulson says “typically more than 90%” – of the pesticide applied to the seeds enters the soil.

Neonicotinoids are highly persistent chemicals, lasting (according to the few studies published so far) for up to 19 years in the soil. Because they are persistent, they are likely to accumulate: with every year of application the soil will become more toxic.

Of course, not all the neonicotinoids entering the soil stay there. Some are washed out, whereupon they end up in groundwater or in the rivers. What happens there? Who knows?
Neonicotinoids are not even listed among the substances that must be monitored under the EU’s water framework directive.

One study shows that at concentrations no greater than the limits set by the EU, the neonicotinoids entering river systems wipe out half the invertebrate species you would expect to find in the water. That’s another way of saying erasing much of the foodweb.

The people who should be defending the natural world have conspired with the manufacturers of wide-spectrum biocides to permit levels of destruction which we can only guess. In doing so they appear to be engineering another silent spring.

http://www.monbiot.com/
Prof Dave Goulson’s review of the impacts of these pesticides

The Heavenly Part of the World

Geocentricite-terre-centre-univers-carte-01

If today I had a young mind to direct, to start on the  journey of life, and I was faced with the duty of choosing between the natural  way of my forefathers and that of the . . . present way of civilization, I would,  for its welfare, unhesitatingly set that child’s feet in the path of my  forefathers. I would raise him to be an Indian!

From Wakan Tanka, the Great Spirit, there came a great  unifying life force that flowed in and through all things — the flowers of the  plains, blowing winds, rocks, trees, birds, animals — and was the same force  that had been breathed into the first man. Thus all things were kindred, and  were brought together by the same Great Mystery.

Kinship with all creatures of the earth, sky and water was a  real and active principle. In the animal and bird world there existed a  brotherly feeling that kept the Lakota safe among them. And so close did some of  the Lakotas come to their feathered and furred friends that in true brotherhood  they spoke a common tongue.

The animals had rights — the right of man’s protection, the  right to live, the right to multiply, the right to freedom, and the right to  man’s indebtedness — and in recognition of these rights the Lakota never  enslaved an animal and spared all life that was not needed for food and  clothing. For the animal and bird world there existed a brotherly feeling that  kept the Lakota safe among them.

This concept of life gave to the Lakota an abiding love. It filled his being with the joy and mystery  of living; it gave him reverence for all life; it made a place for all things in  the scheme of existence with equal importance to all.

The Lakota could despise no creature, for all were of one  blood, made by the same hand, and filled with the essence of the Great Mystery.  In spirit, the Lakota were humble and meek. ‘Blessed are the meek, for they  shall inherit the earth’ — this was true for the Lakota, and from the earth  they inherited secrets long since forgotten.

We did not think of the great open plains, the beautiful  rolling hills, the winding streams with tangled growth, as ‘wild’. Only to the  white man was nature a ‘wilderness’ and only to him was it ‘infested’ with  ‘wild’ animals and ‘savage’ people.
Not until the white man from the East came—and with brutal frenzy heaped injustices upon us and the families we loved—was it “wild” for us. When the very animals of the forest began fleeing from his approach, then it was for us that the “Wild West” began.

Luther Standing Bear, Chief of the  Oglala Lakota (1905-1939)

 

There was once a Lakota holy man, called Drinks Water, who dreamed what was to be . . . .
He dreamed that the four-leggeds were going back to the Earth, and that a strange race would weave a web all around the Lakotas.
He said, ‘You shall live in square gray houses, in a barren land . . . .’
Sometimes dreams are wiser than waking.

-Black Elk (1863-1950), holy man of the Oglala Lakota, written in 1932

Millet


Jacques Le Moyne De Morgues (1533?-1588) was a French painter, illustrator and explorer. He also worked in London and accompanied the explorer Sir Walter Raleigh (1552-1618) on his expeditions to Florida in North America.

A New and Correct Mapp of the World

New & Correct
John Thornton (1641-1708)

Blue Heron

Mark Catesby (1682/83 – 1749)

 

 

Published in: on August 15, 2011 at 6:10 pm  Leave a Comment  
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People from a Planet Without Flowers

Albrecht Dürer (1471 – 1528)

 

People from a planet without flowers would think we must be mad with joy the whole time to have such things about us.

Iris Murdoch,  A Fairly Honourable Defeat

 

“Mad with joy” is a condition of childhood and rare. It’s  foolish to hope for, even one more time.

But attentively presiding over the accumulation of cells in a cup of dirt– sensing seeds grow fat & moist and shift & sprout–we’re stirred by potential.  And the power to scatter jewels around like a sorceress is exhilarating–and limitless.