The Old Man of the Lake (via A Blast From The Past)

Awesome photograph and remarkable lake!

The Old Man of the Lake It would not be difficult to argue that Crater Lake, in central Oregon, is the most beautiful body of fresh water in the world. The lake, which is almost perfectly circular in shape, in unquestionably startling. It sits at the top of a 7,000-foot-high dormant volcano and fills its crater. It is about six miles from side to side, a remarkable 2,000 feet de … Read More

via A Blast From The Past

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Who Is Killing Our Honeybees?

A honeybee on an apiary, cooling by flapping i...

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Have you ever heard of the butterfly effect? Essentially, it’s the understanding that a small change in one place in a complex system can have large effects elsewhere. For example, a butterfly flapping its wings in Finland might lead to a flood in Florida.

When I first read years ago about the widespread disappearance of honeybees due to a mysterious phenomenon known as colony collapse disorder (CCD), I immediately thought of the butterfly effect. Losing our bees could have a devastating ripple effect.

Honeybees are a vital part of our ecosystem. They’re responsible for a large part of the pollination of our crops. In fact, nearly 100 food crops in North America alone depend on the bees for their pollination. Without a healthy honeybee population, our farming economy and, indeed, our very food supply is in grave danger.

Over the years, there’s been a lot of speculation about the causes of CCD—ranging from a virus that interferes with the bee’s abilities to navigate to cell phones causing bees to literally become lost on their way back home to the hive. Most researchers agree that it’s a complex problem and that most likely there’s no single cause.

Now a recently leaked memo could give us some answers and shed some much needed light on a rather shady story that involves the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the giant agrichemical company Bayer.

According to a recent story on, the memo reveals that, in 2003, despite the serious warnings from its own scientists about the possible threat to the bee population, the EPA reversed a decision to not allow Bayer to move forward with selling its pesticide known as clothianidin, a decision that Bayer is no doubt incredibly grateful for, since it racked up about $262 million dollars in clothianidin sales in 2009 alone.

Under the “conditional registration,” Bayer was allowed to provide suppliers with seeds that are pretreated with the pesticide, which is admittedly, toxic to common crop pests but unfortunately, it turns out, is very likely to be to honeybees as well.

And as if that weren’t bad enough, the study Bayer submitted to the EPA to prove that its product is not toxic to honeybees and to have the “conditional” registration dropped is so full of holes that you could drive a truck right through it. Yet, quietly, in April of this year, the EPA still granted full registration to clothianidin to be used as seed treatment for corn and canola.

But wait…there’s more! (I’ve always wanted to have a reason to write that line.) In a twist worthy of a spy novel, the leaked EPA memo, dated Nov. 2, 2010, and written by two of EPA’s own scientists, clearly states a concern about the risks that clothianidin poses to honeybees, directly refuting the study that the EPA accepted as evidence to give a green light to full registration for the pesticide.

Other countries, including Germany, France, Italy, and Slovenia, have already recognized the threat that clothianidin poses to honeybees and our entire ecosystem and have banned this dangerous pesticide. The EPA needs to stop ignoring its OWN scientists and do the same.


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Snow and fireworks

We have had lots of snow and cold in the build up to Christmas. I like snow – I like the cold blue intensity of the sky after snow. I like the silence that snow brings and the way it absorbs those background noises that distract. My family like snow and my dog loves to run and bounce around it. When I walk in snow, especially falling snow my inner child comes out to play. I don’t know how many facets my inner child has or how simple or complex it is. I do know that there is a light and there is a shade. Some things make him happy and others sad. Snow is definitely happy! I smile, my mood lightens and I want to share the pleasure of snow with everyone I meet. I know it can be bad for transport and heating and stuff but….. Fireworks do the same. I went with my son and his partner to a huge display at Alton Towers in October and I was transfixed. The magical way the sound and the light arrive at different times and the way those huge rockets seem to distort space. I just love it and I love the way I feel transported to a happy and magical place. I guess we all have access to our inner child but they probably suffer from neglect in many of us. The gift of the joy of that child is immense as is the power of remembering how to be delighted in simple pleasure.Next time you feel engaged by something simple and childlike relax and let it happen revel in that joy and make yourself young again. You never know you may wake up happier and younger the next day.

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I felt very very ill

I have no resistance since my cancer treatment. Made worse by the therapy which seems to do more harm than the cancer.

So when a bug gets near its radar spots me as an easy target.

So one day feel great. Next day nearly great. That night it all shuts down.

Fever, wheezing, crushing headache, sick and pains all over. Next morning phone doctor, not in, stand in – must be virus let’s give you antibiotics in case it includes an infection.

In car feel worse and worse – insides in agony start to pass out – I am not a fainter!

Sweat pouring off me – I am scared, my wife is scared.

I lose touch with awake – my eyes go and I feel like I no longer with me. But the scary bit is that I feel my essence is worn out. The bit that is my spirit, the bit that enables my humanness has gone.

I feel death – it really feels near. Cancer has planted in my mind the possibility of death. I don’t want to die but I doubt my power to resist.

The pain eases, the sweat goes from hot to cold. My Susie gets me home and wraps me in our duvet. I am embraced by the salvation of sleep.

I am still here days later. Was I that ill? Was it a real experience?

My soul and psyche are bare and exposed.

My choice is life. My life is in my mind and my body. I must strengthen my mind to fix my body………….

This is my 2011 challenge.

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What is life coaching?

Wikipedia has this as their start to defining coaching:- “Coaching refers to the activity of a coach in developing the abilities of a coachee. Coaching tends to focus on an existing problem (from which to move away) or a specific outcome that the individual wishes to achieve (move towards). In both cases, the coach aims to stimulate the coachee to uncover innate knowledge so they can achieve a sustainable result. Coaches will normally check that the specific learning can be successfully re-applied by the coachee, to deal with other problems in the future. The structure and methodologies of coaching are very numerous with one unifying feature, coaching approaches are predominantly facilitating in style, that is to say that the coach is mainly asking questions and challenging the coachee to learn from their own resources. The coaching process is underpinned by established trust in the coachee. Coaching is differentiated from therapeutic and counselling disciplines in that the problems and outcomes have contexts which are important in the present and with aims for the future – these do not have emotional aetiology, or baggage, from the past – in other words, the coachee has the resources they need to make reasoned progress at the time that they seek coaching.”

Some of this is good and some isn’t! It is right to keep away from therapy and it is absolutely right that the COACHEE progresses from their own resources. But there are too many definitions and most are unhelpful.

I think life coaching is about a client moving beyond their present limits.

Limits can be practical or emotional or a blend of both.

Most limits relate to beliefs.

Beliefs are the hotchpotch of ideas that can enable or disable us – depends upon postive or negative.

Negative is:- I can’t, shouldn’t, never, not me, too hard, scary etc

Positive is:- I am, let’s do it, when do we start, just do it etc

Lots of us have complex combinations of positive and negative and most of us get by just fine.

BUT we can all do better by a little or a lot. You only do better if you and your coach develop the right trustful relationship where they are their for you and you keep to your promise(s).

A coach is not a commodity, a coach is not someone with a business card that says Life Coach. A real coach is someone who exposes their psyche to truly understand your deep issues and will hold up that patchy mirror that tells you your truth.

Then you do a deal – the truth of this deal is your barometer of progress!

A coach is not just for Christmas; a client is for all the time they call on you as their coach!

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The Last Wolf

Eleven-member wolf pack in winter, Yellowstone...

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This is taken from Jim Crumley’s fascinating  – “Yellowstone Experience”.

“In the long wolfless decades they (deer) had forgotten to behave like deer. Then the wolves came back and they remembered.”

“………….. in that second spring we saw the evening sun illuminate a green haze low on the land. At first we didn’t understand its meaning, so we climbed from the floor of the glen to the old deer terrace and we found its meaning: fresh, sweet, young, vivid, green grass. The wolves by keeping the deer constantly on the move had restored to the mountain a lost meadow.”

“And as the spring advanced, flowers ‘splashes of white and yellow and blue, and the grass ankle deep’.

And as with every new season after that, the new growth summoned others to the change: butterflies, moths, berries, berry and butterfly eating birds and then the first new trees.”

“The wolf that howls in the dusk is – the painter of mountains.”

So interesting and so awakening of unknowledge!

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The Scream

One of several versions of the painting "...

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The Scream is from a universally known series of paintings by Edvard Munch.

In a page in his diary headed Nice 22.01.1892, Munch described his inspiration for the painting as:

“I was walking along a path with two friends — the sun was setting — suddenly the sky turned blood red — I paused, feeling exhausted, and leaned on the fence — there was blood and tongues of fire above the blue-black fjord and the city — my friends walked on, and I stood there trembling with anxiety — and I sensed an infinite scream passing through nature.”

It is possible that the dust from the explosion of Krakatoa caused the sky to be red.

Anyway it is the quote that matters to me and especially “…….and I sensed an infinite scream passing through nature.” That evokes in me the memory of real pain and real anguish when the emotional and physical feelings are so strong that they are not part of me but reverberate around me and around the whole of the universe I am connected to.

I experience this only sometimes. Many times I feel joy and experience the pleasure of laughing. But the hard times take a toll and I must create a route out of them.

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