Monthly Archives: April 2014

Birds of the world.


Birds are indicators of the environment. If they are in trouble, we know we’ll soon be in trouble. ~ Roger Tory Petersonpictures-of-beautiful-birds

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The desire to fly is an idea handed down to us by our ancestors who… looked enviously on the birds soaring freely through space… on the infinite highway of the air. ~ Wilbur Wright


The coyote (US Canis latrans).


The coyote (US Canis latrans), also known as the American jackal, brush wolf, or the prairie wolf, is a species of canine found throughout North and Central America, ranging from Panama in the south, north through Mexico, the United States, and Canada. It occurs as far north as Alaska and all but the northernmost portions of Canada. Currently, 19 subspecies are recognized.

The coyote evolved in North America during the Pleistocene epoch 1.8 million years ago (mya), alongside the now extinct dire wolf. It fills roughly the same ecological niche in the Americas that is filled in Eurasia and Africa by the similarly sized canids called jackals, among which the coyote is sometimes counted. Its closest living relative is however the gray wolf, which affects coyote populations both by harsh intraguild predation and occasional interbreeding; the eastern coyote (Canis latrans var.) contains significant percentages of Canis lupus lycaon ancestry.Unlike the wolf, the coyote’s range has expanded in the wake of human civilization, and coyotes readily reproduce in metropolitan areas.

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The coyote appears often in the tales and traditions of Native Americans—usually as a very savvy and clever beast. Modern coyotes have displayed their cleverness by adapting to the changing American landscape. These members of the dog family once lived primarily in open prairies and deserts, but now roam the continent’s forests and mountains. They have even colonized cities like Los Angeles, and are now found over most of North America. Coyote populations are likely at an all-time high.

These adaptable animals will eat almost anything. They hunt rabbits, rodents, fish, frogs, and even deer. They also happily dine on insects, snakes, fruit, grass, and carrion. Because they sometimes kill lambs, calves, or other livestock, as well as pets, many ranchers and farmers regard them as destructive pests.

Coyotes are formidable in the field where they enjoy keen vision and a strong sense of smell. They can run up to 40 miles (64 kilometers) an hour. In the fall and winter, they form packs for more effective hunting.

Coyotes form strong family groups. In spring, females den and give birth to litters of three to twelve pups. Both parents feed and protect their young and their territory. The pups are able to hunt on their own by the following fall.

Coyotes are smaller than wolves and are sometimes called prairie wolves or brush wolves. They communicate with a distinctive call, which at night often develops into a raucous canine chorus.

Conservation status: 
The Coyote has a wide distribution throughout North America, Mexico and into Central America. They are abundant throughout their range and are increasing in distribution as humans continue to modify the landscape. The species is very versatile, especially in their ability to exploit human modified environments.
2004 – Least Concern
Did you know?

Coyotes are very good swimmers. In areas of the northeast United States, where coyotes have migrated since the 20th century, the animals have colonized the Elizabeth Islands of Massachusetts.


The coyote (US Canis latrans) distribution map world wide.

Killing off the Coyotes.


“Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.”1

In his book, Rewriting the Family Script, Roger Hillerstrom shares how “a small, Midwestern town once sponsored a coyote hunt because so many farmers were losing chickens to the predators. Fifteen hundred coyotes were killed over a single weekend.

“However, within a few months the entire community was overrun with rodents, because their natural enemy, the coyote, had been eliminated. A year after that, the rodents weren’t much of a problem, but the rattlesnakes were! Because there were so many rats and mice for them to eat, the poisonous snakes had reproduced rapidly.

“At that point, the chickens were safe, but the humans were in danger! You see, the coyotes had been an important part of the environmental system—the food chain. When one part of that system changed, other parts adapted to the new reality.”2

When we as individuals, groups, or societies and even some churches get rid of God’s Word, the Ten Commandments, and overthrow God’s standards to do as we please, and seek to throw out God himself, the seeds of our ultimate destruction are sown. God is not mocked. In time, we all reap what we have sown.

As the Apostle Paul exhorted the Christians in Corinth: “Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men [and women] of courage; be strong. Do everything in love.”3

prayer: “Dear God, amid the ever increasing pressure in our society to get rid of anything to do with the Bible and with you, please help me to be on my guard, be strong, and stand firm in my Christian faith. And help me to so live that others, seeing Jesus in me, will want him for themselves. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus’ name, amen.”

1. Galatians 6:7 (NKJV).
2. P. Roger Hillerstrom, Rewriting the Family Script, (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Fleming H. Revell, 1995), p. 19.



Amazing Love.


“The Lord Jesus on the night in which He was betrayed took bread, and after He had given thanks, broke it and said, ‘This is My body, which is for you.’ ” —1 Corinthians 11:23-24

God became a human being. “The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us” (Jn 1:14). The Lord emptied Himself (Phil 2:7). He became like us in all things but sin (Heb 4:15). God became a human embryo, baby, toddler, little child, teenager, etc. God washed the feet of His disciples (Jn 13:5) and continues to do so today (see Heb 13:8). God emptied and humbled Himself even to death on a cross (Phil 2:8).
Then the God-Man did the unthinkable. He emptied and humbled Himself to the point that He gave us His body and blood, His soul and divinity under the appearances of bread and wine. In the Eucharist, Jesus, Who had emptied Himself of His divinity, now appears to have emptied Himself even of His humanity. When Jesus took a piece of bread and a cup of wine and said: “This is My body. This is My blood” (see 1 Cor 11:24, 25), He uttered one of the most shocking statements ever made.
Why the Incarnation? Why the Crucifixion? Why the Eucharist? “God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him may not die but may have eternal life” (Jn 3:16). “God is Love” (1 Jn 4:16). Love Him.

Prayer: God, Love incarnate (1 Jn 4:16), I decide to love You with all my heart, all my soul, all my mind, and all my strength (Lk 10:27). May I love You with all my life, as You mean “all.”
Promise: “This day shall be a memorial feast for you, which all your generations shall celebrate with pilgrimage to the Lord, as a perpetual institution.” —Ex 12:14
Praise: “O Sacrament most holy, O Sacrament divine, all praise and all thanksgiving be every moment Thine.”



The snow leopard (Uncia uncia)


The snow leopard (Panthera uncia syn. Uncia uncia) is a large cat native to the mountain ranges of Central and South Asia. It is listed as endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species because as of 2003, the size of the global population was estimated at 4,080-6,590 adults, of which fewer than 2,500 individuals may reproduce in the wild.

Snow leopards inhabit alpine and subalpine zones at elevations from 3,000 to 4,500 m (9,800 to 14,800 ft). In the northern range countries, they also occur at lower elevations. In other words, Snow leopards are found in 12 countries—including China, Bhutan, Nepal, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Russia, and Mongolia—but their population is dropping.

Taxonomically, the snow leopard was classified as Uncia uncia since the early 1930s.Based on genotyping studies, the cat is considered a member of the genus Panthera since 2008. Two subspecies have been attributed, but genetic differences between the two have not been settled.

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These rare, beautiful gray leopards live in the mountains of Central Asia. They are insulated by thick hair, and their wide, fur-covered feet act as natural snowshoes. Snow leopards have powerful legs and are tremendous leapers, able to jump as far as 50 feet (15 meters). They use their long tails for balance and as blankets to cover sensitive body parts against the severe mountain chill.

Snow leopards prey upon the blue sheep (bharal) of Tibet and the Himalaya, as well as the mountain ibex found over most of the rest of their range. Though these powerful predators can kill animals three times their weight, they also eat smaller fare, such as marmots, hares, and game birds.

One Indian snow leopard, protected and observed in a national park, is reported to have consumed five blue sheep, nine Tibetan woolly hares, twenty-five marmots, five domestic goats, one domestic sheep, and fifteen birds in a single year.

As these numbers indicate, snow leopards sometimes have a taste for domestic animals, which has led to killings of the big cats by herders.

These endangered cats appear to be in dramatic decline because of such killings, and due to poaching driven by illegal trades in pelts and in body parts used for traditional Chinese medicine. Vanishing habitat and the decline of the cats’ large mammal prey are also contributing factors.

Snow leopards are often killed by local farmers because they prey on livestock such as sheep, goats, horses, and yak calves. The animals which snow leopards would typically hunt—such as the Argali sheep—are also hunted by local communities. As their natural prey becomes harder to find, snow leopards are forced to kill livestock for survival.

The snow leopard habitat range continues to decline from human settlement and increased use of grazing space. This development increasingly fragments the historic range of the species.

Numerous agencies are working to conserve the snow leopard and its threatened mountain ecosystems. These include the Snow Leopard Trust, the Snow Leopard Conservancy, the Snow Leopard Network, the Cat Specialist Group and the Panthera Corporation. These groups and numerous national governments from the snow leopard’s range, nonprofits and donors from around the world recently worked together at the 10th International Snow Leopard Conference in Beijing. Their focus on research, community programs in snow leopard regions, and education programs are aimed at understanding the cat’s needs, as well as the needs of the villagers and herder communities affecting snow leopards’ lives and habitat.


The total wild population of the snow leopard was estimated at 4,510 to 7,350 individuals. Many of these estimates are rough and outdated.

In 1972, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) placed the snow leopard on its Red List of Threatened Species as globally “Endangered”; the same threat category was applied in the assessment conducted in 2008.

There are also approximately 600 snow leopards in zoos around the world including at zoo d’Amnéville, France, National zoo in Washington DC and others. The snow leopard is highly elusive and an exact count is hard to come by. There are believed to be fewer than 7,000 in the wild and these numbers continue to decline. Snow leopards are symbols for the wild places they inhabit. As a top predator, their presence is an important indicator of the health of their environment.


The snow leopard (Uncia uncia) Distribution Map world wide.


Happy Easter…

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We send you our warmest wishes to all Nations of the world as you celebrate the Easter holiday.

As you celebrate this important holiday with your friends and family, may you reflect on the values of charity, compassion and tolerance that have served us well in the United States, a country which enjoys great religious diversity.

We urge you to enjoy the Easter festival responsibly and to exercise caution especially on the road.

We wish you and your loved ones a safe and happy Easter!

from Reform Sasscer Movement for Prince George’s County


10 Valuable Life Lessons to Learn from Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela.


As human beings, some of us have been giving a lot of thought to Nelson Mandela in the aftermath of his death in December 2013. The media was abuzz about him and some people were wondering which individual African or another person from a different race would fill his shoes. Which world leader would be the new Nelson Mandela.

Well, many of us have read a lot about Mandela and see him as a reluctant celebrity. When you read some of his quotes, you get this impression. He did not think what he did was amazing and he just wanted to spend time with his family; something very normal husband and fathers do.

“Everyone can rise above their circumstances and achieve success if they are dedicated to and passionate about what they do and have a fundamental concern for others. There is no passion to be found playing small — in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.” – Nelson Mandela

As indicated above, With the passing of Nobel Peace Prize winner Nelson Mandela at age 95, one of the world’s greatest icons is lost; but his legacy of leadership remains. He started a movement that positively affected, encouraged, and motivated millions. He inspired and helped others to help themselves.

He was a true leader and in many ways an entrepreneur. What we’ve experienced from Mandela’s life is potentially just the start, and his legend is going to be bigger still. He has given the world many leadership lessons. Future leaders would do well to adopt the Mandela mindset and his profound lessons.

Exhibited below are some examples;

“I was not a messiah, but an ordinary man who had become a leader because of extraordinary circumstances.”

“I stand here before you not as a prophet, but as a humble servant of you, the people.”

“I really wanted to retire and rest and spend more time with my children, my grandchildren and of course with my wife.”

So some of us got this idea, that instead of one of us trying to fill his shoes, all of us should. Some of us think that is what he would want to happen because a whole bunch of Nelson Mandela clones can get a lot of the needed change the world needs.

In the process of doing this, we took some of his quotes and crafted 10 valuable life lessons we could all learn from Nelson Mandela. Enjoy.

1. You are responsible for your life
“I am the master of my fate and the captain of my destiny.” ~ Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela knew that you are responsible for your life, and you have to take control of your steering wheel and take it where you want to go. You. No matter how many genuine excuses you may have. It boils down to you.

We must use time wisely and forever realize that the time is always ripe to do right. You can’t have whatever you want in life if you are not in charge and can’t account for the 24 hours you are given daily. There are a lot of resources to help you with time management.

2. Education is power
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” ~ Nelson Mandela

Education was very important to Nelson Mandela.

Finish school, go back to school, enroll in that community college or university.  Many of us know going to school is just not  always easy, but it really helps and it is the right thing to do.

3. Look at the bright side of things
“I am fundamentally an optimist. Whether that comes from nature or nurture, I cannot say. Part of being an optimistic is keeping one’s head pointed toward the sun, one’s feet moving forward. There were many dark moments when my faith in humanity was sorely tested, but I would not and could not give myself up to despair. That way lays defeat and death.”

Looking at the glass as half full rather than half empty will help you navigate life.

4. Live on purpose
“What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.” ~ Nelson Mandela

This quote really affected many of us. It’s not about some of us getting a six pack, getting married and having a fantastic wedding with tigers and elephants, it’s not about us taking fantastic vacations with husbands or wives…it’s not about any of us buying all Apple products and having the latest Iphone 5, 6,7 and so one. All these things are good but Nelson Mandela wanted people to actually touch and make a difference in someone’s life.

5. One can overcome poverty
“Overcoming poverty is not a task of charity; it is an act of justice. Like Slavery and Apartheid, poverty is not natural. It is man-made and it can be overcome and eradicated by the actions of human beings. Sometimes it falls on a generation to be great. YOU can be that great generation. Let your greatness blossom.” ~ Nelson Mandela

This great man thought poverty could be overcome.

United States and the rest of the world have a lot of rich people and more poor people and even though we live in a rich and blessed country now, there is still a lot lack every where you go.

6.Seek balance

Mandela said that a good head and a good heart were always a formidable combination. Today more than ever before, the world seems separated into two kinds of people: passionate people on one side (who primarily use their hearts to make decisions) and rational people on the other (who primarily use facts in order to decide). We will thrive if we can balance the use of our heart and our head, as Mandela was able to do.

7. Be better not bitter 

Mandela put the greater good over his ego. Imagine if you were imprisoned for 27 years under harsh conditions, wouldn’t you be craving retaliation? Mandela had many opportunities to take revenge when he became the president of South Africa. To the surprise of the black population, he instead led the country to peace.

8. Make things happen

“It always seems impossible until it’s done,” said Mandela. Being a dreamer was part of his success, but he also had a plan and actionable strategies to stay on track. These ultimately lead him to achieve his goals. We need to take action, follow a step-by-step plan, stay focused, be persistent, surround ourselves with like-minded people, and we can make a difference, as well.

9. Empower people 

Mandela led his people from behind, valuing them and letting them believe they were in front. He was able to persuade people to do things and make them think it was their own idea. Mandela would interrupt whatever he was doing for impromptu meetings or greetings, and he was able to see and bring out the best in others.

10. Persevere

During his imprisonment he did backbreaking work in the lime quarry designed to break his spirit. It didn’t! Even when the harsh sun on the white stone caused permanent damage to his eyes, he refused to give up. He contracted tuberculosis in solitary confinement, which drove most insane, but that didn’t break him either. He fought on, declaring that after climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb.

Having discharged his duty to his people and his country, Mandela can truly rest in peace. He showed us how one person with humility, a dream, great self-discipline and a passionate cause could magnify himself and inspire us all.

One of the many things he learned was that until he changed himself, he could not change others. We can help his legacy continue to ripple across the world and future generations by following his example, using our time wisely and forever realizing that the time is always ripe to be better and do what’s right.

Are we all trying to get more for ourselves and not realizing that there could be some truth in what Nelson Mandela said. Is there a way each of us could do something small to decrease the gap between the rich and the poor? What are your thoughts on this?

Share your insights by joining the conversation below


Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, the anti-apartheid icon and first black South African president whose death at 95 in December 2013 touched all corners of the globe, left an indelible mark on United States and the world that still lingers several years after his visit captivated the country — and the world — in a way only a 20th-century titan could.