April 23, 2014

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Two wolf pups born earlier this month in South Carolina have been named for comedian Stephen Colbert and U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell.

Managers at the Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge in Charleston County said the pups are expected to go on public display in several weeks, The State newspaper (http://bit.ly/1hnRXCu) reported.

"Colbert" and "Jewell" were among six pups born April 8 at the Sewee Visitors Center. One was stillborn and a second died shortly after birth.

The two other pups have been taken to the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge in eastern North Carolina, where they will grow up with an adult mother in the wild.

"I'm glad we were able to help the wild population at Alligator River, that is first and foremost our goal to help the genetic diversity in the red wolf population," said refuge manager Sarah Dawsey.

Project leader Raye Nilius says Secretary Jewell visited Cape Romain in November.

"Secretary Jewell came here last year and we were so impressed with her, and she was such a supportive secretary, we felt it was a great honor to name one of the pups after her," Nilius said

"We also really enjoy Stephen Colbert," Nillis said. Colbert is a Charleston native who has a show on Comedy Central, the "Colbert Report," and will replace David Letterman on CBS next year.

Red wolves born at Cape Romain have been sent to Alligator River as part of a program to re-establish the endangered canines in the wild. Since the late 1980s, more than two dozen wolves have been born at Cape Romain.

Red wolves are among the rarest animals in the country, with only several hundred surviving. Their populations dropped as a result of hunting, habitat loss, and more recently, interbreeding with coyotes.

Golden Retriever Puppies Play With Ice Cubes And Get Ice Stuck All Over Themselves

What happens when you give a tub full of ice to a litter of golden retriever puppies on a hot day? Find out in this adorable video.

Should I Give My Dog Ice Cubes?

Ice Cubes to Hydrate and Prevent Vomiting

Veterinarian M. Christine Zink, recommends giving a few ice cubes to a dog with an upset stomach every four hours. The ice cubes should be licked so this way the dog will be able to stay hydrated without scarfing down a lot of water at once.

Ice Cubes for Teething Puppies – Ice cubes are also often given for relief to teething puppies affected by sore gums. According to the Hardin County Humane Society, the coolness of the ice is very soothing to a puppy’s sore gums and the ice is also a good source of hydration. If your puppy is not too interested in ice cubes, you can always fill up some ice trays with some beef or chicken broth.

Ice Cubes to Prevent Overheating – Finally, some ice cubes added to the water bowl, in those steamy hot months, may encourage your dog to drink more and prevent over heating, suggests veterinarian Holly Nash. Many recipes for ice treats for dogs abound. In this case, just be watchful for gulping too much water or ice at once or giving it when a dog is overheated or exhausted from exercise.(SOURCE)


April 22, 2014

Horses, Daryl Hannah, sacred fires and Neil Young — these are some of the things you’re likely to see on the National Mall starting Tuesday as part of the latest protest against the Keystone XL pipeline.

The “Reject and Protect” protest is a weeklong event hosted by the Cowboy and Indian Alliance, a group of ranchers, farmers and leaders of seven Native American tribes. Protesters said activists also plan to project anti-pipeline messages onto the Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday night, hold an interfaith ceremony outside the Georgetown home of Secretary of State John Kerry and stage an unspecified “bold and creative” bit of civil disobedience. .

They’re estimating that as many as 5,000 activists will take part in a march past the Capitol on Saturday. The rest of the week is expected to be more intimate. .

Things kick off Tuesday morning with a short 24-horse ride from the Capitol to a reserved area near the Reflecting Pool. The Indigo Girls will perform two songs as a ceremonial teepee is erected “that will have a clear message to the president on it,” promised Jane Kleeb, director of Bold Nebraska, the state’s leading anti-pipeline group. .

The teepee will bear the Indian names that President Barack Obama received from Montana’s Crow Nation and the Lakota tribe, the activists said, and will be painted with symbols created by tribal artists to symbolize land and water protection. Amid serenading by Young, who is expected to attend later this week, the teepee will be presented as a gift to the National Museum of the American Indian, which organizers say has agreed to house it in its collection. .

Kleeb said the initial plan was to have participants stay and sleep in the teepees throughout the week, but they weren’t able to get a permit..

The fact they could get permits for such a long time on the National Mall is an accomplishment and at least partially tied to the religious undertones throughout..

They include a small “sacred fire” central to many tribal ceremonies that will be burning throughout the week, and traditional water ceremonies “that will highlight the threat Keystone XL poses to water sources, especially the Ogallala Aquifer, along the pipeline route,” according to a schedule provided by organizers. .

“The spirituality and religious aspects of not only the sacred fire and teepees were incorporated into the permit,” Kleeb said. .

But she added, “We’ve been very clear with the parks police and D.C. police that this is a protest about Keystone XL.”


Watch this amazing video of some very courageous men freeing this poor lynx from a cruel trap!

There are still on this planet human beings worthy of the name who are able to counteract the harmful effects of other less than worthy humans. Despite being caught in a leg trap, a frightened lynx is able to return to the wild.... free on all 4 legs thanks to these gentlemen!

Canada lynx were hunted and trapped until the early 1990s, when population declines became apparent. In 2000, lynx were federally listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act.

They’re solitary animals, adapted to life on high mountain ridges. Big feet and long legs help lynx navigate deep snow and stalk snowshoe hares, their preferred diet.

Climate change is expected to make life harder for lynx, which occupy a specialized habitat.

Lynx compete with the less snow-adapted bobcats for food. Sparser snowpacks and more rain will allow bobcats to expand into higher elevations, occupying territory that was once the exclusive domain of lynx


The Grand Canyon. Unique art galleries and boutiques. Stunning golf courses.

Though it permeates almost every aspect of the regional culture, however, the Native American communities of the Southwest can often seem distant and inaccessible to visitors.

In fact, interacting with native communities and cultures is easier than many travelers realize.

The Navajo Nation -- a 25,000-square-mile sovereign state in the high desert of Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado and Utah -- is a good place to start.

The Navajo occupy the largest tribal reservation in the country; the area is home to more than 100,000 Navajo people.

Here are 10 ways to experience their distinct culture.

1. Ride through Monument Valley

A 91,000-acre tribal park on the Arizona-Utah border, the towering red rock pinnacles and bright orange mesas of Monument Valley -- believed in Navajo mythology to be the carcasses of defeated monsters, buried in the sand -- offer the most iconic images of the Southwest.

Road routes are easy and take in the big viewpoints, but a backcountry tour with a local guide shows you the valley through Native American eyes.

Sacred Monument Tours and Black's Tours are Navajo-owned and operated outfits that will take you through the valley in a Jeep or on horseback and include Navajo interpretive talks and storytelling.

Goulding’s Trading Post & Lodge (+1 435 727 3231) in Monument Valley provides accommodation and excellent Navajo-run hiking and Jeep tours.

2. Watch Native horse breakers tame and train wild mustangs using traditional methods

Mustangs are strong and free-spirited, and some 30,000 of them run wild through Navajo land.

At La Tinaja Restaurant and Trading Post (on Highway 53 in Ramah, New Mexico; +1 505 783 4349) -- a Navajo restaurant, community center and one-time drinking haunt of Billy the Kid -- it’s possible to watch Native horse breakers tame and train wild mustangs using traditional methods.

3. See ancient petroglyphs in Canyon de Chelly

Canyon de Chelly is a dramatic 26-mile gorge near Chinle, Arizona.

It's sacred to the Navajo and filled with ancient petroglyphs of snakes, antelope and the stark white handprints of medicine men.

Deep in the canyon, ruined settlements of the Anasazi -- predecessors of the Navajo -- can be found, built high into cracks in the sheer cliffs like vertiginous sandcastles of mud and stone.

The views from the top are spectacular but to appreciate the history of the canyon you need to explore inside -- accessible only with a local guide.

Sacred Canyon Lodge (+1 928 674 5841) is a Navajo-owned and operated hotel at the entrance to Canyon de Chelly. Hiking, Jeep and horseback tours can be arranged on request.

4. Sleep in a Navajo hogan

Made of interlocking logs held together with compacted mud and earth, hogans, the traditional home of the Navajo, are still used by many families.

They also play an important part in Native spiritual and ceremonial life.

Inside, the design is a reflection of the living world: pillars to represent the four cardinal directions, a circular spiral roof for the sky and a door facing east to welcome the rising sun.

Spending the night in one is a treat: they're not fancy, but they're comfortable and -- miles from any large urban area -- provide a great night of sleep.

Discover Navajo, a Navajo Nation culture and tourism organization based in Window Rock, Arizona, has information on overnight hogan stays on the reservation.

5. Visit with a medicine man

By looking through a crystal at a pile of hot coals spread out on the compacted earth floor of a hogan, Navajo medicine men are believed to be able to divine aspects of a patient's life and help them using prayer, chanting and blessing with sacred feathers and arrowheads.

Still employed in contemporary Navajo society to heal both physical and mental ailments, traditional ceremonies are powerful expressions of the culture.

Many medicine men won’t treat non-Navajos, but a few will. Ask around and you may get lucky.

6. Sleep under the stars

For the ultimate Southwest fantasy, nothing beats riding out on horseback to camp in the backcountry, where you can roast corn on an open fire and listen to traditional Native American stories.

But the real show begins when the stars come out -- stargazers lay on blankets and sleeping bags by the embers of a fire while the shining arms of the Milky Way swirl overhead.

Larry Holiday (+1 928 679 5161; lyholiday@yahoo.com) is an excellent Navajo guide who provides horseback and camping tours in and around Monument Valley.

7. Learn about Navajo rugs

Navajo rug weaving is one of the most intricate and beautiful of all the Native arts in the Southwest.

Techniques are a closely guarded secret, passed from mother to daughter.

The effort involved in making rugs is intense: a single three-to-five-foot rug can take more then 2,000 hours, or eight months, to produce.

Designs follow traditional geometrical patterns that are striking and unique.

Navajo rugs can be bought at trading posts throughout the reservation.

Cameron Trading Post (located in Cameron, Arizona, 54 miles north of Flagstaff, on Highway 89; +1 877 608 3491) has a good selection from $300-95,000.

8. Eat fry bread

The “three sisters” of Navajo farming -- corn, beans, squash -- may be the backbone of Native cooking, but its heart is, without a doubt, fry bread.

Made by drenching homemade dough on a frying-pan, the recipe may be simple, but achieving perfection is a difficult-to-perfect art.

Fry bread is often covered in salt and ladled with chili beans to make a Navajo taco or, for the purist, dipped in fresh mutton stew and sweet blue corn mush.

Fry bread can be bought throughout the reservation, at formal restaurants and simple roadside stands.

La Tinaja Restaurant and Trading Post (on Highway 53 in Ramah, New Mexico; +1 505 783 4349) makes excellent Navajo tacos.

9. Watch the sunset at an ancient cliff village

Built into an immense alcove in Betatakin Canyon, 60 miles east of Tuba City, Arizona, a beautifully preserved 13th-century Puebloan cliff village is the centerpiece of Navajo National Monument.

At dusk, the walls glow bright peach and light up a surrounding forest of pinion pines, yucca plants and giant Douglas firs.

Short trails to scenic viewpoints include interpretive signage that offers insight into how ancient Puebloan people used everything the desert provided to thrive despite arid conditions.

The Navajo Park Service (+1 928 672 2700) leads ranger-guided hikes and other activities.

10. Watch Native artists at work

A new self-drive trail on the Hopi reservation, near Tuba City, Arizona, is designed to connect tourists directly with workshops and galleries of 26 renowned Hopi artists.

(Though they share the region, Hopi are a separate tribe from the Navajo, and consider themselves North America's oldest human inhabitants.)

A unique opportunity to find out how basket weavers, potters, wood carvers and silversmiths work, visitors can explore traditional villages and buy authentic Native American products.

Moenkopi Legacy Inn & Suites (+1 928 283 4500) is the only Hopi-owned and run hotel on the Hopi reservation, and a great base for the Hopi Arts Trail.

General information on Navajo Nation and related sites can be found at the Discover Navajo website.