Animal Conservation

Sea Sights

blog by Robyn Wyman-dill
We are in the mid-stretch of the Olympic Games. Where dreams are gold in Rio. In the excitement of champions being made, Dream Team USA inspires a new generation. As Michael Phelps moves through the water like a dolphin in a speedo. Since 776 BC, when the Ancient Greeks held their first Olympiad, the games have been a part of human history. (Although it is believed the games were held earlier, the first written records of the ancient Olympic Games date back to 776 BC, when a cook named Coroebus won the only event of the games – a 192-meter footrace called the stade (the origin of the modern “stadium”) and became the first Olympic champion). Over the next 12 centuries, the Games expanded, adding other athletic events up until AD 393, when Emperor Theodosius I decided to shut them down. Just because he thought they were too ‘pagan’.

Of course, the Olympics did rise again. But, not until the late 1800s.  The first modern Olympics was held in 1896, in Athens, Greece. Thanks to Baron Pierre de Coubertin of France,who founded the International Olympic Committee.

Now, while the world was watching the Games in Rio last week, I was making friends with sea horses. I know that sounds a little odd – considering seahorses or “horse sea monsters” are mainly found in seagrass beds, estuaries, coral reefs, and mangroves, and not on city streets where my car likes to roam. I suspect any connection to the Olympics may appear a bit far-fetched to you too. However, as it turns out, seahorses are world record holders. They are considered to be the slowest-moving fish on the planet. Being that they are such well below average swimmers, they tend to rest a lot. Usually, at the bottom with their prehensile tail wrapped around a stationary object.  It is a bit of an odd fish – as fishes go. Read the rest of this entry »

Orlando On Parade

blog by Robyn Wyman-dill

We begin this week in June in the aftermath of tragedy. Which, thankfully, has motivated a backlash of kindness. Let’s reflect for the moment. It is clear to us that an oily darkness is dimming our pockets of light. Attacking spaces where all kinds of people like to congregate for the sole purpose of feeling happy. Nothing wrong with that. I mean wanting to be happy. Now at the epicenter for family fun…the other OC(There are nine Orange counties in the US.)lies Orlando and it is loaded with more than a dozen theme parks, most notably Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando. It is also the town where 49 people died in the deadliest mass murder in US history. And set off a tidal wave of bad luck. Read the rest of this entry »

At the Trailhead of Two Stories

blog and photos by Robyn Wyman-dill

We are sliding down the calendar into Halloween week with a waxing moon expanding into the first lunar quarter.  Everywhere you turn, orange is the dominant color, especially in the desert terrain of Coachella Valley.  Where the Mexican Birds of Paradise bushes are now in bloom and looking spectacular.  Much like the seasonal influx of colder weather tourists, the tropical plant has learned how to adapt and regenerate in Palm Spring’s windy vortex and dryer climate. Which leads us to the trailhead one of our two stories about  the region’s first settlers.  The Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians. Read the rest of this entry »

September

blog by Robyn Wyman-Dill

September is my favorite month of the year in the western hemisphere. This season, the changing tides seem to be headed for the better with California on the verge of becoming the first state in the nation to enact the one-use plastic bag ban!  The California Senate has voted 22-15 in favor of just such a bill which is expected to be approved by Democratic Governor Jerry Brown this September. Coming to supermarkets soon, the measure – – will ban grocery stores from handing out single-use grocery bags with purchases and provide money to local plastic bag companies to help them retool their wares to make heavier, multiple-use bags that customers can buy.

Now considering more than 10 billion plastic bags are used in California each year(According to an estimate by Californians Against Waste, an advocacy group supporting the bill.), this is exciting news. For more in-depth chatter about plastic see http://rjwdcreative.com/blog/2014/08/15/the-plastic-wrap/.  Meanwhile some 3,000 miles – that’s about 1350 kilometers – away, two albino lobsters made a rare appearance off the coast of Maine.

Little did I know lobsters come in colors. Like calico, blue, yellow, red, albino and split-colored. Read the rest of this entry »

The Plastic Wrap

by Robyn Wyman-Dill

It’s been brought to my attention we have far too much plastic in our lives. Producing an estimated 32 million tons of plastic waste annually.  According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, only 9 per cent(or less than 3 million tons) actually gets recycled. Making all that conscientious sorting of my weekly garbage equate to 81 per cent pointless. Or, is it?  I decided now is the time to educate ourselves on plastic matter.

The marriage of man to plastics can be traced as far back as 150 BC.  To Mexico.  Read the rest of this entry »

In Celebration of Dogs

blog by Robyn Wyman-dill

There is no greater gift than unconditional love. For it remains steadfast in its devotion to another.  Without boundaries or expectations.

As you might expect, this state of mind is as pure from conceit as fresh, fallen snow.  For unconditional love is infinite, measureless and completely genuine.  Like the everlasting affection,unfaltering loyalty and benevolent concern a dog has for its master. For the sole goal of a dog’s life – after survival – is increasing the welfare of another.  Without retribution.

In celebration of puppy love, we’d like to share some of the countless examples of dogs who love with all their heart – to please their masters.

Read the rest of this entry »

Martini Madness and the Marine Mammal Refugees

blog by Robyn Wyman-dill

Ten years ago, the 2004 Tsunami pummeled the shorelines of 14 countries, killing over 230,000 people.  On another side of the globe, I was strolling the sands of Aliso Creek Beach at the coastline of Laguna Beach, California. These thoughts occurred to me while I was visiting the Pacific Marine Mammal Center.  A rescue sea lion and seal facility.

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Fun Ways to Save the Universe

 

We are making the turn into April.  This week began with April showers and lots of flower power and April Fool’s Day.   It’s the time of year when light rays from a gentler sun break through the clouds. Illuminating color.  Which signals the pollinators of life – the birds and the bees – to get busy sounding Earth’s wake-up call.  And love is in the air. Which you can download on iTunes and follow on Facebook, Instagram, and Tweeter. Which puts me right in the mood…

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Where the Elephants Roam

Photo and blog by Robyn Wyman-Dill

An emerald bluff overlooks a cornflower blue ocean.  With a sweeping view of the harbor below.   Lantern Bay Park in Dana Point is like a free and easy California beauty, frooging to summer fun.  There are ghosts of concerts past surfing the sound waves.  And the presence of happy occasions creating a sense of good expectations. Which makes it the optimum spot for concerts on Sunday afternoons, weddings and family barbecues. It is also the setting for the final viewing of those gentle giants who graced us with their poise in the Elephant Parade. That’s right, folks. The U.S. debut of the International Art Exhibition of colorfully decorated life-size baby elephants by acclaimed artists, celebrities and designers is about to culminate in an auction and banquet dinner at the Laguna Cliffs Marriott Resort & Spa.  Select members of herd of 30+ will be up for sales before the modern day mastodons move on.  Read the rest of this entry »

The Difference A Plate Makes

blog by Robyn Wyman-Dill

We’ve all been there before.  Be it at a backyard barbecue or the event of the century. You’ve got a drink in one hand.  A plate of food in the other.  And you’re trying to figure out how to eat with both of your hands already occupied when suddenly your boss appears and introduces his wife. Awkward.

You search for somewhere to set your drink down but the nearest high top is across the room.  You vacillate between downing your drink or whipping out a few dusty waiter skills. Sensing a dilemma, she smiles and tries to make it better, shaking your pinky finger.  It’s humiliating.

A stay-home-mom with no business experience decided to fix that problem.  She was so determined to find the right solution, Homemaker Nancy Kerr set out to research the entire world. While balancing a remodel and a family. Read the rest of this entry »