Spirit: Sending Love and Prayers

Worst Colorado wildfire in history burns 55,000 acres, 181 homes

Thinking of all the folks and animals affected by this disaster.

Photo by Mark Higgins (*)

“By Amy Hubbard

June 11, 2012, 1:50 p.m.

Amid the northern Colorado wildfire disaster, a more intimate drama is now playing out: Some wolves in a mountain rescue center and shelter were evacuated, while others were left behind.

Fans of Wolf Sanctuary have been waiting to hear the fate of those animals left to weather the wildfire.

“They were sheltered appropriately,” John Schulz, public information officer for the Larimer County sheriff’s department told The Times on Monday, “but that area’s totally closed off right now.”

As of Sunday, volunteers had removed 11 of the animals and were hoping the 19 left at the sanctuary would hide out in underground concrete bunkers called “fire dens,” according to the Associated Press.

The evacuated wolves were taken to kennels in Larimer County.

The sanctuary is on more than 180 acres in the Rocky Mountains, about 20 miles northwest of Fort Collins, Colo., according to the website.” (**)

I wish all the best, send all the love, and pray for all the people and animals effected by this disaster.

To keep tabs on the progress of the wolves go here: http://www.facebook.com/nocowolfsanctuary

(*) Source One: http://www.latimes.com/news/nation/nationnow/la-na-nn-colorado-wildfire-most-destructive-history-20120617,0,4418900.story

(**) Source Two: http://www.latimes.com/news/nation/nationnow/la-na-nn-colorado-wildfire-wolves-20120611,0,2185665.story

Spirit: Rain, Lightning, and Thunderstorms

The next time you hear or see it start to rain, lightning, and/or thunder, take a moment to enjoy it. Open the curtains and take in the view; if the rain isn’t blowing at you then open the windows and spell the air and if you have a covered stoop or porch then go outside and enjoy it, catch the mist of rain and enjoy the show. Nature has it’s good and bad parts, it beautiful and ugly parts, but enjoy life and nature when you can. Even more so, be inspired by, in awe of it. Nature is this great powerful thing that you’re apart of so be a part of it, enjoy it, appreciate it, realize that you are a part of this powerful thing and that you yourself are powerful as well.

This is also a great time for meditation, purification, and ritual. Purify and empower yourself in the rain is a great idea. All three would be great for a ritual to empower yourself and for warrior rituals. Rituals to Nature and Weather and Creator Dieties would be fitting too. Rituals that involve the West (water and ice) or the South (if you think of lightening as fire) would also be great.

 

Red Foxes: Firefly Squid (Watasenia scintillans)

W. scintillans is a small squid that occurs only in the waters around Japan. It is a member of the mesopelagic boundary fauna in these waters and is fished commercially with set nets.

Brief diagnosis: 

An enoploteuthid …

  • with large, black photophores at the tips of arms IV.
  • with hooks of manus in one series.

Characteristics

Click on an image to view larger version & data in a new window


Figure. Ventral view of W. scintillans. © Kotaro Tsuchiya

From Young, et al., 1998.

  1. Arms
    1. Suckers absent from Arms IV (hooks present).*
      Click on an image to view larger version & data in a new window

  2. Tentacles
    1. Manus of club with hooks in one series (2-3 in number) and one series of suckers.
      Click on an image to view larger version & data in a new window

  3. Hectocotylus
    1. Right ventral arm of male hectocotylized.
    2. Hectocotylus with two subequal-sized offset flaps.
      Click on an image to view larger version & data in a new window

  4. Buccal crown
    1. Dark epithelial pigmentation on oral surface rather than typical chromatophores.*
  5. Head

    1. Beaks: Descriptions can be found here: Lower beak; upper beak.
  6. Photophores
    1. Two to four large organs covered by black chromatophores on tips of arms IV.*
    2. Five organs on eyeball.*
    3. Complex organs of integument, in life, probably with red-colored filters.*

*Characters shared with Abraliopsis.

Distribution

Vertical distribution

Spawned eggs are mainly collected from the surface to 80 m depth.

Geographical distribution

W. scintllans seems to be a mesopelagic boundary species associated with shelf waters.

This species shows high endemism in the waters of Japan and adjacent areas. It is distributed in the northern sector of the East China Sea and the Kii Channel, Central Japan, northward to Japan Sea, Okhotsk Sea, southeast coast of Honshu, transition zone off Sanriku District to 165° E, and the southeast coast of Hokkaido.

Life History

Eggs and Egg masses

The eggs of W. scintillans is ovoidal, 1.5 mm L x 1 mm D, transparent, no coloration but with weak luster reflection. The adult female has several hundred to 20,000 mature eggs in its oviducts.

The egg mass is narrow gelatinous string more than 1 m with a simple row of eggs.

Spawning

In Toyama Bay, middle of the Japan Sea, eggs occurred in the plankton in February – July and November – December. In the offshore area of Shimane Prefecture, western Japan Sea, eggs were found throughout the year except for December and January. The peak of egg occurrence is April to late May.

Spawning grounds in Japan Sea were recognized at the shelf edge in east and west of Oki Island and Toyama Bay. Some spawnings were recognized on Yamato-tai Bank.

Spent females were also collected from the open ocean off Sanriku, the Kuroshio-Oyashio transition zone.

Early development

Fertilized eggs hatch in 14 days at 9.7 °C, 8 days at 13.4 °C and 6 days at 16 °C water tempelature. Lower limit for normal development seems to be at 6 °C (Hayashi, 19**).

At 15 C water temperature:

  1. 1 hr after fertilized: Polar bodies appear.
  2. 6 hrs: First cleavage.
  3. ca. 10 hrs: 100 and more cells.
  4. ca. 16 hrs: Embryonic lobe developed.
  5. ca. 1.5 day: Embryonic lobe covers about half of the egg.
  6. ca. 4 days: Primordial eye appears; oral depression start.
  7. ca. 5 days: Primordial arms, mantle, funnel appear; chromatophore appears on mantle; funnel lobe fused to tube; eye developed.
  8. ca. 8-8.5 days: Hatching; chromatophores appear on head, arm; ink inject in inksac; gill, branchial heart, liver appear.

Hatchling is 1.2-1.4 mm DML, arms, beak, radula, intestinal tract is still primordial; lecithotropic.

Predators

This species is an important food items for bottom fishes and large salmonid fishes in the coastal waters of northern Japan (Yamamura, 1993).

Fisheries Interest

W. scintillans is fished commercially in Japan. Total catches in Japan during 1990-1999 are 4,804 to 6,822 tons per year.

In the Toyama Bay, central Japan Sea, squid are cought by fixed net during March to June (the main fishing period is mid-April to early May). The average catch per year is 2,000 tons (250 million individuals) but the catch is variable in each year around from 500 to 4,000 tons.

In the southwestern coast of Japan Sea, squid are caught by bottom trawl. The amount of the catch during 1990-1999 was 1,873 to 3,638 tons per year.“*

Info Source (*): http://tolweb.org/Watasenia_scintillans/19645

For Videos of Firefly Squid: http://www.arkive.org/firefly-squid/watasenia-scintillans/

Picture Sources (from top): http://wordlesstech.com/2012/04/07/firefly-squid-in-toyama-bay/, http://robertang.blogspot.com/2012/04/firefly-squids-in-toyama-bay-japan.html, http://www.kh-vids.net/showthread.php?123105-The-Glowing-Firefly-Squid-of-Toyama-Japan, http://upall.co/firefly-squid-463.php

 

Spirit: Observing the Directions

In Wicca and other paths you can take through Pagan religions, we observe and call quarters in our rituals; East, South, West, North. These directions are called in the beginning of a circle for a ritual and they are sometimes invoked (invited) as well. The directions correspond to other things as well; elements, times of day, and so on. East is Air and Sunrise; South is Fire and Noontime; West is Water and Sunset, North is Earth and Midnight.

In the Reclaiming Tradition (a pagan spiritual path you can learn and follow), they are taught to observe these times of day, thus observing and aquainting yourself with the directions, days in advance before performing a ritual. This is to make a more powerful (spiritual and energy wise) ritual. *

I love the idea of this and took the time to observe Noontime today (South, Fire). It was refreshing and uplifting. I’ve also been observing Sunset (West, Water) the last few days. I love the feel and look of Sunset. It’s renewing like drinking cool water on a very hot day.

I would suggest this practice to all Wiccans and other Pagans. The God and Goddess are the time of day, the directions, the earth, air, fire, and water. They are everything and we are a part of that everything. Through them, we are connected to everything around us and everything far away. Tomorrow (if I remember), I’ll be quoting parts of the book I’m reading right now. It’s a great book and the inspiration for this post. I’ve read parts of it before but am reading all the way through now.

The book is (*):  The Twelve Wild Swans: A Journey to the Realm of Magic, Healing, and Action by Starhawk and Valentine

Picture Sources: (Sunrise) http://damabeats.wordpress.com/2010/07/22/markus-schulz-gbdjb-ibiza-sunrise-set/ (Noontime) http://alorika–crazy4frnz.blogspot.com/2010/07/sun-at-noon-time.html (Sunset) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Saguaro_Sunset.jpg (Midnight) http://my.billingsgazette.com/post/WikkedTrewth/photos/img0836.html

Food: The Heart of the Egg

I thought that everyone might want to read this. Being a Wiccan, our saying is that as long as we harm no one we can do whatever we want. Eating healthy is a part of that because eating damaging foods or not eating healthy ones is harming us, thus harming someone. So, here’s something to remember about egg yolks.

As a fitblr I often see people talking about egg whites and how great they are and how bad egg yolks are. NO. It breaks my heart to think of all the nutrients of the egg yolk being discarded into eggy heaven. 

Egg yolks are good! 

Nutrients in a yolk: Egg yolks are jam packed with fat soluble nutrients these include: Vitamins A, D, E, K and carotenoids. These help you boost your immune system, keep your bones, teeth, and skin healthy, reduce the effects of diabetes, and help you reduce the risk of cancer. 

Also: Yolks have loads of Zinc, Calcium, Folate and vitamin B12. All of which are super important for you. 

But, but, but eggs are full of cholesterol! Yes, but you need this cholesterol! Cholesterol is needed in the body as it is the building block of hormones, also cholesterol helps repair damaged cells in the body. Cholesterol that comes from processed, super fatty food is bad for you, so don’t go out and eat tons of fried food. When it comes from this incredible egg it is not! 

Additionally: Eating only egg whites can cause a biotin deficiency, biotin is the vitamin that gives us strong nails and beautiful hair! 

In conclusion: EAT THE WHOLE EGG. It is only 70 calories for one XL egg. It is amazing for you. Tastes great. Now I am not saying go make yourself 20 eggs to make up for your lack of yolky days, but do not be afraid to incorporate into your diet.

Picture and Word Source: http://flabby-to-fabulous.tumblr.com/post/25715772291/fitnessfoodfabulous-as-a-fitblr-i-often-see