Eagle Protection Leads to Eagle Hunting

I am mad.

Under the Federal Migratory Bird Act is is illegal for any non-native american to own, buy or sell the majority of bird feathers that exist in North America. The exceptions to this are birds raised for meat, competition, or game birds (chickens, turkeys, pheasants, crows, to name a few). Even Native Americans must turn in any feathers they find and then wait for a permit to use and own them. Now, obviously this does not work for Native Americans, or anyone else practicing earth-based religions.

But that’s not what makes me made. This is: Instead of just lifting the ban on the collection of migratory bird feathers and carcasses where & when they drop, and keeping it illegal to hunt migratory birds, the government is allowing two eagles to be hunted for native american spiritual decorations.

I wonder how the eagles feel about this government “protection.” They drop their feathers on a regular basis. Anyone who has been near an eagle preserve or nest knows this. But anyone who finds a feather or carcass is supposed to either leave it to rot, or report it to the government so they can keep it for months before handing it over, in poor condition, to the Native Americans. This is government mis-management at its worst.


From Discovery.com:

Two bald eagles may be legally hunted by members of the Arapaho, a Native American nation, after the group received a rare permit from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, reported the AP.

For the Arapaho and other native American groups, bald eagle feathers and other body parts have been sacred implements since long before Columbus’ fateful voyage. But the U.S. Bald Eagle Protection Act of 1940 made hunting bald eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) or even collecting the feathers from dead birds illegal.

Native Americans have to content themselves with feathers parceled out by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s National Eagle Repository. Over 5000 Native Americans are currently on the waiting list, according to the Repository’s website. They can expect to wait about three and a half years to receive whole eagles.

When the birds finally arrive, they are often rotten or otherwise unfit for religious use, said Nelson P. White Sr., a member of the Northern Arapaho Tribe, to the AP after a 2007 court hearing in which another Arapaho, Winslow Friday, was fined after killing an eagle for use in a Sun Dance ceremony.

“That’s unacceptable,” said White.

“How would a non-Indian feel if they had to get their Bible from a repository?” White asked.

The permit to hunt the eagles didn’t come without a fight. The Arapaho filed for the permit to kill bald eagles for ceremonial use over three years ago. Then last year the tribe filed a lawsuit against the US Fish and Wildlife Service in a delayed response to the punishment of Winslow Friday.

“One of the goals of the current suit is to prevent any young men like Winslow Friday from being prosecuted in the future for practicing their traditional religious ceremonies,” Andy Baldwin, the Arapaho’s lawyer, said in the AP.

Bald eagles were removed from the US endangered species list in 1995. The massive raptors are now considered a species of least concern by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

Compost Your Diapers

We all know that disposable diapers are a drain on the environment. They take up huge amounts of space in landfills, take a remarkably long time to decompose (as does anything in a landfill, due to lack of airflow and sunlight). But did you know that you can easily compost the bulk of them, creating wonderful soil for your flower beds?

All you need to do is cut open one side of the inside lining, collect the inner contents in a pail, and add them to your other compost. Cover with a shovel of the old compost to eliminate the chance of any off smells. Throw out your tiny bundle from the diaper covers.

The inside of diapers use the same material that you find in fancy potting soil for retaining moisture: polyacrylate crystals, a non-toxic material. The remainder of the diaper filling is simple celluose fiber, in other words: wood. The urine is sterile as it leaves the body, not as gross as most people assume it to be. It is packed with nitrogen and a fantastic addition t o compost.

Note: Diapers which contain feces are best left consigned to the bin, unless you are already well versed in the making of “humanure.”

You can also use your own watered-down urine to fertilize your garden. Just pee in a bucket, water it down in a 1:10 ratio and sprinkle it around while it’s still fresh. Not only is it totally safe and your plants LOVE it, but if you are a meat-eater your urine will reflect that and help keep animals out of your garden.  Check out a great post on this here.

9 Essential Skills Kids Should Learn

9 Essential Skills Kids Should Learn

Guest post written by Leo Babauta.

Kids in today’s school system are not being prepared well for tomorrow’s world.

As someone who went from the corporate world and then the government world to the ever-changing online world, I know how the world of yesterday is rapidly becoming irrelevant. I was trained in the newspaper industry, where we all believed we would be relevant forever — and I now believe will go the way of the horse and buggy.

Unfortunately, I was educated in a school system that believed the world in which it existed would remain essentially the same, with minor changes in fashion. We were trained with a skill set that was based on what jobs were most in demand in the 1980s, not what might happen in the 2000s.

And that kinda makes sense, given that no one could really know what life would be like 20 years from now. Imagine the 1980s, when personal computers were still fairly young, when faxes were the cutting-edge communication technology, when the Internet as we now know it was only the dream of sci-fi writers like William Gibson.

We had no idea what the world had in store for us.

And here’s the thing: we still don’t. We never do. We have never been good at predicting the future, and so raising and educating our kids as if we have any idea what the future will hold is not the smartest notion.

How then to prepare our kids for a world that is unpredictable, unknown? By teaching them to adapt, to deal with change, to be prepared for anything by not preparing them for anything specific.

This requires an entirely different approach to child-rearing and education. It means leaving our old ideas at the door, and reinventing everything.

My drop-dead gorgeous wife Eva (yes, I’m a very lucky man) and I are among those already doing this. We homeschool our kids — more accurately, we unschool them. We are teaching them to learn on their own, without us handing knowledge down to them and testing them on that knowledge.

It is, admittedly, a wild frontier, and most of us who are experimenting with unschooling will admit that we don’t have all the answers, that there is no set of “best practices”. But we also know that we are learning along with our kids, and that not knowing can be a good thing — an opportunity to find out, without relying on established methods that might not be optimal.

I won’t go too far into methods here, as I find them to be less important than ideas. Once you have some interesting ideas to test, you can figure out an unlimited amount of methods, and so my dictating methods would be too restrictive.

Instead, let’s look at a good set of essential skills that I believe children should learn, that will best prepare them for any world of the future. I base these on what I have learned in three different industries, especially the world of online entreprenurship, online publishing, online living … and more importantly, what I have learned about learning and working and living in a world that will never stop changing.

1. Asking questions. What we want most for our kids, as learners, is to be able to learn on their own. To teach themselves anything. Because if they can, then we don’t need to teach them everything — whatever they need to learn in the future, they can do on their own. The first step in learning to teach yourself anything is learning to ask questions. Luckily, kids do this naturally — our hope is to simply encourage it. A great way to do this is by modeling it. When you and your child encounter something new, ask questions, and explore the possible answers with your child. When he does ask questions, reward the child instead of punishing him (you might be surprised how many adults discourage questioning).

2. Solving problems. If a child can solve problems, she can do any job. A new job might be intimidating to any of us, but really it’s just another problem to be solved. A new skill, a new environment, a new need … they’re all simply problems to be solved. Teach your child to solve problems by modeling simple problem solving, then allowing her to do some very easy ones on her own. Don’t immediately solve all your child’s problems — let her fiddle with them and try various possible solutions, and reward such efforts. Eventually, your child will develop confidence in her problem-solving abilities, and then there is nothing she can’t do.

3. Tackling projects. As an online entrepreneur, I know that my work is a series of projects, sometimes related, sometimes small and sometimes large (which are usually a group of smaller projects). I also know that there isn’t a project I can’t tackle, because I’ve done so many of them. This post is a project. Writing a book is a project. Selling the book is another project. Work on projects with your kid, letting him see how it’s done by working with you, then letting him do more and more by himself. As he gains confidence, let him tackle more on his own. Soon, his learning will just be a series of projects that he’s excited about.

4. Finding passion. What drives me is not goals, not discipline, not external motivation, not reward … but passion. When I’m so excited that I can’t stop thinking about something, I will inevitably dive into it fully committed, and most times I’ll complete the project and love doing it. Help your kid find things she’s passionate about — it’s a matter of trying a bunch of things, finding ones that excite her the most, helping her really enjoy them. Don’t discourage any interest — encourage them. Don’t suck the fun out of them either — make them rewarding.

5. Independence. Kids should be taught to increasingly stand on their own. A little at a time, of course. Slowly encourage them to do things on their own. Teach them how to do it, model it, help them do it, help less, then let them make their own mistakes. Give them confidence in themselves by letting them have a bunch of successes, and letting them solve the failures. Once they learn to be independent, they learn that they don’t need a teacher, a parent, or a boss to tell them what to do. They can manage themselves, and be free, and figure out the direction they need to take on their own.

6. Being happy on their own. Too many of us parents coddle our kids, keeping them on a leash, making them rely on our presence for happiness. When the kid grows up, he doesn’t know how to be happy. He must immediately attach to a girlfriend or friends. Failing that, they find happiness in other external things — shopping, food, video games, the Internet. But if a child learns from an early age that he can be happy by himself, playing and reading and imagining, he has one of the most valuable skills there is. Allow your kids to be alone from an early age. Give them privacy, have times (such as the evening) when parents and kids have alone time.

7. Compassion. One of the most essential skills ever. We need this to work well with others, to care for people other than ourselves, to be happy by making others happy. Modeling compassion is the key. Be compassionate to your child at all times, and to others. Show them empathy by asking how they think others might feel, and thinking aloud about how you think others might feel. Demonstrate at every opportunity how to ease the suffering of others when you’re able, how to make others happier with small kindnesses, how that can make you happier in return.

8. Tolerance. Too often we grow up in an insulated area, where people are mostly alike (at least in appearance), and when we come into contact with people who are different, it can be uncomfortable, shocking, fear-inducing. Expose your kids to people of all kinds, from different races to different sexuality to different mental conditions. Show them that not only is it OK to be different, but that differences should be celebrated, and that variety is what makes life so beautiful.

9. Dealing with change. I believe this will be one of the most essential skills as our kids grow up, as the world is always changing and being able to accept the change, to deal with the change, to navigate the flow of change, will be a competitive advantage. This is a skill I’m still learning myself, but I find that it helps me tremendously, especially compared to those who resist and fear change, who set goals and plans and try to rigidly adhere to them as I adapt to the changing landscape. Rigidity is less helpful in a changing environment than flexibility, fluidity, flow. Again, modeling this skill for your child at every opportunity is important, and showing them that changes are OK, that you can adapt, that you can embrace new opportunities that weren’t there before, should be a priority. Life is an adventure, and things will go wrong, turn out differently than you expected, and break whatever plans you made — and that’s part of the excitement of it all.

We can’t give our children a set of data to learn, a career to prepare for, when we don’t know what the future will bring. But we can prepare them to adapt to anything, to learn anything, to solve anything, and in about 20 years, to thank us for it.

Break Your Fast with a Bit of Sun, Set of 6 Melamine Vintage Egg Cups

Bring some sunshine into your breakfast room. A perfect way to introduce children to the joys of eggs and simple, healthy good eats. Or just make that special someone smile first thing in the morning. Brighten up a breakfast tray. Dress up your fresh eggs from your backyard poultry. Best of all — ENJOY!

Fabulous vintage egg cups in unbreakable melamine. Orange and yellow is pure, bright delight.


Flower Essence Giveaway!

Earth Lodge is nominated for Best Flower Essences
in the 2012 About.com Reader’s Choice Awards for Holistic Healing

Click here to learn more and vote for them!

Voting continues through March 21st. You can vote everyday! Vote there and post it on their facebook page for a chance to win a free flower essence of your choice. Share the contest with your friends and post to their FB page, and you’ll be entered twice! Winner will be randomly selected March 22nd.

Color Me Happy

This weekend I made a suncatcher for my bathroom using crystals I found digging in an old garden bed a few years ago, and some larger pieces passed down from my grandmother. I hung it up in a window that’s high and get’s Southern exposure. So many rainbows! The shower was lit up yesterday, what a great way to start the day.



a *wee* bit of inspiration for heart and home

“Joy & Wonder”
Original Inspirational Starry Night Painting on Mini Canvas with Matching Easel

This sweet piece of art is the perfect gift for a loved one who needs cheering up, or to adorn your desk at work. The simple inspirational message of “Joy and Wonder” is set against a starry night sky, reminding us to rejoice in the simple things, in the life and wonder that surrounds us every day, every where. Live life to the fullest, and be in joy!

3 x 3 inches, Acrylic and mixed media on stretched canvas.

Painting is ready to mount with painted sides. Simply place it on its matching hand-painted easel and enjoy!

Signed and dated on the back, painting ships via US Mail within a few days of payment.

Available at http://www.etsy.com/listing/93135862/joy-wonder-original-inspirational-starry

It’s in the numbers

There’s been a lot of talk lately about getting the government to require agriculture to label their GM foods. The thing is, they already do! At least, they do in the produce section… Finding produce that is local, organic and/or non-genetically modified at the grocery can be very difficult, not to mention time consuming as you turn little pieces of fruit over trying to find the tiny print that says where it was grown and what it is. Sometimes, it doesn’t say. But you know those stickers with numbers on them that you always have to peel off? Well, turns out they tell you how the food was grown.

Here’s what the numbers mean:

A four-digit code means the produce is conventionally farmed
A five-digit code beginning with 9 means it’s organic
A five-digit code beginning with 8 means it’s genetically modified

So A conventionally grown banana would be:
An organic banana would be:
And a genetically engineered (GE or GMO) banana would be:
By 2001, over 1200 numbers had been assigned by the Produce Electronic Identification Board, an affiliate of the Produce Marketing Association, a Newark, Delaware-based trade group for the produce industry. GM foods have only been in stores a decade or so, so science is still unsure what long-term effects they may havae on the body. They also pose the great risksthrough cross pollination with non-gm crops of threatening biodiversity. Europe has banned them. Gee, think they may know something we don’t? Or do they just value caution over profit? Personally, I am with Europe on this one — I’d rather stick with the bounty of Mother Nature than take a chance on my DNA, which will be copied for generations down the line. I may not be able to control all pollution, peak oil issues, the national deficit, or other human ills that my children will inherit, but my DNA, that is something I think I should have some say in.
Don’t you?

Celestial Bodies

“Celestial Bodies” is part of my “Divine Inspiration” Series, and features a portrayal of the Buddha depicted through ceremonial initiation and prayer and a connection to All that IS. Buddhahood is embodied in our physical world, the energy of life, of god-hood represented by galactic iagery including the Sombrero galaxy, the Horse-head Nebula, and stars galore.

Painting measures 11 x 14″ and is Acrylic on Canvas.

Item is signed and dated on the back by the artist, and ships from non-smoking environment within several days of receipt of payment via US Mail with delivery confirmation.

Comments by viewers:
” It is galactic beauty”
“This is really beautiful! Just looking at it is having a calming effect on me.”

Available for purchase through my etsy store.