Today is Earth Day. So What?! Foster an Elephant!

SiangikiToday, April 22, is Earth Day, “a day to honor the Earth and the concept of peace.” While there are lots of ways to think of today, which just happens to be a beautiful spring day in New York City where I am, the Earth Day Network offers lots of suggestions for calls to action.

Sure, we can promote laws to help reduce the impact of climate change, plant trees, or volunteer to clean parks. All worthy projects on their own and all of which help us to get out of our offices, homes, and routines to interact with nature in some way.

Or, we can foster an elephant orphan.

This is what I did, fostering Siangiki, a little baby elephant … 


My First Labyrinth

I have been fascinated with labyrinths since I saw my first one in person on the floor of Chartres Cathedral. Never would have imagined that this passion would have led me to want to build my own, which I did this morning using a smaller version of the Chartres pattern made of flour (ok for the environment AND it allowed me to see what it felt like before I build one next year out of stones.

Thankfully, I was able to walk it a few times before a round of thunder and lightning storms came through and made the pathways disappear. Perhaps there may be a lesson about nature in that.

I wonder how many other people have made something similar, or at least made use of the walking one that somehow seems to clear and focus the mind, body, and spirit?



The Orchid Bloomed in My Office!

After having this orchid for years sitting on my desk, it finally bloomed!

Jeffrey's Orchid

I took a few photos of this and uploaded them to Flickr, for all to enjoy.

I like this symbol of new life and celebration, especially after Yule and before New Year’s. Even when things around us can be challenging or even crumbling, such little celebrations in nature can inspire and give us hope for a better day to come.


Elephant Nature Foundation Has RSS Feeds

Elephant Nature Foundation, the organization in Thailand that I am very fond of (and where I have fostered 2 elephants – Max and Tong Jan) has just started using RSS feeds on their News page. I am very happy that I can now keep more on top of their news stories by having my newsreader check their website every day for updates.

What a simple and free way to get their message out even faster; I think all non-profits and charitable instututions online should use RSS feeds. I hope they begin to advertise this, since there is no indication on their site this now works. I only found it since I was browsing their site with my newsreader, FeedDemon.

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I Fostered a Baby Elephant, Tong Jan

Tong JanYesterday was Blogger’s Unite, a day to do something good for some aspect of society. With so much need in the world, I was not really sure where to start, so I decided to start with a baby elephant, Tong Jan.  

Tong Jan Foster CertificateI fostered her after reading her sad story before she came to Elephant Nature Park, and after learning how she was rescued when she was three months old. As  life-long lover of elephants, I always wondered at them from afar. They seemed magical and majestic, yet after digging a little further (and previously fostering another elephant, Max), I learned that elephants can be particularly needy and savagely abused. Their size can certainly hide their amount of mistreatment.

I did not plan to foster another elephant before the holidays, but it was the challenge of Blogger’s Unite that got me to consider doing something, even minor, to help make the world a better place.  


Central Park and the Zoo

Chess and Checkers HouseOver the weekend I spent some time in New York City’s Central Park, walking around to clear my mind and relieve stress. I snapped a few photos of my time while walking by the Chess and Checkers House, going inside the Dairy, and spanding some time in the Central Park Zoo and Children’s Zoo. I uploaded the pictures I took there to Flickr.

Tree in Central ParkSea Lion in the Central Park Zoo