A Bit of Good News - The purpose of human life is to serve
January 25, 2024 - Vol. 3, Issue 4
Come back! We miss you.
How do you save a rare species of butterfly? Well, it takes time, money and a lot of effort by nature-loving people.
At one time, the Behren’s Silverspot butterfly (Speyeria zerene behrensii) was a common sight on the Northern California coast. But due to climate change and human activity, the small, golden brown, black, white and silver butterfly has seen its numbers plummet. In fact, it has been listed as federally endangered since 1997.
To improve the wee creature's chances of survival, the Menocino Land Trust has big plans. Using a $1.5-million grant from the California Wildlife Conservation Board, the trust will work with the State Parks, the Bureau of Land Management, the Laguna Foundation, the Sequoia Park Zoo and Wynn Coastal Planning & Biology to restore 53 acres of coastline so it's more inviting to these butterflies. This will involve removing invasive plant species and planting more than 35,000 native plants, including early blue violets and a mixture of companion plants.
Over the next two years, the grant will also fund a program to capture female butterflies, hatch their eggs in a protected environment and then release the new butterflies into the improved habitat.
“What more rewarding job could you have than trying to reverse the extinction of a species?” entomologist Christine Damiani, director of the butterfly conservation program at Sequoia Park Zoo, told High Country News.
FMI: Click here.
How to be a good neighbor
Winter has finally arrived, and as millions of people in the U.S. can attest, it's been a cold couple of weeks. Thanks to a polar vortex, at least 30 states experienced subzero temperatures and dangerous wind chills this month.
To stave off that cold, we put on extra layers. Consumed hot foods and beverages. Snuggled under the covers with partners, offspring and pets. And, we turned on the heat. But what if you couldn’t afford to set the thermometer to 70 degrees?
Power companies will sometimes offer discounts for fuel. State and local governments often provide subsidies for people who apply for 'em. But in Woodstock, N.Y., there's an anonymous woodsman who just helps.
Whenever he has free time, this woodsman grabs an orange chainsaw and supplies free firewood to his economically-disadvantaged neighbors. Two local librarians also help him find people in need.
“Heat in the winter. It’s a human right," he told The Guardian.
FMI: Click here.
All aboard! You too, kitty.
In case you missed the big news out of Australia last month, a 10-year-old feline made history when he became the first cat to sail in the Sydney to Hobart yacht race.
The competition has been running for 78 years and in all that time, no cat has participated. Can you imagine? That all changed when Oli and his owner, retired naval officer Bob Williams, as well as co-skipper Chris Warren, made the 628-nautical-mile journey together in the Sylph VI, the oldest boat in the race.
Although the yacht crossed the finish line in last place, after sailing for 7 days, 19 hours, 26 minutes and 15 seconds, it was greeted by dozens of people who gathered on the harbor.
Oli, it turns out, is a fan favorite.
“For me, Oli is part of my crew, part of the boat," Williams told the Australian Associated Press. "He’s become quite an international celebrity apparently. He’s just an ordinary little moggie, my friend and mate.”
FMI: Click here.
UPDATE: A tribute to a truly unique program
In issue 3, I told you about "The Last Repair Shop," a new documentary by Kris Bowers and Ben Proudfoot that spotlights a team of craftsmen whose sole job is to fix damaged musical instruments for students in the Los Angeles Unified School District.
Well, I'm thrilled to say that earlier this week, it was nominated for an Academy Award:
If you didn't already do so, check out the trailer here:
And if you were as enraptured by the story as I was, watch the whole documentary for free here:
LAST WEEK’S POLL
PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT
FMI: Click here.
* Buying flowers for a friend
* Holding a door open for a stranger
* Giving a compliment
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
“The time is always right to do what is right.” --Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
MOMENT OF GRATITUDE
Thanks to Albert Schweitzer, Clint Pogue, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Mendocino County Public Broadcasting, the Federal Register, the Mendocino Land Trust, SFGate, High Country News, the Good News Network, The Washington Post, The Guardian, ABC News (Australia), the Australian Associated Press, SBS News, Jen King, the Los Angeles Times, YouTube, The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, RIP Medical Debt, Zoe Schaeffer, Unsplash, Facebook, WGN TV and Deposit Photos for art and story suggestions.
KEEP IN TOUCH
Read a positive/uplifting news story lately? Have an inspiring quote you want to share? Or do you just want to let me know about some of your favorite simple pleasures?
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