Good People (And A Critter) Doing Good Things

Here we are back at Wednesday and guess what?  I found some good people to tell you about!  Surprised, aren’t you?


One heck of a gift …

17-year-old Verda Tetteh is a very smart young woman!  She graduated from Fitchburg High School in Massachusetts with a near-perfect 4.9 GPA and has earned a full scholarship to Harvard University!  Even so, her guidance counselor urged her to apply for a $40,000 merit scholarship her school would be awarding to one male and one female graduating student, saying it would help with expenses.  Verda says she had qualms about applying, but figured she wasn’t likely to win anyway, and her counselor seemed set on it.

So, imagine her surprise when on June 4th, during the graduation ceremony, the school’s assistant principal announced that she was the winner of the $40,000 award!  Stunned, she accepted the award, but then ten minutes later walked back onto the stage, apologized for disrupting the ceremony, and said …

“I am so very grateful for this, but I also know that I am not the one who needs this the most. I would be so very grateful if administration would consider giving the General Excellence scholarship to someone who is going into community college.”

Immediately after her speech, her fellow classmates and the crowd at the ceremony cheered and rose in a standing ovation.

Ms. Tetteh was 8 years old when she moved from Ghana to Fitchburg, a city of about 40,000 people, 50 miles west of Boston, a city where more than 60% of the students in the high school are identified by the State Department of Education as “economically disadvantaged,” and 67% are described as “high needs.”  Some 75% of the roughly 1,300 students are students of color, said Jeremy Roche, the school principal. At least 40% percent of those students go to community college when they graduate.

Ms. Tetteh was chosen by her fellow classmates to be the speaker at their graduation.

“Some of us were born with the odds stacked against us, that we may not make it to today. I have gotten to know so many of you these past four years and there is so much potential in our class. To every immigrant child, you can make it. To every dreamer, you can make it.”

What a remarkably compassionate, generous young woman, don’t you think?  She serves as an inspiration to us all.  I think Verda Tetteh will go far in this world, no doubt helping many people along the way.


One heck of a good deed for veterans

Marty Weber and Jeff Poissant met in the late 1980s while both were in the U.S. Army stationed in Germany.  They became business and life partners for three decades before Poissant died four years ago of cancer at age 56.

“I didn’t even know I was attracted to men. I met him, and we fell in instant love. We did. He knew, but I didn’t. We were two peas in a pod. He was a helicopter crew chief, and I was a truck driver. So, we had land and air.”

Together, they owned a successful landscaping business, a home and an adjacent 36 acres of land that is currently unused, though they had always envisioned somehow using their Ocean County Ponderosa to help fellow veterans.

After Jeff’s death, Marty was offered $3 million for the property, but he held out, still wanting to put it to good use, to use it to help fellow veterans.  And that’s when a fellow veteran Keith Petterson, suggested that Weber get in touch with the head of a local homeless outreach organization looking to create a home for homeless veterans. That person was Paul Hulse, director of Just Believe, a group he founded in 2019 that operates Toms River’s Code Blue warming shelter at Riverwood Park.

Well, Marty made that phone call and that set the ball in motion for development of an 8,000-square-foot building along Route 72, which would be divided between a treatment facility operated by a Marlton-based healthcare provider, New Life Addiction Services and a thrift store run by Just Believe.  Its name? Jeff’s Camp.

Marty Weber turned down $3 million to instead help fellow veterans.

“We thought about a cemetery for the vets. But this is going to keep them alive.”

What a marvelous tribute to his life’s partner and such a great thing for veterans who served their country and now need a bit of help.  Thank you, Marty Weber!


What a way to spend a vacation!

Stefani Shamrowicz is a 24-year-old woman from Fort Collins, Colorado, who had the great fortune of a month off from her job at a campus recreation center.  So what did she do with her time off … a trip to Disneyland?  Hiking the Rockies?  Getting a tan at a beach?  Nope, Stefani spent the entire month … wait for it … picking up trash!

She has now driven over 70 hours through Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Texas, Louisiana, Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York—cleaning up everything from pee-filled bottles to lawn ornaments.  Says Ms. Shamrowicz …

“About 80 per cent is drinking bottles and face masks have been pretty common. I’ve found a few fast-food toys and a tire with a pair of cowboy boots in it.”

Stefani said her aim isn’t to shame, but rather encourage people to do what they can.

“When I post it’s never ‘this is disgusting or we’re awful,’ it’s ‘hey I’m cleaning up this city’ and keeping a positive light on it. I’m not going to be able to pick up everything, but if everyone starts picking up some on walks or runs, that’s where the magic is. My monumental day was bag 100 in Ohio on day 16. I dedicated that to my parents because they raised me to be this independent person and have been very supportive on the trip.”

What an awesome young woman!  I haven’t been walking at our local park this year, but in years past I saw water bottles, soda cans, discarded shoes & clothing, food wrappers, and other assorted junk just thrown down on the ground, despite the fact that there are 4 large trashcans in this very small park!  A few times I came home, got a trash bag, and went back to clean up as much as I could.  I don’t know why people are too lazy to carry their trash to a bin or some other appropriate place … to me, it is ignorant and cruel to the environment.  I doubt any of us are going to spend a month picking up other people’s trash, but when you see something thrown down in a parking lot or on a sidewalk … bend down and pick it up!  And a huge thanks from Planet Earth to Ms. Shamrowicz for doing her part to clean up!!!


Give that dog a bone!

Every now and then, I have a story about a good critter doing good things, and this week look what I found!

You know how it is when there’s a toddler in the house, just learning his way around, needing to explore every nook and cranny … and stairs!  Well, Lisa is a Great Dane puppy living in a house with one of those pesky always-on-the-move toddlers, but Lisa has made it her job to keep that little tyke from climbing the stairs!  Watch …

Good job, Lisa!  Make them give you an extra bone for your hard work!

Jolly Monday After … Yesterday?

Good Jolly morning, my friends, and welcome to … um … Jolly … um … Monday!  Yes, that’s it, it’s Monday!  The day we all love because that pesky weekend is over and we can finally get back to the grind of work, right?  Okay, okay … I’m fooling nobody, not even myself.  But, it is within each of us to make this a jolly day if we so choose, and Jolly, Joyful and I are here to help!  So … grab a snack and a warm (or cold) beverage and let’s just see what we can find to start our week off with a smile.

              


That herding instinct …

Linda Oswald and her family were out for a drive one Sunday a couple of weeks ago when their vehicle collided with another and the family dog, a border collie named Tilly, was ejected through the window.  By the time everybody got their bearings and began searching for Tilly, he was nowhere to be found.  Ten hours of searching, but not a sign of Tilly anywhere.

Meanwhile, on a nearby farm owned by Tyler Potter and her brothers Travis and Zane, their border collie Hooey was herding the sheep as usual.  Except, something seemed a bit off.  Zane noticed that the dog’s fur seemed slightly darker than usual.  Zane called Hooey’s name, but rather than come running, he shied away.  Long story short, since you’ve already figured out the punch line, the shepherding dog was actually Tilley!  Says brother Travis …

“Hooey really comes right away when you call him, and this dog put its ears back and started running off.”

The Potters said they soon realized the dog they had thought was Hooey was actually Tilly, the canine their grandmother in California had seen on social media and told them to watch for after the crash, which occurred only 1.5 miles from their property.  The Potters captured Tilly and turned him over to a Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office deputy who was searching for the missing dog in the area.  Tilly was reunited with the Oswald family late Tuesday morning.  Tilly’s mom, Linda, says of Tilly …

“He’ll herd anything. When I go to the dog park, he tries to herd the people into one group.”

All’s well that ends well, but I’m not sure where the real Hooey was!  Perhaps taking a break since he had someone to cover his shift for him!


Man & squirrel bond …

For the past 8 months or so, I have been feeding three local squirrels.  One comes twice daily for the unshelled, unsalted peanuts I buy in bulk to put out on the patio for him, and the other two are less frequent visitors, but generally make a few appearances each week.  The main guy I’ve named Cedric (per David’s suggestion) and I truly delight in watching him in the afternoons as I sit at the kitchen table pounding the keys on my laptop.  So, it should come as no surprise that I found this series of photos delightful, and I hope you will too …


And now, that moment you’ve all waited for … ‘TOONS!!!


And a few funny memes I found while wandering the ‘Net …

Perfectly logical, don’t you think?


Is it a llama or a sheepdog?


How ’bout a few jokes that Jolly found funny the other day?

Girl: Ick! Why does this sandwich have bacon on it? 

Friend: You ordered a BLT. 

Girl: Whaaaat? I thought the B stood for bread.

At an art gallery, a woman and her ten-year-old son were having 
a tough time choosing between one of my paintings and another artist’s work. They finally went with mine. “I guess you decided you prefer an autumn scene to a floral,” I said. “No,” said the boy. “Your painting’s wider, so it’ll cover three holes in 
our wall.”

Scene: A radio newsroom. 

Caller: I just wanted to let you know you’re off the air. 

Host: Yes, we know. The engineers are working on it. 

Caller: It would be nice if you put something on the air that says that.


Well, my friends, that’s just about all we’ve got for this Monday morning, but … we must always have a cute critter video, yes?  Well, we have two for you today!  The first is an adorable baby polar bear born in captivity … watch as he grows and learns about the world.  The second is a bit about sloths.  Now, I generally think that sloths are cute li’l critters, but after seeing this video … I’m not quite as sure!

And last, but not least, a bit of Maxine humour just in case our friend Hugh feels up to dropping in this morning …

We wish you a productive, fun, and peaceful week ahead, dear friends.  Remember to share those smiles and a kind word whenever you can … little things can mean so much.  Love ‘n hugs from Filosofa, Jolly & Joyful!

Jolly Monday … P.W. Edition!

Good {yawn} Monday morning, my friends!  Sometimes it’s hard {yawn} to get back into the groove after a {yawn} long weekend, isn’t it?  What’s that you say?  It wasn’t a long weekend?  Maybe not for you, but for me it was.  First, on Friday afternoon a water main at the top of our street burst and we were without water for about 12 years hours.  Then on Saturday, granddaughter Natasha and I had to go for the first jab of our coronavirus vaccine.  That turned out to be no big deal at all, but I had spent days and sleepless nights dreading it.  And then Sunday was the day I’ve dreaded for the last 20 years … my 70th birthday.  My gorgeous girls and a two very special friends across the pond, David & Yvonne, went all out to make it a special day and indeed it was!  However, no matter how much fun, how much delicious food and absolutely delightful gifts, ultimately enough celebrating is enough and it’s time to return to the daily grind.  Hence, after these past three days, I am exhausted and feel like I could sleep for at least a week!  Now that I’ve told you about mine … how was your weekend?

But now it is time for us to begin a brand new week, so let’s see if we can kick it off with a smile, shall we?  Grab a snack and a cuppa something from the table and we’ll go in search of a laugh or two.

 


I put Jolly in charge of finding the ‘toons this week, so let’s see what he’s come up with …


And we have just a few funny signs …


And a few memes to make you laugh, or at least chuckle …


And of course we cannot let you go out into that cold, cruel world without first warming your heart with a cute animal video!  This is one I stumbled across a week or so ago and I’ve been saving it to share with you today … it’s guaranteed to make you laugh!  You’re going to just love Moya!


Well, my friends, the time has come … I have a load of Goose’s clothes in the washer and a basket full of dirty towels waiting in the wings, so I really must get to it!  I hope you all have a wonderful (or at least tolerable) week ahead and remember … share those smiles, and if you run out, there’s a basketful by the door!!!  Love ‘n hugs from Filosofa, Jolly and Joyful!

Saturday Surprise — In Pictures

I started the Saturday Surprise feature in late August 2017, and this post was only the third one I ever did — the first one featuring unique animals.  I don’t typically redux Saturday Surprise, but frankly this week I drew a blank in whatever direction I tried to head.  So, those of you who are long-time readers — pretend you didn’t see this one in September 2017!  For the rest of you it will be new and I hope you enjoy these critters!  (The header image is, for me, like looking in the mirror first thing in the morning!)


One of the suggestions for the new Saturday Surprise feature came from Eschudel of Zombie Flamingos who suggested a ‘Snapshot Saturday’ with unusual or interesting pictures from the week.  Sounded like a good idea, so I went in search of and found a hodge-podge of unusual, touching pictures, but as I was loading them onto this post, I concluded that there needed to be a theme.  So, I sat down and ate dinner, responded to comments from the day, chatted a bit with the family, and then when I came back to work, a theme hit me!  (No, it didn’t hurt … at least not much.)  What about unusual animals?  So, I once again went in search of … and I found some really, really strange creatures (no, I wasn’t in a bar!!!).  So … sit back and take a look at some of these guys!

The Panda Ant

Panda-ant

The Mutillidae are a family of more than 3,000 species of wasps (despite the names) whose wingless females resemble large, hairy ants. Found in Chile, they are known for their extremely painful stings, hence the common name cow killer or cow ant. Black and white specimens are sometimes known as panda ants due to their hair coloration resembling that of the Chinese giant panda. (Image credits: Chris Lukhaup)

Hummingbird Hawk-Moth

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hawk-moth-2

As this hawk-moth feeds on flowers and makes a similar humming sound, it looks a lot like a hummingbird. What’s interesting is that it is surprisingly good at learning colors. (Image credits: Jerzy Strzelecki | unknown)

Glaucus Atlanticus (aka Blue Dragon)

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Also known as the blue dragon, this creature is a is a species of blue sea slug. You could find it in warm waters of the oceans, as it floats on the surface because of a gas-filled sac in its stomach. (Image credits: unknown | unknown | paulhypnos)

Venezuelan Poodle Moth

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Discovered in Venezuela in 2009, this new species of alien-looking moth is still poorly explored. Waiting for more info about them! (Image credits: Arthur Anker | imgur)

The Blue Parrotfish

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This bright blue fish can be found in the waters of the Atlantic Ocean, and spends 80% of its time searching for food. (Image credits: imgur | depalmadise)

Okapi

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Okapi-2

This mammal is native to the Democratic Republic of the Congo in Central Africa. Despite the zebra-like stripes, it is actually more closely related to giraffes. (Image credits: marylandzoo.org | baynews9.com)

Sea Pig

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sea pig-2

sea pig-3

Scotoplanes live on deep ocean bottoms, specifically on the abyssal plain in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Ocean, typically at depths of over 1000 meters. They are deposit feeders, and obtain food by extracting organic particles from deep-sea mud. (Image credits: imgur | thedailygreen.com | realcoldfish)

Aye-aye

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Due to its bizarre appearance and unusual feeding habits, the aye-aye is considered by many to be the strangest primate in the world. It is the world’s largest nocturnal primate. Unusual physical characteristics include incisors that are continually growing (unique among primates), extremely large ears, and a middle finger which is skeletal in appearance, and is used by the animal as a primary sensory organ.

Aren’t they all just adorable?  Which was your favourite?  I am torn between the Okapi and the Aye-aye.  I had fun finding these guys … there are many, many more, so we shall do this again sometime soon.

Stay tuned for next week’s Saturday Surprise!

Snarky Legal Snippets …

I’m afraid I’m in a bit of a rant-y mode tonight.  I sometimes wonder what it would be like to be a judge and hear some of the garbage excuses people come up with for the evil they do, but … no way I could do that job!  I’d be leaping over the desk and bashing heads in!


They let one of the terrorists skate!  WHY???

Federal prosecutors have dropped the case against one Christopher M. Kelly, a New York man who participated in the attack on Congress and the Capitol on January 6th.  The charges were obstructing an official proceeding, aiding and abetting, violent entry and disorderly conduct, and unlawful entry to restricted buildings or grounds.  Additionally, the FBI says that Kelly used a Facebook account to inform “associates” that he had breached the Capitol and was inside the building. Two days before the attack, he told another Facebook user that he planned to be in Washington “with ex NYPD and some proud boys.”

U.S. Magistrate Judge Zia Faruqui agreed to dismiss the case against Kelly after prosecutors said in a court filing on Tuesday that they discussed the merits of the case with Kelly’s lawyer and decided that ending the prosecution “serves the interests of justice” based on “the facts currently known to the government.”  No further elaboration was forthcoming.

Now, I want to trust the government again now that we have a president and his cabinet whom I can once again trust.  But … I find this dismissal sans explanation to be highly questionable.  Twice, prosecutors have postponed preliminary hearings, saying there were ongoing plea deal negotiations taking place.  Then on the eve of the rescheduled court date on Wednesday, prosecutors announced that they would move to “dismiss the complaint without prejudice, and end this matter.”  Dismissing it without prejudice gives prosecutors an opportunity to refile charges at a later date, if they decide to do so.  And assuming that at that point they are able to find Mr. Kelly who, unless I miss my guess, will conveniently disappear.

On December 28th, prior to the attacks, Kelly posted on Facebook …

“‘When good men do nothing, evil triumphs. Evil, sin and sinful men must be opposed. God commands those who are good, not just to avoid evil but actively oppose it.’ Where will you be on 1/6?”

He considers himself a ‘good man’???  Sounds like a freak to me!  Read on …

On January 6th, once inside the Capitol, Kelly wrote on a group chat …

“We’re in!  Taking this back by force now, no more bs. Tear gas, police, stopped the hearing, they are all headed to the basement. Fuck these snakes. Out of OUR HOUSE!”

Christopher M. Kelly, January 6th, 2021

I don’t know about you, but to me these do not sound like the words of an innocent man who should be allowed his freedom without penalty!  It seems to me that at the very least, We the People whose freedom was damn near destroyed on that day deserve some explanation for the dismissal of this case.  Are there others who will just walk away without paying a price?  I want justice, I want every single person who entered the Capitol during that attack to spend time in prison!


Probation???  I think not!

Yesterday, prosecutors filed a sentencing memo in the conviction of Derek Chauvin, the former police officer who brutally murdered George Floyd, an unarmed Black man.  The prosecutors have asked for a 30-year sentence … one that I believe is entirely fair, given the fact that George Floyd’s death sentence at the hands of Chauvin’s knee is a life sentence.

Chauvin’s attorney, naturally, disagrees as I would expect him to.  I would expect him to try paring the sentence down to 5 years, 10 years, but Chauvin’s attorney, Eric Nelson, is asking for Chauvin to not serve a single day in prison, but rather to be given probation!  Say WHAT???  Says Nelson …

 “Mr. Chauvin’s offense is best described as an error made in good faith reliance his own experience as a police officer and the training he had received — not intentional commission of an illegal act.  A stringent probationary sentence with incarceration limited to time served would achieve the purposes of the sentence in this case.”

Bullshit!  For nearly ten minutes, Derek Chauvin kneeled on Mr. Floyd’s neck, listening to his gasps, his cries of “I can’t breathe”, heard him call out for his mother, watched him die.  Yes, Mr. Chauvin had a smirk on his face as he … WATCHED. HIM. DIE.  That is no “error in judgment”, that is murder.  No, probation is NOT good enough.  Chauvin is a murderer who killed Mr. Floyd because his skin was Black.  Period.  I sincerely hope the judge in the case sends him upriver for the full 30 years with no room for early release.


Stand Your Ground … against an iguana???

PJ Nilaja Patterson was arrested in Lake Worth, Florida last September on charges that he brutally beat and murdered an iguana.  The animal died as Palm Beach County Animal Care and Control was transporting it to be euthanized, so serious were its injuries.

Last week, Patterson’s attorneys filed a motion to dismiss the charge.  On what grounds, you might ask?  Florida’s ‘stand your ground’ law that states deadly force can be used if a person “reasonably believes that using or threatening to use such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm.”  Bullshit!  This is the same law that enabled George Zimmerman to skate free after brutally murdering a black teen, Trayvon Martin.  The iguana in this case was no more likely to kill Mr. Patterson than unarmed Trayvon Martin was to kill Zimmerman!

The story the lawyers tell is that their client was trying to save the iguana from getting run over by cars. When he brought it to safety, a crowd agitated the animal and it bit his right arm when he tried to move it, so he kicked it as far as he could kick.  Patterson’s attorneys said the animal was the first to engage in aggression, so Patterson had a right to defend himself …

“In this case, Patterson acted in a reasonable manner under all the circumstances because the wild iguana was first to engage with physical violence, during the encounter.”

Um, excuse me but an iguana is not versed in the ways of human laws, in what is ‘socially acceptable behaviour’.  The iguana was no doubt frightened and acted as any animal cornered will act.  Fortunately, Judge Jeffrey Gillen has better sense than Patterson or his attorneys and he rejected the motion last Friday.  Patterson will be back in court on July 30th. He faces up to five years in prison if convicted of animal cruelty.  I hope he serves every single day of those five years!


And to lighten the mood, just a couple of ‘toons …

Jolly Monday … Just A Little Bit Late

Well, it’s Monday once again, but a different sort of Monday for most here in the U.S., for it is a holiday, meaning the third day of a three-day weekend!  Daughter Chris’ band played in a parade this morning – their first live public performance since the start of the pandemic.  She found out just how out of shape she’d gotten these past 15 months or so, as I suspect most of us have.  So, are you guys enjoying your holiday Monday?  I’m afraid we don’t have any funny news stories to start the day out, but we have lots ‘n lots of cartoons and as always, Joyful has been in the kitchen whipping up some special treats, while Jolly did a bit of grilling out back for us!  So, grab a snack and let’s start this week out with some smiles, shall we?


What say we start with two cute pictures Joyful found this morning?


And now for some ‘toons to bring a smile or a chuckle …


And a few funny memes that Jolly’s been collecting all weekend …


And what would Jolly Monday be without a cute animal video?  I think you’ll enjoy this one about Milo and Cracker …


Well, that’s a wrap for this Jolly Monday, my friends!  I hope you all have a wonderful week, and don’t forget to share those beautiful smiles you’re wearing today!  Love ‘n hugs from Filosofa, Jolly & Joyful!

Jolly Monday — Jolly ‘n Joyful Take Over

Hi fwiends, it’s us, Jolly ‘n Joyful!  Gwammie says she’s ‘under da weather’ today, so we gots to take over an’ make your Monday morning fun!  We don’ know what she means by under da weather, ‘coz she’s in da house, but anyway … she’s old so we gots to do what she says.  Joyful made some yummy snacks … she wouldn’t let me help … wouldn’t even let me in da kitchen!  So, have a snack and den Joyful says we should start out with some cute pictures we found …



An’ we got lots ‘n lots of funny ‘toons (I don’t get some of ’em, but Gwammie says dey are funny)


An’ Joyful found some funny signs last night … at least, I think they’re funny …


An’ I guess you guys want a cute animal video too, huh?  Well, I founded one for you!  I like da beaver eatin’ da snow bestest … what’s your favourite?


Well, dat’s all me ‘n Joyful gots for today, but we hope you ‘joyed it!  As Gwammie always says, share your smiles and make other peoples happy too!  Oh … an’ have a wunnerful week!   Love ‘n hugs from Jolly ‘n Joyful … an’ Gwammie!

Saturday Surprise — Comedy Wildlife!

Every September for the past three years, I have posted some of the winning photos from the annual Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards (links to prior years at bottom of post).  The contest is open through June 20th, and winners are announced in September, but this year I have some preview entries that have already been received, and I thought they might make a good way to start the weekend with a smile!

“Quarantine Life” By Kevin Biskaborn

“Isolated inside with your family eager to get out and explore the world? These eastern raccoon kits are too. Just when you think there’s no more room in the tree hollow, mother raccoon appears and displays just how compact the space is. The babies clambered all over their mom and each another, struggling to take a look at the exact same time. This photo was taken in Southwestern Ontario, Canada. After exploring a particular area with numerous tree hallows, I identified it as a hot spot for raccoon families. Since raccoons will move from den to den, often not spending more than one night at a time in a particular den, locating an area with numerous options is key to locating the animals. I stumbled across this family and immediately worked on leveling the camera with the hole to prevent an upward angle. When the camera and tripod were ready, the baby raccoons were extremely curious (and cooperative), sticking their heads out for a closer look!”

“Monday Morning Mood” By Andrew Mayes

“I took this shot while photographing a group of Pied starlings perched in a tree at the Rietvlei Nature Reserve in South Africa. It perfectly sums up my mood on most Monday mornings :)”

“Bald Eagle Gets A Surprise” By Arthur Trevino

“When this Bald Eagle missed on its attempt to grab this prairie dog, the prairie dog jumped towards the eagle and startled it long enough to escape to a nearby burrow. A real David vs Goliath story!”

“ROFL” By Giovanni Querzani

“A young lion in the Serengeti National Park, Tanzania, who apparently is laughing at my photography skills.”

“Yay – It’s Friday!” By Lucy Beveridge

“A young springbok, all ears and spindly legs, caught in midair while pronking as the sun started to rise over the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park. There’s not much information on why the Springbok pronk but some theories suggest it is a way of showing fitness and strength to ward off predators and attract mates. It has also been said that this small, dainty and largely unappreciated antelope also pronks out of excitement, jumping for joy!”

“Yoga Bittern” By KT Wong

“A Yellow Bittern was trying very hard to get into a comfortable hunting position. I got this shot when it was between 2 stalks of lotus flower.”

“Happy” By Tom Svensson

“These penguins was surfing on the waves on to land and looked so happy each time”

“Sweet-Lips Are For Kissing” By Philipp Stahr

“This picture was taken at Curaçao, Dutch Caribbean. Usually box fishes are difficult to take pictures of, since they do not have a problem of a diver coming close, but if you show interest, they always turn the back and not the face to you. That’s why I tried to swim 0.5m above the fish and showing no interest at all to him. The same time I had my camera not in front of me, but below at my chest pointing to the bottom. When the right moment had come, I turned the camera 90 degrees to the front and just point and shoot, hoping to have the fish in focus. Never expected to have its beautiful lips that close!”

“Houston We’ve Had A Problem” By Txema Garcia Laseca

“This fish is astonished when has been trapped for a fisher bird.”

“Missed” By Lea Scaddan

“Two Western Grey Kangaroos were fighting and one missed kicking him in the stomach.” (I really thought it looked like they were dancing!)

“Cranky Hippo” By Rohin Bakshi

“The baby hippo wanted his mother’s attention, but it seems he wasn’t getting any…”

I’ll be back in September with more, once the final tally is in!  Meanwhile, if you’re interested in entering the contest yourself, it is open to both amateur and professional photographers, so visit their website to find out more!

Prior years’ posts Comedy Wildlife posts:

2018

2019

2020

Have a happy weekend, my friends!

Happy World Bee Day!!! 🐝

This is a re-post of the one I wrote last year for World Bee Day, but some of you haven’t yet seen it, others may have forgotten it, and it says everything I would say if I wrote a whole new post.  Today is World Bee Day and I cannot think of another species that deserves its own day of celebration more than bees!  Quite literally, our lives depend on bees, and the bee population has been in serious decline for years now.  Be kind … plant some bee-friendly flowers this week as a special treat for these fuzzy little guys, k?  And PLEASE … keep the chemicals out of the garden, the yard, and anywhere else you might be tempted to use them.

Bee-1While every critter, every plant has its place in the ecosystem on planet earth, there is perhaps none more important than the bee.  Bees and other pollinators, such as butterflies, bats and hummingbirds, are increasingly under threat from human activities.  Pollination is, however, a fundamental process for the survival of our ecosystems. Nearly 90% of the world’s wild flowering plant species depend, entirely, or at least in part, on animal pollination, along with more than 75% of the world’s food crops and 35% of global agricultural land.

bee-thumbs-upTo raise awareness of the importance of pollinators, the threats they face and their contribution to sustainable development, the United Nations designated May 20th as World Bee Day. The goal is to strengthen measures aimed at protecting bees and other pollinators, which would significantly contribute to solving problems related to the global food supply and eliminate hunger in developing countries.

bostjan-noc

Boštjan Noč

As it was told to me by a dear friend, a Slovenian beekeeper by the name of Boštjan Noč was driving home one day, listening to a program about “World Days” and their meanings, and he wondered why bees did not have their own day.  After all, as important as they are, surely they deserved a day as much as any.  As President of the Slovenian Beekeepers’ Association, Noč was in a position to rally the others and launch the World Bee Day Initiative.

cute-beeThe initiative was supported by the Slovenian Government, which strove to make it happen.  It took some time … three years, to be exact, but finally on November 17th 2017, the resolution was unanimously backed by the General Assembly of the United Nations in New York, thus designating May 20th as World Bee Day. The initiative was supported by all UN states, while 115 countries also acted as co-sponsors, including major countries such as the U.S., Canada, China, Russia, India, Brazil, Argentina, Australia, and all EU Member States.

Why May 20th?  Because May 20th is the birth date of Anton Janša (1734–1773), a Slovenian beekeeper, the pioneer of modern beekeeping and one of the greatest authorities on the subject of bees. The Austrian Empress Maria Theresa appointed him to the post of permanent teacher of apiculture at the new School of Beekeeping in Vienna. He became well known even before his death in 1773. After 1775, all state beekeeping teachers had to teach the subject in accordance with his teachings and methods.anton-jansa

bee-1So, now that you know the ‘how’ and the ‘why’ behind World Bee Day, what can we do to help the bees?  For one thing, we can plant bee-friendly flowers in our gardens, and … don’t mow down those dandelions and clover … bees love those, and frankly, I think they are just as beautiful as any hothouse-bred flowers!  Another is we can help force companies like Monsanto, Dow, Bayer and others to stop using bee-killing pesticides on their crops.  How?  First, stop buying their products.  I’m not a fan of buying organic produce, for it is over-priced and doesn’t keep as long, but … if that’s what it takes, then so bee it.  You’ll find some other ideas and suggestions on the World Bee Day website … be sure to check it out, for there is a wealth of information there, including lists of bee-friendly (honey) flowers and much more.

I don’t know about other countries, but in Slovenia some beekeepers decorate their bee hives with some fun artwork …bee-artwork

And speaking of coincidence, as I began writing this, I reached for my coffee cup and realized I was drinking out of one of my favourites … no comments about the overflowing ashtray, please!bee-cupI think the words of Mr. Noč speak as well as any I can offer ….

“I believe that we all agree that every human being on this planet deserves food every day. We have to produce more food every day, and every day more food is dependent on pollinators – with honey bees in the lead. Talking about reducing global hunger without ensuring the conditions for the survival of bees and other pollinators would simply be like throwing sand in people’s eyes!

It is time for everyone to listen to bees, in particular, leaders and decision-makers. From today on, 20 May will be a worldwide celebration of bees and beekeepers. I believe that – with the proclamation of World Bee Day – the world will begin to think more broadly about bees, in particular in the context of ensuring conditions for their survival, and thus for the survival of the human race.” – Boštjan Noč

And, I thought a cute bee video might bee just the thing to wrap up this post!

Happy World Bee Day!!!bee-day

Jolly — Ho Ho Ho — Monday!

Good morning, and welcome once again to Jolly Monday where our whole raison d’etre is to help you start the week off with a smile!  So, how was your weekend?  Mine?  Meh … weekend, weekday, they’re all pretty much the same for me these days, but I’ve got no complaints.  I caught the little kids from down the street eating the unsalted, unshelled peanuts – shell and all – that I put out for the squirrels yesterday and had to tell them not to take the squirrels’ peanuts, for they would make them sick.  Which is probably true, considering the squirrels and birds walk all over the peanuts all day long, and the birds are not particular about where they poop!

Well, let’s go see what Joyful has cooked up for us this morning, and then we’ll go find some fun stuff to get this week rolling on the right foot … er wheel?

 


Sometimes I like to just play around with the Amazing Fact Generator over on the Mental Floss website.  I always learn something useless but interesting and fun!  A few samples from this week …

  • Floccinaucinihilipilification—one of the longest words in the English language—is the act of estimating that something is worthless.
  • Honey hunters in Mozambique use special calls to recruit the services of birds known as honeyguides. The birds lead the humans to bees’ nests and in return, they get the leftover beeswax.
  • In 1998, a Georgia student was suspended for wearing a Pepsi shirt to “Coke in Education Day.”
  • In her will, author Dorothy Parker left her estate to Martin Luther King Jr. and the NAACP following his death. The organization still owns the rights to her work today.
  • Opossums don’t “play dead.” When frightened, they become overexcited and pass out.

I found a few jokes that actually made me chuckle yesterday.

  • When my local barista handed me my change, one coin stood out. “Look at that. You rarely get one of these old wheat pennies nowadays,” I said, tapping the sheaf of-wheat design. I handed her the penny. Turning it over and over in her hand, she said, “You know, I always thought they were made of copper.” —Linda Neukrug

  • I tried having my mother’s phone disconnected, but the customer-service rep told me that since the account was in my dad’s name, he’d have to be the one to put in the request. The fact that he’d been dead for 40 years didn’t sway her. Then a solution hit me: “If I stop paying the bill, you can turn off the service, right?” “Well, yes,” she said reluctantly. “But that would ruin his credit.” —Jeannie Gibbs

  • To resolve conflicts between management and staff, I brought both sides together and asked employees to jot down key words on a flip chart. One participant complained about management’s tendency to interfere and wrote the word nitpicking. A manager leaped to his feet to ask, “Shouldn’t there be a hyphen between nit and picking?” —E. Howson

  • It was my first night caring for an elderly patient. When he grew sleepy, I wheeled his chair as close to the bed as possible and, using the techniques I’d learned in school, grasped him in a bear hug to lift him onto the bed. But I couldn’t clear the top of the mattress. So I grabbed him again, summoned all my might, and hoisted him onto the bed. When the night shift nurse arrived, I recounted what had happened. “Funny,” she said, looking puzzled. “Usually I just ask him to get in bed, and he does.” —Erin Dockery

And now, it’s … the moment you’ve all been waiting for … drumroll please 🥁 … ‘TOON TIME!!!!


And last, but never least, if it’s Jolly Monday, we must have an adorable critter video!  I think you’ll fall in love with this one — I did!


And for our good friend Hugh … feel better soon, dear friend!


Well, folks, that’s a wrap for this Monday morning.  I hope you’ll share those beautiful smiles this week as you see people who seem to be lacking one of their own.  A smile is one of those things that multiplies when shared!  Have a wonderful week ahead!  Love ‘n hugs from Filosofa, Jolly & Joyful!