Solstice time

I have mapped out my seasonal gift giving. Less for family and more for environmental groups like Audubon which lobbies for the fight against climate change. Other charities include my local animal shelter which has a spay/neuter program and educational sources, PBS and Wikimedia.

Too many cats and dogs. And feral cats are the number one wild bird killer along with destruction of the environment by human exploitation and development.

The US needs PBS for balanced news reporting holding the mainstream media to a higher truth, as well as Wiki for current and accurate information.

Mostly these days, animal shelters seems full of aging animals as seniors with reduced means give up pets they can no longer afford.  Kathy, in her late sixties, is hanging on with her remaining cat Wisp, although she has $4,000 in vet bills from losing his brother Elf earlier this year.  Kathy, still battling breast cancer, cares for other people’s pets as their owners jet off to Aruba or wherever, as well as continuing her work as an artist to supplement her income.



But for Humboldt’s influence on Scotsman John Muir, beautiful Yosemite National Park would not exist today.

I finished Andrea Wulf’s Invention of Nature: Alexander Von Humboldt’s New World and discovered he had a huge influence on artists, as well as scientists like Darwin and naturalists like John Muir. Naturalist painters (Ernst Haeckel), architects (Gaudi, Sullivan) and interior designers, (Tiffany, Art Nouveau)  were influenced by Humboldt’s ideas. Presidents Teddy Roosevelt and FDR absorbed Humboldt’s ideas and put them to work  conserving the National parks.


Barcelona, Spain, Gaudi

Below: 1/ Sullivan, detail from Bayard-condict building, one of the first examples of the Chicago school style of architecture in New York City; 2/ Haeckel, life forms later copied in Art nouveau/Art deco designs; 3/ Tiffany, Wisteria Lamp.




21 thoughts on “Solstice time

  1. I’ve seen that Gaudi building in Barcelona. That’s a terrific photo of it. Thank you very much for the reminder about the charity donations. We’ve been so busy that we haven’t gotten around to it yet. We need to get it done before the end of the year. Yikes!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Good for you. Contributions to groups that will challenge Trumpism are one of the best ways individuals can act. The good news is that such contributions skyrocketed immediately after the election. Lots of good folks are working to try to keep the situation from becoming a complete disaster.

    Liked by 1 person

    • In the 1950s, in the dark days of Communism, Bishop Sheen used to say, If we all would light one candle, what a bright world this would be. Or something like that.

      It’s a small amount but added with those of others, I believe my mite helps. Give to any group fostering the sentiments of our season, Peace, Love, Charity and Hope…especially the Salvation Army.


  3. There was a lot to that man hardly anyone has ever heard of — we need people like that today, that is for sure. For our middle-aged kids, we gave gift donations to Food For Lane County, a program we used to volunteer with when we lived here all the time. They do good, needed work and we know where the money goes.

    But the environment is the thing I’m most worried about in our new “regime’. Some of the damage the orange one will do can be remedied eventually, but oh my gosh — it won’t do any good if there is no world to save. So ‘ve made a note of the places you donate to, since that answers my questions about whether they use the money effectively — I know you would have done your research. next time!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • One of my friends sent around a list of the better charities to support, and I trust her.

      I recall the Salvation Army and Saint Jude’s hospital for children were also on the list. Doctors Without Borders matters too. Especially today.

      I like Audubon because it works to preserve bird habitats. My family has supported Audubon for decades. Cornel Labs also works, although less in the lobbying area and more with education.


  4. How pretty your blog is! It’s like stepping into a pleasant home!
    Our old cat is hanging in there.. He has always been a good boy and has earned some pampering in his twilight years.

    Liked by 1 person

    • In my experience many of those who have a lot give little and many give a lot. I find stinginess affects people in all categories of life as does generosity.

      Together, David and I are not rich or poor. Alone either of us would struggle. Single older women have the most difficult time. Throughout their lives women are paid less and end up with less when they are older. This is why I grow livid when male legislators talk about cutting SS, Medicare,and Medicaid.

      My in-laws worked in factories in NC all their lives and died penniless on Medicaid.


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