Blessed Are The Organized, by Amy Levin

It was a humid yet windy day in Broward County, South Florida. My long pants and sleeves were becoming hostile towards me as I proceeded to slip off my shoes, don my borrowed headscarf, and set up shop just outside the modest mosque in Pembroke Pines.  I waited patiently for prayers to end, hoping that my “Register to Vote” sign was placed in optimal eyesight of the female worshippers as they exited the prayer hall. All of my hope to expand the Florida electorate to help re-elect President Barack Obama was bundled in my mix of clipboards, voter registration forms, pens, and volunteer sign-up sheets.  Just moments after the Imam wrapped up the Friday afternoon prayers, two young women wearing full hijab sauntered out. “Oh, I’ve been meaning to register to vote,” one of them said. “Perfect.” Continue reading “Blessed Are The Organized, by Amy Levin”

Why Should We Care About Birds? By Carol P. Christ

I believe that we should we care about birds because it is right to do so.  If we do not, we will contribute to extinction of species, and we will leave a diminished world to those who come after us. We must not give up hope that we can save the world for birds, for other wildlife, and for our children’s children.

On February 2, 2012, the International Day for Wetlands, the Greek government signed into law a Presidental Directive mandating protection of the small wetlands of the Greek islands.  There is no assurance that this law will be enforced.  There are still no measures in effect to protect most of the larger wetlands in Greece, even though this is required by the European law Natura 2000, which requires all of the countries in the European Union to protect bird and wildlife habitats.

When I became a birdwatcher, I could not have told you what a wetland is.  Now I know that wetlands are fragile bodies of water shallow enough for wading birds from flamingoes to sandpipers to stand in “without getting their bottoms wet” while feeding on shrimp, small fish, frogs, and other watery treats.  Wetlands often take the form of pools near the sea, but they also include the deltas at river mouths and seasonally flooded fields.  In the twentieth century and today many wetlands were designated “swamps” and drained. Continue reading “Why Should We Care About Birds? By Carol P. Christ”

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