Friday, April 26, 2013

Yosemite Nat Park Moonbows

Rainbows and Moonbows At Yosemite National Park

We are all fascinated by rainbows following a storm or signaling an impending one.  With the sun light reflected in the water droplets, it's colorful and beautiful sight.  On full moon nights, there is enough light that the 'moonbow' -the same phenomenon - can be seen in waterfalls.  Althouhg many waterfalls can produce a moonbow under the right conditions, the Yosemite waterfalls have become known for their moonbows specifically in spring when the rivers and waterfalls are swollen with water from the snow melt.
The below video was published by the Yosemite National Park and produced by Steven Baumgardner.

I hope you enjoyed this stunning video.  
I am off to Yosemite for the next full moon and will share my experience in a later Travel TidBits blog.

Til then, Meggi

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Ref: Yosemite National Park Notes, Produced by Steven Baumgardner

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Tribute to PAWS Pat Derby

Pat Derby, the  co-founder of PAWS passed away in March 2013.  
So revered was PAWS co-founder Pat Derby, her passing has been commemorated internationally at the highest levels of government. 
PAWS is proud to share these special tributes with you.

Pat Derby

United States Congress
One of the greatest recognitions of Pat's contributions to the cause of animal protection was a flag flown in her honor over the nation's Capitol in Washington, D.C. on March 29, 2013. The actual flag (pictured above) was given to Pat's life partner and PAWS co-founder Ed Stewart. Flags are flown over the Capitol to observe the remarkable works of individuals and groups, as well as to mark special events and national holidays. We would like to thank United Activists for Animal Rights' President Nancy Burnet, a great friend to PAWS, and Congressman C.W. Bill Young and his wife, Beverly, for arranging this very special honor.

On March 13, 2013, U.S. Representative Sam Farr introduced into the Congressional Record (below, right) a statement in honor of Pat, in which he lauded her "lifetime commitment to protecting the welfare of performing animals." Congressman Farr is a long-time champion for animals with whom PAWS has worked to introduce important legislation to protect captive wild animals.

In his statement, Representative Farr stated: "She was a true hero in the animal rights world whose sole crusade was aimed at helping animals that could not protect or advocate for themselves. Pat realized that even wild animals need someone to look out for them, and she dedicated her life to that belief." PAWS thanks Rep. Farr for this meaningful accolade, and PAWS friend Barbara Baldock for helping to facilitate this honor.

California Assembly
On April 10, 2013 in Sacramento, California State Assemblyman Ken Cooley adjourned the meeting of the Assembly in Pat's honor, memorializing her extraordinary achievements and recognizing her service to the State for her involvement in the California Department of Fish and Game's Committee for the Humane Care of Captive Wildlife. (View video below) PAWS thanks Assemblyman Cooley for this distinguished remembrance, and long-time PAWS supporter Linda Gibboney and her colleague, Larry Murman, for arranging it.


Ed Stewart and Lily Tomlin (right) listen as
Los Angeles Councilmember Paul Koretz addresses the City Council
during his adjournment tribute honoring Pat Derby.

City of Los Angeles, CA
In Los Angeles, Councilmember Paul Koretz adjourned the April 17 meeting of the L.A. City Council with a tribute to Pat in which he praised her for dedicating her life to protecting captive wild animals. (View video below) Cm. Koretz gave special thanks to Pat and to PAWS for giving refuge to former Los Angeles Zoo elephant Ruby, who lived out her final years in peace at ARK 2000. Actress and producer Lily Tomlin followed Councilmember Koretz. She movingly spoke of Pat, stating, "She was a hero of mine. She set the standard for the care of elephants in captivity in a way that no one else ever attempted." Ms. Tomlin recalled Pat telling her about the ARK 2000 sanctuary, saying, "If there's a paradise, this is paradise for the elephants."

PAWS co-founder Ed Stewart was the final speaker, telling the Council, "We are celebrating a warrior, because Pat was the warrior for elephants in this country, and also for lions, tigers and all the rest of the animals who have to live in a captive situation." He referred to advances made in recent years for exotic and performing animals, and explained that some "very enlightened decisions have come out of bodies just like this... I know that Pat is somewhere watching and waiting for our next enlightened decision." PAWS thanks Councilmember Paul Koretz for this meaningful recognition, and Melya Kaplan, Director of Voice for the Animals, for requesting it.

After the meeting, Councilmember Tom LaBonge invited Ed Stewart, PAWS' friends Kat Kramer and Karen Sharpe Kramer, and PAWS' director of Science, Research and Advocacy, Catherine Doyle, to join him on the uppermost floor of City Hall for a magnificent view of the city. There, he rang the Los Angeles City Hall bell in memory of Pat. (View video below) PAWS thanks Cm. LaBonge for his kindness and this heartfelt homage to Pat.

L-R: PAWS President Ed Stewart, Kat Kramer, 
Los Angeles City Councilmember Tom LaBonge and Karen Sharpe Kramer.

Ways you can help:
Adopt A PAWS Animal
If you would like to help our animals, one of the best ways is to become an "adoptive parent," or give a PAWS adoption as a gift to an animal lover in your life. PAWS adoptions are symbolic adoptions only. No animal will be sent!
PAWS Partnerships
Help us change the life of a victim of captivity by becoming a PAWS Partner.
PAWS partnerships help support our sanctuary operations and the day-to-day care of the animals.
Estates/Planned Giving
You can help us make sure captive wildlife in need of shelter will always have a PAWS sanctuary to call home!

Donate To PAWS
Three ways to give and every donation matters.


On my visits to PAWS, I was fortunate to meet Pat Derby and Ed Stewart and am so impressed about their tireless work for the elephants and for all captive performing animals.  Pat was a remarkable woman.  I hope her legacy will continue.

In quiet reflection,

Please see previous stories on PAWS and elephants in the News on my Travel TidBits blog:

May 2012:  Fundraiser Event
March 2012: PAWS Ark 2000  
March 2012: New elephant for PAWS  
January 2012:  Loss of Sabu

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Yosemite National Park
 After a very busy April with domestic tasks (helping my daughter’s kitchen remodel), spending some time outdoors again in the Sierra Nevada and in Yosemite National Park was a welcome and renewing time.  Spring is everywhere with wildflowers and California poppies, and even the 4+ hour drive to the mountains was so enjoyable.

Yosemite is my favorite National Park – not surprising - and the valley was green and all the waterfalls still had much water from the snow melt.  The dogwood was not yet in bloom, but the park has so many great spots to photograph that I never tire exploring new sites and revisiting old spots.

Yosemite Valley with Bridal Veil Falls

Upper Yosemite Falls - thundering down with lots of snow melt water

Mist over the base of Lower Yosemite Falls

Beautiful Water Patterns

Yosemite Falls

El Capitan

Bridal Veil Falls in last light

Valley View at the end of the day

Golden light on the Merced River

 Last light over Half Dome after sunset
as night fell over the Valley.

I stayed well into the night to capture the beautiful night sky and stars over Yosemite -  but that is for another Travel TidBits blog in the near future.  Stay Tune!

Til next time,

Comments?  I love to hear from you.  
Please use my email to reach me.