Rabu, 02 Desember 2015

Education, Awareness, and Charity

Many communities have amazing walking and running events to celebrate holidays such as 4th of July, Veteran's Day, and Thanksgiving. Loving to run and inspired at the thought of bringing such an event to my small town, the idea of a turkey trot hopped into my head. I had participated in several in other towns and my family and I had created one or two when we were in an area that did not offer such a fun-run, I had the background knowledge and the desire. With a little conversation with our mayor and city council, the high school cheerleaders and wrestlers and a few friends, the local Thanksgiving morning walk/run transformed from a sketch and a doodle into a firm reality. The day and the place were easy and the charity to benefit from registration proceeds was easier. Being a volunteer for Alzheimer's and our local hospice and wanting to spread awareness, we were off and running, so to speak, with a wonderful beneficiary as well.
The local hospital provided some up-front funding for long-sleeved shirts and a local business designed and printed them for us with Alzheimer's purple as a primary eye-catcher. Other organizations donated raffle prizes, water, chocolate milk, and bananas. The high school let us start and end on the track at the football field with the vice-principal as our announcer and the local police made sure cars looked out for participants along the route. The cheerleaders spread out along the course to cheer, offer support, and separate the 3K, 5K, and 8K walkers and runners. That is one of the advantages of a small community: everyone cares and is willing to pitch in to bring success.
Because the wrestlers already run on Thanksgiving morning, they were the logical and perfect begin to the event. Lining up at the starting line, their bright blue running gear stood out against the fresh skiff of icy, white snow. While 1* had been forecast, a delightful 23* took its place. With everyone bundled and excited we sang a rough version of the national anthem and then zipped into action. As walkers and runners exited the field and took to the streets, volunteers raced to set up the raffle drawing and snacks for after the walk/run. Within one deep breath, the first 3K runners entered the stadium - father and son - to the cheers of our remaining crowd. Just a few seconds later the rest of the participants started pouring onto the track for their victory lap, cheers, goodies, and smiles. Invigorated by it all, my heart soared thinking of the good that had been produced by a group of locals who care about our community. "Far out, man!"
Some of the greatest aspects were the thanks, the happiness, the enthusiasm of everyone in attendance. Thrilled with an early morning excursion, they were ready to head home for a yummy dinner. Parting words of encouragement set me into motion for next year's turkey trot. An annual celebration is now in place.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Gini_Cunningham/146831

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Selasa, 01 Desember 2015

Snake Behaviour Around Humans

A snake's behaviour around humans is largely dependent on the type and breed of snake that comes into contact with a human. There are more than 2,000 different varieties of snake in the world that will all react differently when in direct contact with a larger species, such as being approached by a human. The main distinction in how any snake will behave is down to whether or not it is of the venomous variety. While less than 20% of all snakes are considered to be venomous, it is common to be concerned or worried when approaching a snake because of the connections to the minority that are venomous.
A basic instinct

A basic instinct
Snakes, like most animals, have a built-in instinct that dominates how they behave, especially around humans. But unlike other many other species of animal there is thought to be only a minimal thought process that contributes to a snake's actions, instinct will more often than not take over and a snake will react how it is instinctively designed to. In venomous varieties like the cobra, this makes them more dangerous towards humans and their aggressive approach to interaction will be displayed when they are disturbed.
For the non-venomous snakes such as boas, their behaviour around humans will greatly differ depending on what kind of situation they are placed in. Most non-venomous snakes are not considered aggressive in nature. However this is not consistent with all breeds and there are certain non-venomous snakes that will attack without provocation from humans. If the snake's breed can be determined before any close interaction and it is identified as the non-aggressive type, they can in some instances be safe to approach.
When in direct contact with a human, a snake's temperament will reflect how it is treated, which directly relates back to its instinctive nature. For snakes that are not naturally aggressive and who are not venomous there is very little reason why they would attack. No considerable thought process dictates the snake's actions so if it feels comfortable in its surroundings then it is likely not to pose any heavy threat to nearby humans.
Flight or flight
A snakes instinctive behaviour is often to flee an area that a human enters; the dominant size of a human over that of a snake is reason behind its instinct to escape the immediate area. A human will normally pose a bigger threat over the snake than vice versa, hence the snake will feel the need to protect itself in a defensive manner rather than an offensive manner and attacking directly.
This can vary depending on the situation the snake finds itself in. If the human directly corners the snake or intrusively disrupts it then the snake may feel there is no other option but to defend itself in an aggressive manner. In these circumstances it is likely that the snake will strike at the human it believes is a threat to it. While this is normally not to kill or harm the human, it is a warning with enough force and speed to scare the person and show that the snake is ready to defend itself.
Non-venomous snakes generally don't view humans as a source of food as there is no predatory instinct to attack them. This behaviour can change however is the human's scent is tainted with the normal food of a snake such as a small mammal. If contact has recently been made with any small creature that the snake may instinctively hunt- including common household pets like cats- the scent that remains will in some situations cause them to attack the human.
A snake's behaviour to humans is as much dependent on the behaviour displayed around them as well as the instinctive nature that they have. If you quickly approach a snake or create a loud scene they will consider it as an attack towards them and will defend themselves in the only way they know how. If a snake is calmly approached with caution and in the correct manner it will behave differently to how it otherwise would, not knowing if they are friend or foe.
Most common snake varieties will only attack if provoked and will allow humans to handle them with ease. With other rarer, naturally aggressive or venomous snakes such as the Rattlesnake varieties they may attack any approaching human, even if they do not view the person as a direct threat. Some species of snake have evolved to become better capable of attacking without being noticed while others can be easily frightened and wary of any intrusion. The behaviour of a snake can generally be predicted if the breed is known, but it is always wise to be cautious.
Neil Mellon has been investigating the way snakes behave for many years and is fascinated in particular by how they act around humans. He is also an advocate for many forms of snake defence.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Neil_Brian_Mellon/2058314

Things to Consider When Choosing a Cage for Your Pet Reptiles

Reptiles are a very diverse group of animals. Getting a pet reptile such as a lizard will require you to do some extensive researching. Lizards live in various kinds of habitats. They can thrive in the driest deserts up to the most humid rain forests. Getting to know more about your pet lizard's natural habitat will help you to choose and design the right cage for it.
There are five things that you should consider before buying a cage for your lizard. These are security, humidity, lighting, space and heating. To understand more about these elements, you should learn more on how your pet lizard naturally lives in the wild. This will help you to imitate its natural habitat and provide what it needs.
In terms of security, it is not advisable for a lizard owner to build a "do it yourself" cage. This can't be done unless you have the right skills for building one. The most basic thing is to buy a cage that will prevent your pet from escaping. Reptiles are very good in escaping. Therefore, a professional cage is what you need to keep it secure at all times. A cage with good security features will also protect your lizard from intruders especially if you have other pets living in your house.
Second thing to consider is humidity. Lizards have various moisture requirements. There are certain lizards that best thrive in dry cages. And there are those that have high humidity requirements. In this case, know the species of your lizard and determine its humidity needs. If it is a tropical lizard then it should be put in a cage with lots of moisture or humidity.
Sufficient lighting is very important for your lizard to survive. Most lizards love the sun. However, there are still some that prefer burrowing themselves underground. But generally, lizards need sunlight exposure. You can use full-spectrum lights to replace natural sun exposure. Therefore, when choosing a cage, you must make sure that the cage will allow you to use special lighting for your pet.
Heat control is another thing that you should consider when choosing a cage. First, you have to research about the temperature requirement of your pet lizard. After that, you must choose a cage that will allow you to maintain the specific amount of heat that your lizard needs. The cage must be able to hold up the heat to make sure that the right temperature is maintained.
Lastly, you must also consider the space and the orientation of the cage. There are certain species of lizards that can grow up to 6 feet and more. You should consider this when picking the size of your cage. Your pet lizard may look so small right now but it will eventually grow in size and may need a larger space to survive. As mentioned earlier there are lizards that love to burrow into the ground and there are also some species that love to climb. Determine which among the 2 types your lizard is. If it is a climber then it would be best to choose a tall cage. If it loves to live underground then you might need a wider cage.
Determining how a particular species of lizard lives in its natural habitat is the most important thing to know to be able to create a good artificial dwelling place for it. Reptiles have different characteristics and survival instincts. What is best for one may not be the best for the other.
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Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Anthony_Dee/784457

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