What is Kindness?

Margaret Ann Loveday – Monday, April 27, 2015

 ‘Is Kindness Over-rated?’  Was the question asked by Author Anita Kovacevic.

My answer was, ‘NO NEVER – There is never enough!’ 

In a world filled with tragedy, loneliness, heartbreak, stress, sadness, war, suffering, hunger, prejudice, injustice, greed, hatred and natural disasters; where ever there is a need, kindness will be required.

how can one give if empty

Kindness can come in many ways,  lend a hand, cook a dinner, fix a fence, mow a lawn, write a letter of encouragement, give a gift, send a card, say a kind word, give a smile or a hug, hold a hand, give a kiss, show affection, these are acts of kindness. 

 

‘Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless’ Mother Teresa

We see kindness displayed all around us when disaster strikes. Great organisations are built on kindness, organisations like ‘Red Cross’ and the ‘Salvation Army’, they operate on a basis of kindness to give in time of need.

people appreciate compliments

During a recent storm, a man, risked his life to save two people, in a flash flood; another saved horses stranded in a flooded river, acts of kindness are endlessly displayed.

We see people working together and helping each other. Mother Teresa said, ‘If you can’t feed a hundred, feed one’.  Why do we watch on in time of disaster, or tragedy willing each other on, praying for each other, feeling that lump in the throat, the tears in our eyes, feeling another’s sadness?  Why do we feel moved to help?

Because kindness has its origin and very essence in love; and love, is the essential part of every human being … Love is an ever powerful force that knits the fabric of humanity together.

Pure love's kindness, knows

                                         “All you need is Love” sang The Beatles. 

                                                  ‘Love is kind’ says the Bible.

Kindness is the fruit of ‘Pure Love’.  One small act of kindness towards another person, an animal and nature; can warm a heart, save a life, bring light in darkness, change a circumstance, make a difference, and change the course of history.  Giving kindness even gives to the giver, for as we spread kindness it warms our own heart and satisfies our longing to love.

 Kindness … No, it could never be overrated.

We cannot exist in this world without ‘Love’ and its fruit – kindness.  It is as important as air!  Is air over-rated?

By Margaret Ann Loveday – Author of ‘Emily’

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Love is Important

Love is Important

Margaret Loveday – Friday, October 03, 2014

Love is a powerful emotion and so important to the health of every living soul.  I see it over and over again in the lives of the people that cross my path.  There is more and more research proving the positive impact of love on the health of the body. In my book ‘Emily’, the interactions between the characters emphasize this point;  Ruby strengthened Emily with her love and attention, enabling her to excel in her life’s journey.

‘Psychology Today’, blogs about the human touch:  “We all need human touch and loving affection at every stage of our lives for healthy emotional and neurological development.

A study from UCLA suggests that a loving parental figure may alter neural circuits in children that could influence health throughout a lifespan.  And, toxic childhood stress has been linked to elevated cholesterol, cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome and other physical conditions posing significant risk.  Love protects against childhood stress.”

In their book ‘Born for Love: Why Empathy is Essential – and Endangered’, Bruce D Perry, Maia Szalavitz write: “1/3 of babies placed in the barest orphanages can actually die, as a result of being placed in care before the age of 5 years.  Each month spent in an orphanage in early life reduces IQ and increases risk of behavioral and psychological problems.

How can, simply being in an orphanage kill a baby?  They die from lack of love.  When an infant falls below the threshold of physical affection needed to stimulate the production of growth hormone and the immune system, his or her body will breakdown.”

Dr Stephen Sinatra, Cardiologist writes, “Incredible sadness can cause heartbreak – heart disease.  Intense anger can cause high blood pressure.”

What is the antidote to these destructive emotions?  It has to be pure love!

As I think on this powerful emotion I realise that it is a gift to all who would be willing to receive, and I am even more convinced that love can heal.  What do you think?

52. Stars-loveis the most powerful gift

‘Emily’ the book available from:

Amazon, Barnes and Nobles, Angus and Robertson, and other online stores

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The White-Bellied Sea Eagle

In my book ‘Emily’, the concept of ‘Green Coastal Wildlife Park’, was a perfect way of high-lighting environmental issues and subtly bringing awareness that love is an important aspect when it comes to our natural environment. This extends to respecting and embracing our natural flora and fauna that we need to protect.

Our wildlife depends on us to maintaining  the health of the environment,  and the balance of all this is  important to all our futures.  

The White-Bellied Sea Eagle also known as the White Breasted Sea Eagle.(Haliaeetus leucogaster)

                                                  They are protected by law

CCCCwhitebellied sea eagle- upcloseI call them our precious majestic bird

Short description

  • The female is slightly larger than the male, and can measure up to 90 cm long with a wingspan of up to 2.2 m and weigh 4.5 kg.
  • The call is a loud goose-like honking, especially during the breeding season.
  • A young white bellied sea eagle in its first year is predominately brown. This brown colour then starts to diminish by gradually being infiltrated with white until in reaches adulthood by the 4th or 5th year.
  • This species breeds from around the 6th year onward.
  • Their life span is around 30 years.

Their Home and Nest

  • The nest is their castle, signifying power, authority. It clearly marks their chosen territory, in other words, they are politely making it clear, ‘keep away from my property, house and family!’
  • They usually choose tall trees, often used as a perch to survey the surrounding area, near water with some forest cover. It is here where they build their nest, usually sited in the fork of large trees (mostly in sheltered eucalyptus trees), overlooking bodies of water.
  • Cliffs are also suitable nesting sites.
  • The nest is a large deep bowl constructed of sticks, branches and lined with materials like grass, green leaves (believed to be for hygiene purposes) or seaweed.
  • Yearly renovations result in nest getting gradually bigger, old nests can become enormous, some measure up to 4.5 m (14 feet) deep and 1.5 m (8 feet) wide. Now that’s pretty big!
  • A breeding pair knows their own roles to partake through the process, the male becomes more active, having fun by spending 3 to 6 weeks building or renovating the nest before his mate starts to lay her eggs.

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Breeding

  • Normally two eggs are laid and they are incubated over 6 weeks before hatching.
  • Initially the male brings food and the female feeds the chicks, both parents feed the chicks as they grow larger.
  • Hatching is 40 to 44 days and nestling 65 to 70 days. It has been recorded that fledglings are fed for about 3 months, after this, they can remain around the parents’ territory for up to 6 months or until the following breeding season.

Diet (Feeding is carnivorous)

  • They usually hunt and consume a wide variety of animal prey, mainly aquatic animals, such as; fish, eels, porcupine fish (deadly to humans), water rats, turtles and sea snakes. Other animals they are know to eat, is the blue tongue lizard, and some birds.
  • Eagles often catch a fish by flying low over the water and grasping it in its talons.  On sunny days it flies directly into the sun or at right angles to it, so it doesn’t cast a shadow over the water and so, sneak up on its prey.
  • They are skilled hunter’s, and if they are desperate for food, they can attack prey up to the size of a swan, and even eat sea gulls.
  • They also feed on carrion such as dead sheep, birds and fish found along the waterline.

CCCCeagle getting fish    CCCCCsea eagle taking off fish

Interesting facts  

Much of the white-bellied sea eagle’s behaviour, particularly breeding, is not well known.

  • Nests are a territorial marker and it is used for breeding, feeding, protecting the family, protection from any intruder(s), a sleeping and surveillance platform.
  • Eagles have one mate for life, however if one dies it quickly seeks a new mate.
  • Courtship is for life and it increases during the spring.
  • Eagles are often seen perched high in a tree, or soaring over waterways and adjacent land.
  • Eagle’s like to breed and hunts near water, because their main diet consists of fish.
  • The male’s honking call is higher-pitched, more rapid and is among the loudest and furthest –carrying of all the Australian bird calls.
  • Some nest sites are continuously occupied for many years, (e.g. 50 yrs).
  • They are found in higher numbers where there is little or no human impact or interference.
  • Estuaries are a favourable habitat.
  • DDT was once a widely used pesticide in agriculture and was found to have a negative affect on wildlife, particularly egg thinning and subsequent breakage.

The eagle is revered by indigenous people in many parts of Australia, and is the subject of various folk tales throughout Australia.

The white bellied sea eagle was and is important to different tribes of indigenous people across Australia.

Examples from Wikipedia:

  • The guardian animal of the Wreck Bay aboriginal community, it is also the official emblem of the Booderee National Park, and
  • Botanic Gardens in the Jervis Bay Territory.
  • A local Sydney name was gulbi, and the bird was the totem of Colebee, the late 18th Century indigenous leader of the Cadigal people.
  • The Mak Mak people of the floodplains to the SW of Darwin in Northern Territory, who recognise its connection with ‘good country’.  It is their totem and integrally connected to their land..
  • The Umbrawarra George Nature Park was a Dreaming site of the bird, in this area known as Kuna-ngarrk-ngarrk.
  • It was symbolic to the Tasmanian indigenous people – Nairanaa was the name used there.
  • Known as Manulab to the people of Nissan Island, the bird is considered special and killing is forbidden. Its calls at night and it is said to foretell danger, and seeing a group of calling eagles flying overhead is a sign that someone has died.
  • Local Malay folk talk tales tell of the bird screaming to warn the shellfish of the turning tides, and a local name burung hama siput translates as ‘salave of the shellfish’.
  • Maharashtra coast, their name is kakan and its call is said to indicate the presence of fish in the sea.

Love  Nature

Love our environment and look after it, let us keep our footprints as light as possible in this planet we call home.  

Another reason why I have written ‘Emily’, and placed the characters, in an Australian beach/bush setting, was to bring notice to the beauty of the nature that surrounds us all, to love nature is to care for it, even in the simple things we all do everyday.  Like reducing chemicals on our garden and changing our washing powder, all these small actions when we get together is a huge action towards a better environment and that in turn protects our own health, everyone around us, our pets and native animals.  Margaret Ann Loveday

www.amazon.com/dp/0992477409

References: (BirdLife International 2005e; del Hoyp et al.1994  / Oslen, P. 1995 / Marchant & Higgins 1993 / Clunie 1994 ) / National Parks and Wildlife / Wikipedia)

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The Wonders Of The Estuary

This is an excerpt from Emily the book – ‘The Estuaries Ecosystem Tour…presented by Anthony and Kelly’ (Wildlife Rangers at the ‘Green Coastal Wildlife Park’)

Walking along the boardwalk, Ranger Anthony requests for everyone to stop and admire all the nature around them…

“Surrounding the lake we have swamp mahogany and lots of common reed….. these estuaries are the tidal mouth of the large river,  where the tide meets the stream… They are full of nutrients making the estuaries the most biologically productive natural habitats in the world.”

What is an Estuary?

An estuary is a partially enclosed body of water along the coast where freshwater of the rivers and streams meet the saltwater and mixes; the lands around these are places of transition.

Eustry1

 Avoca Lagoon, was first settle by the Awabakal Aboriginal people, and the name Avoca is Celtic for the ‘Great Estuary or ‘Where the River meets the Sea’.  

The Importance of the Estuary They are fundamental and invaluable, supporting life upon which all organisms depend’.  The two services they provide, are:  

  • Water filtration, and
  • Habitat protection. 

Eustry2

The sheltered waters of the estuaries are the home to countless plants and animals, that like to live in its briny environment, for example:  shellfish, worms, and other invertebrates living in the mud, which attracts many different birds, including migrating birds. There are a variety of fish, sea horses, lizards and snakes and many, many other animals.  

Healthy estuary conditions attract dolphins as they are vital for their food source, health and very survival.  

Habitats associated with estuaries, such salt marshes and mangrove forests, act like enormous filters.  As water flows through the salt marsh, marsh grasses and peat (spongy matrix of live roots, decomposing organic matter and soil), filtering pollutants such as herbicides, pesticides, and heavy metals out of the water, as well as excess sediments and nutrients.  

One reason that estuaries are such productive ecosystems is that the water filtering through them brings in nutrients from the surrounding watershed.  In addition to nutrients, the same water, however, can at times bring with it, all the pollutants that were applied t the lands in the watershed.  For this reason, estuaries are some of the most fertile ecosystems on the Earth, yet they may also be some of the most polluted, and this is concerning.

Estuaries and their surrounding wetlands are also buffer zones.  They stabilize shorelines and protect coastal areas, inland habitats and human communities from floods and storm surges.

When flooding does occur, estuaries’ habitats also protect streams, river channels and coastal shores from erosion caused by wind, water, and ice.  

Unlike economic services, ecosystems services are difficult to put a value on, but we cannot do without them, and thus are essentially priceless.

Love  Nature

Love our environment and look after it, let us keep our footprints as light as possible in this planet we call home.  

Another reason why I have written ‘Emily’, and placed the characters, in an Australian beach/bush setting, was to bring notice to the beauty of the nature that surrounds us all, to love nature is to care for it, even in the simple things we all do everyday.  Like reducing chemicals on our garden and changing our washing powder, all these small actions when we get together is a huge action towards a better environment and that in turn protects our own health, everyone around us, our pets and native animals.  Margaret Loveday

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‘Emily’ is available from Amazon and other online stores in paperback and ebook.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/0992477409

 

 

 

     

 

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Love is a Healing Force

My heart is to give a gift of love. ‘Emily’ is a book that I would like out into the world and into the hands of as many people as possible. I would like everyone who reads it to receive something, and hopefully that something is faith, hope and love.  Love being the most important, it is the most powerful emotion that everyone needs every day.

There are many aspects of life and love to delve into, in this book; one of them I would like to talk about is PTSD or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.  It is only in this modern age that society has actually become aware of this very crippling condition; it has always been there but never labelled or accepted.  It has been buried under many carpets and affected many lives.

There are many reasons or circumstances why this condition may occur, trauma from war, floods, fire, earthquakes, accidents, abuse, and anything that causes fear and terror.

In the story of ‘Emily’, our main character Emily is rejected and starved of love, and Nick and Dimmy, suffered from the loss of their daughter in a car accident leaving them mentally and emotionally broken.

Dimmy had a ‘knowing’ that they shouldn’t travel by car but by plane, to their holiday destination.  It was so strong in her, she pleaded with Nick and her daughter to change their plans but was overruled by both, this caused an anger towards Nick that effected their relationship.

Nick’s sister Kath, a professional psychologist, gently guided them patiently with love.  Kath knew that Nick and Dimmy still loved one another, so she was confident that with time they would both heal.

Nick and Dimmy, who owned Green Coastal Wildlife Park and had to run the Park together, were advised by Kath that they should live separately but in close proximity, while they worked through the PTSD.  This way any negativity and anger that Dimmy felt towards Nick was avoided as much as possible.

So Nick built a beautiful cabin for Dimmy with a view of ‘Bellbird Gully’, surrounded by the calming sounds of the bellbirds, other native birds and the wildflowers and scents of the bush.  It was a place of peace and tranquility with a wrap-around verandah and a three-seater swing, so she could look out on the view and take in the ambience.

36. Nature colours our world compress

Dimmy and Nick, were well aware of the damage stress can have on the body, they kept an eye on one another making sure they were eating nutritious foods, taking extra nutritional supplementation, and exercising every day.

The Rangers, of the Park were all part of the family, at Green Coastal Wildlife Park; they were also counselled by Kath and were asked if they would be sensitive, loving and positive towards Nick and Dimmy and not to ask them questions about the accident. The couple wasn’t to be pressured to talk about it, as it could make things worse. It was important for Nick and Dimmy though, to know that there were people around them that were ready to listen when they wanted to talk.

Kath told Nick and Dimmy that it was important for them not isolate themselves but to mix with those that they felt comfortable and to continue to be part of the social activities in the Park.  The Rangers all conspired to have more fun times like cricket and barbecues on the beach.

Gradually the couple started to spend time together swimming, bushwalking, or just sitting on the verandah having a cuppa, enjoying each other’s company once again.  They were taught distraction techniques of taking up new projects and research to fill their minds with good things, enabling them to live life with more stability; this began to strengthen their relationship.

So when Emily enters into their lives they were ready mentally and emotionally to share their support and love, they were able to reach out to this traumatised little girl.  When Dimmy became aware of how much Emily and her Great Grandmother had been through, it enabled her to let go of her own fears and be filled with pure love.  The threads of love entwined around their hearts, healing and strengthening each one of them.

May the gift of love – an ever powerful force – heal and give strength to your life today.

51. choose pure love and never starve compress

‘Emily’ the book is available from Amazon, Barnes and Nobles, Angus and Robertsons/Bookworld and other online stores in paperback and ebook

http://www.amazon.com/dp/0992477409

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The Australian Pelican

In my book ‘Emily’ I have encompassed many messages of love, and this includes the love and appreciation of the natural environment, including the wonders and the beauty all that entails.  The wildlife that depends on the health of the environment, the flora and fauna that rely on each other, and the balance of all this and how  important this is to all our futures.  It is about love.

The first post is all about the quirky, Australian Pelican, or as us Aussie endearingly call them, ‘Peli’s’…

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Pelicans are a majestic bird found on every continent except Antarctica.  There are eight different species of pelicans in total.  The pelican commonly found in and around Australia is the Australian Pelican.  They have black and white feathers on their back, tail and wings.

Interesting facts

  • Males are generally larger than the females and can weigh up to 10 kilograms.
  • Have bluish/grey webbed feet.
  • They are the largest pelican in the world.
  • Australia’s largest flying bird.
  • Their lifespan in the wild is ten to thirty years.
  • Pelicans are communal birds that dwell together in large groups by bodies of water.  Groups of pelicans are called pods, scoops or squadrons.  They like to rest and nest together.  They will travel long distances to find where all their needs can be met: clean water, food, resting and nesting spots.
  • At night they like to go back to sleep at their favourite spots.

The pelican habitat is anywhere there is clean water, such as; sheltered bays and beaches, lakes and lagoons close to the sea and coastal swamps and rivers.

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Wings

The average wingspan of the pelican is 2.3 to 2.5 metres, at times reaching up to 3.4 metres. The pelican can fly to a height of 3,000 metres, and using thermals, it can reach speeds of up to 56 kilometres an hour.  They cannot endure long flights of flapping, so they fly from one thermal to another, with less effort for sometimes over 20 hrs.

Though they are considered heavy birds they have air sacs in their bones and under their skin, that contribute to their buoyancy.  The air sacs also improve their aerodynamics, by using these air sacs they can stiffen their wings and feathers, which make them more streamline.

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The Central Coast of New South Wales in Australia is a popular hangout place for Pelicans.

The Entrance is now been internationally recognised as, “The Pelican Capital of Australia”.   Why is this so?

It started over 25 years ago, when the ‘Fish and Chip’ shop across the road from the waterfront, fed the pelicans with their fish scraps and unsold fish; they did this every day at 3.30 pm.  One day the owners of the shop didn’t give them attention … and these very resourceful ‘peli’s’ decided one by one to jump out of the water, cross the road and head straight to the fish shop, demanding their handouts.

I (Margaret) remember seeing the ‘Pelican Feeding’ when I was a child and I am glad that this ritual still continues through the generations. It is such a sight, these beautiful wild birds are real characters, they just love to be given fish left overs and put on an act for everyone to enjoy.

So today, we can enjoy these Pelicans 365 days a year at 3.30 pm, putting on a show as they get fed with love.   In 1996, The Entrance Town Centre Management built the feeding platform for these pelicans known as, ‘Pelican Plaza’, and this is now sponsored by local businesses within and around the Central Coast. The attraction has also become a very important project not just to entertain and educate residents and visitors alike, but it has become a checking point for any injured Pelican.

Nearly every week they have rescued a pelican with a fishhook or from fishing line entangled somewhere on the pelicans body, or a boating accident.   On the weekend we attended the ‘Pelican Feeding’ with other friends and the commentator shared about a pelican that someone brutally injured; its pouch was cut and other parts of it’s body was injured. It was taken into the vet and has now been released back into the wild and healthy once again.

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Are they dangerous?

No, they will not chase or hurt anyone, or want to attack.  Sometimes you can even pat them,  they will quickly let you know if they don’t want you to touch them, and they will either;

  • Turn around walk away or fly away,
  • Make their bird sound and do the yawn and stretch with a scorchy noise, to let you know,  and
  • If you persist the Pelican can use its hook at the end of their beak to hurt.

Are they playful?

Yes, pelicans are often playful and curious animals. They have been seen playing with things like plastic bottles,  throwing them up in the air and catching them and doing that over and over; they have also done this with seaweed.  Sometimes they have trashed the bins to find a suitable play toy.

Diet

Australia pelicans mainly eat fish but they can eat turtles, crustaceans and tadpoles.  They have even been seen drowning and eating seagulls when in dire need or stealing other birds’ catches.

Australian pelicans like to hunt fish in groups.  They flap their wings against the water and glide skimming the surface in order to scare the fish to shallower water where they can catch them easily.  Pelicans can also sense their prey moving below the surface of murky water using their sensitive bill.  When eating a fish the pelican will manoeuvre it to go down its throat, headfirst so that the spikes of the fins do not damage its throat.

The Bill

The bill can be up to 40 to 50 cm long and it is recorded to be the biggest of all bird bills in the world

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Pelicans are known for their long bills, being forty to fifty centimetres long, but even more so for their large bill pouch.  The pouch is used for many things; it can hold up to thirteen litres of water and is good for scooping up fish.  When they scoop up the fish they also collect water in their pouch.  To resolve this, the pelican puts its head down on its breast to cause the water to flow out leaving the fish.  Pelicans can also use the pouch to cool themselves by swinging it from side to side.

When the female pelican is ready to conceive her bill turns reddish pink in colour, so the male can see her, as to spark an interest.

Breeding and Nesting 

They breed from the ages of 2 or 3 years, depending where they like to hang out, for example:

  • Winter – tropical areas
  • Spring –  South / East Australia
  • Anytime – After big rainfall inland areas

The pelicans nest is made out of feathers, leaves and sticks.  One to three eggs are laid and both the parents share the job of incubating the eggs. After 32 -35 days the eggs hatch.

While in the egg the pelican chick communicates with its mother, by messaging to the mother if it is feeling to hot or cold.  This communication before hatching is mastered and the unborn learns to take commands from its mother, forming a close bond, this then enables the new born chick to identify its parents.

The first chick is the biggest due to the fact that it receives most of the food and on some accounts even attacks or kills the other chicks in the nest.

When the chick is hatched it has a large bill, bulging eyes and its skin is in the appearance of bubble wrap due to the air pockets under the skin.  The baby’s faces are spotted and their eyes are any shade from white to dark brown.  Through these variations the parents can tell their own chicks from the hundreds of others.  After about a month the chicks are old enough to vacate their nests.  Creches are formed of about 100 young pelicans, where they learn to fly and survive; after two months of this they are independent.

Often Seen

Roosting on the rock platforms, jetties, sandbanks, swimming in lagoons, bays, estuaries and watch out,  telegraph poles!

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Written by Margaret and Sam – Wildlife Warriors, Carers and Lovers of Nature…

samand i

Margaret’s book ‘Emily’, is available from Amazon, Barnes and Nobles, Angus and Robertson, and other online stores

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