Britain can’t decide whether it should return its looted treasures back to their rightful owners – Luke McGee


British Museum

Luke McGeeNo matter how much the British government would prefer looted artifacts remain in the UK, critics say it’s already on the wrong side of history. – Luke McGee

Britain is once again reckoning with its imperial history during a week in which two ceremonies were held to mark the return of ancient looted artifacts to Nigeria from the UK.

On Wednesday, a college at the University of Cambridge staged a ceremony acknowledging the official return of a bronze statue of a cockerel to Nigeria’s National Commission for Museums and Monuments.

The cockerel, donated to the university in 1905 by the father of a student, is a Benin Bronze, looted during the 1897 British invasion of Benin city, in modern Nigeria, during which British forces burnt down the royal palace among other buildings and stole priceless artifacts.

French President Emmanuel Macron inspects a 19th-century royal statue representing King Ghezo, exhibited at the Quai Branly museum before it is returned to Benin.

The event at Jesus College was followed by a similar handover at the University of Aberdeen on…

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Black Beauty~

Great Tailed Grackles are fun birds to watch.

You find them easily by following their loud and distinctive vocalizations.

They chatter, sing, whistle and shriek. (I included a link at the end of this post if you are interested in listening to the diversity of their songs and calls.)

But mostly they sing like this happy guy.

Grackles are always at least as interested in you as you are in them!

They are devoted people watchers.

Cheers to you from the cheerful grackles~

Here is a sampling of their vocalizations:

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Even the creator god is Her creation – Aravindan Neelakandan


Gods venerate Mahalakshmi

Aravindan NeelakandanFor the Hindu, evolution being the work of a blind watchmaker creates no problem. The creator god is not the supreme power. He is not infallible. He is but a form of the Mother Goddess. – Aravindan Neelakandan

Unlike Christendom, Hindu intelligentsia did not have a problem with the idea of evolution. Evolution came to India within a few decades of 1859. In 1879, the Krishna Samhita of Kedarnath Datta Bhaktivinoda was published. He was the grand guru of Abhay Charanaravinda Bhaktivedanta Prabhupada Swami, the founder of ISKCON. Particularly interesting is the way Bhakitivinoda Swami treats the Dashavatara concept in his book:

Here the Samhita describes how each incarnation of God successively assumes a physical form to match the evolutionary development of the embodied soul (jivatma) from its most primitive invertebrate state to its highest vertebrate and intelligent state. Not only do these passages suggest the evolutionary theories of…

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Are You Down for a Series? #1 Flight~

Hummingbirds in flight are difficult photos for me.

You can see his tongue here,

and here.

The world has been so depressing for such a long time now,

that I am sharing some of what keeps me going.

And risk boring you with too many photos.

I am going to post a series of hummingbirds, macros are next.

Hummingbirds help me realize how hopeful the world still is.

I hope they help you too. Cheers to you from The Holler Hummers~

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UPDATE on Dogs in Afghanistan: U.S. Army Responds to PETA

Exposing the Big Game

The U.S. military has replied to PETA’s letter about recent reports that dogs—including working dogs, animal companions of evacuated Americans, and rescued animals—were left in Afghanistan after the withdrawal of U.S. forces.

A spokesperson for the U.S. Army sent us this response:

I can report that the U.S. military did not leave any dogs in cages at the airport. … During the extremely complicated and dangerous final phases of the retrograde mission, U.S. forces went to great lengths to help the Kabul Small Animal Rescue facilitate the evacuation of more than 150 stray Afghan dogs. These dogs were not permitted on military evacuation flights due to regulations, but the Kabul Small Animal Rescue claimed to have arranged a chartered plane to rescue the animals. Unfortunately, that plane did not arrive, leaving no options to evacuate the dogs. U.S. forces identified…

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Birds from Walden Ducks

Birds from Walden Ducks

Words from Walden

Ducks are another phenomenal species of bird.

They are innately great parents and stay with their young all day and night. They will travel up and down rivers, streams and lakes with their entire ‘school’ of children.

They can often be seen in the early morning hours traveling single file, on land and or water, in lines and rows that stretch longer as the numbers grow.

I have noticed that in the lakes and streams around Walden that it is not one adult duck with a baby or two, but instead there seems to be a large family containing five or six adults and up to 30 chicks at a time.

Projecting caution at all times to protect their young these Male and Female Ducks share the workload.

I have been fortunate enough to witness the chicks following orders to jump in the water one by one while the adult…

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California Coast~

Really beautiful trees and rocks by the shore!

Crescent City, nearing the border with Oregon.

Battery Point lighthouse began operation in 1856.

Coastal Oaks covered with moss in temperate rain forests.

Southern forests are much drier.

Point Reyes National Sea Shore. (Click to enlarge)

Fierce winds have bent the trees at The Point Reyes Lighthouse.

Klamath California (click and see if you can spot the distant grazing elk herd).

Cheers to you from coastal California~

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