May it Continue


May the brown earth and green leaves
thrive in color and in grace.

 

May it Continue

 

May the clear air and the cumufocirrus clouds
be there in the sky and in each breath, always.

 

May it Continue

 

May the water made of sweet minerals and salt
in small streams and large rivers
flow forever and forever flow to the seas.

 

May it Continue

 

May the beautiful birds of Hawaii and
the luminous parrots of Peru fly far and fast
and may their number grow.

 

May it Continue

 

May the sun shine warm and bright

and the moon give light at night—-shining from shook foil.

 

May it Continue

 

May the deer and elk, the antelope and the ibis
move and migrate, leap and lope across plain
and wooded plateau.

 

May it Continue

 

May the whale and the dolphin and the manatee
swim deep in dark oceans and lagoons and sing.

 

May it Continue

 

May the elephants forever in families roam,
trunk to tail, trumpeting bliss.

 

May it Continue

 

May waves of warm frost linger in bush and blaze
that puts fire in the peat of loam. And let lick cry from ripe vine.

 

May it Continue

 

May the rose climb through
the cold murmur of morning dirt.
May dark mulch coax tendrils from sleep.

 

May it Continue

 

May wild words come flying from green coils and
may each breath rustle through the beard of blue moss
in the sound of song.

 

May it Continue

 

——–Thomas Rain Crowe

 

 

 

                              Photograph and copyright by Barbara Mattio, 2016,

 

 

Trump is now threatening our National Monuments


24 national monuments threatened by Trump’s executive order

Corrections and clarifications: Based on information from the National Park Service and released by the White House, a previous version of this story erroneously included the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument on a list of sites subject to the executive order. According to Proclamation 8327, the monument is 6,310 acres – not square miles – and therefore would not meet the 100,000-acre threshold in the executive order, the Department of the Interior says.

WASHINGTON — At least two dozen national monuments are at risk of losing their federally protected status as a result of President Trump’s executive order asking for an unprecedented review of their designations.

Under the 1906 Antiquities Act, either Congress or the President can protect federal lands by designating them as a national monument. And while Congress has occasionally revoked that status for existing monuments, no president ever has. Trump’s order opens the door to that possibility.

Trump is targeting all or part of monuments that make up 100,000 acres or more, and were created by presidential proclamation since 1996. The White House released a list of 24 of them on Wednesday. They are:

► Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in Utah, proclaimed by President Clinton in 1996. (1.7 million acres).

 ► Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument in Arizona, proclaimed by Clinton in 2000 (1 million acres).

► Giant Sequoia National Monument in California, proclaimed by Clinton in 2000 (327,769 acres).

► Vermilion Cliffs National Monument in Arizona, proclaimed by Clinton in 2000 (279,568 acres).

► Hanford Reach National Monument in Washington, proclaimed by Clinton in 2000 (194,450 acres).

► Canyons of the Ancients National Monument in Colorado, proclaimed by Clinton in 2000 (175,160 acres).

► Ironwood Forest National Monument in Arizona, proclaimed by Clinton in 2000 (128,917 acres).

► Sonoran Desert National Monument in Arizona, proclaimed by Clinton in 2001 (486,149 acres).

► Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument in Montana, proclaimed by Clinton in 2001 (377,346 acres).

► Carrizo Plain National Monument in California, proclaimed by Clinton in 2001 (204,107 acres).

► Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument in the Pacific Ocean, proclaimed by President George W. Bush in 2006 and expanded by President Barack Obama in 2016, (89.6 million acres).

► Marianas Trench Marine National Monument in the Pacific Ocean, proclaimed by Bush in 2009 (60.9 million acres).

► Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument in the Pacific Ocean, proclaimed by Bush in 2009 and enlarged by Obama in 2014. (55.6 million acres).

► Rose Atoll Marine National Monument in American Samoa, proclaimed by Bush in 2009 (8.6 million acres).

► Rio Grande del Norte National Monument in New Mexico, proclaimed by Obama in 2013. (242,555 acres).

► Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument in New Mexico, proclaimed by Obama in 2014 (496,330 acres).

► Basin and Range National Monument in Nevada, proclaimed by Obama in 2015 (703,585 acres).

► Berryessa Snow Mountain in California, proclaimed by Obama in 2015 (330,780 acres).

► Northeast Canyons & Seamounts Marine National Monument in the Atlantic Ocean, proclaimed by Obama in 2016 (3.1 million acres).

► Mojave Trails National Monument in California, proclaimed by Obama in 2016 (1.6 million acres).

► Bears Ears National Monument in Utah, proclaimed by Obama in 2016 (1.4 million acres).

► Gold Butte National Monument in Nevada, proclaimed by Obama in 2016 (296,937 acres).

► Sand to Snow National Monument in California, proclaimed by Obama in 2016 (154,000 acres).

One other national monument meets the 100,000-acre threshold but was not included on the White House list:

► The San Gabriel Mountains National Monument in California, proclaimed by Obama in 2014 (346,177 acres).

Unlike the other monuments, which are managed by the Interior Department, San Gabriel is managed by the Forest Service, part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Zinke spokeswoman Heather Swift said she could not rule out action on San Gabriel. The Department of Agriculture did not respond to an inquiry about the status of the monument.

The executive order also allows for a review of sites smaller than 100,000 acres “where the Secretary determines that the designation or expansion was made without adequate public outreach and coordination with relevant stakeholders.”

 

I thought it was important for all of us to know which public monuments Trump is planning to rob us of. They may be destroyed or drastically changed due to mining or excavation. I am sad for all of us. Especially I am sad for all of our grandchildren and the grandchildren from around the world who might have wanted to visit and see these natural wonders. Once again big corporations wins.

Namaste

 

Barbara

NC Orchid Show at NC Arboretum


Last weekend, my sister and I went to the Orchid Show at the NC Arboretum.  As those of you have been following me for the last several years probably remember, I am a big fan of Orchids!  I went to the Orchid Show at the Cleveland Botanical Gardens every year.  I thought it was the most wonderful show I’d ever seen!

 

I was wrong.  The NC Orchid Show was the most amazing flower show of any kind I have ever been to !  It was 2 or 3 times the size of the Cleveland show, with exhibitors from as far away as Ecuador, and local and regional growers and exhibitors.

 

We had not intended to purchase orchids, but could not resist the offerings of Peach State Orchids and came home with two gorgeous specimens.

 

I hope you enjoy the photos!

(all photographs by Barbara Mattio, Copyright 2017)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Separation


In 1801, members of the small Baptist church in Danbury, Connecticut, wrote a letter to President Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) congratulating him on his recent election. At the time, Baptist’s were a minority religion. In New England the Congressional Church was prominent. Jefferson assured them that they had nothing to worry about. Their letter had expressed worries about being in the minority. They were afraid they would lose their rights and be forced to become Congregationalists.

 

A few months later, the President answered their letter. jefferson said,in effect, that the First Amendment to the Constitution had erected a “wall of separation” between church and state that meant Connecticut could not interfere with the Baptist’s religious freedom.

 

“Believing with you that religion is a matter with lies solely between Man and his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship. that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only,  and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should ‘ make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,’ thus building a wall of separation between Church and State.

 

Jefferson’s metaphor of the wall between church and state became enormously influential, Although not part of the Constitution, Jefferson’s metaphorical wall has been recognized by the Supreme Court as a guiding concept in the relationship between church and state. It has been cited by many American political and religious leaders.

 

Jefferson’s letter remains a cornerstone, an influential interpretation of First Amendment cause and a cornerstone of religious liberty in the United States.

 

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President Thomas Jefferson

President Thomas Jefferson