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Kite Courtship

I took this photo today of what appears to be courtship between a pair of snail kites (Everglades kites) on Lake Okeechobee.  Fishing was tough both days that I was there, but Sam Griffin and I managed to catch a few this afternoon, as sun warmed us and the water a bit. We also had a close encounter with an alligator. Will post more later.


Reflections on a Foggy Saturday Morning

I wonder if the fish are biting.


Life Returns

Newly flooded shorelines are bursting with life these days in central Florida's Clermont Chain of Lakes, as water levels are their highest in eight years. As the water rises, it floods grass and shrubs, providing habitat for insects and other invertebrates. Minnows and other forage species move in to feed on them. And they are followed by predatory fish and birds.

The great blue heron (top) gobbled up minnows yesterday evening, while the wood stork sifted through the grass and muck early this morning.

If the water stays up long enough, bass and other species should have spectacular spawns in these resurrected shallows during late winter and spring. That could translate into much better fishing in a year or two--- if the water remains high enough for anglers to access this chain of lakes.

Sadly, that probably won't be the case. Most likely because of so many withdrawals and diversions --- some legal and some not --- the Clermont no longer sustains historically "normal" water levels. 






Sued by a Fish? 

The good news is that Tommy the chimp is not judged to be a person and thus not entitled to legal rights afforded people, according to a recent New York appeals court ruling.

"Needless to say, unlike human beings, chimpanzees cannot bear any legal duties, submit to societal responsibilities or be held legally accountable for their action," Presiding Justice Karen Peters wrote in the seven-page decision.

"In our view, it is this incapability to bear any legal responsibilities and societal duties that renders it inappropriate to confer upon chimpanzees the legal rights — such as the fundamental right to liberty protected by the writ of habeas corpus — that have been afforded to human beings."

But that’s not about to stop the zealots who want to stop all uses of animals for any reason and want to bestow upon them the same rights that you and I have. Trust me.

Up in Canada, they’re pushing for --- and I’m not making up this --- an “Animal Charter of Rights and Freedoms.” It asserts that “animals have the right to have their interests represented in court” and “are persons under the law.”

And it says that they should have these rights: 

  • The right to be free from pain, injury, or disease.
  • The right to be free from abuse and neglect.
  • The right to be free from fear and emotional and psychological distress.

Think about that for a moment.

If you have no experience with nature and/or are totally ignorant of the way the world works in terms of sustaining human life through agriculture and development of drugs and medical procedures, you might think “Isn’t that nice? Isn’t that kind? Wouldn’t it be wonderful for us to live in harmony with Bambi?”

Okay . . . are you the one who’s going to tell hawks that they can’t eat squirrels and lions that they can’t eat gazelles? (Check out this great video about a "vegan fox.")

Are you willing to forgo ever again going into wilderness because it might stress out the wildlife there? Do you want to be sued for eating a hamburger or swatting a mosquito? How would you like to be dragged into court by an attorney representing a fish?

That’s the kind of world that these delusional people want to create.

“We fought and defeated federal legislation during a 10-year battle that was introduced in 1990 by the Liberal government that tried to entrench these principles in the federal criminal code,” says my friend Phil Morlock, director of environmental affairs for Shimano Canada Ltd. / Shimano American Corp.

“Old is new again.”

In other words, those who believe this way won’t stop trying to impose their ideology on the rest of us. And as more people become more urbanized and removed from the realities of how nature works, it’s only going to get worse.