Tuesday, July 28, 2009

$5 million grant to help Erie County adopt 'no kill' policy for animals

By Phil Fairbanks
Updated: July 28, 2009, 4:50 PM

Erie County would become the largest county in the nation to adopt a communitywide "no kill" policy toward animals as part of a new $5 million grant announced today by the local SPCA.

The grant will allow the SPCA to work with other public and private shelters across the county to ensure that all healthy and treatable animals are adopted.

"We should be proud of this," said Barbara Carr, executive director of the local SPCA. "Maybe we can't get the Stanley Cup or win the big football games, but we have a community that's going to make sure all healthy and treatable animals have a home."

Money for the program is coming from Maddie's Fund, a family foundation whose mission is to create a nationwide "no kill" policy. The fund is named after the family's Miniature Schnauzer, who passed away 12 years ago.

Carr said the grant will ensure that every shelter in the county will stop euthanizing healthy and treatable cats and dogs over the next five years. The grant is tied to the shelters meeting that goal.

Maddie's also will fund a spay and neutering program that will focus, in part, on feral cats, as well as a new program for evaluating pit bulls and other animals at the City of Buffalo shelter.

"We would be the largest county in the nation to have a communitywide no-kill policy," Carr said. "I think that says a lot about our community."

Carr said the foundation was initially reluctant to fund a traditional shelter like the Erie County SPCA but, over time, came to view the agency as a leader in the "no kill" movement.

She is quick to note that her shelter already has reached that goal … not a single healthy dog or cat has been euthanized at the SPCA over the past 12 months … and the county's other shelters are expected to follow suit.

"The whole reason they looked at us," Carr said of the foundation, "is because this community has really stepped up. They're critical, and I know they'll be there for us. They always have been."

Maddie's Fund was created and endowed with $300 million from David Duffield, a wealthy businessman, and his wife, Cheryl. The foundation's goal is to "create a no-kill nation where all healthy and treatable shelter dogs and cats are guaranteed a loving home."

Aside from the SPCA, Maddie's partners include Buffalo Humane, the City of Buffalo Animal Shelter, HEART, Second Chance Shelter, OperationPETS and the Ten Lives Club.


Sunday, July 19, 2009

Moths of Chautauqua County

Pachysphinx modesta

Pachysphinx modesta, the Poplar Sphinx or Modest Sphinx ranges through southern portions of all Canadian provinces and is found in the eastern half of the U.S. from Maine to northern Florida. James P. Tuttle has range maps showing it as far west as eastern Washington southward to extreme northeastern New Mexico. Most of the western specimens appear to be P. occidentalis.

-Bill Oehlke

Family: Sphingidae, Latreille, 1802
Subfamily: Sphinginae, Latreille, 1802
Tribe: Smerinthini, Grote & Robinson, 1865
Genus: Pachysphinx Rothschild and Jordan, 1903
Species: modesta (Harris, 1839)

Big Poplar Sphynx or Modest Sphinx. A large sphinx moth that belongs to the family Sphingidae and has a wingspan of 10-12 cm. Larvae feed on poplar and willow trees. Adults are active at night. These moths are among the fastest fliers of all moths. Found across North America.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Another Jewel of a Moth who paid me a call.

The Polyphemus moth (Antheraea polyphemus) is a North American member of the family Saturniidae, the giant silk moths. It is a tan colored moth, with an average wingspan of 6 inches (15 cm). The most notable feature of the moth is its large, purplish eyespots on its two hindwings. The eye spots are where it gets its name – from the Greek myth of the Cyclops Polyphemus. The caterpillar of the Polyphemus moth can eat 86,000 times its weight at emergence in a little less than two months. It is widespread throughout much of North America, from southern Canada to parts of Mexico.'

Male Antheraea polyphemus of the Saturniidae family.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Tiger Moth in Stedman tonight

Description The Virgin Tiger Moth is a member of the family Arctiidae. The tiger moths are small or medium-sized, with stout, furry bodies and broad wings, spanning 1/2-3 1/8" (12-80 mm). Some are largely white; others are boldly patterned in black and white or yellow; and still others have different colors. Tiger moths are similar in size and shape to owlet moths, but are usually lighter and more brightly colored. They resemble some boldly patterned ctenuchids, but can be distinguished from these and other similar-looking moths mostly through differences in wing venation. They also have a well-developed hearing organ, or tympanum, on each side of the thorax. Many tiger moths contain toxic substances, and their conspicuous patterning serves as a warning to predators. Adults generally do not feed. Eggs are laid in flat masses or loosely scattered over low vegetation. The caterpillars are hairy or bristly and like the adults are boldly marked and toxic. They pupate in loose cocoons made of silk and their own hair.

"Tiger Moth"
Family: Arctiidae
Grammia virgo


Monday, July 13, 2009

A collection of old Post Cards of Hurlbut Church


The church is named after Dr. Jesse L. Hurlbut (1843-1930), a Methodist minister and educator. He was a leader of religious education at the Chautauqua Institution and the Chautauqua Literary and Scientific Circle activities for 50 years. He designed Palestine Park, the model of the Holy Land beside Chautauqua Lake. He is author of Hurlbut's Story of the Bible, a religious classic, and The Bedtime Bible Story Book, featuring 365 stories.

Mary Artemisia Lathbury

Mary Artemisia Lathbury


Miss Lathbury holds a unique place among our American hymn-writers. She was long known as the "Laureate of Chautauqua." It has been given to few poets to have their hymns used by as large and enthusiastic and cultured audiences as have sung the hymns of this gifted woman.

The child of devout Christian parents, she was born in Manchester, New York, in 1841. Her father was a local preacher in the Methodist Episcopal Church, and two of her brothers were ordained to the Methodist ministry. She early developed a talent both for composing verses and for drawing, and as a mere girl her favorite pastime was the writing of short poems adorned with original illustrations. But almost from the first the pastime became a part of her religion. One day she seemed to hear a voice saying to her: "Remember, my child, that you have a gift of weaving fancies into verse, and a gift with the pencil of producing visions that come to your heart; consecrate these to me as thoroughly and as definitely as you do your inmost spirit." She was not disobedient to the heavenly call.

As the years passed and her talents matured, Miss Lathbury became widely known as a contributor to periodicals for children and young people. In 1874, Dr. John H. Vincent, who at that time was Secretary of the Methodist Sunday School Union, engaged her as his assistant in the editorial department. Not only did this widen her opportunity for usefulness as a writer for children, but it brought her into close touch with the Chautauqua movement at its very beginning. The Chautauqua idea appealed to her strongly and she gave herself enthusiastically to its promotion. Her poetic gift was at once appreciated, and through the years she was appealed to again and again for hymns to be sung on special occasions. She gladly responded, and it was in this way that her best-known hymns had their origin.

The one written for the Centennial celebration in 1876, with the chorus:

"Arise and shine in youth immortal,

Thy light is come, thy King appears!
Beyond the Century's swinging portal,

Breaks a new dawn—the thousand years!"—

impressed Frances E. Willard as "the most complete utterance of that sublime period," and it was a favorite with the author herself.

Although Chautauqua started out as a Methodist enterprise, under the liberal leadership of Dr. Vincent it soon lost its sectarian character and made its appeal to all Christians alike. Miss Lathbury caught the spirit of her chief, and for the summer of 1881 she wrote her greatly admired hymn on "The Nameless Fold":

"O Shepherd of the Nameless Fold—

The blessed church to be—
Our hearts with love and longing turn
To find their rest in thee!

" 'Thy Kingdom come'—its heavenly walls

Unseen around us rise,
And deep in loving human hearts
Its broad foundation lies."

It was a beautiful prayer for that spirit of Christian unity for which Chautauqua has stood through all the years.

One of her finest poems, meriting a wider use than it has received, especially as a morning carol, is the one which opens with the lines:

"Arise, all souls, arise! the watch is past;
A glory breaks above the cloud at last.
There comes a rushing, mighty wind again!
The breath of God is still the life of men;
The day ascending fills the waiting skies,
All souls, arise!"

The two best-known hymns by Miss Lath- bury, "Break Thou the bread of life," and "Day is dying in the west," were given to Dr. Vincent in 1887. The former of these, a little gem, she called a "Study Song," and it has always been a rare favorite. When we remember that it was intended primarily for the hungry students of the Word on the shore of Lake Chautauqua, we feel the appropriateness of the allusion to the breaking and blessing of the loaves "beside the sea" of Galilee. The hymn is loved both at home and abroad. Dr. G. Campbell Morgan always asked the congregation to sing it at the weekly meetings of his great Bible class in London, just before he began the exposition of the lesson:

"Break thou the Bread of life,

Dear Lord, to me,
As thou didst break the loaves

Beside the sea;
Beyond the sacred page

I seek thee, Lord;
My spirit pants for thee,

O living Word!

"Bless thou the truth, dear Lord,

To me, to me,
As thou didst bless the bread

By Galilee;
Then shall all bondage cease,

All fetters fall;
And I shall find my peace,

My All-in-All!"

Without doubt the finest hymn that Miss Lath- bury ever wrote, and the one that everywhere has been received with praise, is, "Day is dying in the west." It was written at the request of Dr. Vincent. From the beginning, the vesper hour at Chautauqua, in a peculiar way, has seemed to gather about it the spiritual beauty and uplift of the whole day. But there was no hymn quite suited to the hour till this "poetess and saint," as Dr. Vincent used to call her, made her contribution. Since then this lyric has been sung around the world. Some years after its first appearance, W. Garrett Horder, the well- known English anthologist, chanced to see it in a book recently received from an American friend. Who Miss Lathbury was he had no idea, but his practiced eye immediately recognized in the poem a masterpiece. In the enthusiasm of a genuine discovery, he wrote: "It is one of the finest and most distinctive hymns of modern times. It deserves to rank with 'Lead, Kindly Light,' of Cardinal Newman, for its pic- turesqueness and allusionness, and above all else for this, that devout souls, no matter what their distinctive beliefs, can through it voice their deepest feelings and aspirations." It is sung in many places and by many voices, but to be fully appreciated it must be heard in the great auditorium at Chautauqua, where the people know it and love it as nowhere else, and where the words, pealed out to the matchless melody of Professor Sherwin, to which they were long since wedded, sweep the soul up to the very throne of the eternal God two stanzas. In 1890, in response to the earnest request of many friends, Miss Lathbury added a third and a fourth stanza:

"Day is dying in the west;
Heaven is touching earth with rest;
Wait and worship while the night
Sets her evening lamps alight

Through all the sky.
Holy, holy, holy Lord God of Hosts!
Heaven and earth are full of thee!
Heaven and earth are praising thee,

O Lord most high.

"Lord of life, beneath the dome
Of the universe, thy home,
Gather us who seek thy face
To the fold of thy embrace,
For thou art nigh.

"While the deepening shadows fall,
Heart of Love, enfolding all,
Through the glory and the grace
Of the stars that veil thy face,
Our hearts ascend.

"When forever from our sight
Pass the stars, the day, the night,
Lord of angels, on our eyes
Let eternal morning rise,
And shadows end."

Miss Lathbury lived in and near New York, where she carried on her literary and artistic work. She died in 1913.


From The story of the American hymn By Edward Summerfield Ninde

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Little Brown Bats in Stedman

Myotis lucifugus has brownish-black fur that has a glossy sheen to it and a belly that is grey-brown. The bat’s feet are mainly for clinging while it roosts. The wings of a bat are superbly constructed and include four fingers and a thumb. At the end of the thumb is a hooked claw, which serves to help the bat climb and crawl along surfaces.

Little brown bats are insectivores, eating moths, wasps, beetles, gnats, mosquitoes, midges and mayflies, among others. Since many of their preferred meals are insects with an aquatic life stage, such as mosquitoes, they prefer to roost near water. They echolocate to find their prey. Often they will catch larger prey with a wingtip, transfer it to a cup formed by their tail, then eat it - smaller prey are usually just caught in the mouth. They often use the same routes over and over again every night, flying 3-6 meters high above water or among trees. An adult can sometimes fill its stomach in 15 minutes; young have more difficulty. If they do not catch any food, they will enter a torpor similar to hibernation that day, awakening at night to hunt again.