Friday, December 25, 2009

Happy Holidays

Last year's holiday greeting featured Charlie Corbeil's beautiful photo of a Florida mockingbird and a balsam apple. Once again, Charlie has shared his Christmas card with us - this year's photo is of a lodgepole pine, and it was taken at Yellowstone National Park (in July, fortunately - I'm certain it is buried in show right now). Charlie writes that because the trunk of this tree is long and straight, the natives and early settlers used them to build their shelters. Indeed, its name reflects its use in American Indian tepee lodges.
As always, we're grateful for Charlie's prodigious talent and generous nature. You can see more of Charlie's work at his web site, Charlie Corbeil Photography.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve 41 years ago

(This is a repeat of 2008 and 2009 Christmas Eve posts ... it's my favorite "night before Christmas" story. marge)

Forty-four years ago, Apollo 8 was launched from Cape Kennedy on Dec. 21 and entered lunar orbit on Christmas Eve. So many "firsts" and so many technological accomplishments, but the lingering memory is of the astronauts (Frank Borman, Jim Lovell, and William Anders) beaming a television program from orbit to earth on Christmas Eve, during which they read from the Book of Genesis. They timed their broadcast to show the planet Earth hanging in the blackness of space and the surface of the moon visible in the lower left corner. At the time, the broadcast was the most watched TV program ever. In addition to our profound appreciation to NASA for its many technological achievements, we must also recognize their extraordinary sense of history and documentation that allows us to relive Apollo 8. Here, then, is that timeless greeting from the crew of Apollo 8, illustrated by NASA's photo entitled Rising Earth.

William Anders: "For all the people on Earth, the crew of Apollo 8 has a message we would like to send you. " "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness."

Jim Lovell: "And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day. And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters. And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so. And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day."

Frank Borman: "And God said, Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so. And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good."

Borman then added, "And from the crew of Apollo 8, we close with good night, good luck, a Merry Christmas, and God bless all of you - all of you on the good Earth."

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Holiday Wishes

When Ann forwarded this Christmas greeting, it took me all of five seconds to decide to email the artist to request her permission to share it with you. Nini and Michael Conner are Sea Turtle Preservation Society members that started their sea turtle volunteer work in Ann's STERP program and have since expanded into nest survey and education activities. Nini did the artwork, and Michael came up with the title (I'll bet it reflects a wry sense of humor). Perfect!
My thanks to the Conners for permission to share their card. They added their wish for good will to all creatures great and small, and I echo that wish.