The Amish Way of Communicating with Nature

A way of living is more important than communicating it in words. The ultimate message is the life. -- An Amish person will have no doubt about his basic convictions, his view of the meaning and purpose of life, but he cannot explain it except through his life. - John A. Hostetler, Amish Society, 1993  

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NatureNicole Porter
When Are You Looking At A Wild Yak?

The Wooly and SuperWooly breed in North America are most closely related to the this rare "Long-Hair Fur Forehead Yak” and current genetics research bares this out. They not considered a “breed” according to researchers - meaning they are not “man-made” through selective breeding (Weiner et al. 2003). The Tibetan locals agree that this subspecies is only found in the south of Qinghai and only in remote pockets in the highlands of Qinghai...

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YakNicole Porter
What is Monarch-Watch?

Prairie Sky Sanctuary through the Butterfly Restoration Project is a partner of Monarch Watch, which is a non-profit organization that engages citizen scientists in large scale research projects. Citizens who raise migration monarchs have a unique opportunity to help Monarch Watch gather research on the monarch migration as a citizen scientist. 

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ButterfliesNicole Porter
Long-hair fur forehead yak (རིང་པོ སྐྲ སྤུ དཔྲལ་བ། འབྲོང)

While their domesticated counterparts can be found in a much more varied area in the oriental region, the main geographic range of wild B. grunniens is limited to the Tibetan Plateau, which includes "...the western edge of Gansu Province, Qinghai Province, the southern rim of the Xinjiang Autonomous Region, and the Tibet Autonomous Region." (Schaller & Wulin, 1995)...

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YakNicole Porter
Ligers and Zebroids and Yow, Oh My!

Ligers are the Franken-feline achieved by crossing a lion and a tiger. Ligers are always sterile. Zebroids, Zebras crossed with other species, are also almost always infertile, and often suffer health consequences of dwarfism. While the dwarf zebroids can still run, ligers suffer from acromegaly, or "giantism" and grow too big. 

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YakNicole Porter
A Zen View of Nature as Buddha, Dharma Teacher, and Sangha

 The relationship between Buddhism and nature stems first from Buddha's life and teachings. The Buddha’s experience of awakening in the forest and the Bodhi tree became a sacred symbol in Buddhism. The first Buddhist communities were forest dwellers and monks initially lived under trees in nature. The Buddha said, “there is no spot on the ground where men had not died and therefore every part of nature will be endowed with a spirit, these will be the spirits of the trees, the mountains and the water…” 

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MeditationNicole Porter
Wholly MOSES!

Prairie Sky Sanctuary is a member of The Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service (MOSES), a nonprofit organization based in Spring Valley, Wis. MOSES promotes organic and sustainable agriculture by providing the education, resources and expertise farmers need to succeed. Because pollinators are very sensitive to pesticides, their efforts are critical to the life and restoration of their habitat and the entire Pine-Oak Savanna ecosystem.

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Editor's PicksNicole Porter
Importance of Yak to Tibetan Culture

Thubten Jigme Norbu, the elder brother of the 14th Dalai Lama, reported on his journey from Kumbum in Amdo to Lhasa in 1950: "Before long I was to see the vast herds of drongs with my own eyes. The sight of those beautiful and powerful beasts who from time immemorial have made their home on Tibet's high and barren plateaux never ceased to fascinate me... 

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Forest Bathing: Do I Bring a Towel?

The healing way of Shinrin-yoku (森林浴), or Forest Therapy, and is the medicine of simply being in the forest. The term Shinrin-yoku means “taking in the forest atmosphere” or “forest bathing.” Forest Bathing was developed in Japan during the 1980s and has become a cornerstone of preventive health care and healing

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Coo coo ca choo. The Barred Owl.

Barred owls, Strix varia, are a treat to see because they spend most of their lives hidden from view in deep shadowy forests. Although we seldom see them, we hear them often. Barreds are fairly vocal with a repertoire of barks, hoots, yells, shrieks, moans and groans that penetrate the darkness. Their most familiar call is a low, mournful rhythmic eight-hoot often transcribed as "Who cooks for you? Who cooks for y'all" with the final drawled-out note sliding down the scale. On a still night, the haunting owl talk can travel a mile or more.

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How to Breed a Butterfly

Monarch butterfly caterpillars are fun to raise until they form chrysalises and ultimately emerge transformed as butterflies. This instructable takes you even further back in the butterfly life cycle and describes how to raise a monarch from a newly-laid egg into a fully grown butterfly.

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Who is Judy Istock: Coffee, Cameras and Chrysalides?

One walk through the Judy Istock Butterfly Haven is all you need to escape the hustle and bustle of the city. Experience over 40 species of exotic high-flying butterflies and several stunning bird species from the Southern hemisphere in our 2,700 square-foot greenhouse. Complete with serene pools of water, flowers, tropical trees and 1,000 butterflies, it always feels like summer in the Butterfly Haven

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