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Tag Archive: charities


 

It’s Arbor Day, so let’s revisit three books we’ve looked at previously at borg that remind us of the fragility and wonder of the magnificent tree.

If the Scots abandoned Scotland to nature, it would be the birch that would be the first tree to seize its chance, and a birch forest would walk the streets of Edinburgh.

Thomas Pakenham was referring to a gigantic pioneer birch tree in Rothiemarchus, Scotland, but he may have well been writing about the Ents, the grand, wise, old leafed characters of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth.  In his book Meetings with Remarkable Trees, Pakenham reproduces his real-life journey across continents meeting some of the oldest inhabitants of the planet, even if they never actually “walked” the Earth.  In beautiful photographs and stories, he introduces readers to the most noble of Earth’s elders, a chance to marvel in awe at their enormous height, or breadth, of their obvious beauty or strikingly twisted, meandering, slim, or expansive forms.  Pakenham, the 8th Earl of Longford, an Anglo-Irish writer, historian, and tree enthusiast, selected trees “mostly very large, and mainly very ancient, and all with a strong personality,” highlighting the unique qualities unique to each remarkable individual.  His folksy speech and storytelling is refreshingly regional, providing an herbivorous mirror to fellow Brit James Herriot’s All Creatures Great and Small.

To visit these trees, to step beneath their domes and vaults, is to pay homage at a mysterious shrine.  But tread lightly. Even these giants have delicate roots.  And be warned that this may be your farewell visit.  No one can say if this prodigious trunk will survive the next Atlantic storm–or outlive us all by centuries.

Thomas Pakenham’s photograph of the great Fredville oak, named “Majesty” at least as early as 1820 when it was sketched by artist Jacob Strutt.

And, indeed, even some of the trees pictured in Meetings with Remarkable Trees are no longer around, having succumbed to storm or man-made destruction.  Pakenham’s tome is something profoundly sacred or spiritual.  It’s peppered with historical references, literary allusions to specific trees, and including some very famous trees, whether a thousand years old or more than 200 feet tall.  It seems preposterous humans travel the globe to see manmade creations when we could be on pilgrimages to commune with these ancient living beings.  Sixty trees are grouped by personality: Natives, Travellers, Shrines, Fantasies, and Survivors.  Once you’ve met Pakenham and his craggy acquaintances in this book, you’ll want to move on to accompany the champion of trees on a year in his life in his book, The Company of Trees: A Year in a Lifetime’s Quest.

A different approach to individual trees can be found in photographer Diane Cook and Len Jenshel’s Wise Trees (a preview is below).  Some ancient and many not so ancient, the trees in this book include 50 selected from five continents and identified for their historic or inspirational stories.

Continue reading

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What inspired you this year to be a hero?

A new Spider-Man taking to the big screen?  A new Doctor and her friends savings the world?

Lots of superheroes trying to save the planet from Thanos?

You don’t need superpowers to change the world.

Several charities are out there in need of your help.  You can change the world one dollar at a time.  And it can even help your own pocketbook if you make charitable contributions by the end of the month for your 2018 taxes.

So change the world.  borg.com endorses the following awesome organizations:

Wayside Waifs

Great Plains SPCA

Alley Cat Allies

Humane Society

ASPCA

Animal Rescue League

Bat Conservation International

American Anti-Vivisection Society

REGAP

Best Friends Animal Society Sanctuary

Frankie’s Friends

Old Friends Senior Dog Sanctuary

Check out these great charities today and give if you can.

C.J. Bunce
Editor
borg.com

What inspired you this year to be a hero?

Logan trying to save Charles and the little girl?  Wonder Woman storming the battlefield?

Maybe it was Rose Tico sacrificing herself to save Finn?  Bob Newby trying to save his almost-family?

You don’t need superpowers to change the world.

Several charities are out there in need of your help.  You can change the world one dollar at a time.  And it can even help your own pocketbook if you make charitable contributions by the end of the week for your 2017 taxes.

So change the world.  borg.com endorses the following awesome organizations:

Wayside Waifs

Great Plains SPCA

Alley Cat Allies

Humane Society

ASPCA

Animal Rescue League

Bat Conservation International

American Anti-Vivisection Society

REGAP

Best Friends Animal Society Sanctuary

Frankie’s Friends

Old Friends Senior Dog Sanctuary

Check out these great charities today and give if you can.

C.J. Bunce
Editor
borg.com

In Memoriam

If you’ve read borg.com very long you’ve probably noticed several memorials posted for dogs that have passed away this summer.  That’s because I raised a greyhound and then found a coonhound along the interstate in 2001 and brought her home to find she was pregnant.  I (I, meaning my wife and I) then raised her nine puppies to adulthood.  The last of these passed away this summer, Jade–who died a few weeks after her 16th birthday and Jasmine about two months ago.  I challenge anyone to find anything more fulfilling and rewarding than raising dogs or cats as family members (and no, I am not recommending eleven at once, but I had the space and time and could afford it).  Like every worthwhile pursuit, good things come with trade-offs.  If you raise your dogs or cats well they grow old.  With old age comes loss and grief since animals don’t live as long as humans.  But you do it anyway.

My wife and I were incredibly lucky that a little stray kitten walked up my driveway a little more than two years ago on a stormy rain-soaked evening.   The prospect of bringing a stray kitten into a house where we had five dogs at the time was not really in the cards.  But she kept coming back and became a wonderful friend.  I found her sleeping in my irises every day and she’d greet me when I came home from work, audibly, cheerily.  We’d sit on the porch together.  It wasn’t until this neighborhood cat was sleeping out in a neighbor’s driveway, behind a car on a 103 degree humid summer day in 2016 that I decided I had to bring her in to get her into some air conditioning, at least for the daytime hours.  Someone had her front claws removed (never do this) and I saw her one night being bullied by another stray cat.  One too many nights outside and after getting used to her inside with the dogs more and more, we just kept her inside, for good, got her check-ups, vaccines, etc.  Surprisingly she helped our old dogs Flint, Jade, and Jasmine in their final months, providing an immense presence of youth, vitality, and sheer joy to what had become a hospice home for elder dogs.  Our new cat–Sophie–became Jadie’s kitty, and Jade showed her the ropes.  And Sophie did more, helping my wife and me move forward when our last dog passed away.  Sophie completely saved us.  And the last two months were extraordinary.

   

As the emergency room doctor said last night, “Sometimes you’re dealt a bad deck of cards medical science doesn’t even understand.”  After a routine procedure Saturday morning turned into complications, Sophie passed away last night.  She will be missed by this house that has seen far too much despair in the past several years.  Sophie was social and talked cheerily like no other cat I have ever seen.  She became our best friend, someone who chatted us awake every day, and was a great playmate, and partner in everything.  Growing up primarily with dogs, I never figured I’d ever have my own cat–I just never considered it–and she made me a believer, sitting on my lap as I watched TV, being the bright point of every day.  But she only got 70 days of exclusive focus and attention after Jasmine left us.  She was only about four years old.  I find myself down twelve kids and scratching my head asking, “how is it I am supposed to stay positive?”  So in an effort to turn the worst day I ever had into something positive: please use this moment as a reminder to go love on your cat and/or dog or other kid or friend or spouse.  Don’t squander time.  I thought I’d have at least another 10-15 years with Sophie.  And if you don’t have a cat or dog, several thousand were abandoned in the floods and fires across America this year and need homes.  If you can afford it and you’re willing to provide the attention and time every day that any other family member would need–and deserves–then please check out hurricane and flood rescues and Western fire rescues–and remember any other animals in your local animal rescues that you save will clear rooms for more waiting to be placed into a good home.  The world around us is often bleak and dreary.  So consider making your life brighter and make their lives brighter at the same time by bringing someone new into your home.

Several charities are out there in need of your help, too.   Like these:

ASPCA

Alley Cat Allies

Animal Rescue League

Best Friends Animal Society Sanctuary

Frankie’s Friends

Great Plains SPCA

Humane Society

Old Friends Senior Dog Sanctuary

REGAP

Wayside Waifs

Thanks, as always for reading.

C.J. Bunce
Editor
borg.com

Claire Heroes cheerleader

Save the cheerleader, save the world.

You remember the line from the successful hit television series Heroes, the show with Claire, the superpowered cheerleader.  If she could be saved from Sylar, she could change the world.

But you don’t need superpowers to change the world.

Several charities are out there in need of your help. You can change the world one dollar at a time.  And it can even help your own pocketbook if you make charitable contributions by the end of the week for your 2016 taxes.

So change the world.  borg.com endorses the following awesome organizations:

American Anti-Vivisection Society

ASPCA

Alley Cat Allies

Animal Rescue League

Bat Conservation International

Best Friends Animal Society Sanctuary

Frankie’s Friends

Great Plains SPCA

Humane Society

Old Friends Senior Dog Sanctuary

REGAP

Wayside Waifs

Check out these great charities today and give if you can.

C.J. Bunce
Editor
borg.com

Claire Heroes cheerleader

Save the cheerleader, save the world.

You remember the line from the successful hit television series Heroes, the show with Claire, the superpowered cheerleader.  If she could be saved from Sylar, she could change the world.

But you don’t need superpowers to change the world.

Several charities are out there in need of your help.  You can change the world one dollar at a time.  And it can even help your own pocketbook if you make charitable contributions by the end of today for your 2015 taxes.

So change the world.  borg.com supports the following organizations.

American Anti-Vivisection Society

ASPCA

Alley Cat Allies

Animal Rescue League

Bat Conservation International

Best Friends Animal Society Sanctuary

Great Plains SPCA

Humane Society

Old Friends Senior Dog Sanctuary

REGAP

Wayside Waifs

Check out these great charities today and give if you can.

C.J. Bunce
Editor
borg.com