Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Gorgeous, gregarious geese!

Soaring Canada Goose © Rosemary Amey.Recently my son and I saw a flock of Canada geese flying north--a welcome sign of spring. In honour of their migration, I've added a new goose design portal to my shop, Compassion Fashion.

Gorgeous goose dreamcatcher by Patrick Shapard.One of my favourite designs I found in searching through the CafePress Market Place is Two Moons - The Goose shown at right. It's one of many beautiful totem animal designs you'll find at Patrick Shapard's shop, Ghost Dog Productions. Be sure to visit his store and admire all the beautiful animal art there—and learn about the symbolism behind each animal totem.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Fatal Light Awareness Program

Today I attended an introductory session at FLAP (Fatal Light Awareness Program). With a tiny staff (2 employees) and dozens of volunteers, FLAP has been accomplishing great things on behalf of wild birds here in Toronto.

Part of FLAP's work is raising awareness about the dangers posed by modern architecture and the common practice of leaving buildings lit up at night. Migrating birds are confused by Toronto's numerous skyscrapers, especially those covered in mirror glass; and at night time, they are attracted to lights. Millions of birds die pointlessly because people don't turn off the lights! Getting rid of mirrored glass buildings is a more expensive proposition, but FLAP is working to educate architects about how they can make future buildings safer for birds.

The other big task FLAP takes on, and here is where the dozens of volunteers come in, is patrolling the most hazardous areas, gathering data on birds who die, and taking the survivors to wildlife rehabilitators. This is the area I will be getting involved in. Mid-March to Mid-June is an especially busy time for bird rescue, as the spring migration will be passing through Toronto. (It will be busy again in the fall.)

Although I have always admired birds, have spent some time bird-watching, and lived with two budgies as a child, I learned a lot about bird anatomy and behaviour from today's workshop. Did you know that birds' repiratory systems are completely different from ours? As well as lungs, they have air sacs. Oxygen is absorbed through the lungs on the exhale. I also learned that the birds whom I occasionally recovered after crashing, who seemed to have broken necks, in fact did not. Birds' necks are naturally much more flexible than ours, so what seems like unnatural floppiness and serious injury to us is really within the normal range of motion for birds. (The usual cause of death for birds who crash is head trauma.)

FLAP is a great organization. If you live in Toronto, I encourage you to get involved. If you live elsewhere, visit FLAP's website and maybe you'll be inspired to start a similar programme in your city!

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Celebrate the beauty of fish!

A small sampling of the unique goldfish and betta shirts, buttons, treasure boxes, prints, journals, babywear, and more available at Compassion Fashion. Featuring original artwork by Rosemary Amey.

Top left: this pretty Goldfish Love Jr. Raglan is available with pink, light blue, or black sleeves. You'll find this new design on many styles of shirts for all ages. (see more Goldfish Love products; more women's raglan shirts).

Top center: Looking for a unique baby shower gift for a fish-loving friend? Try our Goldfish Love Infant Creeper! (see more infant creepers).

Top right: Decorate your bedroom, living room, or fish room with this striking Goldfish Love Large Framed Print. (see more large framed prints).

Bottom left: Use this Goldfish Love Journal for your tank log or other fishy thoughts. (see more journals).

Bottom left center: Raise awareness about fish welfare with this Goldfish Bowls Kill Organic T-shirt (Text reads: "Goldfish bowls KILL".) (see more Goldfish Bowls Kill products (and information about why goldfish bowls kill); more organic T-shirts).

Bottom right center: Start conversations and spread the word everywhere you go with a Goldfish Bowls Kill Button. (see more buttons).

Bottom right: Keep small treasures in a Rescued Betta Fish Tile Box (see more Rescued Betta Fish products and read Jellybean's story; more tile boxes).

Not quite what you had in mind? Visit my new Fish T-Shirts and Fish Gifts portal, and my Companion Animal Rights portal for more great designs!