Monday, June 29, 2009

Wesley the Owl paperback is #10 in LA Times Bestseller List!

Wesley the Owl, the paperback, has just debuted in the LA Times' Bestseller List at #10! THANK YOU ALL for contributing to this by buying the book! Now I hope we can find more readers in the East Coast and get on the NY Times bestseller list again! Thank you ALL for your lovely letters and for buying the book! I feel awed and humbled by all of this!


Colorado Rockies in great jeopardy!!!

I have been in Colorado for the past several weeks, way up in the Rockies on the Front Range. There is a big problem here with the Pine Beetle killing lodgepole pine trees. These are the weaker trees w/ poor immunity that would have been killed in a normal forest fire. But that having been prevented for ages, the pine beetle is thriving.

There are a couple of ways to stop their progress: pheremone packs that confuse their mating and cause them to die out, fertilizing the trees on your property and in the open space properties (makes the tree strong enough to repel the beetle), or POISON.

The POISON is a tiny bit cheaper than the pheremone packs, so the counties, county by county, are deciding to POISON their part of the forest! WE're talking about helicopters dropping poison on every living thing in the Rockies, or people spraying 20 gallons per tree by hand.

These Rockies are one of the last pristine places in the United States! We all drink from well water that's so pure it's like drinking from a stream. When I was a kid, backpacking in the Sierras, you could do just that. But then people started pooping near the lakes and streams, and bringing in large mule trains that did the same. Now the water is undrinkable without chemicals and filters. UGH!

The groundwater here is pure as the gold that used to come out of these mountains.

MANY people live up here BECAUSE they are very sensitive to environmental poisons and cannot live anywhere else because there are so many chemicals! One of my friends lives here because she now has a bone marrow disease caused by an accidental large exposure to Benzene, which can happen even in a gas station. No one knows when or how she was exposed, just that it ruined her bone marrow's ability to make platelets, you know, for CLOTTING BLOOD?! So she has a precarious life and must live away from all poisons.

Same with a lot of people here. They came here as a last resort. The farms out in the country leak poison into the environment because of pesticides and are, in some ways, more polluted even than the cities.

To ruin the Rockies like this, just for convenience, is not acceptable.

Note also that the water used by the ENTIRE WEST comes from the Rocky Mountains! They feed into the Colorado River, which provides drinking water for almost all the states West of the Rockies. This water would be full of pesticides if they use poison for the pine beetle.

A good freeze or controlled burns during damp times of the year would also control the beetls, as would the harmless pheremone packs.

If you care about this, please contact the United States Secretary of the Interior, write to the White House, write to the governor of Colorado.

I'll find out just who to write to and post it.

I haven't even mentioned the delicate wildlife who would be poisoned up the food chain!

Birds would be hit the hardest, I think, because they will eat the poisoned insects! This will spread to all the magnificent raptors, owls, fish, and yes, the many cormorants, blue herons, ospreys, harris' hawks, gyrfalcons, goshawks, bears, mountain lions, canadian lynx, bobcats, badgers, pikas, ermine, foxes, wild turkeys....the list of magnificent wildlife here is unparalleled! We even see big horn sheep on the rocks here!

It MUST NOT HAPPEN! We must NOT allow the poisoning of the Rockies!

Even if the pine beetle is unchecked, all that will happen is that the weaker lodgepole pine trees will die and have to be culled. This will provide many, many logs, which would then lessen the demand for cutting healthy trees out of the Pacific Northwest, etc! It might just be the normal way of things! Poisoning the forests is NEVER the answer!

Stacey O'Brien

Monday, June 15, 2009

Brazilian and Spanish speaking readers!

I just got a very sweet comment from a Brazilian reader. If the rest of you don't mind, I would like to tell those who speak Brazilian Portuguese, or who speak Spanish that they can write comments to me in those languages and I will understand. I am reading the Brazilian version of the book myself just for practice and to see how it was translated, and I would love to hear from those of you who write in Portuguese and/or Spanish if the English is your second language. I know how difficult it is to try to write in a second language!

I'm so excited that Wesley the Owl has been translated into so many languages and is in so many countries now! I never dreamed that would happen!

I wish there had been a way for Wesley to know how much his life and his ways have touched other people. If he did have a way to know, I don't think he would have been surprised. He was pretty confident about himself and who he was, in his Owl way. ;-)