June 4, 2019

“We must learn to reawaken and keep ourselves awake, not by mechanical aid, but by an infinite expectation of the dawn.”
~ Henry David Thoreau


“It ain’t over till it’s over.” 

The phrase first uttered by baseball legend Yogi Berra about the 1973 National League pennant race is a quote that comes in handy when folks need a bit of hope or inspiration in order to persevere when all seems lost.

A flightless bird, endemic to a coral island in the Indian Ocean, is proof that, even when it’s over, you can still make a comeback.  This species of bird evolved and went extinct and then re-evolved within the space of a few thousand years.

The Aldabra rail, named after the Aldabra Atoll, its island home in the Indian Ocean, is an example of the rare phenomenon known as iterative evolution, which describes how a particular species from the same bloodline can come back into existence over and over gain, in spite of previously becoming extinct.

These invincible flightless descendants of the white-throated rail (pictured above), were totally wiped out about 136,000 years ago, when sea levels rose to consume their island habitat.  According to a recent study, published in the Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, sediment and fossil records from the island show that a few thousand years later, after sea levels had receded, another member of the rail bird family colonized the island again and re-evolved into the same flightless species that had come into being before the extinction event.

With the global temperature increasing and the warming of oceans and consequent sea level rise threatening not only the island home of the Aldabra rail, but ecosystems and life all over our world, it is imperative that we humans do everything we can individually and collectively to reduce carbon emissions, stop climate disruption and reduce its impact.

We need both determination and hope in order to adapt and make the necessary changes to protect life and quality of life on our home planet.  Don’t let anyone ever convince you it’s over and that nothing can be done.  The process by which big changes are accomplished is often iterative.  If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed by the many real challenges we currently face, pull back for a bit; then be like the Aldabra Rail and keep coming back.

“If you fell down yesterday, stand up today.”
~ H.G. Wells


Rediscover the almost 100 year-old recipe for Original Green Goddess Salad Dressing, created by Philip Roemer at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco.

Original Green Goddess Salad Dressing
This tarragon-flavored dressing is outstanding, but very rich.  It works well on any bold-tasting greens such as arugula or romaine.  It is also wonderful with cold chicken or shrimp.  Modern variations include avocado, yogurt or sour cream, but the original is mayonnaise-based.  If you have no dietary restrictions that would prohibit an ingredient below, I recommend you follow the recipe exactly.  The original became famous for a reason.

4 anchovy fillets (2 teaspoons)
1 green onion, trimmed and chopped (both green and white parts)
3 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley
2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon
1 & 1/2 cups organic mayonnaise
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
1 small clove of garlic

Combine ingredients in a blender.  Blend until smooth, green and creamy.  Pour into a container, seal and chill in the refrigerator until serving time.  Leftovers keep for several days in the fridge.

Makes about 2 cups


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