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Friday, April 29, 2016

Friends of the Famous - Y

Accustomed to accolades and adoration, new age composer and performer Yanni was presented the most extraordinary gift of a panda, given to him in gratitude by the country of China.  The honor of performing in the Forbidden City required first meeting personally with the Chinese Minister of Culture; which evidently went smoothly as the show indeed went on and the Chinese now teach their children Yanni’s music.  Although Yanni promptly named the animal Santorini, after the “most beautiful island in Greece” (his native homeland), Yanni explains that the female panda is not kept at his home but at an exclusive reserve in China, for she is an endangered animal. 

In 2011 a golden retriever named Yogi was awarded Valor Dog of the Year by the United States Humane Society for saving his owner Paul Horton’s life after a mountain bike accident.  Regaining consciousness but immobile, Horton talked a reluctant Yogi into leaving his side to go for help, which the outstanding dog did; resulting in his Horton’s subsequent rescue. 

Established as the world’s first national park in 1872 (although the National Park Service (NPS) wasn’t created until 1916), Yellowstone National Park remains a treasured sanctuary of ancient richness in both nature and cultural diversity through careful planning and thoughtful management, unforeseen disasters notwithstanding.  After a geological survey in 1871, Ferdinand Hayden expressed the importance of allowing the area to remain “as free as the air or water” offering little thought to the welfare of the prolific wildlife population, a subject which would come to an alarming forefront when elk were being poached out of existence and hungry bears turned their attention to park visitors.  Once the NPS had that under control it wasn’t until the ‘Summer of Fire’ in 1988; when over 780 thousand acres burned with hundreds of wildlife killed and all but a few displaced, that the NPS once again had their hands full. 
Meanwhile, due to practiced Predator Control both in and outside the park, the Northern Rocky Mountain gray wolves had been virtually eradicated within the boundaries of Yellowstone.  1995 saw the beginning of the wolf restoration project when initially fourteen were reintroduced, inciting the onset of exciting ecological changes such as increases in beaver colonies and elk populations. Additionally, as the elk are once again on the move without as much time for browsing (thanks to the wolves), the Willows along the streams are faring much better and the entire ecosystem is once again flourishing.

Are you a fan of Yanni? How about that Valor dog? Had you heard about the Yellowstone wolves?


  1. Hi, dear Diedre!

    I remember Yanni but I can't say that I am a fan. I went to YouTube just now and listened to some of Yanni's music to make sure that statement is accurate. (Yep, I'm sure of it. I am not a fan :) I have a fear of being trapped in an elevator with Yanni music piped in. :) It seems like Yanni committed a public relations blunder by naming his gift panda after an island in Greece and by leaving it behind in China.

    The story of Yogi, the faithful pet dog, is inspiring. A dog instinctively remains by its master's side, even guarding a dead body in some cases. Horton is lucky he was able to convince Yogi to go for help, Lassie style.

    Mrs. Shady and I want to visit Jellystone Park someday. I am happy to know that the balance of nature is being restored at the park, a delicate and difficult challenge. We recently watched a documentary about the wolf population of Yellowstone. The wolf is a highly intelligent creature, unfairly hated and relentlessly hunted by generations of humans.

    Thank you, dear friend Diedre!

    1. Hi Shady!
      I appreciate your candor. Personally, I prefer Kenny G. But alas, it didn't work out.
      Dogs are remarkable, aren't they? Yogi likely would never have left his owner's side without coaxing.
      "Jellystone" :-) An unforgettable place in its very majesty. One can't help but sense the feral atmosphere while gazing in awe at some of nature's most wondrous views. I have to admit, I won't camp there. But daylight is a different story;-) I wish more folks knew how important wolves are to the ecosystem.
      Have a fun Friday, my friend!

  2. Once again, it's a great dog to the rescue. I don't think I've sampled much of Yanni's music. Isn't it supposed to be good for relaxing or something?

    1. Hi Jeffrey!
      Yanni's music is a mixture of jazz, classical, soft rock and 'world' and nearly all instrumental with Yanni on piano. It's very easy listening if you like that sort of thing and his fondness of historic venues such as the Taj Mahal, Egyptian pyramids,etc., often adds to the mystique. Besides, Y not? :-)
      Thanks, Jeffrey!

  3. Not a fan of Yanni's music but I do remember he once dated Linda Evans of Dynasty fame. Isn't it silly what trivia stays in one's memory banks? ☺ Such a great honour for him from the Chinese government! I'm glad to know the panda remains protected at the reserve. Great story about Yogi rescuing his master. Dogs are so brave! ♥ I didn't remember the fire at Yellowstone, but it must have made international headlines.How wonderful that balance is being restored once again! I'd love to go there for a visit some day.

    1. Hi Debbie!
      Wow, I had forgotten about Linda Evans - I thought they were rumors;-)
      I hope you get the chance one day to see Yellowstone. You know, it's probably closer to you than me;-)
      Thanks so much for popping in as you have, dear Debbie. Lord knows you've been busy too!
      Have a relaxing week:-)


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