April 13, 2015 Rotogram: 34

MSU Athletics

– With nationally ranked teams and major new facilities, Mississippi State University’s sports programs are flourishing. Scott Stricklin, MSU athletic director, will be introduced by Dave Boles.

Next Week: Spring Awards Banquet

There will be no lunch meeting on April 20. Our annual awards banquet at the Country Club is that evening with social hour starting at 5:30. Dinner will be served at 6:30.

April 27: State Treasurer

Lynn Fitch, 54th State Treasurer of Mississippi, heads the agency that stewards Mississippi taxpayers’ investment in state government. Stuart Vance introduces her.

For the Record—April 6

Invocation and pledge:               Jim Ormon

Attendance:                                          62.4%

Present — 93 (40 exempt)

Absent — 88 (17 exempt, 12 honorary)

Makeup reported: Mikell Davis.

Guests: Visiting Rotarian was Jimmy McCluskey. Member guests were Jim Gaines of Don Norman and Derrick Jones of Zach Rowland. Guests of the club were Max Garzoni, RYE student, and Connor Guyton, Starkville Daily News.

Meeting Notes

  • President Michelle reminded members that volunteers still are needed for the arts festival. Contact Carrie-Beth Randall to sign up.
  • Members were reminded that Volunteer Starkville forms are available for members interested in local service.

Cub Scout Pack 14

Our Cub Scout Pack is wrapping up its year with rank advancements for Tigers, Wolves and Bears. Webelos are preparing for the transition from Cub Scouts to Boy Scouts.

Cubmaster Brent Fountain accepted the year’s second $600 support check for Pack 14 which is chartered by our club.

He reported our support made possible the purchase of a Pinewood Derby timer system which “Makes a lot more dads comfortable with the results when they can see the time go down.” The unit also was shared with the Pushmataha Council for the council-wide derby. In addition, we paid for two leaders to take part in Wood Badge, scouting’s pre-eminent adult training program.

Fountain is one of just 50 Cubmasters nationwide invited to a roundtable in Atlanta in May to discuss the organization’s first major changes since the 1970s. The Cub Scout program will roll out a brand new advancement scheme this fall.

Member Recruitment

Club membership growth has been significant this year; however, Carey Edwards, membership co-chair, said we need to keep up recruitment momentum going into the summer. He asked members to submit at least five prospect names to contact.

Board Meeting

The Board of Directors meets tomorrow at 11:45 a.m. at Harvey’s Restaurant Board Room.

The Galapagos Islands: An Adventure for Photographers and Nature Lovers

April 6 — “Patsy and I have a creed of travel — if there’s not a Zodiac boat or Land Rover involved, we don’t go,” said Steve Brandon as he described the couple’s photographic expedition to the Galapagos Islands.

They were among 96 participants on a National Geographic photography tour in 2009. Each group was accompanied by a photographer adviser who had worked with the magazine.

The Galapagos comprise 19 volcanic islands formed much like Hawaii. Environments range from deserts to rain forests to grasslands much like the fiftieth state.

Only three islands are inhabited by 18,000 people; all of whom are involved in tourism or ecology. Ninety-eight percent of the territory is set aside as wilderness. Isabella, the biggest island, is all grassland. Rain forests cover very mountainous islands.

On the Geographic’s Endeavour, the tour crossed the equator four times as it sailed around the islands over two weeks.

To get to the Ecuadorian territory 604 miles west of the mainland, the Brandons traveled from Amory to the Golden Triangle Regional Airport to Atlanta to Quito to Guayaquil, Ecuador. After an overnight stay, they took a three-hour flight to the islands.

The Galapagos are noted for being Charles Darwin’s living laboratory, isolated from the mainland for millions of years. The National Geographic notes, “it is one of the rare wildernesses where animals have no instinctive fear of humans, making for incredible photographic opportunities.”

Brandon clarified that in On the Origin of Species, Darwin did not focus on human evolution, but on different species (plural).

His ship, The Beagle, sailed around South America from Brazil in the 1830s to collect species for the Royal Society of London.

Thirty years later, upon the completion of his book, popular misunderstanding of his work set off the more than 150-year debate on the Theory of Evolution.

As he traversed the coasts of South America, a little type of finch caught his attention. Along the mainland, its physical characteristics were rather uniform. However, on the Galapagos Islands, he noted 13 species of finches whose beaks developed differently to deal with diverse food sources.

The rocky and beautiful islands were originally only populated by birds and reptiles that could withstand a journey through the Pacific’s Humboldt Current. Mammals died from lack of fresh water.

Of the 43 bird species on the islands, 24 species are only found on the Galapagos. The blue-footed booby is a distinctive bird adopted as the islands’ mascot.

Another notable creature is the tortoise that weighs more than 500 pounds. Only 15,000 0f the originally noted 100,000 animals remain. Sea farers would capture them as a fresh meat source because they can survive a year without drinking water.

The marine iguana, only found in the islands, is the only one of its species that feeds under water, eating algae.

The Galapagos have university trained wildlife rangers. Only 16 tourists can accompany a ranger at a time, and must closely follow marked paths to avoid breeding grounds. No one can tour without a ranger.

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