Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Losing The Connection...

The red setter "Caylie" enjoys the mountains of Washington.
Caylie is out of Come Back Shagdancer

ScienceDaily (Apr. 5, 2009) — There are Web cams focused on falcons, ferrets and fish, virtual tours of the Grand Canyon and Yosemite, and robotic dogs, seals and even dinosaurs. But what about the real deal: observing animals in their natural habitat, hiking the John Muir Trail or a playing with a live pet?
Modern technology increasingly is encroaching into human connections with the natural world and University of Washington psychologists believe this intrusion may emerge as one of the central psychological problems of our times.
"We are a technological species, but we also need a deep connection with nature in our lives," said Peter Kahn, a UW developmental psychologist and lead author of a new study exploring how humans connect with nature and technological nature.
Writing in the current issue of the journal Current Directions in Psychological Science, Kahn and two of his UW graduate students, Rachel Severson and Jolina Ruckert, look at the psychological effects of interacting with various forms of technological nature and explore humanity's growing estrangement from nature.
The UW researchers cite earlier experiments conducted by Kahn's laboratory, one with a plasma display "window" and several with AIBO, a robotic dog.
The plasma window study showed that people recovered better from low-level stress by looking at an actual view of nature rather than seeing the same real-time high-definition television scene displayed on a plasma window.
"What do we compare technology to? If we compare it to no nature, technological nature works pretty well. But if we compare it to actual nature, it doesn't seem to provide as many psychological benefits," Kahn said.
The AIBO studies showed that children were in some ways were treating the robots as other beings But compared to interacting with a real dog, their interactions with AIBO were not as social or deep.
"Robot and virtual pets are beginning to replace children's interactions with biologically live pets," said Ruckert. "The larger concern is that technological nature will shift the baseline of what people perceive as the full human experience of nature, and that it will contribute to what we call environmental generational amnesia."
This concept of amnesia proposes that people believe the natural environment they encounter during childhood is the norm, against which they measure environmental degradation later in their life. The problem with this is that each generation takes that degraded condition as a non-degraded baseline and is generally oblivious of changes and damages inflicted by previous generations.
"Poor air quality is a good example of physical degradation," said Kahn. "We can choke on the air, and some people suffer asthma, but we tend to think that's a pretty normal part of the human condition.
"Some people get the idea on one level if they are interested in environmental issues," said Severson. "They see the degradation, but they don't recognize their own experience is diminished. How many people today feel a loss such as the damming of the Columbia River compared to a wild Columbia River? A lot of us have no concept of it as a wild river and don't feel a loss."
Kahn likened the situation to the effort to convince people that climate change is a serious challenge. But unlike climate change, the threat posed by technological nature, isn't right in our faces.
"People might think that if technological nature is partly good that that's good enough," he said. "But it's not. Because across generations what will happen is that the good enough will become the good. If we don't change course, it will impoverish us as a species.
The National Science Foundation funded the research.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

From our Swedish friends...

Our friend Bengt Sandin from Sweden sends his greetings and also this fine picture of the Swedish Mountains in April... beautiful!
Thanks Bengt!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Tri Valley Update..

Field trialers at the line...

For those of us who trial or have trialed at Killdeer Plains, located in northcentral Ohio, I' sure you are aware that those grounds will be soon closing. The state of Ohio has offered a new grounds, located in the TriVally Wildlife Management Area, as a replacement for the Killdeer (and Indian Creek) grounds.

The Associated Bird Dog Clubs of Ohio, the umbrella group for those clubs interested in trialing and competing with bird dogs, is holding its annual summer meeting and picnic at the TriValley grounds. The meeting is to be held on Saturday June 27. All bird dog clubs in Ohio (or who otherwise use Killdeer and/or Indian Creek and are planning to use TriValley) are asked to confirm if they are attending. Please contact Jeannie Wagner at and provide number of people and number of horses you are bringing. If you are not a member of ABDCO, please consider joining... this organization has done much to keep field trials in the state of Ohio, and they need your support!

A recent trial in Ohio sponsored by the Ohio Red Setter Field Trial Club

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Techno Retriever...

Everyone needs one of these gadgets!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

In Action

Moxi in action at the 2009 Izaack Holton Classic, Milaca Minnesota. May 1

Red Setter Win!

Friday May 1st 2009, Minnesota Bird Hunters Association hosted the Izaack Holton Classic in Milaca Minnesota. Moxi ran in that event and made it through without being disqualified. Moxi had four finds a back and a stop to flush. Moxi didn't place but I was satisfied with just making it through the course. Placements went to white dogs.
The supporting stakes were held on May the 2nd and Moxi was victorious with a first place win in the "Open Shooting Dog" Stake, where she had 5 finds a back that was out of the pages of Field and Stream , two stop to flush.
Aside from being a bit on the windy side it was an excellent weekend a cool breeze and warm sunshine, the grounds held enough water that the dogs were able to keep cool yet dry enough noone really had to get their feet wet. The quail flew well and there was several awesome dogs!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Hall of Fame Process Has Begun!!

Hi all...

With this week's issue of the American Field, the official "Hall of Fame" season has begun. This is the year we need to place the red setter Champion Bearcat into the Hall of Fame. We need YOUR support! Please write a letter of endorsement to the American Field. Be sure to mention Bearcat to your fellow field trialers. Ask them to vote for Bearcat when they receive their ballot this summer. For additional information, check our site at:

Thanks for your support.


Red setter Champions Desperado & Bearcat

enjoy their retirement years on Doctor Boser's farm in Pennsylvania