Saturday, November 10, 2007

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hi everyone, hope you are doing well

there is a mountain blessing tomorrow in Ansted to pray for clean waters and healthy mountains in this region

on Sunday A'Court Bason will perform at Oddfella's and on Tuesday there will be an art reception at Gillie's for Howard Wenger's farm art exhibit, both these events are listed on

also, a benefit event for Antrolana lira & friends is in the works...many talented musicians and artists have offered to help out with this. dates and venues are being arranged now, if you would like to donate your time and/or talent to this project please get in touch when you can.

many thanks to those who have contributed funds to help print flyers etc. to help create some elbow room for this rare and adorable creature. and of course a very big thank you to everyone who has helped with the A. lira visibility project so far.

below is an excerpt from the Antrolana lira recovery plan written by Dr. Daniel Fong in 1996. Antrolana lira, AKA the Madison Cave Isopod, is a subterranean freshwater crustacean endemic to the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. Like humans, it dies when water is polluted, making it a fitting mascot for Montgomery County residents looking to enjoy the benefits of clean, healthy, fairly managed water resources.

if you live in or downstream from Montgomery County, VA, make sure you educate yourself about the pollution risks that exist in phreatic waters, even if you have no interest in settling inside them like the Antrolana People do. I assure you that this is a good use of your time.

"The government will make sure my water is clean," you might be saying. "I have no need to get wrapped up in some environmental cause."

my personal response to these two sentiments would be uncontrollable laughter directed at the first notion, and extreme pity directed at the second notion, especially if your family has invested in land or property in Montgomery County.

don't find out the hard way how much Montgomery County humans, and all humans, have in common with our friends the Antrolana People. now is your chance to get better acquainted with this charismatic crustacean, whose struggle for survival is ultra-relevant to the story of any modern human being.

so the next time an Antrolana person extends a pereopod of friendship, take it! you won't be sorry. in addition to the ikigai savings they enjoy through their knowledge of karst aquifers, friends of the Antrolana tribe also enjoy significant savings when shopping for food security supplies, intellectual properties, and real property in their local Tengoku Mart. and once you have acquired the ability to shop in a Tengoku mart, I doubt you will shop anyplace else when given the choice.

Ja ne, take care & have a beautiful day.


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Description and Distribution

Thomas C. Barr, Jr. discovered the Madison Cave isopod in 1958 in a deep lake at the bottom of a fissure in Madison Saltpetre Cave in Augusta County, Virginia. It was described by Bowman (1964) as Antrolana lira, a new genus as well as a new species. Antrolana remains a monotypic genus to date, and is closely related to the genera Cirolanides, found in Texas, and Mexilana and Speocirolana, both found in Mexico (Holsinger et al. 1994).

As is typical of isopods, A. lira has a dorso-ventrally flattened, compact body plan, a pair of short first antennae and a pair of long second antennae. It has seven pairs of pereopods. The first, anterior-most pair is modified as prehensile grasping structures. The second through seventh pairs, which get progressively longer toward the posterior, are ambulatory. Unlike most freshwater isopods, which can only walk along the substrate, A. lira is also an excellent swimmer in the water column. Like most subterranean organisms, A. lira is eyeless and depigmented. It has a transparent cuticle through which some of its internal organs, such as as the hepatopancreas, are visible. Males reach about 15 mm in length and 5 mm in width, females about 18 mm in length and 6 mm in width, making this species among the longer, and the most massive, of subterranean isopods in the eastern United States.


Source: Daniel W. Fong's Madison Cave Isopod recovery plan (prepared in 1996 for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)