Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Parrot's Beak (Pico de Paloma)

Lotus maculatus

Lotus maculatus, also known as Parrot's Beak in English or Pico de Paloma in Spanish, is a beautiful wildflower of Tenerife. It gets its common name from the flower petals that are curved upward and resemble a parrot's beak. Lotus maculatus is almost extinct in the wild but surviving in gardens and parks. It is a member of the Family Fabaceae.

These lovely flowers have great difficulty producing seed pods. It has been suggested that the problem of pollenation stems from the extinction of a local bird species that was responsible for helping the plants propagate. Eventually these plants may be entirely dependent on humans for their survival.

Maria in the Ukraine

Above is a recent drawing is of one of my "girls". I have been sponsoring Maria since she was about 3 years old. She is now ready to enter grade 2. She is a lovely young girl and her favourite subjects are reading and painting! Truly a child after my own heart.

Next, I want to show you some cute animal photos.

Lambs Loving

They look so sweet, but I have had personal experience with lambs. They are always losing their mothers (even if the mother sheep is standing a short distance away!). When they decide that they have lost their mother, they begin this loud bleating sound which causes the mother to begin a loud baa-ing noise. Even if they are only a few feet apart, this noise will continue for a long time until finally each lamb is able to find its mother's teat and start nursing. What a production -- especially early in the morning when you might be trying to sleep!

"But I have already had a bath, honest"

I love this photo of a big dog gently washing such a tiny kitten. There is no fear here on the part of the kitten of this large dog. The dog is a known quantity in its life so it feels safe in spite of the massive difference in size. Fear, it seems to me, is present when we face the unknown -- whether we are talking about the fears that people experience or those of dogs and cats. Once something is known and has proven that it is not our enemy, then the fear leaves us and we can even be at peace with what was once something we feared. I always think of John Paul II when I talk about fear as I recall how often he said: "Be not afraid..."

Don't even think about it, kitty cat!

I had a good laugh when I first saw this photo. This is a case where the cat should have fear and doesn't. Who knowns, he may be able to make friends with the eagle, but somehow I don't think the eagle is in a very friendly mood!
My advice would be for the cat to turn around and slowly walk the other way.

Well, I guess that is enough foolishness for one posting. I am spending a lot of time these days trying to finish my book. The publishing company has a special on that provides a big discount if you turn in your book for publishing before midnight on July 31st. I think this is giving me the incentive that I need to finish it. By the way, this is still the Novena Icons book that I have had underway since late last winter! I guess I had better get back to it.

Peace be with you all -- remember, be not afraid.

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