Figs

Figs

I have two fig trees in my yard. Each has produced a handful of figs and I can hardly wait for it to produce a lot more. I love a tree-ripened fig. Just heaven.

Then, of course, I started my research and came upon this fascinating but disturbing fact that figs don’t have normal flowers. Rather the fig is the flower and can only be pollinated by a small wasp that crawls inside the fig and ultimately lays her eggs which then turn into larvae. Yes, I freaked a little, but pressed on. Come to find out that edible figs are configured in such a way that when the female wasp crawls inside an ‘edible’ fig, she finds it impossible to lay her eggs. She usually dies. Of course, that begged the next question: Good lord, have I been eating dead wasps? Once more, I pressed on and the answer is no. When the very small female wasp dies, the plant breaks down her tissue and consumes it. So, when you bite into a fig, the kind sold in markets as food, and you feel the crunch of the seeds, you don’t have to worry, those are just seeds. (Source) Again, nature is endlessly fascinating.

Are you looking for a unique appetizer to serve? How about Pancetta, Fig & Cheese Crostini. Check out this short video. What about a fig salad: Fig, Prosciutto and Parmesan Arugula Salad Recipe. Here’s the salad video. The presentation is very pretty. Finally, how about fig puff pastry roses. This short video has sexy jazz music and is demo only, as in no words. Enjoy!

FunFacts about Figs: (Source)  

  • Figs are also known as the ficus family.
  • Ficus carica is the main species grown for fig fruit.
  • In ancient times, the Greeks believed figs to be aphrodisiacs.
  • Figs provide health benefits including laxative substances, flavonoids, vitamins A and C.
  • The fig has an unusual reproductive system, quote: A fig “fruit” is a type of multiple fruit known as a syconium, derived from an arrangement of many small flowers on an inverted, nearly closed receptacle. The many small flowers are unseen unless the fig is cut open. The syconium often has a bulbous shape with a small opening (the ostiole) at the outward end that allows access to pollinators. The flowers are pollinated by very small wasps that crawl through the opening in search of a suitable place to lay eggs. Without this pollinator service fig trees could not reproduce by seed. In turn, the flowers provide a safe haven and nourishment for the next generation of wasps. This accounts for the frequent presence of wasp larvae in the fruit. (Source)
  • Figs have many religious associations.
    • The Buddha is traditionally held to have found enlightenment while meditating beneath a fig tree.
    • Adam and Eve from the Bible covered their nakedness with fig leaves.
    • In ancient Cypress, the fig tree was a sacred symbol of fertility.

*** This Week’s Giveaway ***

For a chance to win this paranormal romance bracelet, scroll to the bottom of the page and read the details for entering. You will be leaving a comment as the entry requirement. Giveaway ends midnight, Arizona time, April 26, 2018.

April Winners: Marie S., Melanie C., and Catedid!

March winners: Patricia B., Linda K., Charlene F., Denise H. and Veronica T.

(Photos from Pixabay) 

I hope you enjoyed these photos. Be sure to keep scrolling to leave a comment for the weekly prize draw. Details below!

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*** This Week’s Giveaway ***

April Winners: Marie S., Melanie C., and Catedid!

March winners: Patricia B., Linda K., Charlene F., Denise H. and Veronica T.

To be in the running for this handcrafted paranormal romance bracelet, made by yours truly, please leave a comment at the bottom of this post. Also, feel free to post comments on every Caris Roane blog, Monday thru Thursday this week, to increase your chances of winning this week’s prize drawing. Only one win per month allowed!

New contest ends midnight, Arizona time, on Thursday, April 26, 2018! On Friday, April 27th, Arizona time, I’ll select the winning blog then the winning comment. I’ll use Random.org to make my selection! You may only win once per month. International winner receives gift card.

*** This Week’s Giveaway ***

April Winners: Marie S., Melanie C., and Catedid!

To be entered into the giveaway drawing, please leave a comment about Figs. Do you enjoy the flavor of figs? Have you ever grown figs? Which photo did you like best? Feel free to share whatever comes to mind and share from the heart.

*** And tell us where you’re from! I’m from Buckeye, Arizona, not far from Phoenix. (That’s the Desert Southwest, USA.) ***

Above all: Live the fang!!!

Wisteria

Wisteria

I love the delicate, dangling blossoms of wisteria and I’m fascinated with this fast-growing plant. Sandra L. of North Carolina, who has commented many times on this blog, sent me the following photo with a wonderful description of wisteria: This vine used to be intertwined with a 100 foot Sweetgum tree which we had removed since it’s an evil tree that produced thousands of spiny hard balls in the Fall. I hated to see the vine go but I wanted the tree gone much, much more! I would estimate the vine had reached a height of about 75 feet and each year it would have increased in length. It was magnificent. Wisteria also grows wild all over the place. It’s very common to see them everywhere alongside the roads, up the trees and on embankments. It’s a sea of beautiful, purple clusters, averaging about a foot long or so. They are presently blooming.  It truly is an amazing sight to behold.

If you have patience for growing things, here’s a short video on how to train your wisteria vine into a tree. Here’s a lovely 10-minute video showcasing wisteria in the Ashikaga Flower Park in Japan. Pretty spectacular. Here’s a short video of the largest blossoming plant in the world, a wisteria, and it’s in Sierra Madre, California near Los Angeles. This plant was put in the ground in 1894.

FunFacts about Wisteria: (Source)  

  • Wisteria is also spelled wistaria and wysteria.
  • Origins of wisteria, quote: Wisteria is a genus of flowering plants in the legume family, Fabaceae (Leguminosae), that includes ten species of woody climbing vines that are native to China, Korea, and Japan and as an introduced species to the Eastern United States. (Source)
  • Wisteria grows by twining its vines around any available support.
  • Wisteria can climb as high as 66 feet, perhaps even more, and spread laterally 33 feet.
  • The Chinese lavender variety of wisteria that was planted in Sierra Madre, California in 1894, covers more than 1 acre and weighs 250 tons.
  • Some wisteria plants flower in the spring, others in mid to late summer.
  • The seeds are produced in pods and are poisonous.
  • Wisteria thrives in full sun and though it can grow in poor soils, it prefers a rich, moist environment. Be careful of adding a fertilizer with too much nitrogen. This can cause a failure to bloom because wisteria provides its own nitrogen.
  • If you plant wisteria, remember that it is super hardy and grows heavier as it matures. It can crush its original supports.
  • In parts of the US, wisteria is considered an invasive species because it likes to escape and take over.

*** This Week’s Giveaway ***

For a chance to win this paranormal romance bracelet, scroll to the bottom of the page and read the details for entering. You will be leaving a comment as the entry requirement. Giveaway ends midnight, Arizona time, April 26, 2018.

April Winners: Marie S., Melanie C., and Catedid!

March winners: Patricia B., Linda K., Charlene F., Denise H. and Veronica T.

(Photos from Pixabay)

I hope you enjoyed these photos. Be sure to keep scrolling to leave a comment for the weekly prize draw. Details below!

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For more about my books, check out my Books Page!

*** This Week’s Giveaway ***

April Winners: Marie S., Melanie C., and Catedid!

March winners: Patricia B., Linda K., Charlene F., Denise H. and Veronica T.

To be in the running for this handcrafted paranormal romance bracelet, made by yours truly, please leave a comment at the bottom of this post. Also, feel free to post comments on every Caris Roane blog, Monday thru Thursday this week, to increase your chances of winning this week’s prize drawing. Only one win per month allowed!

New contest ends midnight, Arizona time, on Thursday, April 26, 2018! On Friday, April 27th, Arizona time, I’ll select the winning blog then the winning comment. I’ll use Random.org to make my selection! You may only win once per month. International winner receives gift card.

*** This Week’s Giveaway ***

April Winners: Marie S., Melanie C., and Catedid!

To be entered into the giveaway drawing, please leave a comment about wisteria. Are you a fan? Have you ever grown wisteria in your garden? Which photo did you like best? Feel free to share whatever comes to mind and share from the heart.

*** And tell us where you’re from! I’m from Buckeye, Arizona, not far from Phoenix. (That’s the Desert Southwest, USA.) ***

Above all: Live the fang!!!

Donkeys

Donkeys

Prior to doing a bit of research on donkeys, my impression of this familiar beast-of-burden was that they can be uncommonly stubborn. Trying to get one to move can be like trying to get a river to flow the opposite direction. They dig in their hooves and won’t go anywhere. Come to find out, this isn’t about having a stubborn nature but more about their vulnerability as ‘prey’ animals. If they feel that an activity threatens their safety, they refuse to budge. However, once trust is gained, donkeys are very companionable and tractable. For me, the videos I found showed them in a whole new light.

Here’s a sweet but short compilation video of donkeys. Awwww…  Here’s an 11-minute video featuring an Italian man who raises and cares for 800 donkeys. Very compassionate. Here’s a sweet video about a baby donkey cared for by rescue workers after a vicious animal attack. Check out this lovely and humane care.

FunFacts about Donkeys: (Source) (Source) (Source)

  • Donkeys — Equus africanus asinus — originated in Africa then spread around the world.
  • There are over 40 million donkeys in the world today. Most are used as pack animals especially in developing countries.
  • A donkey is also known as an ass.
  • Donkeys are members of the horse family, Equidae
  • Donkeys are highly intelligent.
  • Sizes of donkeys vary greatly, from a miniature version to the largest form. Weight is an example and ranges from 80 to 480 kg or 180 to 1,060 lbs.
  • Well-cared for donkeys can live more than 40 years.
  • Donkeys are herd animals and prefer to be with their own kind. But they can also live happily with goats.
  • Donkeys are well-equipped to live in the desert.
  • A donkey can hear another donkey’s bray a distance up to 60 miles in the desert, given the right conditions.
  • A donkey’s large ears are said to help keep them cool.
  • Donkeys are very stoic and don’t show their pain.
  • Donkey milk is very similar to human milk. Many people with dairy sensitivities can tolerate donkey milk.
  • Cleopatra used donkey milk as part of her beauty routine, quote: It is said that Cleopatra, Queen of Ancient Egypt, took baths in donkey milk to preserve the beauty and youth of her skin. Legend has it that no less than 700 donkeys were needed to provide the quantity of milk necessary for her daily bath. (Source)
  • Mortadella sausage was originally made with donkey meat.
  • Donkey manure is an excellent farm and garden manure.
  • The donkey has been used as a working animal for at least 5000 years.
  • Family names: A male is a jack, a female is a jenny or a jennet, and a baby is a foal.
  • Gestation ranges from 11 to 14 months, producing a single foal. Twins are rare.
  • About legendary donkey stubbornness, quote: Donkeys have a notorious reputation for stubbornness, but this has been attributed to a much stronger sense of self-preservation than exhibited by horses. Likely based on a stronger prey instinct and a weaker connection with humans, it is considerably more difficult to force or frighten a donkey into doing something it perceives to be dangerous for whatever reason. Once a person has earned their confidence they can be willing and companionable partners and very dependable in work. (Source)
  • Later this week, I’ll be doing a blog on Mongolia, and here’s an interesting Funfact about fermented donkey or horse milk, quote: In Mongolia, where koumiss is the national drink, people have a saying that ‘kumys cures 40 diseases’. (Source)
  • A donkey with a black nose is rare and historically was called a smuggler’s donkey because it couldn’t be seen at night. The white of the average donkey’s nose would have been a beacon even in the dark.

*** This Week’s Giveaway ***

For a chance to win this paranormal romance bracelet, scroll to the bottom of the page and read the details for entering. You will be leaving a comment as the entry requirement. Giveaway ends midnight, Arizona time, April 26, 2018.

April Winners: Marie S., Melanie C., and Catedid!

March winners: Patricia B., Linda K., Charlene F., Denise H. and Veronica T.

(Photos from Pixabay) 

I hope you enjoyed these photos. Be sure to keep scrolling to leave a comment for the weekly prize draw. Details below!

Caris Roane Home Page

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Sign up for my newsletter!

For more about my books, check out my Books Page!

*** This Week’s Giveaway ***

April Winners: Marie S., Melanie C., and Catedid!

March winners: Patricia B., Linda K., Charlene F., Denise H. and Veronica T.

To be in the running for this handcrafted paranormal romance bracelet, made by yours truly, please leave a comment at the bottom of this post. Also, feel free to post comments on every Caris Roane blog, Monday thru Thursday this week, to increase your chances of winning this week’s prize drawing. Only one win per month allowed!

New contest ends midnight, Arizona time, on Thursday, April 26, 2018! On Friday, April 27th, Arizona time, I’ll select the winning blog then the winning comment. I’ll use Random.org to make my selection! You may only win once per month. International winner receives gift card.

*** This Week’s Giveaway ***

April Winners: Marie S., Melanie C., and Catedid!

To be entered into the giveaway drawing, please leave a comment about donkeys. Have you ever raised them? Are you a fan? Which photo did you like best? Feel free to share whatever comes to mind and share from the heart.

*** And tell us where you’re from! I’m from Buckeye, Arizona, not far from Phoenix. (That’s the Desert Southwest, USA.) ***

Above all: Live the fang!!!

Tokyo

Tokyo

This amazing Japanese city is full of ‘the tallest’, ‘the biggest’ and ‘the best’ in the world. Starting with Tokyo’s Skytree, (634.0 meters or 2,080 feet tall), this is the tallest tower in the world. With a population of 40 million, Tokyo has the biggest metro area in the world. Perhaps most importantly, with more Michelin starred restaurants than New York, London, and Paris combined, Tokyo might have the best food in the world. Each video that I watched raved about the food, from restaurants, to street food, to alley eateries, to a phenomenal number of vending machines throughout the city. 

Two take-aways from my fairly brief research: If you plan to visit Tokyo, watch a whole bunch of videos and get familiar with this robust city well beforehand and, secondly, you’d be wise to know a little bit of Japanese before landing at one of its two International airports since English is not spoken generally in this bustling, busy, incredible city.

This 8-minute video is an excellent introduction to Tokyo with just a few bits of history thrown in. Here is a short video of a young woman’s visit to the Owl Cafe in Japan. This is a lovely, 6-minute video of a tour of a typical family home in Japan. With two young children in the house, the number and types of toys looked very familiar. This 28-minute video really gives an overall feel of Tokyo from the busy-ness of transportation, shopping and entertainment, to some of the local shrines and gardens, to everyday Tokyo life.

FunFacts about Tokyo: (Source) (Source)

  • Tokyo is the capital of Japan.
  • Tokyo has been the seat of Japan’s government since 1603 when Shōgun Tokugawa Ieyasu made the city his headquarters.
  • Tokyo lies northwest of Tokyo Bay.
  • Tokyo is the largest metropolis on earth with a population of 40 million people.
  • Tokyo is an extremely efficient city especially its transportation system.
  • In the 1500’s, Tokyo was a small, castle town called Edo.
  • The Shibuya scramble pedestrian crossing can have as many as 3000 people crossing during a light change. Shibuya is one of the famous shopping and entertainment centers in Tokyo.
  • Shinjuku Station handles over 3 million passengers each day making it the busiest station in the world.
  • The Tokyo Skytree is Tokyo’s tallest structure.
  • Tokyo has two airports, Narita and Haneda, which serve over 100 million passengers each year.
  • Tokyo is known for its food and has the most Michelin starred restaurants than any other city in the world, more than London, Paris and New York combined. There are 80,000 restaurants in Tokyo.
  • It’s considered rude to leave your chopsticks standing upright in a bowl of rice.
  • Breakfast is not a big consideration in Tokyo outside of hotels. Coffee shops usually don’t open until 11:00am.
  • The Tsukiji Fish Market is the largest in the world.
  • Vending machines are everywhere in Tokyo.
  • The Meiji Shrine was built in honor of Emperor Meiji, the first emperor of modern Japan.
  • The Sensoji Temple was built in 645 AD and is Tokyo’s oldest temple.
  • Yanaka is a peaceful, residential, historic district in Tokyo where the atmosphere of Old Tokyo still survives.
  • The Imperial Palace is located on the former site of Edo Castle in the center of Tokyo.
  • Tokyo has the largest metropolitan economy in the world.
  • There are over 900 train stations in Tokyo.

*** This Week’s Giveaway is Closed ***

We have a winner! Congrats Marie S.!!!

For a chance to win this paranormal romance bracelet, scroll to the bottom of the page and read the details for entering. You will be leaving a comment as the entry requirement. Giveaway ends midnight, Arizona time, April 19, 2018.

April Winners: Melanie C., and Catedid!

March winners: Patricia B., Linda K., Charlene F., Denise H. and Veronica T.

(Photos from Pixabay)

I hope you enjoyed these photos. Be sure to keep scrolling to leave a comment for the weekly prize draw. Details below!

Caris Roane Home Page

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Sign up for my newsletter!

For more about my books, check out my Books Page!

*** This Week’s Giveaway is Closed ***

We have a winner! Congrats Marie S.!!!

April Winners: Melanie C., and Catedid!

March winners: Patricia B., Linda K., Charlene F., Denise H. and Veronica T.

To be in the running for this handcrafted paranormal romance bracelet, made by yours truly, please leave a comment at the bottom of this post. Also, feel free to post comments on every Caris Roane blog, Monday thru Thursday this week, to increase your chances of winning this week’s prize drawing. Only one win per month allowed!

New contest ends midnight, Arizona time, on Thursday, April 19, 2018! On Friday, April 20th, Arizona time, I’ll select the winning blog then the winning comment. I’ll use Random.org to make my selection! You may only win once per month. International winner receives gift card.

*** This Week’s Giveaway is Closed ***

We have a winner! Congrats Marie S.!!!

April Winners: Melanie C., and Catedid!

To be entered into the giveaway drawing, please leave a comment about Tokyo. Have you ever been to Japan? Is Japan on your bucket list? Which photo did you like best? Feel free to share whatever comes to mind and share from the heart.

*** And tell us where you’re from! I’m from Buckeye, Arizona, not far from Phoenix. (That’s the Desert Southwest, USA.) ***

Above all: Live the fang!!!

Pizza

Pizza 

This blog will probably make you hungry, especially after you’ve seen all the photos of pizza. First, though, here’s the first mention of pizza in written text, quote: The word “pizza” first appeared in a Latin text from the central Italian town of Gaeta, then still part of the Byzantine Empire, in 997 AD; the text states that a tenant of certain property is to give the bishop of Gaeta duodecim pizze (“twelve pizzas”) every Christmas Day, and another twelve every Easter Sunday”. (Source)

This longish video takes us to Naples, the birthplace of pizza. It even shows how buffalo cheese is made. If you have an adventurous side when it comes to cooking, take a look at 8 different ways to make pizza without the traditional crust. It included a gluten-free, cauliflower crust and another with eggplant as the base. Awesome.

FunFacts about Pizza: (Source

  • Pizza is one of the most popular foods in the world. Duh.
  • Foods like pizza have been made since the Neolithic age.
  • The Greeks added herbs, oils and cheese to their breads.
  • Here’s a vivid funfact, quote: In the 6th century BC, the soldiers in Persian King Darius I’s armies baked flatbreads with cheese and dates on top of their battle shields. (Source)
  • Modern pizza evolved somewhere in the 18th or 19th Centuries in Naples, Italy from a similar flatbread.
  • Here’s a legend about how the traditional Margherita pizza came about, quote: A popular contemporary legend holds that the archetypal pizza, pizza Margherita, was invented in 1889, when the Royal Palace of Capodimonte commissioned the Neapolitan pizzaiolo (pizza maker) Raffaele Esposito to create a pizza in honor of the visiting Queen Margherita. Of the three different pizzas he created, the Queen strongly preferred a pizza swathed in the colors of the Italian flag: red (tomato), green (basil), and white (mozzarella). (Source)
  • Want to prevent cardiovascular disease and cancer? Eat pizza, quote: Frequent pizza eaters in Italy have been found to have a relatively low incidence of cardiovascular disease and digestive tract cancers relative to infrequent pizza eaters, although the nature of the correlation between pizza and such perceived benefits is unclear. Pizza consumption in Italy might only indicate adherence to traditional Mediterranean dietary patterns, which have been shown to have various health benefits. Some attribute the apparent health benefits of pizza to the lycopene content in pizza sauce, which research indicates likely plays a role in protecting against cardiovascular disease and various cancers. (Source)

*** This Week’s Giveaway is Closed ***

We have a winner! Congrats Marie S.!!!

For a chance to win this paranormal romance bracelet, scroll to the bottom of the page and read the details for entering. You will be leaving a comment as the entry requirement. Giveaway ends midnight, Arizona time, April 19, 2018.

April Winners: Melanie C., and Catedid!

March winners: Patricia B., Linda K., Charlene F., Denise H. and Veronica T.

(Photos from Pixabay) 

I hope you enjoyed these photos. Be sure to keep scrolling to leave a comment for the weekly prize draw. Details below!

Caris Roane Home Page

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Sign up for my newsletter!

For more about my books, check out my Books Page!

*** This Week’s Giveaway is Closed ***

We have a winner! Congrats Marie S.!!!

April Winners: Melanie C., and Catedid!

March winners: Patricia B., Linda K., Charlene F., Denise H. and Veronica T.

To be in the running for this handcrafted paranormal romance bracelet, made by yours truly, please leave a comment at the bottom of this post. Also, feel free to post comments on every Caris Roane blog, Monday thru Thursday this week, to increase your chances of winning this week’s prize drawing. Only one win per month allowed!

New contest ends midnight, Arizona time, on Thursday, April 19, 2018! On Friday, April 20th, Arizona time, I’ll select the winning blog then the winning comment. I’ll use Random.org to make my selection! You may only win once per month. International winner receives gift card.

*** This Week’s Giveaway is Closed ***

We have a winner! Congrats Marie S.!!!

April Winners: Melanie C., and Catedid!

To be entered into the giveaway drawing, please leave a comment about Pizza. Are you a fan? How big a fan? Sometimes I swear I could live on pizza. Which photo did you like best? Feel free to share whatever comes to mind and share from the heart.

*** And tell us where you’re from! I’m from Buckeye, Arizona, not far from Phoenix. (That’s the Desert Southwest, USA.) ***

Above all: Live the fang!!!

Wood Anemone

Wood Anemone

When I did a blog post on hepatica, more than one comment referred to the wood anemone which looks very similar. So, I thought I’d explore the wood anemone as well. In this blog, we’ll be looking mostly at the European variety known as anemone nemorosa since I collect photos from Pixabay which has its roots in Europe…um, pun intended. Other common names for the wood anemone are windflowerthimbleweed, and smell fox, the latter because of the musky smell of the leaves.

This very short video defines several specific attributes of wood anemone. This short video does a good job showing the wood anemone in the wild with several close-ups then distant views of the carpet of white. Here’s another short video that does something similar. The electronic music is interesting.

FunFacts about Wood Anemone: (Source) (Source)  

  • The Anemone nemorosa is a spring flowering plant in the buttercup family Ranunculaceae. It’s native to Europe.
  • Anemone quinquefolia, while native to North America, is closely related to Anemone nemorosa. The North American plant is considered a sub-species of Anemone nemorosa. (Source)
  • Wood anemone is a short perennial and grows only 5–15 centimeters or 2–6 inches tall.
  • Wood anemones sprout from underground root systems called rhizomes.
  • As for color, in the wild the flowers are mostly white but may be pinkish, lilac or blue.
  • Grown from seed, the plants may take 5 years to flower.
  • Wood anemones are poisonous.
  • For more pictures, check out the gallery on this page.
  • The common name ‘windflower’ derives from the Greek word for wind: anemos.
  • In China, the anemone is known as the flower of death.
  • In Egypt, the flower was considered to be a symbol of sickness perhaps because of its toxicity.
  • In Rome, however, anemones were used as talismans to prevent fevers.
  • Wood anemones don’t have a scent, so bees aren’t attracted to it. Pollination requires other insects stumbling upon it.

*** This Week’s Giveaway is Closed ***

We have a winner! Congrats Marie S.!!!

For a chance to win this paranormal romance bracelet, scroll to the bottom of the page and read the details for entering. You will be leaving a comment as the entry requirement. Giveaway ends midnight, Arizona time, April 19, 2018.

April Winners: Melanie C., and Catedid!

March winners: Patricia B., Linda K., Charlene F., Denise H. and Veronica T.

(Photos from Pixabay)

I hope you enjoyed these photos. Be sure to keep scrolling to leave a comment for the weekly prize draw. Details below!

Caris Roane Home Page

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Sign up for my newsletter!

For more about my books, check out my Books Page!

*** This Week’s Giveaway is Closed ***

We have a winner! Congrats Marie S.!!!

April Winners: Melanie C., and Catedid!

March winners: Patricia B., Linda K., Charlene F., Denise H. and Veronica T.

To be in the running for this handcrafted paranormal romance bracelet, made by yours truly, please leave a comment at the bottom of this post. Also, feel free to post comments on every Caris Roane blog, Monday thru Thursday this week, to increase your chances of winning this week’s prize drawing. Only one win per

*** This Week’s Giveaway is Closed ***

We have a winner! Congrats Marie S.!!!

April Winners: Melanie C., and Catedid!

To be entered into the giveaway drawing, please leave a comment about Wood Anemone. Do you see this woodland flower often in your area? Have you grown it in your garden? Which photo did you like best? Feel free to share whatever comes to mind and share from the heart.

*** And tell us where you’re from! I’m from Buckeye, Arizona, not far from Phoenix. (That’s the Desert Southwest, USA.) ***

Above all: Live the fang!!!

Giraffes

Giraffes

Did you know that just the neck of a giraffe is anywhere from six to eight feet long? Giraffes are the tallest animals on planet earth. They are fascinating creatures with tongues that can grab and hold things, a kick that can take down a lion or a leopard, and noses that can seal up to keep a sandstorm at bay.  They are beautiful, stately, and designed for woodland camouflage which helps the calves survive the first year of life. They are found in Africa and are currently listed as ‘vulnerable’ on conservation lists.

Here is a short video of giraffes engaged in dominance fighting by using their powerful necks. It’s called ‘necking’. Here’s a four-minute video of the birth of a giraffe in the wild. Here’s a fabulous video of a giraffe conservation ‘hotel’ in Kenya called Giraffe Manor. Guests can share a breakfast with giraffes. See it to believe it.

FunFacts about Giraffes: (Source)   

  • The giraffe has only one species, Giraffa Camelopardalis, with 9 different sub-species.
  • Giraffes are found in Africa.
  • The name ‘giraffe’ comes from the Arabic word ‘zarafah’ which means ‘fast-walker’.
  • Giraffes are from the family Giraffidae and their closest relative is the okapi.
  • Seven species of giraffe are extinct.
  • The tallest recorded male giraffe was 5.88 m or 19.3 ft.
  • The length of a giraffe’s neck can be anywhere from 6 to 8 feet.
  • Giraffes see in color, have sharp vision and a strong sense of smell.
  • Giraffes have long, purplish black tongues that are about 45 cm or 18 inches long. The tongue is prehensile which means it has the ability to grasp and hold things.
  • The giraffe can close its nostrils fully against sandstorms and ants.
  • Being big animals, giraffes have a maximum weight of around 1,930 kg or 4,250 lb. for males and 1,180 kg or 2,600 lb. for females.
  • The unique pattern of their fur, with large patches of orange, brown or even black fur separated by lighter lines, appears to have an excellent camouflaging effect, especially for calves. Male giraffes become darker as they age.
  • Giraffes are polygamous. Mating occurs with dominant males.
  • Gestation lasts anywhere from 400 to 460 days. Twins are extremely rare. The mother gives birth standing up. A newborn giraffe is 1.7–2 m or 5.6–6.6 ft tall. Mothers and calves gather in nursery herds while the males play no role in rearing the young.
  • Neck elongation takes place after birth.
  • Over half of all calves die within a year due to predation. The natural predators of giraffes are lions, leopards, spotted hyenas and African wild dogs.
  • The main defense for the giraffe is a powerful kick.
  • Giraffes have ossicones which are horn-like (or antler-like) protuberances on their heads. Though ossicones are similar to the horns on antelopes and cattle, they are made of ossified (turned into bone or similar tissue) cartilage rather than bone itself. (Source)
  • Here is how giraffes rest, quote: A giraffe rests by lying with its body on top of its folded legs. To lie down, the animal kneels on its front legs and then lowers the rest of its body. To get back up, it first gets on its knees and spreads its hind legs to raise its hindquarters. It then straightens its front legs. With each step, the animal swings its head. (Source)
  • Giraffes live in savannahs and woodlands.
  • The area in Africa where giraffes are found ranges from Chad in the north to South Africa in the south, and from Niger in the west to Somalia in the east.
  • Giraffes are the tallest animals on the planet and the largest ruminant. Ruminants have specialized stomachs for digesting plant matter and include cattle, goats, sheep, yaks, deer, and antelope.
  • Giraffes are gregarious. Though they often gather together in large parties, they are usually found in herds of related females and their offspring or in bachelor herds of unrelated males.
  • Males will battle each other for dominance by using their necks as weapons. Dominant males gain the mating rights.
  • In terms of conservation, giraffes are considered ‘vulnerable’.

*** This Week’s Giveaway is Closed ***

We have a winner! Congrats Marie S.!!!

For a chance to win this paranormal romance bracelet, scroll to the bottom of the page and read the details for entering. You will be leaving a comment as the entry requirement. Giveaway ends midnight, Arizona time, April 19, 2018.

April Winners: Melanie C., and Catedid!

March winners: Patricia B., Linda K., Charlene F., Denise H. and Veronica T.

(Photos from Pixabay)

I hope you enjoyed these photos. Be sure to keep scrolling to leave a comment for the weekly prize draw. Details below!

Caris Roane Home Page

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Sign up for my newsletter!

For more about my books, check out my Books Page!

*** This Week’s Giveaway is Closed ***

We have a winner! Congrats Marie S.!!!

April Winners: Melanie C., and Catedid!

March winners: Patricia B., Linda K., Charlene F., Denise H. and Veronica T.

To be in the running for this handcrafted paranormal romance bracelet, made by yours truly, please leave a comment at the bottom of this post. Also, feel free to post comments on every Caris Roane blog, Monday thru Thursday this week, to increase your chances of winning this week’s prize drawing. Only one win per month allowed!

New contest ends midnight, Arizona time, on Thursday, April 19, 2018! On Friday, April 20th, Arizona time, I’ll select the winning blog then the winning comment. I’ll use Random.org to make my selection! You may only win once per month. International winner receives gift card.

*** This Week’s Giveaway is Closed ***

We have a winner! Congrats Marie S.!!!

April Winners: Melanie C., and Catedid!

To be entered into the giveaway drawing, please leave a comment about Giraffes. Have you ever seen one in the wild or in a zoo? Are you a fan? Which photo did you like best? Feel free to share whatever comes to mind and share from the heart.

*** And tell us where you’re from! I’m from Buckeye, Arizona, not far from Phoenix. (That’s the Desert Southwest, USA.) ***

Above all: Live the fang!!!

The Kremlin

The Kremlin

Here’s a place of mystery I wanted to know more about: The Kremlin. What is it exactly? Turns out, it’s a fortress in the heart of Moscow and the name ‘Kremlin’ means ‘fortress inside a city’. There are many Kremlins in Russia, so the official name for the most iconic fortress is the Moscow Kremlin. Though both the extremely familiar St. Basil’s Cathedral and Red Square exist just outside the fortress walls, I’ve included some photos of them as well because together with the Kremlin they typify what we’ve come to recognize as the heart of Russia.

The first video is a 24-minute and quite lovely introduction to the Kremlin. Here’s a brief video showing the 500-year-old palace where President Putin resides. This personal video gives a more natural feel for the Kremlin.

FunFacts about The Kremlin: (Source) (Source)  

  • The name ‘Kremlin’ means ‘fortress’.
  • The Moscow Kremlin contains an armory, the Tsar Bell and Tsar Cannon, 4 palaces, 4 cathedrals, 5 squares, and 20 towers.
  • The site of the Kremlin has been inhabited since the second century BC.
  • The Kremlin is the largest fortress in Russia and one of the largest in Europe.
  • The Kremlin has had several transformations. First made of oak, it was replaced with white limestone in the 1300s. Around 1485, Grand Prince Ivan III began a deconstruction of this complex and had Italian architects create what are the current lines of the fortress. To read more of the history, go here.
  • The Kremlin has been the residence of the leaders of Russia since the 13th Century including princes, tsars, Communist party leaders like Lenin and Stalin and currently the president of Russia. Though in the early 1700s Tsar Peter abandoned the Kremlin to set up his residence in St. Petersburg. But Katherine the Great returned in 1773.
  • The Kremlin clock has a long history which began somewhere between the disputed years of 1491 and 1585. In 1625, British clockmaker Christopher Galloway helped create a new clock alongside Russian Engineers. In 1706, Peter the Great, quote: Transported a new clock from Holland in 30 wagons, from Amsterdam to Moscow. (Source) The current clock, rebuilt in 1851, weighs 25 tons including the clock mechanisms and the bells.
  • The Moscow Kremlin has an irregular shape though much like a triangle and is surrounded by massive walls and towers.
  • The Kremlin is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

*** This Week’s Giveaway is Closed ***

We have a winner: Melanie C. has won another bracelet! Congrats, Melanie. I have only one rule for quantity, you can’t win two months in a row. That’s it! So keep commenting, everyone!

For a chance to win this paranormal romance bracelet, scroll to the bottom of the page and read the details for entering. You will be leaving a comment as the entry requirement. Giveaway ends midnight, Arizona time, April 12, 2018.

First April Winner: Congrats Catedid!

March winners: Patricia B., Linda K., Charlene F., Denise H. and Veronica T.

(Photos from Pixabay)   

I hope you enjoyed these photos. Be sure to keep scrolling to leave a comment for the weekly prize draw. Details below!

Caris Roane Home Page

~ ~ ~   ~ ~ ~   ~ ~ ~   ~ ~ ~   ~ ~ ~

Sign up for my newsletter!

For more about my books, check out my Books Page!

*** This Week’s Giveaway is Closed ***

We have a winner: Melanie C. has won another bracelet! Congrats, Melanie. I have only one rule for quantity, you can’t win two months in a row. That’s it! So keep commenting, everyone!

First April winner! Congrats Catedid!!!

March winners: Patricia B., Linda K., Charlene F., Denise H. and Veronica T.

To be in the running for this handcrafted paranormal romance bracelet, made by yours truly, please leave a comment at the bottom of this post. Also, feel free to post comments on every Caris Roane blog, Monday thru Thursday this week, to increase your chances of winning this week’s prize drawing. Only one win per month allowed!

New contest ends midnight, Arizona time, on Thursday, April 12, 2018! On Friday, April 13th, Arizona time, I’ll select the winning blog then the winning comment. I’ll use Random.org to make my selection! You may only win once per month. International winner receives gift card.

*** This Week’s Giveaway is Closed ***

We have a winner: Melanie C. has won another bracelet! Congrats, Melanie. I have only one rule for quantity, you can’t win two months in a row. That’s it! So keep commenting, everyone!

To be entered into the giveaway drawing, please leave a comment about the Kremlin. Have you ever visited Moscow and seen the massive walls of the Kremlin? Is the Kremlin on your bucket list? Which photo did you like best? Feel free to share whatever comes to mind and share from the heart.

*** And tell us where you’re from! I’m from Buckeye, Arizona, not far from Phoenix. (That’s the Desert Southwest, USA.) ***

Above all: Live the fang!!!