Mountain Lions

Mountain Lions

For me, mountain lions — also known as cougars — rate high on my list of favorite animals. A mysterious, silent, extremely cautious big cat, these powerful felines hunt in massive territories ranging from 150 to 400 square miles. Although attacks on humans are rare, if you were to ever see a mountain lion in the wild, it’s probably too late to seek shelter or a weapon. If you should encounter one of these big cats, face the animal, stand your ground, and fight back. (Source)

Here’s an amazing short video of a peaceful mountain lion encounter in Montana. Here’s a tense, short video of men freeing a trapped mountain lion. Here’s a National Geographic eight-minute video about mountain lions. Here’s a short video of three very young mountain lions that walk up onto a family’s porch.

FunFacts about Mountain Lions: (Source) (Source)  

  • The mountain lion is officially known as the cougar. Its other names are mountain puma, panther, and catamount.
  • Mountain lions are felids of the family Felidae.
  • Mountain lions are exclusive to the Western Hemisphere and can be found all the way from northern Canada through central America and to the southernmost regions of South America.
  • Mountain lion coloring is mostly tawny but can range from silvery-gray to slightly reddish.
  • Mountain lions can be seen day or night but they are most active at dawn and at dusk. 
  • Mountain lions hunt by stalking and ambush. They prefer to pounce on their prey.
  • Mountain lions hunt a variety of prey from large animals like deer and elk to smaller critters like raccoons, porcupines, all types of rodents, beavers, rabbits and wild turkeys.
  • Females weigh anywhere from 85 to 120 pounds while males weigh 120-180 pounds.
  • In the wild, mountain lions live from 8 to 10 years.
  • Mountain lions are athletic, quote: Lions can bound 40 feet while running, leap 15 feet up into a tree, climb a 12-foot fence, and sprint up to 50 mph. (Source)
  • The sky and thunder god of the Inca, Viracocha, has been associated with mountain lions.
  • After a female lion has reached the age of two and established her hunting territory, she’s ready to reproduce. She gestates for approximately 91 days. Her average litter will produce 2-4 kittens or cubs. The kittens have spots when they’re born. Their survival rate is low as in 1 kitten per litter. Males do not co-parent with the females. Juveniles remain with their mothers, learning to hunt, for two years.
  • Once her offspring are on their own, the mother returns to her solitary life once more, though usually not for long. Females breed approximately every two years.
  • Puma is the common name for mountain lion in Spanish.

*** 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!

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*** 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 mountain lions. Have you ever seen one in the wild? How about in a zoo? What’s your favorite big cat? 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!!!

Andalusia

Andalusia, Spain

Flamenco, bullfighting, and the architecture and culture of the Moors, all have a place in defining modern Andalusia. A region encompassing southern Spain, Andalusia enjoys a coastline along the Atlantic as well as the Mediterranean. Its traditions reach back into the Middle Ages when the Moorish Empire ruled the entire Iberian Peninsula and even parts of southern France. 

Here’s a long, music-of-Andalusia video I’ve been listening to for the past week. Love it. Here is Rick Steves’ hour-long video of Andalusia or Andalucia. Here’s a wonderful short video featuring the Andalusian horse.

FunFacts about Andalusia, Spain: (Source) (Source)  

  • Andalusia is the southernmost region of continental Spain and has coastlines on both the Atlantic and the Mediterranean.
  • Andalusia is divided into two parts geographically. Upper Andalusia consists of two fairly low-lying mountain ranges, the highest peak of which is 4300 feet or 1300 meters. Lower Andalusia consists of the broad basin of the Guadalquivir River.
  • Seville is the capital of Andalusia.
  • Andalusia is a recognized ‘historical nationality’, a definition linked to the 1978 constitution of Spain which addresses regional areas of the country with specific customs, language and culture. Other historical nationalities are the Basque and Catalonia regions, for example.
  • Andalusia is the part of Spain closest to the Straits of Gibraltar.
  • Britain holds a very small overseas territory in Gibraltar that encompasses the Rock of Gibraltar and borders Andalusia. This territory is a critical port for the British Royal Navy. (Source)
  • ‘Andalusia’ comes from the Arabic word ‘Al-Andalus’. In Medieval times, most of what today is known as Portugal and Spain was ruled by Muslims, known then as Moors. Al-Andalus in the 10th Century has been called a magical time in Spain’s history. It was one culture with three separate and distinct religions – Muslim, Jewish, and Christian – and all existed in harmony. Education flourished as well as remarkable architecture.
  • Andalusia has been a primarily agriculture region though in recent years it’s had a significant growth in industry.
  • Andalusia has some of the highest summer temps in Europe at 36C or 97F.
  • The Andalusian coat of arms shows Hercules, two lions, and the pillars of Hercules.
  • Andalusia has had many influences through the ages: Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Greeks, Romans, Vandals, Visigoths, Byzantines, Jews, Romani, and Muslim Moors.
  • Andalusia is a large region at 87,597 square kilometers or 33,821 sq. mi.
  • Morocco is the African country situated the closest to Andalusia across the Straits of Gibraltar.
  • Granada was the capital of the Moorish Empire in Spain.
  • The city of Rhonda, in Andalusia, is considered the birthplace of modern bullfighting.
  • Seville is the biggest city in Andalusia and was the gateway to the New World during the Age of Discovery.
  • Andalusia is the home of Flamenco.

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

We have a winner! Congrats Catedid!!!

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 5, 2018.

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

February winners: Jackie B., Drea M., Sandra L. and Judy M.!!!

(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 is Closed ***

We have a winner! Congrats Catedid!!!

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

February winners: Jackie B., Drea M., Sandra L. and Judy M.!!!

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 5, 2018! On Friday, April 6th, 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 Catedid!!!

To be entered into the giveaway drawing, please leave a comment about Andalusia. Have you ever visited this part of Spain? Have you seen a live Flamenco show or a bullfight? 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!!!

Hats

Hats

Humankind has always had an interest, fascination and predilection for hats. A cave painting of a hat-wearing figure, at Lussac-les-Chateaux in France, dates back to 15,000 BC. Whether worn for fashion, for military or police status, or for protection against the weather or falling objects, hats are fun, intriguing, draw the eye, and often make a statement. One of my favorite things about movies from the thirties, forties and fifties were the hats. Women and men wore them all the time. Watching them appear on the screen was a kind of eye-candy you don’t see much today. They were like small pieces of movable art. 

One of the best videos I found features a young man and woman getting made up, both hair and make-up, to then showcase the hat styles from the early 1900’s to the present. Loved it. Here’s a short video featuring well-known hat styles for men, what they’re called and where & when they originated. Here’s a short video with 10 fascinating facts about hats.

FunFacts about Hats: (Source) (Source)  

  • The first magician to pull a rabbit out of his hat, was Louis Comte, a Frenchman who performed the feat in 1814.
  • Baseball umpires didn’t always wear ballcaps. Instead, the tradition was for the ump to don a top hat.
  • The very familiar, tall, chef’s hat traditionally has 100 pleats to represent 100 ways to cook an egg.
  • Once known as the symbol of the City of London commuter, the bowler hat was first designed and worn as a riding helmet.
  • The rise of popularity of sunglasses in the 1950’s is sometimes blamed for the demise of hat-wearing.
  • The fedora was originally a woman’s hat, then a man’s hat and now it’s both.
  • The Panama hat was never made in Panama. It came from Ecuador.
  • London black taxis were made tall to accommodate the top hat.

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

We have a winner! Congrats Catedid!!!

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 5, 2018.

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

February winners: Jackie B., Drea M., Sandra L. and Judy M.!!!

(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 is Closed ***

We have a winner! Congrats Catedid!!!

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

February winners: Jackie B., Drea M., Sandra L. and Judy M.!!!

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 5, 2018! On Friday, April 6th, 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 Catedid!!!

To be entered into the giveaway drawing, please leave a comment about hats.  Do you often don a hat? What kind? Are you a fashionista with hats or is it more practical in nature as you battle the elements? 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!!!

Chameleons

Chameleons

As many of you know, I’m very fond of the lizards in my yard. I know all the different kinds of good an insect-eating reptile can do in a garden. Therefore, I’m already pre-disposed to think kindly about chameleons. But wow, does this lizard offer up some of nature’s bounty of wonder and fascination. With a unique layer of crystals beneath a layer of skin pigmentation, chameleons can alter their coloration.  

Here’s a video that scientifically explains how chameleons change color. Fascinating. Here’s a video showcasing several different chameleons changing colors. Here’s a short video of a one-day-old chameleon changing color. Though most chameleons hatch from eggs, some are born in what’s called a live birth. To watch a live birth, here’s a short video.

FunFacts about Chameleons: (Source) (Source)

  • Chameleons belong to the family Chamaeleonidae.
  • Chameleons are part of a clade, or a group of organisms with a common ancestor. The clade that chameleons belong to is called ‘Old World Lizards’.
  • There are over 200 species of chameleons.
  • Chameleons are reptiles of the iguana suborder.
  • Chameleons have crests or horns on their brow and snout.
  • Chameleons have zygodactylous feet like parrots, some owls, and roadrunners. The arrangement is with two toes facing forward (digits 2 and 3) and two back (digits 1 and 4).
  • Chameleons have a swaying gait.
  • Here is a quote about changing color: Some chameleon species are able to change their skin coloration. Different chameleon species are able to vary their coloration and pattern through combinations of pink, blue, red, orange, green, black, brown, light blue, yellow, turquoise, and purple. Chameleon skin has a superficial layer which contains pigments, and under the layer are cells with guanine crystals. Chameleons change color by changing the space between the guanine crystals, which changes the wavelength of light reflected off the crystals which changes the color of the skin. (Source)
  • The oldest chameleon fossil is approximately 60 million years old.
  • Nearly half of all chameleon species can be found in Madagascar.
  • Chameleons range in size from very small, as in just over a half inch, to quite large at 27 inches (68.5 cm).
  • Chameleons have remarkable eyes, with the upper and lower eyelids joined and only a pinhole for sight. The eyes pivot and focus separately. They have a full, 360-degree view around their bodies.
  • Chameleons are primarily insectivores.
  • Chameleons have long tongues with flash-like projection.
  • After copulation, most chameleon females dig deep holes and lay their eggs. Some chameleon females gestate, with the birth process described in this way, quote: The ovoviviparous species, such as the Jackson’s chameleon (Trioceros jacksonii) have a five- to seven-month gestation period. Each young chameleon is born within the sticky transparent membrane of its yolk sac. The mother presses each egg onto a branch, where it sticks. The membrane bursts and the newly hatched chameleon frees itself and climbs away to hunt for itself and hide from predators. The female can have up to 30 live young from one gestation. (Source) To watch a video of a live birth, go here.

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

We have a winner! Congrats Catedid!!!

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 5, 2018.

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

February winners: Jackie B., Drea M., Sandra L. and Judy M.!!!

(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 is Closed ***

We have a winner! Congrats Catedid!!!

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

February winners: Jackie B., Drea M., Sandra L. and Judy M.!!!

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 5, 2018! On Friday, April 6th, 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 Catedid!!!

To be entered into the giveaway drawing, please leave a comment about chameleons.  Have you ever raised them or kept one as a pet? 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!!!

Hepatica

Hepatica

This lovely, delicate flower is commonly known as liverleaf, liverwort and squirrel cups. It can be found in woodlands across the Northern Hemisphere. Here in the States, hepatica thrives in the eastern half of the country, from north Florida to Alabama, then north to Minnesota and east to Maine., especially hepatica nobilis. Since I live in the west, I’m counting on those of you who are near an eastern woodland to go hunting for this delicate beauty. The most common colors are blue and lavender though you may also find them in white and pink. 

The leaves of hepatica have three lobes, sometimes rounded, sometimes pointed. The flowers rise from individual stems to a height of around seven inches. The stems often have fine hairs. Older plants can have twenty to thirty flowers. Hepatica blooms wells on sunny days and stays around for weeks.

For a little more information about this woodland plant, here’s an informative blog, especially if you’re interested in having this plant in your garden.

This is a very short video showing a drift of hepatica in a woodland. Here is a short video featuring hepatica in the wild on Surisan Mountain in Korea. Finally, this video is from a private garden. The owner has planted hepatica and other plants in a rock garden. Very nice.

FunFacts about Hepatica: (Source) (Source) (Source)

  • The genus Hepatica, also known as liverwort, is a member of the buttercup family.
  • The origin of the name, hepatica, quote: The word hepatica derives from the Greek hepaticus (Hepar=liver), because the three-lobed leaf was thought to resemble the human liver. (Source)
  • Hepatica is native to central and northern Europe, Asia and eastern North America.
  • Hepatica is sometimes included in the genus Anemone.
  • Hepatica flowers can be white, purple, pink or blue.
  • Hepatica appears from late winter through spring.
  • Hepatica leaves are often leathery.
  • Propagation can be done by either seeds or by dividing clumps. Neither is a quick process. Seeds may take years for the plants to reach blooming ability and divided plants don’t thicken quickly.
  • Hepatica flowers have a light, fresh scent.
  • Cherokee and Chippewa tribes used hepatica to aid in liver disorders. (Source)
  • Hepatica may not open on rainy days.
  • Hepatica Nobilis is one of the most treasured indigenous plants of Lithuania.
  • ‘Lithuanian Blues’ is thought of as a good Easter flower and the sign of welcome springtime. (Source)

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

We have a winner! Congrats Catedid!!!

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 5, 2018.

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

February winners: Jackie B., Drea M., Sandra L. and Judy M.!!!

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

We have a winner! Congrats Catedid!!!

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

February winners: Jackie B., Drea M., Sandra L. and Judy M.!!!

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 5, 2018! On Friday, April 6th, 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 Catedid!!!

To be entered into the giveaway drawing, please leave a comment about hepatica. Have you ever seen this plant in the wild? Do you grow hepatica 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!!!

Brazil

Brazil

For me, the iconic image of Sugarloaf Mountain in Rio de Janeiro will always take me to Brazil. The mountain is located in Guanabara Bay on a peninsula that juts out into the Atlantic Ocean. Rio is the most famous city of Brazil and is located in the southern, Atlantic-facing part of the country. Sugarloaf was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2012. 

Here’s the origin of the name ‘Sugarloaf’, quote: The name “Sugarloaf” was coined in the 16th century by the Portuguese during the heyday of sugar cane trade in Brazil. According to historian Vieira Fazenda, blocks of sugar were placed in conical molds made of clay to be transported on ships. The shape given by these molds was similar to the peak, hence the name. (Source

Here’s a short video of 5 fascinating facts about Brazil. If you’d like to listen to the samba, Brazil’s most recognizable contribution to music, check out this video. For a solid overview of Brazil, this 8-minute video hits all the high spots with plenty of photos.

FunFacts about Brazil: (Source) (Source)  

  • Brazil is the fifth largest country in the world by both population and land mass.
  • Brazil occupies half the continent of South America.
  • Brasília is the capital of Brazil and is located in the interior of the country.
  • See map of Brazil.
  • Brazil faces the Atlantic Ocean and has a coastline 4,600 miles long or 7,400 km.
  • Though Brazil has a diverse topography of mountains, plains, hills, highlands and scrubland, it is still predominantly a tropical country and is famous for its Amazon river and lowlands.
  • The equator runs through the northern portion of Brazil.
  • The Amazon River is the largest river in the world based on volume of water as well as the longest in the world. The Nile is second.
  • Brazil’s economy was the world’s 8th largest in 2017.
  • Sao Paulo is the largest city in the Southern Hemisphere and is Brazil’s industrial center. Metro Sao Paulo has a population of 19 million.
  • Outdoor advertising was recently outlawed in Sao Paulo, which means it’s an ad-free city.
  • Brazil was claimed as a colony by Portugal on April 22, 1500.
  • Brazil gained its independence from Portugal in 1822.
  • Brazil’s Amazon rainforest has the world’s largest biological diversity.
  • Brazil has a mixed economy and abundant natural resources. Its industries include agriculture, mining and manufacturing.
  • As for indigenous peoples, here’s a fascinating statistic, quote: In 2007, the National Indian Foundation estimated that Brazil has 67 different uncontacted tribes, up from their estimate of 40 in 2005. Brazil is believed to have the largest number of uncontacted peoples in the world. (Source)
  • The ‘samba’ is considered to have a unique Brazilian sound musically and has its roots in Africa via the African slave trade.
  • Brazil’s prison system has a program that allows inmates to reduce their sentences through extensive reading.
  • Brazil is the world’s largest exporter of coffee and has 30% of the market share.
  • Carnival of Brazil is the country’s most famous holiday and lasts from the Friday afternoon before Ash Wednesday until Ash Wednesday at noon. Music, costumes and events differ among the various regions of Brazil.

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

We have a winner! Congrats Patricia B.!

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, March 29, 2018.

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

February winners: Jackie B., Drea M., Sandra L. and Judy M.!!!

(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 Patricia B.!

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

February winners: Jackie B., Drea M., Sandra L. and Judy M.!!!

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, March 29, 2018! On Friday, March 30th, 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 Patricia B.!

To be entered into the giveaway drawing, please leave a comment about Brazil. Have you ever visited this country? 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!!!

Carnival of Venice Masks

Carnival of Venice Masks

Why the masks? Since the Venetian carnival came into existence in 1162, it’s hard to say when the use of the masks began. But one theory is that during this time, Venice had an extremely hierarchical society. In the Middle Ages, Sumptuary Laws existed. These laws were instituted by the ruling class to suppress the lower classes from ‘appearing’ above their stations. The masks may have had a role, quote: One scholar argues that covering the face in public was a uniquely Venetian response to one of the most rigid class hierarchies in European history. (Source)  During Carnival, the Sumptuary Laws were suspended and perhaps it was at this time that the use of the mask was born.  Everyone could appear equal during the extended celebration. The masks may have even offered a kind of protection.

Tradition dictates that the Carnival of Venice originated from a victory of the Venice Republic against the Patriarch of Aqileia, Ulrico di Treven, in the year 1162. Excited by the victory, the people started to dance and gather in San Marco Square. According to legend, the Carnival of Venice was born and continued for centuries. It was driven underground by Napoleon who outlawed the carnival when he conquered Venice in 1797 believing that the nature of the carnival would stir up a rebellion. During the ensuing centuries, the carnival very slowly and sporadically returned to life and was finally restored completely in 1979. 

It was a group of Venetian college students who prompted the revival of the famous masks, though ostensibly for the tourist trade. Today, nearly 3 million visitors come to Venice every year for the Carnival. The signal event is the contest for la maschera più bella (“the most beautiful mask”) which is judged by a panel of international costume and fashion designers. 

Here’s a short video and perfect introduction to the beautiful masks of the carnival. Here’s a 16-minute video featuring a host of costumed and masked figures during the carnival. This short video really showcases the beauties of Venice as well as a few masks and costumes.

FunFacts about Carnival of Venice Masks: (Source) (Source)  

  • The carnival is held in Venice, Italy annually and takes place the 13th day of Lent up to Shrove Tuesday, or the day before Ash Wednesday.
  • The Carnival of Venice is world famous for its masks.
  • The carnival hosts many events including theatrical performances, masquerades, and fashion shows.
  • Traditional sweets of the carnival are called fritelles and galani, which apparently can be purchased in all the patisseries in town.
  • The ‘mascherari’, or creators of the masks, were honored as exceptional craftsmen through the centuries.
  • A number of traditional Venetian masks have names and styles, like the Volto or Larva and the Bauta. This blog has additional interesting information and pictures especially of these costumes and masks.
  • The carnival had been outlawed by Napoleon in 1797 after he conquered Venice – supposedly to suppress the rebellion of the people. The carnival continued, but only in private, safe settings. In more recent years during the latter part of the 20th Century, the Italian government wanted to restore some of the history and culture of Venice. They used the Carnival of Venice and the traditional, elaborate masks as a centerpiece for this effort.

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

We have a winner! Congrats Patricia B.!

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, March 29, 2018.

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

February winners: Jackie B., Drea M., Sandra L. and Judy M.!!!

(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 is Closed ***

We have a winner! Congrats Patricia B.!

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

February winners: Jackie B., Drea M., Sandra L. and Judy M.!!!

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, March 29, 2018! On Friday, March 30th, 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 Patricia B.!

To be entered into the giveaway drawing, please leave a comment about Carnival of Venice Masks. Have you ever attended the Carnival and seen the elaborate masks and costumes in person? 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!!!

Foxes

Foxes

What’s not to love about a critter with big ears, a love of play and a gorgeous fluffy tail? Foxes display both cat and dog-like qualities which may be one reason that of all the videos I’ve checked out over the last few months, foxes got more views than any others, as in the millions. The red fox is the most common and can be found inhabiting all of the Northern Hemisphere as well as Australia. Though in the latter, they’re considered an invasive species perhaps in part because of their love of scavenging.

Here’s a short, wonderful video about a fox that dives headfirst into the snow to catch its prey. Here’s a great, short video about a wild fox that visits a backyard and hangs out by the sliding glass door. The house cats don’t know what to make of it. Here’s a really fun video of a wild fox that visits a house to enjoy the company of the family dog. I think he wants the dog to play.

FunFacts about Foxes: (Source) (Source)  

  • Foxes are part of the family Canidae.
  • The Canidae family also includes domestic dogs, wolves, coyotes, jackals, and dingoes.
  • Foxes have upright pointed ears, flattish skulls and slightly upturned snouts.
  • The genus vulpes consists of ‘true foxes’, which includes the following: Arctic fox, Bengal fox, Blanford’s fox, cape fox, corsac fox, fennec fox, kit fox, pale fox, Ruppell’s fox, red fox, swift fox and the Tibetan sand fox. 
  • The following are often called foxes but are actually canids that belong to other specific genera: Ethiopian wolf, crab-eating fox, Andean fox, Darwin’s fox, South American gray fox, Pampas fox, Sechuran fox, hoary fox, bat-eared fox, gray fox, island fox and Cozumel fox. (Source)
  • There are fossils of foxes estimated to be 7 million years old.
  • Foxes are omnivorous and prone to scavenging.
  • Foxes can be found in large numbers in suburban areas.
  • Foxes can live in a variety of habitats from alpine, to forest, to coastal to desert.
  • Predators of foxes include bears and eagles.
  • Names for foxes include vixen for the female, vix or dog for the male and kit or cub for the young.
  • Foxes do not mate for life, but they will raise their offspring together. Foxes are good parents. A litter can contain anywhere from one to eleven kits.
  • Kits are born both deaf and blind, but quickly mature. Within a few months, they are completely weaned and can hunt on their own.
  • Foxes are solitary.
  • Though more closely related to dogs they have a lot in common with cats. They are most active after the sun goes down and they tend to pounce on their prey. Many foxes have retractable claws which allows them to climb rooftops or trees.
  • Foxes love to play, like dogs. They often steal balls from golf courses.

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

We have a winner! Congrats Patricia B.!

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, March 29, 2018.

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

February winners: Jackie B., Drea M., Sandra L. and Judy M.!!!

(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! Congrats Patricia B.!

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

February winners: Jackie B., Drea M., Sandra L. and Judy M.!!!

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, March 29, 2018! On Friday, March 30th, 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 Patricia B.!

To be entered into the giveaway drawing, please leave a comment about foxes. Have you ever seen one in the wild? Have you ever tried to keep a fox as a pet?  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!!!