Did you know flamingos get their unique pink-to-red coloration from their diet? Here’s a description, quote: Young flamingos hatch with greyish-red plumage, but adults range from light pink to bright red due to aqueous bacteria and beta-carotene obtained from their food supply. A well-fed, healthy flamingo is more vibrantly colored, thus a more desirable mate; a white or pale flamingo, however, is usually unhealthy or malnourished. Captive flamingos are a notable exception; they may turn a pale pink if they are not fed carotene at levels comparable to the wild. (Source)
Your Favorite Reading Nook
Reading and where we like to read is an intensely personal experience. I don’t have one set place but let the mood carry me away. Sometimes, I prefer to read while soaking in a warm tub full of bubbles. Other times, I want to be in my garden when the weather is heavenly and I can lift my face to the sun. Mostly, though, I prefer to be lying on my couch, my head well supported with pillows and another pillow beneath my knees to take the pressure off my lower back. If I can get my cat to curl up with me, then I have perfection.
I have to admit this is one of my favorite collection of photos. Mexico is a highly diverse country. Because Arizona borders Mexico, I know the northern Mexican states share our Sonoran Desert with all its dryness, cactus, coyotes and scorpions. But Mexico has two very long coastlines so we’re talking beaches. Then the farther south you travel, the dryness gives way to a tropical world. It is a diverse, beautiful land and worth exploring even from the comfort of our armchairs.
From the ‘Old English’ word, dagian, comes our modern word ‘dawn’. Dagian literally means ‘to become day’. By habit, by nature and by preference I rise early. Some of my best writing is done at dawn when I’m fresh. I understand that I’m a morning person, which is why I said ‘by nature’. My mother was a night owl as is my sister.
Lions and Cubs
The distinctive social quality that lions possess and that causes them to gather in what is called a ‘pride of lions’ makes these big cats unusual among other similar species. Most big cats live solitary lives. The nature of the pride gives lion cubs a strong chance of survival. The pride hunts as a group and more than one female in the pride, having given birth, can be available to nurse other cubs if orphaned.
Teutoburg Forest and Externsteine Tor
The beech and spruce Teutoburg Forest in Germany has 2000 km of hiking trails and 1000 natural monuments. The forest also hosts reenactments of the famous 9 AD Battle of the Teutoburg Forest in which Germanic tribes crushed three Roman legions. This battle saw the complete defeat of the Romans ending with the commander, Varus, ‘falling on his sword’ along with many of his officers.
One of the most versatile and durable fabrics ever created: Jeans. Years ago, when I did some research on the gold mining rush of the mid-1800’s, I came across the fact that jeans were originally created for cowboys and miners. Levi Strauss even patented ‘blue jeans’ in 1873. Later, in the 1950’s, jeans became popular among teens and that trend hasn’t changed a whole lot. It helps that denim is so durable. Jeans have become a staple in most everyone’s wardrobe.
Of all the citrus fruits, I enjoy peeling and eating the tangerine the most. The thin peel is very easy to remove and it’s much sweeter than an orange or a grapefruit. I also like tangerines in salads or chicken dishes. Here’s a recipe I discovered for an avocado-tangerine salad with a jalapeno dressing, very Southwest. It also includes feta cheese, one of my faves. For the recipe, go here!
Few things are as pretty and as relaxing as a meadow full of wildflowers. As you know, I live in the desert and we have our own version of a wildflower show and it’s called ‘a desert bloom’. It’s particularly wonderful when we’ve had unexpected spring rain then it’s as though all the seeds that might have waited years for this moment, spring up and give us a show.
The photographs of Dordogne caught my eye and after enjoying so many of them, I knew I wanted to explore this lovely French countryside. Being one-quarter French, I have a fondness for the place some of my ancestors came from. Whether they originated from this part of France, I honestly don’t know, but they were probably familiar with this part of their country. The Dordogne river valley is in the southwest region of France, a rural area full of castles, old churches, manor houses, lots of stone buildings in every small town and village, open-air markets, dining al fresco, friendly people, and a beautiful, green, wooded, river-laden countryside. What’s not to love? Summers spent here must be idyllic. It’s no wonder that the British have been moving here over the past twenty years and have given the region a new nickname: Dordogne-shire. After seeing a few videos, I was ready to join the movement!