Rice Terraces

Author PhotoRice Terraces

Humans are amazing. Taking a step back, I marvel at so much of what we, as people, are able to create. Sometimes, it’s through necessity and sometimes through the sheer love of creation. Rice terraces were definitely out of necessity and they are a marvel.

As I began exploring the beauty of rice terraces, I discovered that this method of planting is ancient as in thousands of years old. Even more amazing, the earliest creators of these hillside wonders used crude tools and their bare hands. They didn’t have the shovels we have today, for instance.

LandscapesAs a hobby-gardener, I can relate…sort of. I’m not exactly carving out hillsides and shoring up what will be very wet rice paddies. I’m not worried about my Mesquite and Lantana providing food throughout an entire year for my family. But in terms of shaping the land, yes, that I can relate to.

One of the most famous rice terraces is located in the Philippines. These terraces are called the Banaue Rice Terraces and they have been referred to as the 8th wonder of the world. At some point, between two and three thousand years ago, the tribes people shaped the hills into steps that could be flooded then planted with rice. These terraces are still used today. They cover 4000 square miles of land and some of them are as as high up as 5000 feet. If you’d like to see some photos of these terraces go here.

A lot goes into the site selection and the construction of rice terraces. To see an excellent diagram of the layers of construction go here.

*** Note: None of the photos I’ve included on this page listed Banaue as the location.

Bracelet

***This week’s giveaway is now closed***! 

August Winner: 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, August 3, 2017.

July Winners: Nancy S., Betty O., Shannon C., Pansy P.

And now, here are the photos! Enjoy!  (Photos from Pixabay…)

Landscapes

Landscapes

Landscapes

Landscapes

Landscapes

Landscapes

Landscapes

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BraceletTo 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!

July Winners: Nancy S., Betty O., Shannon C. Susan S.

New contest ends midnight, Arizona time, on Thursday, August 3, 2017! On Friday, August 4th, 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! *** To be entered into the giveaway drawing, please leave a comment about rice terraces. Have you seen a rice terrace on your travels? Which photo did you like best? Can you imagine what daily life would be like for those in charge of working and tending the terraces? 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!!!

Cats and Kittens Sleeping

Cats and Kittens Sleeping

As I wrote this post, my cat, Sebastien, was lying nearby in a deep sleep and dreaming. He wasn’t exactly growling. It was more like a growling conversation he was holding with some imaginary creature in his dreams. I thought it apt that my muse would fall asleep to inspire this post, lol!

I’ve had cats all my life. I’ve loved the comfort they’ve brought to what can be at all stages of life a troubling existence. I don’t know what I would have done without the bond and affection a pet brings.

Cats and Kittens SleepingI’ve had both cats and dogs and loved them all. I’ve grieved the loss of each of them as well. I have only one cat now, a tabby who I often call ‘Puppy’ because he sticks close. DH and I are his pack. 

He’s a typical cat and sleeps at least twice as much as I do. But that’s fine with me. It just means I get to reach and out pet him, watch him wake and smile at me, then fall back to sleep. My favorite way he sleeps is when he’s on his back. It’s such a position of trust and for that reason alone I love it.

When he’s sleeping or dozing, he’s excellent company especially when I’m working on a book, designing a newsletter or finishing a blog. As I type this, he’s in a doze right now. His tail is twitching with his ear hooked in my direction. But he’s still getting his much-needed rest.

FunFacts about Cats and Kittens Sleeping: (Source) (Source)

  • Cats doze often. This is a state between awake and deep sleep. Cats can get a lot of the rest they need while dozing. You can tell if a cat is merely dozing because their tails will often twitch, their ears will rotate to take in sounds, and their eyes aren’t always completely shut. Cats can slip into a doze while sitting up.
  • Cats sleep up to 16 hours a day, though this can increase to 20 with old age.
  • Kittens sleep around 18 hours a day. Also, a specific growth hormone is only released while they sleep, so sleeping it is!
  • Cats need this much sleep because of their hunting patterns. The tracking, chasing and killing of prey requires tremendous energy. Sleeping and dozing recharges them.
  • One-fourth of a cat’s sleep is spent in deep sleep. Cats close their eyes tightly in this state or cover their eyes with a paw or even their tail. Cats dream as well. We’ve all seen paws anxiously chasing something, whiskers twitching. We’ve even heard cats growl in their sleep, like mine.
  • Some cats even snore.

***This week’s giveaway is now closed***! 

August Winner: 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, August 3, 2017.

July Winners: Nancy S., Betty O., Shannon C., Pansy P.

And now, here are the photos! Enjoy!  (Photos from Pixabay…)

Cats and Kittens Sleeping

Cats and Kittens Sleeping

Cats and Kittens Sleeping

Cats and Kittens Sleeping

Cats and Kittens Sleeping

Cats and Kittens Sleeping

Cats and Kittens Sleeping

Cats and Kittens Sleeping

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 now closed***! 

August Winner: Marie S.

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!

July Winners: Nancy S., Betty O., Shannon C. Susan S.

New contest ends midnight, Arizona time, on Thursday, August 3, 2017! On Friday, August 4th, 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! *** To be entered into the giveaway drawing, please leave a comment about cats and kittens sleeping. What is your favorite way your cat sleeps? 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!!!

Camels

Camels

Sometimes, when I’m surfing for photos, I find a pic that stops me. When that happens, I know it has triggered something within and I need to explore it.

This past week, I found a photo of a camel and all kinds of desert-like things began to flow through my mind. One aspect of camels intrigues me the most: They were used for transportation.

CamelsThe image of a caravan of camels is one of the oldest images in the world and conjures up all kinds of things. In one of my favorite movies, The English Patient, our hero suffers terrible burns from a plane crash and is cared for by a caravan of Bedouin.

When I’m putting a paranormal world together, one of the first things I have to figure out is how my people move around. In the Guardians of Ascension — a multi-dimensional world — the winged vampires of Second Earth could ‘fold’ as in dematerialize. They could also levitate. And of course, they could fly using their wings. In the Blood Rose Series, levitation became paramount. But in both series, my characters loved their motorcycles and cars as well. What I haven’t done in a series, is to utilize an animal, like a dragon, as a form of transportation. I might have to do that next.

Camels have been used as pack animals for a very long time. The oldest reference I came across was from 2500 – 3000 BC, the former in Asia and the latter in Somalia and southern Arabia.

Camels are amazing animals and have been used in many cultures as a food source for a highly nutritious milk as well as for meat. Camel hair has been used for tents, clothing, bedding and accessories. Think camel hair coats.

FunFacts about Camels. You might have to read the source to believe some of these stats!

  • Camels live between 40 to 50 years and have gentle dispositions.
  • Camels can run up to 40 mph in short bursts and up to 25 mph for longer distances.
  • The humps contain fatty tissue. They do not hold water.
  • Camels are amazingly suited for extremes of temperature. One example: when a camel exhales, moisture from its breath gets trapped in its nostrils and is reabsorbed.
  • A camel can drink 53 gallons of water in 3 minutes.
  • The camel’s long legs create a cooling distance between its body and the hot desert earth.
  • Camel’s mouths have a thick, leathery lining so that they can chew thorny desert plants.
  • There are three types of camels.
    • Dromedary: One hump, inhabits Middle East and Horn of Africa
    • Bactrian: Two humps, inhabits Central Asia
    • Wild Bactrian: Two humps, inhabits northwest China and Mongolia, and is critically endangered

Violet Bead Dangle PNR Bracelet***This week’s giveaway is closed! The winner: Nancy S.*** 

July Winners: Nancy S., Betty O., Shannon C. and Pansy P.

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, July 27, 2017.

And now, here are the photos! Enjoy!  (Photos from Pixabay…)

Camels Camels Camels Camels Camels Camels Camels

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***This week’s giveaway is closed! The winner: Nancy S.*** 

July Winners: Nancy S., Betty O., Shannon C. and Pansy P.

Violet Bead Dangle PNR BraceletTo 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!

Recent Winners: Betty O., Shannon C. Susan S.

New contest ends midnight, Arizona time, on Thursday, July 27, 2017! On Friday, July 28th, 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! *** To be entered into the giveaway drawing, please leave a comment about camels.  Have you ever ridden one? Did you ever want to? What’s your favorite movie or book that had camels in it? 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!!!

Seeds and Pods

Seeds and Pods

I have used seed pods over the years in wreaths I’ve made for my home or in silk floral arrangements to add texture. In fact, the lotus seed pod has been one of my favorites. You can see it pictured in the photo below. This arrangement sits in my work area.

I’m fascinated by how unique seed pods are and how much they can differ from plant to plant. For the pics in this blog, I put the name of the plant on the seed pod photo. Enjoy!

FunFacts about Seeds and Pods (Source)

  • Seed PodsThe double-coconut is the largest seed in the world and can measure up to 1.6 feet around the middle. Coconuts have an air space between the nut and a fibrous coating. The air space allows the coconut to float so it can travel hundreds of miles on water to a new resting place.
  • Seeds provide the world’s daily food from cereal and toast to sandwiches, pasta and pizza.
  • Orchid seed-pods can hold as many as three million seeds.
  • Seeds have a variety of delivery systems to help them move away from the parent plant: Some seeds or pods have hooks and cling to animal fur or clothing, some seeds have wings, some pods create a pepper-pot and sprinkle the seeds over a large area, some seeds have air trapped in them so they can float on the wind, some seeds have wings, some seed pods simply explode. And of course, some seeds create a delicious fruit or vegetable and get moved around that way.
  • Seeds can survive the cold. 10,000-year-old seeds found in the frozen soil of Canada were grown and produced flowers.
  • Occasionally, the seeds of plants can be very dangerous such as the deadly nightshade – two berries could kill you – and the seeds of the Castor-oil plant. One bean of the latter has the capacity to kill an adult.

Nature is fascinating and creative.

Violet Bead Dangle PNR Bracelet

***This week’s giveaway is closed! The winner: Nancy S.*** 

July Winners: Nancy S., Betty O., Shannon C. and Pansy P.

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, July 27, 2017.

And now, here are the photos! Enjoy!  (Photos from Pixabay…)

Seed Pods Seed Pods Seed Pods Seed Pods Seed Pods Seed Pods Seed Pods

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***This week’s giveaway is closed! The winner: Nancy S.*** 

July Winners: Nancy S., Betty O., Shannon C. and Pansy P.

Violet Bead Dangle PNR BraceletTo 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!

July Winners: Nancy S., Betty O., Shannon C. Susan S.

New contest ends midnight, Arizona time, on Thursday, July 27, 2017! On Friday, July 28th, 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! *** To be entered into the giveaway drawing, please leave a comment about seeds and pods. Did you ever collect them? Or like me, did you ever use them in dried or silk flower arrangements? Do you have a favorite pod? 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 near Phoenix! 

Above all: Live the fang!!!

Park Benches

Park Benches

Few things spark my imagination more than a park bench. I always wonder, especially when I sit down to rest, how many people have sat in that same spot. Who were they, even that same day? What were their struggles? Were they young mothers trying to keep their children entertained? Were they elderly wanting nothing more than to feel the sunshine and breathe the fresh air?  Young lovers? The homeless? Or maybe a pigeon or two?

Park BenchesA few years ago, I was in the city of Dover in the south of England. While my friends shopped, I decided to sit on a park bench pretty much in the center of things, just to watch the people go by. Pigeons were everywhere and I happen to love these friendly birds. But there was a young woman on a nearby bench who must have come there often. The pigeons weren’t just clustered at her feet — no doubt she’d fed them — but they were roosting on her shoulders and arms. She seemed to enjoy it immensely. I enjoyed watching.

I went on a Google search to try to find out how many park benches there were in the world. I didn’t have much luck. I did however find one site that said London has 50,000 park benches. (Source.) I imagine there are millions of park benches on planet earth and we are grateful for them.

What are your favorite memories of sitting on a park bench? 

Violet Bead Dangle PNR Bracelet

***This week’s giveaway is closed! The winner: Nancy S.*** 

July Winners: Nancy S., Betty O., Shannon C. and Pansy P.

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, July 27, 2017.

And now, here are the photos! Enjoy!  (Photos from Pixabay…)

Park Benches Park Benches Park Benches Park Benches Park Benches Park Benches Park Benches

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***This week’s giveaway is closed! The winner: Nancy S.*** 

July Winners: Nancy S., Betty O., Shannon C. and Pansy P.

Violet Bead Dangle PNR BraceletTo 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!

July Winners: Nancy S., Betty O., Shannon C. Susan S.

New contest ends midnight, Arizona time, on Thursday, July 27, 2017! On Friday, July 28th, 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! *** To be entered into the giveaway drawing, please leave a comment about park benches. What is your favorite memory of sitting on a park bench? Do you visit parks often? Do you wonder who’s sat where you were sitting?  Feel free to share whatever comes to mind and share from the heart. 

And tell us where you’re from!!!  

Above all: Live the fang!!!

Giethoorn Cottages

Giethoorn Cottages – The “Dutch Venice”

So, you’re probably wondering how I found these beautiful Giethoorn cottages? It’s simple. I go surfing on Pixabay almost every day just to find some inspiration. I have a fondness for cottages anyway, especially the kind found in the western part of England in the Cotswold district. Stone buildings, flowers and charm, some of my favorite things.

Giethoorn CottagesAs I was cruising the extraordinary photos, I found a pic of a lovely cottage on a canal and I was hooked. Before this week, I’d never heard of Giethoorn. But I soon learned its nickname as the “Dutch Venice”, or the “Venice of the North”, is with good reason. This picturesque area in the north Netherlands is full of canals and can only be traveled but punters or small motorboats.

The history of this charming village in the Netherlands is fascinating. There are canals here because through the centuries, the inhabitants began digging out and making use of the area’s deep reserves of peat. The peat was spread over the land, more peat was dug out, and so on. The result were deep ditches everywhere as well as rising land levels in what became islands. Eventually, wooden bridges needed to be built just to cross the ditches. Then it made sense to connect the ditches with nearby lakes for easier water transportation and voila, you have Dutch Venice. 800,000 visitors head to Giethoorn each year. One-fourth of those visitors are Chinese and many of the signs in Giethoorn are in Chinese!

Giethoorn CottagesOn an unfortunate note, from one blogger’s point-of-view, there were a lot of ‘For Sale’ signs in the yards. He suspected the tourism was taking a toll. Could you imagine living in these homes and people constantly cruising by in 20-foot tour boats? Most of the cottages pictured are situated very close to the canals. You would have no privacy and if you wanted to work in your yard, you’d be waving to an awful lot of people or being shouted at by a few drunken tourists. (Source.) (Source.)

Giethoorn definitely has a fairy-tale appeal so it’s easy to understand why so many people would enjoy visiting this Netherlands treasure.

Here are some FunFacts about Giethoorn, Netherlands (Source) (Source) (Source)

  • A village in the Netherlands known as the Venice of the North.
  • Established in 1230 AD by fugitives from the Mediterranean area.
  • The name refers to goat horns. When the fugitives arrived, they found a bunch of goat horns, the goats having died in a flood 50 years earlier. ‘Giet’ is goat in Dutch. It was first Geytenhorn then Giethoorn
  • The village has no roads, no cars, no buses. Canals connect the people and residents own boats and bicycles. Wooden bridges cross the canals, but only foot-traffic and bikes are allowed.
  • Some of the boats used in this village are called ‘punters’, which, as in Venice, are pushed along by means of a pole. 
  • There are 180+ bridges in the village.
  • The population is a little over 2600.
  • Some of the cottages are over 200 years old.
  • There are many island farms here as well.

I hope you enjoyed this brief look at Giethoorn.

Violet Bead Dangle PNR Bracelet

***This week’s giveaway is closed! The winner: Nancy S.*** 

July Winners: Nancy S., Betty O., Shannon C. and Pansy P.

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, July 27, 2017.

And now, here are the photos! Enjoy!  (Photos from Pixabay…)

Giethoorn Cottages Giethoorn Cottages Giethoorn Cottages Giethoorn Cottages Giethoorn Cottages Giethoorn Cottages Giethoorn Cottages Giethoorn Cottages

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! The winner: Nancy S.*** 

July Winners: Nancy S., Betty O., Shannon C. and Pansy P.

Violet Bead Dangle PNR BraceletTo 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!

July Winners: Nancy S., Betty O., Shannon C. Susan S.

New contest ends midnight, Arizona time, on Thursday, July 27, 2017! On Friday, July 28th, 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! *** To be entered into the giveaway drawing, please leave a comment about Giethoorn, the Venice of the North! Have you ever traveled here? Are you ready to start planning your next vacation? Do you love the cottage look? How about living near a canal or a place where boat travel was the main form of transportation?  Feel free to share whatever comes to mind and share from the heart. 

And tell us where you’re from!!!  

Above all: Live the fang!!!

Venice of the Desert Southwest7/24/2017 ~ UPDATE from Buckeye, the Venice of the Desert Southwest, lol! A steady rain that lasts part of the night and half the day is very rare here in the Phoenix area. But that’s what we had today. For those of you who follow my garden, you know that I have islands and paths. Well, the paths filled up with water and my backyard has officially become: The Venice of the Desert Southwest. And yes, it is a joke. The photo is of the south path that travels between my self-planted palo verde tree and my tallest young Mesquite! 

Just wanted to share!

Caris

Freesias

Freesias

In a previous post, I featured roses mostly because my shrubs had stopped blooming given our hellacious Phoenix heat! One of the commenters mentioned freesias and I knew I had to go in search of some beauties to share here today as well as to collect a few FunFacts.  It’s said that placing a bouquet of freesias near you can change your mood! 

FreesiasFreesias are an elegant flower and add a delicate line to any bouquet. They come in a wide variety of colors, from white to red, yellow, and pink to purple. They can be solid or multi-colored and are a favorite of florists. 

And now, here are the freesia FunFacts: (Source.) (Source)

  • Freesias are named after a German physician, Friedrich Freese, who studied these plants.
  • Freesias are native to South Africa and belong to the iris family.
  • Freesia meanings and symbolism include trust, friendship, innocence and passion (the red ones, of course.)
  • They are difficult to grow in the average garden because they have specific temperature requirements. But they are a favorite flower of florists.
  • There are approximately 14 freesia species. But having been crossbred extensively, there are over 1400 species of cultivars ranging in a variety of colors.
  • Freesia plants are zygomorphic, which means that their flowers only grow on one side of the stalk.
  • Freesias are often used in aromatherapy for stress relief.
  • Narcissus and daffodils shouldn’t be put in vases with Freesias. They release a substance that shortens the Freesia vase-life.
  • Freesias are a popular wedding bouquet flower. They are also used to celebrate the 7th wedding anniversary.
  • Their delicate, sweet fragrance makes freesias one of the most popular flowers in the world.

I hope you enjoyed this brief look at freesias…

Blog Giveaway Bracelet*** This week’s giveaway is now closed! We have a winner! Congrats, Betty O.” ***

Recent Winners: Shannon C., Susan S. and Pansy P.

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, July 20, 2017.

And now, here are the photos! Enjoy!  (Photos from Pixabay…)

Freesias

Freesias

Freesias

Freesias

Freesias

Freesias

Freesias

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 now closed! We have a winner! Congrats, Betty O.” ***

Blog Giveaway BraceletTo 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!

Recent Winners: Shannon C., Susan S. and Pansy P. New contest ends midnight, Arizona time, on Thursday, July 20, 2017! On Friday, July 21st, 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 now closed! We have a winner! Congrats, Betty O.” *** To be entered into the giveaway drawing, please leave a comment about freesias. Do you prefer freesias over roses? Which photograph fascinated you the most? Do you have fresh flowers in your house often? To you grow flowers just to fill your home with fragrance and beauty? Feel free to share whatever comes to mind and share from the heart. 

And tell us where you’re from!!!  

Above all: Live the fang!!!

Shwedagon Pagoda

Shwedagon Pagoda

If you recall from last week, I did a post on Temples that featured Buddhist religious sites and customs of Myanmar (Burma). One of the temples was so incredible, I decided to continue the topic here. Several of us were intrigued by the Shwedagon Pagoda because of its complexity and size. I couldn’t help but wonder how it was built, when and how many years or decades it took to finish.

First, a pagoda is a tiered tower with multiple eaves, common in various parts of Asia. (Source.) The Shwedagon Zedi Daw Pagoda is also known as the Golden Pagoda or the Great Dagon Pagoda. It is considered the most sacred pagoda in Myanmar and is located in Yangon, a city with seven million inhabitants. (Source)

TemplesBoth historians and archaeologists believe the pagoda was built between the 6th and 10th centuries BC, or somewhere between 2600 and 3000 years ago, if I’ve done the math right. The legend, however, is a bit different. Two merchant brothers met Lord Gautama Buddha some time in 400 BC and were given 8 of the Buddha’s hairs. They took their prize possession back to Burma. The king, Okkalapa, had been hoping for the arrival of an enlightened Buddha. When the brothers brought the treasure of the Buddha’s 8 hairs to the king, all kinds of miracles occurred, giving the king confidence that a new age was on the horizon. (Source.)

Okkalapa took the 8 hairs to Singuttara hill where relics of three earlier, holy Buddhas were kept in a shrine. The king then built a pagoda around the shrine to protect and honor these relics, including the Buddha’s 8 hairs. This pagoda is the earliest reference to what is now known as the Shwedagon Pagoda (Source.)

History seems a bit sketchy as to when building began on the pagoda but it was fully visible and well known by the 11th Century. Over the years, various kings and queens renovated and enlarged the pagoda. From Wikipedia, here is an excerpt concerning the ‘gold’ of the pagoda. “The gold seen on the stupa is made of genuine gold plates, covering the brick structure and attached by traditional rivets. People all over the country, as well as monarchs in its history, have donated gold to the pagoda to maintain it. The practice continues to this day after being started in the 15th century by the Queen Shin Sawbu, who gave her weight in gold.”

The pagoda is said to have been originally only 8 meters in height and now stands at over 110 meters (360 feet). (Source.)

Originally, I thought the pagoda might have been built all at one time, like the great European cathedrals. But from what I’ve read, it began as a small building and increased over the centuries in size and grandeur.

I hope you found this as intriguing as I did.

Blog Giveaway Bracelet*** This week’s giveaway is now closed! We have a winner! Congrats, Betty O.”

Recent Winners: Shannon C., Susan S. and Pansy P.

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, July 13, 2017.

And now, here are more photos of Shwendagon Pagoda! Enjoy!  (Photos from Pixabay…)

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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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Recent Winners: Shannon C., Susan S. and Pansy P. New contest ends midnight, Arizona time, on Thursday, July 20, 2017! On Friday, July 21st, 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 now closed! We have a winner! Congrats, Betty O.” To be entered into the giveaway drawing, please leave a comment about Shwedagon Pagoda. Which photograph fascinated you the most? What was the most intriguing fact you learned? Do you want to make the trip to see the pagoda for yourself? Feel free to share whatever comes to mind and share from the heart. 

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