Flower of the Day Challenge (FOTD): January 7, 2019

A few months ago, Cee expanded her Flower of the Day Challenge to include leaves. I am going to take advantage of that change today!

Flower of the Day

To read previous posts in this series click here.

This and That

I’ve been wanting to provide updates on subjects I’ve written about in the past, so I decided to publish a This and That post.


Those of you who followed my recent journey to Amma’s ashram in Amritapuri, India may remember that in January I was wondering why these “caterpillars” didn’t eat the Saraswati Garden plants. I’m used to seeing caterpillars demolish plants.

Two readers informed that the creatures weren’t caterpillars; they were centipedes. I had never considered that possibility. As I look closely at the photo above, I can see all of the legs, but I sure didn’t see them at the time.

I saw a centipede in Amritapuri two years ago. I remember it moved so fast that it left me speechless.


That one was more like centipedes I’ve seen in the United States. I had no idea that centipedes could be brightly colored. Those readers also told me that centipedes don’t eat plants; they are carnivorous. Their diet consists primarily of insects and spiders.


While I was in Amritapuri, crosswalks were painted on the street down the beach road. I saw about a mile of them, so I suspect they go the whole length of the peninsula. At the time, I wondered what crosswalks meant in India. I still don’t know what they mean.

I don’t believe that the crosswalks give pedestrians right-of-way, or if they do, that fact is being completely ignored. I didn’t see any change in driving patterns. I suspect a policeman or policewoman would have to stand there before the drivers would stop.


When I wrote my Women’s March on Seattle post, I was not able to get the video I took of a group of drummers turned from vertical to horizontal. I have recently accomplished that feat, thanks to some advice from a friend. You can see a clip of the performance in the video above, and I also added it to the post.

I had edited the post once before so I could include two addendum. One of them contains beautiful Women’s March photos from around the world. I cried as I scrolled down that article. If you would like to see the added content click here.



In January of 2015, I spent the night in the Dubai airport hotel. I was mystified when I walked into the bathroom. What was that on the left? Was it a man’s urinal? That didn’t make sense but neither did anything else.

There wasn’t even a flush on it. It was more like a bath tub. A bath for your dirty butt? I couldn’t get myself to try it that year or even the next. By then, I had been told that it was a bidet, and that you wash yourself some before you use it. The idea still seemed gross to me. It sure wasn’t like any bidet I’d ever seen.

This year I got brave and tried it out. Not bad. It was  a bidet that had better aim than the kind I was familiar with.


I never found my lost iPhone, so have not been able to recover the photos I took on my last days in Amritapuri. I was able to find the Work With Nature YouTube channel that Lokeshwar, the man who organized the Amritapuri seed-saving garden, created. I just looked at that channel for the first time. There is SO much information there.

I also watched some of the videos. Lokeshwar’s Amritapuri garden has three of the plastic hives that you will see in the video below. They are for tiny sting-less bees. My understanding is that 50,000 bees can be housed in each of these bee hives and that the bees will always come back to that hive. (Lokeshwar is the man on the right.)

In this seed-saving garden, they are conducting experiments with biochar and terra preta.

There are so many videos on his site. I look forward to exploring more of them in the future.


Photo Credit: Wikimedia
Photo Credit: Wikimedia

I slept 7 hours last night. Hallelujah! I know better than to assume my jet lag is over, but I can still hope! Sleeping only three hours at a time is exhausting.


I think this is the end of my updates, at least for now!

Song Lyric Sunday: Little Trees


Helen’s direction for this week’s Song Lyric Sunday is to share lyrics from a song that has something to do with nature.

Since a major focus in my life right now is freeing trees from invasive plants such as blackberry vines and ivy, I decided to look for songs that talked about trees. The first one that drew me was Michael Mitchell’s song “Little Trees”. While I liked that one a lot, I decided to consider songs from a wide variety of sources. I listened to Bob McGrath (1922) singing a musical version of Joyce Kilmer’s poem- Trees, Metalicca’s- Blackened,  Rush’s- The Trees, and Enya’s- Memory of Trees.

These songs varied from hopeful to apocalyptic. I decided to go with the first one I had listened to, one that was written for the purpose of teaching children about trees. Michael Mitchell wrote “Little Trees” for Sesame Street. It is part of his album Canada is for Kids: Volume 1.



I’d like to take a walk in the woods
Come with me, do you think you could
We’ll find a tree that we can climb
We’ll have fun all afternoon

Little trees need a chance to grow
It takes time and care
They’re a lot like us you know

So many kinds of different trees
They look like one big family
Big ones, short ones, baby ones too
I’ll name this one after you

It’ll be a long time before he
Is tall and strong like a grown up tree
For now he’s just a kid like us
Playing out in the woods

For the video, I picked Phantom Ember singing the song. I didn’t have much luck finding out information about Phantom Ember. From what I’ve read, I’m wondering if it is the ghost of Ember McClaine from a Nickelodeon animated television series Danny Phantom. Am I right?

Seeing What Is

In 1973, when Al and I bought the house I still live in, the yard was beautiful.  An elderly couple had lived there for more than 40 years.  It was obvious that much of their time had been devoted to taking care of the grounds. Because of divorce, child-rearing, working, going to school, etc. it was impossible for me to do all the work that was necessary to maintain the yard and the landscaping disintegrated. I yearned to have the property be beautiful again.

One day, I was standing with a friend in my back yard bemoaning the disarray. She said “Karuna, just look around you.”  That was probably 15 years ago, so the trees are taller now, but what I saw when I looked around that day was similar to these photos I took yesterday. (You can enlarge the pictures by clicking on the galleries.)

The view was stunning.  I realized that by putting my focus on what I didn’t like, I had become blind to the beauty that surrounded me.

Last year, I discovered another situation where I was not seeing something that was in front of me.  The tree in the photos below is so close to my top deck that some of the branches actually touch it.  The tree’s budding and blooming process is fascinating.  How could I not have noticed it before?

(Note: To see the whole tree go to Branches Reach for the Sky.)


Have you ever not seen something that was directly in front of you because you were so focused on something else? I believe that experience takes many different forms, whether it be like the examples I’ve shared in this post, or a lost item showing up in a place we’ve looked for it many times.  It could even be not seeing how lovable and capable we are or how much other people care about us because we are focused on traumas from the past or fear of the future.

Consider sharing ways you have not seen what is in front of you in the comment section below or in one of your own posts!


Weekly Photo Challenge: Dance

This week’s Weekly Photo Challenge: Dance brought two set’s of photographs to mind.

I took the first set in February, when I went on a nature walk at Loon Lake in British Columbia.  The photos are of a downed tree.  It seemed to me that one of pictures made it look like the trunk was spinning, as in a whirling dervish.

The second set was from last December when I was in India watching a storm approaching.  It was “ready to rumble.”





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