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Shadow…our first & best Ferret.

23 Jul

Son James became interested in Ferrets as a young teen and his mentor Linda found him Shadow. A lovely, and probably deaf wee soul, so gentle and sweet, smelled of honey and very cuddly. He was one of 4 we had, twin females, very small, and one huge one who managed to escape. Here is Shadow…died a few years back & sadly missed x

Shadow

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Lusitania’s Dead, Old Cemetery, Cobh, County Cork

21 Mar

As I searched for the three mass graves of the victims of RMS Lusitania at the Old Cemetery, Queenstown, now Cobh, my hair stood on end and my body tingled.

I quickly realised I had just walked over the first mass grave site…a  moment I shall never forget.

Web Spinners, Embioptera, in my kitchen…

20 Mar

Web Spinner

We just found a baby Web Spinner…Embioptera, in the kitchen this evening. I had not seen one for several years, so I am thrilled there is still a colony living under our heating boiler…

They weave a tiny nest, using web and fluff, and the nest I found had the shell of an M&M sweetie incorporated in it…exotic, harmless & welcome little creatures. I am very happy.

Photographer Captures Woodpecker Showing Weasel the World

3 Mar

TwistedSifter

weasel-riding-woodpecker

Aladdin jokes aside, what you are actually witnessing is a remarkable battle for survival as a Green woodpecker attempts to escape the predatory clutches of a weasel. The incredible photo was caught on camera by amateur bird watcher and photographer Martin Le-May who spotted the event in East London’s Hornchurch Country Park.

Since being posted on Twitter yesterday afternoon, the photo has gone viral and has been published by news outlets around the world. Le-May explains that the woodpecker was feeding on some ground-dwelling insects when the weasel went for the sneak attack. Naturally the bird tried to take flight and the pair got as high as 10 ft before landing again where the woodpecker managed to free itself and live another day.

[Sources: Mashable, Slate, Jason Ward on Twitter, Martin Le-May on Twitter]

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Video

OLUSEGUN OBASANJO FOUNDATION

17 Aug

Oba

http://www.olusegunobasanjofoundation.org/

Oba & Goodluck

On February 8, the Olusegun Obasanjo Foundation was officially launched at a gala hosted at Grosvenor House, Park Lane, London. The former Nigerian President, Olusegun Obasanjo was joined by an esteemed panel of African Presidents which included President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia, President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria, President Thomas Yayi Boni of Benin, President John Dramani Mahama of Ghana, with a special video message from President Ali Bongo Ondimba of Gabon. Over 1,000 special guests from across the globe were in attendance to support the Foundation’s inauguration.

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The Hoopoe, Upupa Epops…Israel’s National bird and my favourite.

13 Aug

Who gave the hoopoe a golden crest of feathers? ?מִי עָנַד לַדּוּכִיפַת צִיצַת נוֹצָה? Mi ‘anad ladukhifat tsitsat notsa? This story is based on an Arab tale that was retold by Israel’s poet, Hayim Naxman Bi’alik (חַיִּים נַחְמָן בְּיָאלִיק).

13 Aug

hoopoe

When King Solomon (הַמֶּלֶךְ שְׁלֹמֹה) felt overwhelmed with his royal job, he used to take vacations in a special city called Tadmor that he built for this purpose in the middle of the desert. He used to fly there for few days on his personal White Eagle, (נֶשֶׁר לָבָן) and when he came back he felt refreshed and ready to rule his people (and animals).

On one of his flights the sun shone vigorously and King Solomon almost passed out from heatstroke. The king of the Hoopoes saw him and called his flock to create a bird-cloud to shade the fainting king and rescued him. To thank the hoopoes, King Solomon promised to fulfill a wish for them. So, the hoopoes discussed it for a whole day and decided to ask for a golden crest (צִיצַת זָהָב) of feathers. King Solomon told them that if they decided their wish was futile, he didn’t mind helping them again.

The hoopoes received a golden crest and were overjoyed. They began acting like narcissists, looking at their reflection in the water all the time. A hunter watched the hoopoes boasting and put a small mirror on the ground. When a hoopoe came to watch itself he hunted it and sold its golden crest. When others heard about the “flying treasure,” many people began hunting the hoopoes to become rich. The hoopoes were in trouble. As a last resort, the king of the hoopoes went back to King Solomon, begging him to rescue his birds from extermination. King Solomon, understanding that the hoopoes had certainly learned their lesson, took pity upon them and removed the gold from their crest. Ever since, the hoopoes have been content with their lot and behave modestly, but still seem very glorious even with their non-golden crest (צִיצָה).

birds-madagascar-poland-flight-hoopoe-new-hd-wallpaper

Here is an excerpt from the beginning and end of a lovely song by Oded Hillel about the hoopoeThe poet rhymed דּוּכִיפַת (dukhifat) with מָה אִכְפַּת (ma ‘ikhpat) which means “who cares?”

?בְּיוֹם הַשַּׁבָּת פָּגַשְׁתִּי דּוּכִיפַת וְשָׁאַלְתִּי: מַה שְׁלוֹמֵךְ, מַה שְׁלוֹמֵךְ, דּוּכִיפַת

Beyom haShabat pagashti dukhifat vesha’alti: ma shlomekh, ma shlomekh, dukhifat?

On Saturday I met a hoopoe and asked: How are you? How are you hoopoe?

 לֹא אִכְפַּת, לֹא אִכְפַּת, – אָמְרָה הַדּוּכִיפַת

Lo ikhpat, lo ikhpat, – amra hadukhifat. I don’t mind, I don’t mind, said the hoopoe.

 וּמָה הַשָּׁעָה, אוּלַי אַתְּ יוֹדַעַת? לֹא אִכְפַּת, – אָמְרָה הַדּוּכִיפַת

Uma hasha’a? Ulay at yoda’at? – Lo ikhpat, lo ikhpat, – amra hadukhifat.

And what’s the time, do you know? I don’t mind, I don’t mind, said the hoopoe.

?אָז מַה בְּסוֹפוֹ שֶׁל דָּבָר אִכְפַּת לָךְ וְאִכְפַּת

 Az ma besofo shel davar ikhpat lakh ve’ikhpat?

So what, after all, do you care about?

!אֲנִי לְעַצְמִי, אֲנִי הַדּוּכִיפַת מְאוֹד מְאוֹד אִכְפַּת

Ani le’atsmi, ani hadukhifat me’od me’od ikhpat!

I care about myself, the hoopoe very much!

אָמְרָה הַדּוּכִיפַת וּכְמוֹ שֶׁאָמְרָה פָּרְחָה בְּבַת אַחַת. וְלָמָּה? כִּי חָתוּל רָעֵב מְאוֹד הֵצִיץ בָּהּ מִן הַצַּד

Amra hadukhifat ukmo she’amra parxa bevat axat. Velama? Ki xatul ra’ev hetsits ba min hatsad.

Said the hoopoe and as she said she flew away at once. And why? Because a hungry cat glanced at her from the side.

eTeacherHEBREW.com

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