Summer Flashback

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Source: Julian Stratenschulte via wsj.com. A boy jumps into a swimming pool in Hanover, Germany. 

 

Happy Bird Father’s Day (Miracle, all of it)

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Excerpts from Jennifer Ackerman‘s: Why Bird Fathers Are Superior:

They are attentive parents, building nests, feeding chicks and even showing their young how to sing.

Tally up the good dads and the bad dads in the animal world, and mammals come up surprisingly short. Males provide direct care of their young in less than 5% of mammal species. Some mammals, like grizzly bears, are notoriously bad dads, known to kill their own cubs…most mammal fathers are deadbeats with a “love ’em and leave ’em” approach, sticking around only to mate.

Then there are birds. For our avian friends, attentive care of the young by both males and females is the norm. True, females shoulder the full parenting load in a few avian families, such as hummingbirds. But in some 90% of bird species, the males stay around to help: They share the duties of nest-building, incubate eggs, feed brooding females and the chicks, even train their young for independent life. Birds, in short, have a system of parenting not unlike our own, despite being separated from us by some 300 million years of evolutionary history…

How could creatures whose brains are so much smaller than ours and so different from them possibly be clever? …In the past two decades or so, we’ve learned that some species of birds have relatively large brains for their body size, just as we do…Birds teach. They learn. They solve problems. They make tools. They count. They remember where they put things. They deceive and cheat. They argue and console.

And they parent—most often together, with an equitable division of labor between nest and “office.” Many birds share incubation duties. Male and female double-crested cormorants swap that role about once an hour, so that the stay-at-home parent gets a chance to forage for itself. Woodpeckers relieve one another during the day, but the male alone incubates at night.

Some male birds go to extraordinary lengths not just to find food for their young but to participate in the actual feeding. The anhinga, or snakebird, which is found in the southern swamplands of the Americas, puts his whole mouth and neck into it, creating a kind of feeding tube to efficiently deliver partially digested fish down the throats of his young. (The chicks are soon shoving their heads down their dad’s beak to speed up the process.)

The Namaqua sandgrouse, which lives in the driest regions of southern Africa, acts as a living flask for his brood: A male bird flies up to 20 miles to find a watering hole in which to soak his belly feathers, absorbing a few tablespoons of water—then flies back to his chicks to let them drink from his feathers… [Read more…]

Watch. Watch this.

I’ve been told that I’m the only one on the planet that hasn’t seen this 12-year old ukulele singer-songwriter play a song she wrote on America’s Got Talent. Grace VanderWaal’s amazing audition has been seen over 60,000,000 times and counting. This sweet, genuine, modest young lady from Suffern, NY steps up in front of millions and nails it. Simon Cowell describes her as the next Taylor Swift.

Watch. Watch this.


Thank you Susan.

Ruth & Eve

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Artistic collaborations can happen in unexpected ways—just ask Ruth Oosterman. She has found a unique, creative partnership with her 3-year-old daughter, Eve. Together, they produce beautiful works of art. Through Eve’s vivid imagination and Oosterman’s talent, the colorful paintings are a mix of unrestrained creativity and small, intricate details. The Toronto-based mom calls the ongoing project Collaborations with my Toddler.

Together, they produce beautiful works of art that display both the vibrant, unrestrained creativity of a child and intricate details that could only be done by a talented artist. The tag-team style paintings are often started by Eve who doodles on paper with a pen or paint. Then Oosterman takes the lead, transforming the abstract marks into animals, landscapes, or portraits. With both of their contributions visible, the results reinforce the idea that two heads are better than one.

For Oosterman, the artistic journey is more important than the final product. “Through collaborating with Eve, she is teaching me how to paint all over again,” she writes on her website. “I treasure this bonding experience more than words can express.”

For more Oosterman Mother – Daughter collaborations:  Ruth Oosterman


Notes:

Monday Morning Wake-Up Call: Let’s Go.

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Source:

SMWI*: Shake it!

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Notes:

  • SMWI* = Saturday Morning Work-Out Inspiration
  • Image Source: Mennyfox55 (Sumo v Child)

 

T.G.I.F.: It’s Been A Long Week

The footage is being widely shared on the Wild Wings Safaris Facebook page – nearly 15,000 shares at the time of this post – and generating feedback that’s almost as touching as the footage. A random sampling of the comments:

  • “Leave it to the smart old women to solve the problem!”
  • “I feel like the mother was trying to allow he baby to figure it out on its own, but the other elephant was impatient. Elephants are stinking adorable! And they stand on their tippy toes!”
  • “I wish humans would look after their kids so well. Why oh why do we treat animals so badly?”
  • “Maybe it’s the mom in me, but watching it just stressed me out even though I new he was gonna get out.”
  • Aren’t animals awesome? We need to realize they have feelings like us.”

Source: Grindtv (Thank you Susan)

Only the Winds


Ólafur Arnalds, 28, is a multi-instrumentalist and producer from Mosfellsbær, Iceland. Ólafur Arnalds mixes strings and piano with loops and edgy beats crossing-over from ambient/electronic to pop.

  • His official web site can be found here.
  • This song can be found on iTunes on his 2013 Album titled For Now I Am Winter

Related Posts: Olafur Arnaulds

Saturday Morning (that hopeful sounding on the roof)

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It’s raining this morning.
That hopeful sounding on the roof.
I can almost hear the roots
suck water through their fragile hairs,
raising it through the tough trunk
into the cloud-shaped canopy of the live oak […]

Can’t you remember being a child,
opening your mouth to the rain?

— Ellen Bass, “Sometimes I’m frightened


Sources: Photo by t does wool– “walking between the raindrops.’ Poem – Memory’s Landscape

A Mother’s work is never done (85 sec)

A mother raccoon is teaching her cub how to climb a tree.

 

 

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