Friday, April 23, 2010

The swallows are returning home

... and have probably been returning to their native area for centuries. 

Symbol of honor, faith and love, the swallows represented everything from luck to loyalty. Symbol of stability and family continuity, are caring partners and brave guards for their home.
For sailors, the swallow means a "safe return home". Seeing a swallow is the "first sign that land is near."
Swallow Mobile

I've recalled how swallows were built their nest in the eaves of the family home and then dusted it with granules of mud and small feathers to protect both eggs and youngs.
I woke up every morning with their chirping when the sun rises.

They carefully cared for their offspring, and although little chicks seemed small and helpless, they had a contagious thirst for life.
The parents are hunting flying insects and feeding the chicks with a bolus of food comprising many insects.
Always I had having fun seeing their greediness for food.

SparrowEvery autumn, columns of swallows are flying far away, by the greener and warmer lands.
I remember how twenty years ago, after the onset of winter, sparrows "borrowed" swallow's empty nest like warm shelter through the winter. During cold months, happily chirped all the day, enjoying their "great deal".
In the spring, the returning swallows stormed house claiming their property and fighting for this.
Once the invaders has been removed, swallows started reconstruction of the partially damaged nest and so began a new stage of life, raising their followers.

I’m waiting each spring to see if the swallows are returning in my house eaves. I like their sharp tail and their color. Seem to be dressed in a tuxedo with white spotless shirt, swinging on descending ropes near the house and warn if the neighbors cat appears around. I understand how complicated it is to paint your house without demolish their nest or to clean up after them, but for every moment of peace and happiness that they gave me, deserve to "live under same roof".

A Tree Swallow Perched on a Tree Branch with New Spring Foliage Photographic Poster Print by Raymond Gehman, 30x40

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Let's celebrate Earth Day!

Lets Celebrate Earth DayI was happy to know that today, 22 April,  is Earth Day.
Let me share with you informations related to this day designed to inspire awareness and appreciation for the Earth's environment.
Every Day is Earth Day 2010 Daily Boxed Calendar (Calendar)
Since 1970, Earth Day has activated individuals and organizations annually to strengthen the collective fight against man’s exploitive relationship with the planet.
As the 40th anniversary of Earth Day approaches, the natural environment faces many challenges and people developed many environmental-protection activities. 

Earth Day 2010 is the perfect moment to unite the environmental community worldwide to take action against climate change and take steps to perpetuate a green economy.

The Earth Day 2010 campaigns aims to combat climate change
Some activities of Earth Day 2010:
Concert for Planet Earth: Rio De Janeiro 92 / Placido Domingo, Denyce Graves, Wynton Marsalis- Global day of conversations, will engage more than 500 mayors and locally elected officials around the world in separate conversations within their local communities on issues of climate, energy and sustainability
- Athletes for the Earth™ program was launched During the Vancouver Winter Olympics.
- Arts for the Earth™ calls on the creative community to be ambassadors for the planet, communicating the ever-growing threat of climate change.

Let's celebrate Earth Day!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Tale of the Red Dragon

I grew up with my grandfather's stories from his "bottomless hunting stories bag" and every night my mind had filled with magical, powerful life examples scattered with wisdom quotes.

I loved his stories with Princes ... multiple-headed Red Dragons who kidnapped Princesses ... Kings with vast kingdoms, which rewards those who saved the Princesses ... with good and bad Witches who influenced the course of all events :-)
Red Dragon

In the "Land of Dragons" grass were grey-red and  sulfur odored, even the trees were red :-).
In the Good Kingdom, everything was green; the sun was shining and birds chirping.
Always Princes fought against Dragons and ... always saved Princesses. 

DragonArtDrawing Dragons: Learn How to Create Fantastic Fire-Breathing Dragons

The Dragons are found in many myths and legends: Chinese dragons bring good luck, in Persian, Greeks, Romanian and Celtic cultures is an incarnation of evil, and in modern times they are seen like primary forces of Nature and the Universe.

The Art of How to Train Your DragonHow To Train Your Dragon

I’ve always been intrigued by the Red Trees and Red Dragons with theirs magical and supernatural powers. Now I have my own Red Dragon Tree that combines those two different concepts from childhood.

 Acer Palmatum / Red Dragon bonsai

My Japanese "Acer palmatum dissectum Red Dragon" is a lace leaf weeping and has arching branches clothed with large, deeply and finely cut garnet-red leaves.

I am sure it will not kidnap any Princess like in my childhood tales and will bring me good luck.

 Acer Palmatum / Red Dragon Leaves

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Seems like yesterday...

In my first years of life, I spent many months at my grandparents.

 Everglade / Poiana cu flori 

Trees with Church / Biserica intre copaciIn their village located on top of the hill, like above all, close to heaven, I got along with Christianity, love of travel and desire to feel my soul at peace with themselves and with the nature.

Jin Tree / Copac brazdat de fulger


There started my apprenticeship of understanding mysteries of life; there I learned how to communicate with wildlife. Then I understood that the secret of happiness consists in the possibility of everyone to find their way in harmony with nature.
I fully understood that when I became adult, and I will be forever dependent of discovering the mirage of nature.
I listen the rustle of forest when the wind blows through the foliage covering the harsh noise of my steps walking through the grass. 

As child, I liked to get lost in everglades. I was sitting for hours listening crickets music or searching for small treasures hidden in the grass such as strawberries or mushrooms.

 Smallberries / FragiSounds of the Everglades, Vol. 1Mushrooms / Ciuperci

I liked to gather small ladybugs.
I’ve admire their glowing bright and then I let them fly away from my hand.

I liked to discover how many types of herbs and flowers are hidden in everglades.

  Ladybug on flowerBlue flowers from everglade/ Flori albastre din poiana

On hot days, hidden under the protective shade of the trees, I looked after butterflies and bees dancing in large circles, collecting pollen from the flowers.

Dancing Butterflies / Fluturi dansand

Healing Sounds of Nature: Tropical Rainforest At Night, Waterfall and Crickets

Monday, April 12, 2010

Truffle bonsai???

Yesterday, I "saved" this little guy; It grew up in a building site near a non-paved alley, beside a pile of limestone. I planted it into a bonsai pot and I pruned it a little bit.
It look like a four- five years old Hornbeam (Carpinus) or Hazel.

Hornbeam, Carpinus or Hazel Tree?

When I dug, I found that the roots have some small brown growths and I was wandering if the tree has some disease. Hmm ..


Initial I thought that I found the world famous “diamond of the kitchen”, Truffle edible Fungi.
“Truffle is a fungal fruiting body that develops underground and relies on mycophagy for spore dispersal. The mycelia of truffles form symbiotic relationships mycorrhizae with the roots of several tree species including beech, poplar, oak, birches, hornbeam, hazel, fir, pine and eucalyptus.”

Truffles: Earth's Black Diamonds

Hmm, looks like Black Summer Truffle (do not have strong aroma), their shape is round, have brown color and only 1cm diameter. Usually, finding truffles takes a little luck and a lot of patience. Sometimes, like in my case, they just are there, and you know only when you look to the roots.
”The trees prefer argillaceous or calcareous soils which are well drained and neutral or alkaline” and my tree, indeed, was growing near a pile of limestone.

The more I studied, the more my “treasure” doesn’t look like a Truflle.

 Root nodules produced by Frankia bacteria

These root nodules are produced by Frankia bacteria which convert atmospheric nitrogen gas into ammonia. I’ve learn that this process is known as “Nitrogen fixation”, and Alnus is the only one tree from Betulaceea family with symbiotic relationship with the Frankia bacterium.
”This nitrogen-fixing bacterium absorbs nitrogen from the environment and fixes it into a form available to the tree. In return, the bacterium receives carbon which is produced by the tree through photosynthesis. This relationship, which improves the fertility of the soil environment, has established Alnus as an important pioneer species in ecological succession”.

That’s it! I have a Family: an Alnus and Frankia bacteria :-)

Alnus Tree with Frankia Bacteria

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Spring is here!

Nature evolves quickly in spring: everywhere flowers, greenery, trees blooming, buzzing bees, the birds chirp. Is so much life and joy all over the place and in celebration, sunny and warm.
Blackbird, ducks, geese and seagulls are whistling in the park. Flowers wake up from their numbness.

I started to make my presence felt in my garden with geranium, jasmine, and bushy mint.
I carefully replanted in larger pots all scented pelargoniums (citronella, rose- lemon, cocos and oak scented) adding the MiracleGrow in the soil composition.

Vision Violet Hardy Geranium - 8 Plants
Blue Blood Hardy Geranium - TRUE BLUE FLOWERS -Potted

Then I trimmed my Australian Mint Bush(deep-green leaves with pungent, mint-like aroma) giving it the shape of bonsai tree, replanted it in a rectangular fancy pot.

I did the same thing with Rosemary (fine balance of pine, evergreen and subtle Mediterranean scent).

 Rosemary bonsai


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