Marble is such a fascinating stone – so many colors, so many patterns, and such a useful stone, too!
Saw some of these at the Lisbon zoo. They do, in fact, remind one a bit of fancy chickens. But they are, in fact, a kind of pigeon.
Common pigeons have their own charm and beauty, but there are some really shockingly beautiful pigeons (eta: and doves) out there. So diverse are they that here I just feature some that are charmingly pink:
These are from the genus Chlorophonia, a kind of tropical finch:
Some Euphonias for you:
That yellow! A pair of violaceous euphonia once started building a nest in one of my orchid pots. The color is just mind-bogglingly sunflower yellow, especially in contrast to the deep purplish-blue of the back. An incredible bird.
I love the smell of country air. In the mountains in Brazil, in the drier zones, the smell is a wonderful ever-changing palette of pine, juniper, herbs and flowers. In the damper zones, such as around the city of Rio, the moist earth and heavy foliage have their own distinct smell, accompanied by seasonal wafts of flowers, fruit and rotting fruit, rain, and salt spray. One of the most startling is the smell of the flowers of the Cannonball tree. The prolific flowers grow directly from the trunk, enveloping the tree in garlands of pink. The flowers smell like roses, though without the delicate timidity of many (hybrid?) roses.
In honor of the spectacular beauty of Creation, here are a few species of woodpecker commonly called Flamebacks, which are found in Southeast Asia and India.