Friday, March 16, 2018

Meet My New Friend

So, on Tuesday of this week, I was walking around my neighborhood,
Rumaithiya Garden

minding my own business,
snapping pictures along the way,
feeding kitties (I always carry food with me),
enjoying time outdoors
and then this happened.
I spotted a little tortoise wandering around on his own.
Of course, I had to stop to investigate.  A guy came from the direction of the houses that were set back from the road and I asked if he thought the turtle belonged to anyone there, but he said no. 

The funny thing is that I had just been to my local yarn store so was carrying bags of yarn, plus a container of cat food and now I'm walking home with a tortoise in tow.

I'm sure I looked like a crazy woman.
Jingles is curious but I'm happy to see that she is not threatened by another species.
He's not so sure about her, though.
Years ago when our boys were little, we came back from summer vacation to find that their father had purchased two turtles and I knew absolutely nothing about caring for them.  It was also hot at that time and let's just say things did not go so well when I set up house for them on our balcony.
The weather is still good right now, so this little guy is staying out there for now.
He's very good at hiding and likes to find a corner when he is ready to snooze.
So far he loves parsley and kale and cucumber and carrots.
I've named him Tofu.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, March 8, 2018

A Day to Celebrate

Happy International Women's Day!
The above photo was taken at a new restaurant strip in Colombo, Sri Lanka where my friend, Rizwana, and her daughter took me to lunch on February 26th.
We had pizza and salad at an Italian restaurant called Park Street Trattoria which was really good.
Later in the evening we had plans to go out to dinner with our husbands and let's just say that some little white lies were told.
I have spent the last few years celebrating my birthday in Sri Lanka and somehow my friend still always manages  to surprise me in a really special way.
Thanks to my lovely Sri Lankan friend, Rizwana, and the entire family, it is always such a wonderful celebration.

The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more in life there is to celebrate.
(Oprah Winfrey)

Friendship blessings,

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Outdoor Art Session

Today I met my friend, Aruna, for an outdoor drawing and painting session.
I took art classes in middle school and have always loved doodling and painting, but it's not something I commit to every day.
She messaged me some images ahead of time to consider, so once we were together, we made our choices and got to work.
She is much more serious about the final result than I am.  I'm just enjoying the moment and having fun.  And I have to say, it was very relaxing.  Hours passed by without us even noticing the time.
It was nice to draw and paint birds while listening to birdsong all around us.
I managed another little drawing while she was finishing up.
This colorful little elephant was handpainted by Aruna as a gift for me.
Isn't it lovely?
We had a great time and look forward to planning more creative get-togethers in the future.

Hope you have a wonderful Wednesday!

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Thankful for Trees

Trees are poems the earth writes upon the sky.
(Kahlil Gibran)
One of the books that I've slowly been reading is The Hidden Life of Trees.
The intricacies of nature is something we don't often think about but there are magnificent things happening around us all the time.
I was enchanted with these old trees at the botanical garden in Sri Lanka.
The root systems are incredible.
They are host to colorful lichens.
And even provide growing space for other plants.
Truly amazing!
Learn character from trees, values from roots, and change from leaves.
(Tasneem Hameed(
And check out the incredible jackfruit tree,
It takes a mighty tree to produce fruit this big.
We wandered around the botanical garden for about 2-1/2 hours but I could have stayed there much longer.

Time spent amongst trees is never wasted time.
(Katrina Mayer)
Have a terrific Tuesday!

Monday, March 5, 2018

Peradeniya Royal Botanical Gardens

The garden was first created in 1821 for growing coffee and cinnamon but in 1843 was established as a botanical garden with plants brought from Kew Garden in London, as well as plants from Colombo and Kalutara.
It includes more than 4000 species including spices, medicinal plants and palm trees.
In fact, a couple asked us if we could take their picture here along the Avenue of  Palms.  It was a momentous occasion for them as they said they had taken the same picture 37 years earlier.  Really would loved to have seen the comparison from then to now.
The garden is renowned for its collection of orchids.
And there is a Couroupita guianensis  a/k/a Cannonball Tree planted by King George V and Queen Mary in 1901.  Although I didn't see fruits on this one, there were others in the garden that were literally loaded.
Interestingly enough, it is grown for its ornamental aspect because of the lovely scented flowers and also has some medicinal benefits, but because the fruit has an unpleasant smell, it isnt eaten by humans but instead is left for wild animals to eat or fed to farm animals.
If you look at the tree above, you might think you are just seeing leaves, but there is another fascinating inhabitant of the gardens
These fruit bats a/k/a the Indian Flying Fox are one of the largest in the world and I find them completely amazing to watch.
As with all wild animals, its populations are threatened because of habitat destruction caused by urbanization and widening of roads.  Thankfully, this colony is safe here in the Royal Botanical Gardens of Peradeniya.

Much more to share but will save it for another post.

Have a marvelous Monday.
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