It's that time of year when folks up north begin winding their way down here to southern Arizona to escape the snow and cold. It's gorgeous here, and I've been doing a bit of gardening with only occasional slaps at the few persistent mosquitoes that are left after all the rain we had in September.
|The inspiration for my Butterfly Tree|
Since it has cooled off, Denis and I took the opportunity Wednesday to spend the afternoon at the Desert Botanical Garden, where we wandered through the Monarch Butterfly Exhibit and the Offrendas portion of the Dia de los Muertos celebration. In between, we sat outside at the Patio Cafe and watched the wildlife go by. Denis and I are both convinced that the Patio Cafe alone is worth the price of membership. I wouldn't be at all surprised if I start taking a book or my laptop to sit out there. Better take my camera and extra batteries, too!
I often get asked where I come up with my inspiration for the various theme trees I decorate for Christmas. Well, the inspiration for my Butterfly Tree came from the butterfly exhibit at the Desert Botanical Garden. When I look up at a tree covered in living ornaments, I can't help but want to try to bring that image to life at home.
If any of you are wondering, I will be posting more Desert Botanical Garden photos on my Facebook page within the next few days, and I'll also share the Dia de los Muertos photos here on my blog this weekend. In the meantime, I have some links to round up!
Books, Movies & Other Interesting Tidbits
- In the Not-the-Brightest-Bulb-in-the-Chandelier category: The graffiti artist who defaced ten National Parks-- and Instagrammed it.
- For Sale: The ghost town that nobody wanted.
- Have you seen Air New Zealand's Hobbit-themed safety video?
- J.K. Rowling will be posting a new essay about Dolores Umbridge on Pottermore.
- Did you know that there's an abandoned island between Queens and the Bronx in New York City? Spooky!
- And... did you know that there's a group of people responsible for cleaning up what you see in your Facebook and Twitter feeds? Bless 'em!
- eReading on mobile phones is on the rise. Not all that surprising.
- Now here's a list telling us why eBooks are better than print books.
- The Hemingwrite typewriter may redefine writing eBooks.
- San Antonio International Airport has unveiled a free eBook terminal.
- Here's a quiz to learn your reading personality. Mine was "The Judge" which got my penchant for crime fiction correct, but much else was wrong, simply because several of the questions had none of my true responses as a choice. Par for the course, eh?
- The Vatican Library has digitized 4,400 ancient manuscripts and given them away for free.
- A video that will (hopefully) change how some people conduct themselves online.
- The booksellers of South Sudan.
Channeling My Inner Indiana Jones
- A recent thaw has revealed an Antarctic explorer's century-old notebook.
- Yet another dinosaur mystery has been solved.
- The oldest known high-altitude human settlement has been discovered in the Andes.
- The secret in Abraham Lincoln's pocket watch.
- Archaeologists crack the code on a 4,000-year-old clay disk.
- Wow! I need a metal detector!
- If you're willing to wear a hard hat, Nero's golden palace will open to the public soon.
- An ancient shipwreck has been discovered near the Aeolian Islands.
- An ancient city ruled by Genghis Khan's heirs has been uncovered along the Volga River in Russia.
- A researcher is exploring the truth behind the myths about those ancient Amazons.
The Happy Wanderer
- The 25 most breathtaking rooftops you will want to hang out on forever.
- 26 castles and their ancient histories.
- 26 places to visit before you die.
- 40 Number One ranked places in the world we have all wondered about.
I ♥ Lists
- 15 gifts for punctuation nerds and language lovers.
- 7 things only kids who practically grew up in a library (like me) can understand.
- 50 of the scariest short stories of all time.
- 10 things you may not know about J.R.R. Tolkien.
That's all for now. Don't forget to stop by next Friday when I'll share a freshly selected batch of links for your surfing pleasure. Have a great weekend!