Denis and I have been trying to visit the Desert Botanical Garden at least every other week. Last Thursday the crowds were a bit thinner (spring training is over), and there seemed to be critters everywhere.
Every time I turned around, it seemed as though I had to stop and let some critter cross the path in front of me. Am I complaining? Of course not! The little ground squirrel you see to the right stopped right in the middle of the path to chew on a desert willow blossom. At the same place a tiny little black and white bird almost landed on my elbow. (I was more surprised than it was.) Further along this path, two more ground squirrels had precarious perches in spindly shrubs, and they were splitting open pods and gorging on seeds.
On my way to meet Denis at the Patio Cafe, I had to stop and let a roadrunner cross the path in front of me. And then a lizard made a run for it further down the path. (Probably startled by the roadrunner!)
As Denis and I sat at the Patio Cafe, two tree squirrels proved to be bullies, and the male Gambel's quail did not appreciate their behavior one little bit. But we saw something extraordinary when we were leaving the garden. Denis and I happened to look over a gate that closes off a section of the garden that's being renovated. Two roadrunners were mating, the male dangling a lizard in front of his lady to sweeten her disposition. We'd never seen that before... in fact neither of us had ever seen two roadrunners in the same place before. Yes, we took photos, but I decided not to prove our voyeurism here!
Thought I forgot all about those links, eh? Of course I didn't! Here ya go----
►Books, Movies & Other Interesting Tidbits◄
- GCHQ, the UK's surveillance agency, intervened to help prevent the sixth Harry Potter installment from leaking online.
- US libraries are on pace for a record year of eBook checkouts.
- Why Sir Ian McKellen returned a $1.4 million book advance.
- A North Carolina bookseller begs authors not to boycott the state, and writers in Mississippi aren't happy either.
- The Hypertext Library helps readers traces themes in the books they read.
- Iva-Marie Palmer explains how visiting her local library makes her a better parent.
- A statue of George Orwell has been moved so it can welcome staff, visitors, and smokers at BBC Headquarters.
- Bookstores in the Hong Kong Airport are closing at an alarming rate. Is this another sign of the city's eroding freedoms?
- Esmé Weijun Wang explains why her novel uses untranslated Chinese.
- Detection, mid-century style: the rise of the cozy mystery genre.
- In case any of you thought Braveheart was true: William Wallace myths busted.
- At 2016's London Book Fair translators are championing books in under-represented languages.
- Which subjects are under-represented in contemporary fiction?
- Take a look at Benedict Cumberbatch in the trailer for Doctor Strange. You know you want to....
- This is the new loneliness.
- Why has Avatar been forgotten just five years after its release? (Article written in 2014.) And... James Cameron has confirmed that he is making four Avatar sequels.
►Channeling My Inner Indiana Jones◄
- Witch Hunting For Dummies: the 15th-century witchcraft manual.
- It's the last chance for Trent Park to be turned into a museum for World War II's secret listeners.
- Archaeologists have discovered Israel's oldest glassworks.
- A handwriting study has been finding clues on when biblical texts were actually written.
- A French family stumbled upon a long-lost €120 million Caravaggio painting while fixing their leaky roof.
- The dark history of Scotland's drowning pools.
- A metal whip used during the Black Death has been found in an abbey in England.
- From Roosevelt to Resolute, the secrets of all six Oval Office desks.
- When the British wanted to camouflage their warships during World War I, they made them dazzle.
- The Bosnian Indiana Jones believes a massive stone sphere is a sign of an ancient civilization.
►Channeling My Inner Elly Mae Clampett◄
- Lemur extinctions are harmful to Madagascar's plant life, too.
- The world's wild tiger count has risen for the first time in over a century.
- The largest python ever captured.
- There aren't just dog people and cat people; there are dog countries and cat countries.
- 15 animals proving they can fall asleep anywhere. My favorites? 6 and 9.
- Nara, the Japanese city where the deer roam free.
►The Happy Wanderer◄
- The eleven most bookish places on Earth.
- Switzerland's most beautiful Alpine gardens.
- Is this the quietest square inch in the U.S.?
- Ever wonder what happened to Mary Katherine Cummings, the woman known as Big Nose Kate when she lived with Doc Holliday in Tombstone, Arizona?
- The star-studded life of Ms. Dorothy Bennett.
►I ♥ Lists◄
- Twelve common reasons why students don't read and what you can do about it.
- The greatest heroines of all time.
- Twenty quotes about summer from books to help you count down until beach days.
- Twelve books where women save the day.
- Nine books that could be the next Outlander.
- Ten rainy day reads.
- I think my favorite word on this untranslatable word list is tsundoku... or is it mangata?
- Five trends that are boosting book sales.
- 22 magical cakes all book lovers will appreciate.
That's all for this week! Don't forget to stop by next Friday when I'll be sharing a freshly selected batch of links for your surfing pleasure.
Have a great weekend, and read something fabulous!