Friday

The Dove of Love

Oriental Turtle Dove making a heart with its wings

Awww... doves are so Valentines, aren't they?  Soft, pure symbols of love.  

And who hasn't seen the sweet turtle doves nestling together cozily?

Doves...

...are another name for pigeons.

...which have been characterized, not by me, as "rats with wings"!

So why do "doves = love"  but "pigeons = pests"?

There are only small differences between the two.

Here in the U.S, we commonly see the Mourning dove and maybe a domestic white dove or two. 

Recently, I rescued what what I thought was a wild Mourning Dove and took it to a pigeon breeder here in town to recover. Turned out the dove was a hybrid of Mourning dove with a domestic dove. Interesting.


Interesting, but not as interesting as doves in other parts of the world...they are a knock-out!  

Did you know that fruit doves are considered some of the most colorful birds on earth?

And can even a little bit shocking?  Look at this dove; it looks like it's 's been shot!  But this is a Bleeding Heart dove, found in the Philippines.  What an appropriate name...


(And hopefully this bird is not symbolic of how your Valentine's Day is progressing.)




And now, you gotta see these doves to believe them...Doves...they're not just "white" anymore. 
The Coronetted dove practically glows with color.


I could go on and on; there are so many more gorgeous doves in the world.

And here is the very widespread Feral Rock pigeon (or Rock dove) that you see in parks (you know, the "rat with wings").  I might be a bit prejudiced against these in particular, because at one time their nesting habits caused me some serious roof repairs.  Not that I'm bitter. :)


Have a Dovey Valentines Day!


There are many more doves and pigeons to discover, some of which you can see here

Wednesday

Strange Cattle You Never Knew Existed


You see them by country roads; in dairies and grazing in the fields.  They all look the same.

They're just COWS!

But I bet you haven't seen some of the hardiest, strangest cattle in the world.



Let's take a look:

Saturday

Christmas Lights Up a Tree Frog


Frog swallows a Christmas light!

Hard to believe that this little Cuban frog was that hungry. 

Or maybe he was overcome with the holiday spirit?

Here's what the photographer says:


Monday

Strange Ways to Go Dashing Through the Snow


What do you know about sledding?

Everyone knows about dog-sledding...the Iditarod, etc. So I had to post this gorgeous photo of a dog sledding team. Dogs have been known to sled 90 miles in one day, each one pulling 85 pounds apiece!


And then there's the more traditional sleigh pulled by one or two horses.

The troika in the above photo, however, is pulled by three horses. (Troika means three of a kind.) 

And there's the reindeer sleigh.  Did you know that reindeer is another name for caribou?
No, the reindeer aren't in distress...they tend to run with their tongues out  :)

But in my search for amazing photos of animals pulling sleds, I found this:

What? I didn't know you could tame mooses...uh, meese (??)

But you know me, I couldn't stop there...I had to find out what other improbable animals pull things...and it's amazing:


An ostrich?  And just where was the mother of those kids in the lion cart?  Was she napping??

Now, I know this isn't exactly "sledding", but for fun, check out this short video of a real reindeer ski race in Norway:



Oh, that was too fun; now I think I want a reindeer for Christmas.

Thursday

Turkeys You WON'T Eat for Thanksgiving


I just had to sneak in a little post about turkeys, because there are turkeys, but then there are turkeys!

The turkey you'll eat for the holiday comes from the original American Wild Turkey, seen below:

Big Cats and Their Halloween Pumpkins!

Tuesday

A Mysterious (and Wrongly-Named) Dog



Elusive, shy of people, a real mystery dog.

This wild dog (like the Bush dog) has webbed toes.

And, strangely enough, the female dog is way bigger than the male.  Not too common in the world of dogs!