Thursday, January 30, 2014

The Monkey Orchid

I know it may be hard to believe, but this is actually a flower, not a monkey. Really! :) It’s called a “Monkey Orchid” or more scientifically “Dracula Simia.” And yes, the name Dracula comes from the infamous Count. It’s called this because of the two long spurs that resemble teeth.

This monkey orchid grows mostly in high elevations of the Ecuadorian forest. They can also be seen in the forests of Peru and Columbia, in high elevations, of course. If you’re ever lucky enough to get near one, take a big sniff. Apparently, it smells like a ripe orange and is quite pleasant.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The Sheep Pig

This is the Mangalitsa or the "sheep-pig." It originated in Austria and Hungry. Technically a pig, its full, curly coat can cause some to mistake it for a sheep. This thick covering comes in three different colors: blond, brunette, and red. Unfortunately, it is now considered an endangered species. This is partly due to the fact that, according to people with experience in this area, it tastes really, really yummy.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Happy Ditch New Year's Resolutions Day!

I want to wish everyone a happy "ditch New Year's resolutions" day. May it be filled with all of the joy and freedom that you had before January 1st.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

The Bleeding Tree

This is the Dragon's Blood tree. The Dragon's Blood tree "bleeds" when it is cut. Well, not really, but it's red sap certainly looks like blood. People throughout history have used this unusual sap, or dragon's blood, for many things ranging from dyes and medicines to glue, breath fresheners and alchemy.
The tree is rare and can be found on some small islands in the Indian Ocean, particularly on Socotra Island. The inhabitants there use the dragon's blood sort of as a panacea to cure many and most medical problems.
But even without the benefits of it's unique "blood," this tree would still be a beautiful addition to any landscape.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The Mexican Walking Fish

This is the Axolotl or “Mexican Walking Fish.” They can be found in the waters of Mexico and in some Asian pet stores. Unfortunately, they are on the brink of extinction.

This adorable salamander can regenerate almost any part of its body, including some parts of its brain. It rarely grows longer than a foot, and it keeps its “teenage” body its entire adult life. Imagine that!

It’s so cute. It’s no wonder that it’s always smiling.

Monday, October 7, 2013

I just got in the proof of my new book. I'm really beginning to get excited. It won't be long now.

Monday, September 30, 2013

One of the best parts of being a writer is all of the fun things you get to try in the name of research. When my characters, Molly and Jake, go rappelling for the first time, I know exactly how they feel. :)