Flower of the Day, do tree trunks count?: July 7, 2020

This summer I’ve been discovering tree trunks with unusual shapes, character, and textures. I mostly admired leaves, but these trunks were conspicuously different that made me do a double-take.

Nature is teaching me to look in different directions and angles. It could be the quarantine’s effect of noticing what’s in front of me rather than looking upward and outward. I have mostly admired their leaves, but this summer I’m noticing the splendor of trunks and the balanced strength(mostly) it provides in supporting the rest of the tree.

Looks like dried banana chips glued together…

I have always been very interested in landscape… I find that all natural forms are a source of unending interest – tree trunks, the growth of branches from the trunk, each finding its own individual air-space.

Henry Moore
Welcome to the family!
Feeling bent out of shape
Just gone over the edge…/ This one was posted earlier, but I couldn’t help adding it again.
Babysitting tender leaves…

Thanks Cee for hosting this challenge! Have a great start to a new month.

Zoom class with Coyote Peterson: kid style reaction to seeing blood from a leech bite

Last week, Coyote Peterson, a wildlife adventurer and educator, offered a 2-part Zoom class about bites and stings. It was a free course hosted by Varsity Tutors. We’re familiar with his show ever since kids discovered his adventures on YouTube. They were thrilled to see him live.

If you don’t know Coyote Peterson, here’s a brief intro: He’s a popular YouTube personality and wildlife expert who travels the world to highlight the characteristics and species of rare animals living in those areas. He catches these animals, not easy to find, and teaches viewers all about their characteristics, habitat, and interesting facts. He ends with the tagline: “Be brave. Stay wild, and See you on the Next Adventure.”

My kids are big fans, and a favorite episode is Coyote P. meeting a rescue baby Sloth named B-Rad in Costa Rica’s nature center. Ellis has played B-Rad hundreds of times and think it’s hilarious that sloths climb down trees every seven days to poop. Yep, you guessed it right. Both of them role play sloths pooping on the ground with their nubby tails.

This was a mellow episode but others are too much adventure for me. He swims, leaps, jumps, climbs, falls, hikes…mostly in dangerous terrains.

Their favorite episodes involve Coyote getting bit or stung. Don’t understand the appeal, but they think it’s cool and scary at the same time.

These incidents are documented for the sake of teaching people about the effects of those bites and stings. On the Zoom call, one student asked how many times he’s been bitten: the actual number is hard to determine, but he’s been bitten by 52 species. Eeeek! How is this guy still alive?!

I walked in during the class and found both kids huddled under Ellis’ blanket. Thought they were playing a trick on me. Nope, they saw a blurb of Coyote P. bleeding from a leech encounter. Scared but too interesting to turn it off.

Those bites and stings look painful to bear; some of those effects can last for hours and cause excrutiating pain. We wince and wonder why anyone would purposely get bitten. It’s attention-grabbing entertainment, teaches how to avoid and respond to these attacks, and raises appreciation for animal’s innate protective mechanism. Message: don’t mess with wild animals, they’re not interested in interacting with humans, and give them their space. Animals and insects attack when they perceive threat rather than seeking human contact. That’s good to know! I’ll stick to my space.

I really appreciated Coyote Peterson emphasizing what not to do when you encounter a wild animal. Resist the urge to turn and run. Don’t run away! If you do, they will chase you and get hurt. Instead, make yourself large with loud noises, wave your arms, and stomp your feet to make yourself seem large and scary.

The last part of the class: Zoom selfie shot

This was a nice treat! Thanks Varsity Tutors for offering this fun summer class for kids.