I was picking up some books at the Human Rights Museum Shop and saw this beautiful necklace. I decided to splurge and buy it for a late birthday gift to myself. I felt a little guilty about it. I really don’t need more jewelry. The cashier asked me if I would like a card that provided more information about the necklace.
The card said the necklace had been made from the tagua nut. It is the fruit of a kind of palm tree in northern South America. Each fruit has about four to nine seeds the size and shape of an egg. There is a liquid inside each seed and when it hardens it has the look and feel of real ivory. In the past tagua ivory was used primarily for making buttons. Now it is being used to make jewelry and carvings as well.
I read an interesting article about how tagua might help to save elephants because it can act as a substitute for real ivory. Only problem is the rainforests where the tagua nut trees grow are being threatened by slash and burn agriculture. If more people demand products made from tagua it may be profitable to leave those trees standing.
So now I am feeling a whole lot less guilty about buying my necklace. My purchase may have helped to save an elephant and some rainforest trees. Why buying that necklace was a positively saintly thing to do!
Looking at Stuff In a Different Way
Dipping My Toe Into the Human Rights Museum
Last Sunday the sermon in my church was about creation. Our pastor talked about nature being a kind of book and when we are outside enjoying creation we are reading the pages of that book. It is good to read scripture but it is also important to read the book God has written with creation. That made me think about references to the created world in Scripture and so on this Sunday I am going to illustrate some passages with photos I’ve taken.
Rainbow near Vik Iceland
When the bow is in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature- Genesis 9:15
Flowers in Sydney Australia
The flowers appear on the earth; the time of singing has come, – Song of Solomon 2:12
Morning flight of pelicans at Isle De Capitan in Costa Rica
………..and let birds fly above the earth across the dome of the sky. – Genesis 1:20
Natural grasses in New Zealand
You sweep them away; they are like a dream, like grass that is renewed in the morning- Psalm 90:5
Clouds reflected in the water in a pond in the Leo Mol Sculpture Garden in Winnipeg
God it is who makes the clouds rise at the end of the earth- Psalm 135:7
Bamboo forest in Costa Rica that sang when the wind blew through it
Then shall all the trees of the forest sing for joy- Psalm 96:12
On the ocean in Tulum Mexico
You silence the roaring of the seas- Psalm 65:7
Red Rocks in Sedona, Arizona
Enduring is your dwelling place, and your nest is set in the rock-Numbers 24:21
Filed under Nature, Religion
Filed under Iceland, Nature
We spent time in the Florida Keys with our friends Rudy and Sue in 2014. As I have watched the news about Hurricane Irma I’ve been thinking about that trip and wondering what has happened to the places we visited. My friend Sue and I toured Ernest Hemingway’s house in Key West and saw the more than fifty cats that make their home there, direct descendants of a feline that was a gift to Hemingway from a Florida sea-captain. Apparently during the hurricane a group of dedicated employees stayed behind to protect the Hemingway house and the cats even though authorities ordered them to evacuate and Hemingway’s granddaughter urged them to evacuate as well.
One of the cats I photographed on our visit to Hemingway’s House.
I’ve discovered that luckily both the museum staff and the cats survived the hurricane and Hemingway’s house was not damaged. In Marathon Florida we went for a sail on a boat our friends Ed and Millie had worked on during an earlier visit to the Keys. I have read that at one point Marathon was completely underwater and many marinas in the area look like giant shipwrecks. I wonder how our boat the Geni Green and its Captain Jay fared? Another thing we did in the Keys was take a drive down Alligator Alley. We saw literally hundreds of alligators. News reports say that thousands of these alligators have been displaced from their natural habitat because of the hurricane and some are wandering the streets of Florida’s cities and towns.
Having visited the Florida Keys the news I’m seeing about the devastation there seems just a little more personal. The Florida Keys was a terrific tourist destination. Hopefully it will be able to rebound from this tragedy and become a beautiful place to visit once again.
A Spanish Birthing Chair , His Last Penny and Six Toed Cats
A Serendipitous Sail
Filed under Florida, Nature
Here is a fossil of a giant sea scorpion found in North American waters millions of years ago.
Here is indigenous artist Norval Morrisseau’s painting of the water panther god Misshipehu. It moved through the same waters as the ancient sea scorpion.
The two items are displayed near each other at the Art Gallery of Ontario. Can you see any resemblance?
Ojibwa in Paris
Art That Makes You Feel Sick
Filed under Art, Nature, Toronto
Every summer since I’ve been seven I’ve spent time at this lakeside cottage. Its been in our family for three generations. My brother and his family are the current owners and they work so hard to continually improve it. They keep it looking absolutely lovely! I am so appreciative of the way they are maintaining a piece of our family history and also how generous they are about sharing it with family members. They warmly welcomed me this last weekend when I drove out for a quick visit.
I have lived in twenty- one different homes since I was born, but the cottage has been a constant in my life. Spending a day there always calms my spirit and rests my mind. Sitting around a dancing fire under a black sky brilliant with stars, long chats with family members, reading a good book in a comfortable sunny spot, eating a perfectly barbecued steak at the picnic table, having my morning coffee looking out over the glassy water, hearing a loon call, seeing a doe and her fawn on the road, dipping into the lake for a refreshing swim, watching hummingbirds, going for a boat ride and being disconnected from my cell phone and the internet. It’s the best kind of therapy.
Lord You Have Come to the Lakeshore
A Moment to Remember
Filed under Family, Nature