The Smithsonian National Zoo’s latest panda cub, Bei Bei, had his first taste of climbing a tree. The giant panda cub had some help from his mother, Mei Xiang, after several attempts to climb the tree. The panda made a great effort before getting a helping hand back down to the ground.
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A continuation of the tribute series, dedicated to Princess Lila, aka, Lilechka.
Lilechka was my super-familiar, beloved friend and companion of nearly 20 years. She passed on April 29, 2014 at the age of 19 and almost 9 months old.
In her memory, on August 9, 2015 we celebrated her 21 birthday. Lilechka had loved to bask in the sun in our big garden, which she missed terribly after we sold the house and moved to a more urban environment.
Our old garden
On May 9, 2015 we decided to remember Lilechka by visiting one of our favorite spots, Cornell Plantations at Cornell University, NY.
The gardens were fragrant and lush in their generous bloom. What’s especially remarkable is that Cornell Plantations grow many wonderful varieties of lilies. This always reminded us of our Lilechka, who was named Tiger Lily at birth for her lily like coloring.
We have taken lots of pictures of the gorgeous flowers and charming secluded corners.
As we walk you through the garden, please enjoy the views together with us!
adorable cats and dogs, animal photos, animal protection, animal rights, animal videos, animals, animals as protectors, bear, beauty, birds, cats, cute animals, deer, dogs, kindness, Lilechka, Lilechka, lion, monkeys, Mother Earth, nature, parrots, pets, rare animals, unusual animal friendships
Uplifting pics and vids compilation
Peace on Earth
It’s a beautiful friendship!
Animals as fearless and kind protectors
Wishing you all a wonderful and loving weekend!
This weekend is dedicated to my beloved friend and companion of almost 20 years, Princess Lila, aka, Lilechka. Lilechka would have turned 21 on August 9 this year. She passed just a few months short of her 20th birthday, last year.
This weekend I will have more posts dedicated to Lilechka.
Lilechka, I miss you. Eternal love and blessings always!
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There are lots of beautiful holidays in the world. March 8 is one of my personal favorites. To me it’s associated with spring, smiles, and the intoxicating fragrance of tulips, delicate bells of the lily of the valley and sweetness of the mimosa flowers.
On March 8 the world celebrates the International Women’s Day. This holiday started over 100 years ago in Russia as a celebration of women’s rights and anti-war movement. Years later it became popular the world over as a holiday for women of all ages, when mothers, wives and daughters can kick back and allow themselves to be treated as pampered goddesses, letting men do the chores, bring them flowers, lavish them with massages and tickets to sold-out shows.
Find out how this holiday is celebrated in Russia and beyond from my eternally popular piece on Lada Ray Blog, combining history, reflections, memories and rare images: March 8, Happy International Women’s Day! (Note, as the International Women’s Day has been maligned and misinterpreted terribly in the US and some other Western countries, I highly recommend you read the above piece. It will put lots of things in perspective. Also read comments, in which people from various countries relay their experiences.)
To me, March 8 is the contemporary way of honoring the sacred feminine. But first and foremost, this is the holiday of the awakening of spring and the celebration of beauty and peace.
I don’t know about you, but on March 8, my house will be full of my favorite tulips, despite the dreary cold and snow piles outside. Too bad lily of the valley isn’t available in North America. But who is to say we can’t have a virtual March 8 celebration right here, on my blog!
I am wishing you lots of joy and flowers, love and beauty, and happy smiles this spring and always.
More than anything, I wish you PEACE. I wish you inner peace and strength to be yourself in all that life presents to you. Shine your light, love and understanding – today, the world needs it more than ever.
I also wish peace to your home, especially, if you live in an area stricken by a gruesome war.
Dear women, please enjoy all the flowers in the world!
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The story of the stray cat named Ugly, doesn’t let me go. There is so much more to say… Memories and thoughts flood my mind.
WHITE BEAM the BLACK EAR
Commonly (but incorrectly) translated into English as: White Bim the Black Ear, this is the title of a famous, multi-award winning 1977 Russian/Soviet movie (Russian: Beliy Bim, Chernoye Ukho) about a very intelligent dog, whose loving owner was hospitalized, leaving the dog in care of a neighbor. Beam (Bim) has unusually colored black ears, which is considered a blemish and an ugly, inappropriate feature for his normally all-white breed. The ailing, lonely writer and WWII vet, Ivan Ivanovich, rescues Beam from imminent death at the hands of a breeder and takes him in. When Ivan Ivanovich is hospitalized, the dog, not accepting his separation from the man he loves, runs away to search for him. It is a heart wrenching story of a loving, forgiving and intelligent dog, his grueling journey, encounters with various humans, their ignorance and prejudices, as well as some kind and loving people, especially children. Much like the cat Ugly in real life, Beam (Bim) in the movie serves as a powerful litmus test of sorts, bringing to light the good, the bad and the ugly of the human race.
Beam and the man he loves never meet. Hungry and exhausted, left inside a freezing dog catcher truck overnight together with another unfortunate dog, Beam dies the night before his owner’s arrival. The ending is bittersweet: Ivan Ivanovich returning from the hospital, adopts the little doggie whom Beam gave his last warmth during that chilly night; the dog catcher get pangs of consciousness and quits his disgusting job; the man, who once attempted to leave Beam to die in the forest, makes amends and asks forgiveness of his little son whom he deceived into thinking that Beam had run away; and come spring, the young puppy named White Beam the Black Ear, together with his loving owner, joyfully runs around, as both the man and the dog go to visit Beam’s grave where white flowers are in bloom once again.
I never got a chance to see this movie while growing up in Russia. But one evening in Princeton, NJ, when everyone in the house was asleep, I noticed it being shown on one of the Russian US channels. I can’t put in words the profound effect this movie has had on me! Two hours later, having cried half of the time, I went to make some tea. I hadn’t slept all night. The next morning, when everyone woke up, I was a changed person.
In Buddhist texts the effect that I felt would be described as “becoming enlightened.”
You’ll be able to find lots of praise for this masterpiece in so many places – just Google it! The common advice is to find this movie and watch it! But be prepared to cry while doing so.
Monument to White Bim the Black Ear in Voronezh, Russia. The inscription on his collar reads: “His name is Bim, he is waiting for his master’s return, he knows the way to his home. Don’t hurt him, people…”
Watch the whole movie (w. English subs!) on this wonderful blog by Kyle Keeton. By the way, this blog also contains a wealth of information about Russian life, culture and customs.
Remember the movie Powder about the unusual and gifted teenager, who looks powdery white and posses mysterious powers? Because of his strange white face he is constantly bullied and ridiculed by others, but he doesn’t respond, until he sees a deer being killed by the father of the same bully who’d always taunted him at school. Only then Powder springs into action, using his formidable powers to teach the killer a lesson.
As the wounded deer thrashes on the ground, and the hunter teaches his son and his friends how to best kill for sport, Powder places one hand by the deer’s heart and with his other hand, he grabs the man’s hand. All of the dying deer’s agony, all his fear, anguish and pain pulses through Powder’s body and into the body of the hunter. When the hunter tries to free himself from Powder’s grip, he can’t. Powder doesn’t say a word, but he won’t let go even as the man starts thrashing on the ground himself, feeling everything the dying deer is feeling. Powder only lets go after having made the hunter experience the full impact of the dying animal’s agony.
It was a very powerful scene. Had the shock therapy worked? Did it teach this man and his bullying son any lessons? I don’t know. But I hope it did.
UGLY, BEAM, and JESUS
One of the original post‘s comments compared the little kitty, called Ugly, with Jesus. When Jesus was put on the cross after being cruelly mistreated and beaten, just like Ugly, he didn’t lash out, but responded with love and forgiveness. The same applies to White Beam the Black Ear. He never attacked, nor even growled at any humans who treated him so badly. He never lost what we so misguidedly call HUMANITY. I know, certain religions do not consider animals equal to humans, as they are not supposed to possess “a soul.”
Me — I am with the Buddhists on this one. All life is precious and sacred, and no one’s better or worse. And those who think they are better, are in fact worse. Look around and see the manifestations of this everywhere. From animal cruelty and bullies, to wars in the name of “national interests” and “democracy”, to those who think they know more than others, when the opposite is actually true. This is the real message of this story.
“FIRST DO NO HARM”
These are the words from the Hippocratic Oath, created by Hippocrates in Ancient Greece and taken by all modern physicians. A similar concept of first doing no harm exists in the Native American, Siberian Shamanic, European and Chinese Naturopathic traditions.
The children in the USA are taught the Oath of Allegiance in kindergarten and school. Sure, it’s great to express one’s patriotism for a country. But I can’t help but think how much more important it is to first teach people to be responsible and benevolent citizens of our planet.
Just imagine how much better life on Earth would be, if the first words everyone learned in school were: FIRST DO NO HARM!
It’s easy to love that, which is beautiful. But it seems, beauty in this world is impossible without ugliness, and sometimes the biggest beauty is hidden in what appears ugly. All you have to do is look beyond the surface.
The post below is reblogged from Joseph A. Gier via Ayanna Nahmias http://ayannanahmias.com/2012/08/12/animal-rights-story/
I don’t often reblog other people’s posts, even the ones I enjoy very much, since my own blogging schedule is so tight. After my last post about the Sunshine Award, I was planning on basking in the Sun for a few days before publishing 3 brand new posts about the beautiful Golden Ring of Russia and the magnificent Russian churches. These posts, complete with gorgeous new pics are literally standing in line, awaiting publication.
But I am putting all that on hold, because THIS POST is much more important and I want as many people as possible to read it! It’s not an easy read (I cried while reading it!) but it teaches something that very few things in life can teach with more humility and poignancy, namely: LOVE, COMPASSION, FORGIVENESS and KINDNESS.
Unfortunately, I don’t know who initially posted this story, but I want to thank that person, as well as all those who reblogged it. This post is a MUST read for all. Please tweet, FB, reblog and mention it in all your favorite social media!
I am also planning parts 2 and 3, where I’ll share my own experiences and thoughts on the subject.
Love, Compassion, and Ugly
(This post is reblogged from the source in its entirety)
This is not written by me .. but felt move to share it…I have no reason to believe it is not true.
Everyone in the apartment complex I lived in knew who Ugly was. Ugly was the resident tomcat.
Ugly loved three things in this world: fighting, eating garbage, and shall we say, love. The combination of these things combined with a life spent outside had their effect on Ugly.
To start with, he had only one eye, and where the other should have been was a gaping hole. He was also missing his ear on the same side, his left foot has appeared to have been badly broken at one time, and had healed at an unnatural angle, making him look like he was always turning the corner.
His tail has long since been lost, leaving only the smallest stub, which he would constantly jerk and twitch. Ugly would have been a dark gray tabby striped-type, except for the sores covering his head, neck, even his shoulders with thick, yellowing scabs.
Every time someone saw Ugly there was the same reaction. “That’s one UGLY cat!!”
All the children were warned not to touch him, the adults threw rocks at him, hosed him down, squirted him when he tried to come in their homes, or shut his paws in the door when he would not leave.
Ugly always had the same reaction. If you turned the hose on him, he would stand there, getting soaked until you gave up and quit. If you threw things at him, he would curl his lanky body around feet in forgiveness. Whenever he spied children, he would come running meowing frantically and bump his head against their hands, begging for their love. If you ever picked him up he would immediately begin suckling on your shirt, earrings, whatever he could find.
One day Ugly shared his love with the neighbors huskies. They did not respond kindly, and Ugly was badly mauled. From my apartment I could hear his screams, and I tried to rush to his aid. By the time I got to where he was laying, it was apparent Ugly’s sad life was almost at an end.
Ugly lay in a wet circle, his back legs and lower back twisted grossly out of shape, a gaping tear in the white strip of fur that ran down his front. As I picked him up and tried to carry him home I could hear him wheezing and gasping, and could feel him struggling. I must be hurting him terribly I thought.
Then I felt a familiar tugging, sucking sensation on my ear – Ugly, in so much pain, suffering and obviously dying was trying to suckle my ear. I pulled him closer to me, and he bumped the palm of my hand with his head, then he turned his one golden eye towards me, and I could hear the distinct sound of purring. Even in the greatest pain, that ugly battled-scarred cat was asking only for a little affection, perhaps some compassion.
At that moment I thought Ugly was the most beautiful, loving creature I had ever seen. Never once did he try to bite or scratch me, or even try to get away from me, or struggle in any way. Ugly just looked up at me completely trusting in me to relieve his pain.
Ugly died in my arms before I could get inside, but I sat and held him for a long time afterwards, thinking about how one scarred, deformed little stray could so alter my opinion about what it means to have true pureness of spirit, to love so totally and truly.
Ugly taught me more about giving and compassion than a thousand books, lectures, or talk show specials ever could, and for that I will always be thankful. He had been scarred on the outside, but I was scarred on the inside, and it was time for me to move on and learn to love truly and deeply. To give my total to those I cared for.
This story makes me think of my favorite flower – lotus. Incredibly and strikingly beautiful, it is also the flower universally considered in the East to represent the divine perfection. Do you know why? Lotus grows out of the mud of a swamp to bloom into the gorgeous flower we all admire. To the Buddhists this represents the ultimate spiritual paradox: the divine beauty growing out of what appears ugly.
This lotus is for the beautiful cat named UGLY!
Today, I am simply sharing some beautiful images of one of my favorite flowers – lotus. I’ve collected them overtime from different sources and thought it wonderful to feast the eye on them this weekend. The lotus is so pure and healing…
In the East, it is a symbol of wisdom and enlightenment. And because it is considered an embodiment of harmony, lotus is a truly wonderful feng shui!
No words are needed. Simply enjoy!
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This post features original photography by author Lada Ray.
First, a few quick announcements: Today, May 6, is the last day of the GOLD TRAIN BLOG TOUR, and I want to thank all my gracious blog hosts and readers for a truly wonderful experience! I enjoyed all the interviews, reviews and new friendships very, very much!
Today is also the end of the GOLD TRAIN Giveaway on Lada Ray Blog. Giving away 2 Gold Train ebooks. This is the last chance to participate! Please check it out here! Two lucky winners will be announced at 8 p.m. tonight on this blog and on Twitter. I’ll also send both winners Twitter DMs with further instructions.
Finally, today is the last day to download GOLD TRAIN ebook on Amazon for $0.99 or the European equivalents. Tomorrow, the price will be $2.99 (reg. $3.99) – Mothers Day Sale. Buy ebook here.
GOLD TRAIN paperback is now on sale for only $9.99 till May 13 as Mothers Day Promotion. Regular price is $14.95. Buy GOLD TRAIN paperback here.
Happy reading and see you on pages of my books!
Now, without further ado, today’s post:
Sunday. Today, I was supposed to post my new piece, FACT AND FICTION IN GOLD TRAIN… but something in me rebelled against that. So I decided that I would do this very important article on May 12, as a follow up to the GOLD TRAIN Blog Tour. Also, another follow up, THE COOL, THE ORIGINAL AND THE CONTROVERSIAL, will appear on this blog on 5/9. See the GOLD TRAIN Blog Tour Schedule.
But today… the sun is shining brightly, the air smells like honey and freshly cut grass. So, my husband and I decided to get our camera and embark on a lovely nature adventure instead. We are surrounded by some wonderful nature here, in the Western Catskills. And it’s actively awakening now. Spring comes late to the northern NY State, but finally it’s here! My goal is to capture on camera its joyful awakening!
I am inviting you to share our today’s nature walk! Enjoy the images I’ve captured along the way, including the giant fields of sunny dandelions, the beautiful horses, graceful geese, local farms and colorful chickens, and of course, the mountains.
This is just a primer. I will be doing a bigger post: Spring in the Catskills, and a YouTube video later. Stay tuned!