May 12, 2006

Random Stuff

Because I don't have much interesting going on right now, and because I promised bugs and flowers and stuff...

This is a Bem-Te-Vi. Pretty, hugh? They're ubiquitous here. I was happy to discover recently it is actually the same bird we call a Great Kiskadee. I love the fact that in English we hear their call as "Kiss-Ka-Dee" and in Portuguese they hear "Bem-te-vi" which means "good to see you" -- such a quintessentially Brazilian interpretation to have a bird telling you he's psyched you're there. I always answer them back "nice to see you too birdy."

This is a passionfruit flower. It's probably one of the strangest but most beautiful flowers I've seen. It's about the size of a softball and has 4 distinct layers to it. I recently learned that it has nothing to do with being passionate in the lovers sense (the juice of the fruit and tea made from the leaves are actually sedatives.) The name was given by French Jesuits and refers to the symbolism of the Passion of Christ that they saw in the flower. You are supposed to be able to find the three nails, the crown of thorns, bleeding wounds. Even the apostles are in there somewhere. Cool, hugh?

Rainbow bug.

Yes, super creepy. But blind and not moving very fast (or you wouldn't see my hand there). I tapped it with a stick and it's got a coat of armor like a tank.

The Îpe tree. (As in Yipee!) The national tree of Brazil. They only flower in the summer for a week or two, and they make them in purple too.


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Anonymous said...

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