Shepherds of the Trees

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Blackforest, Fall 2007.

Ents are some of the most fascinating characters in J.R.R. Tolkien’s universe.  Ents are trees with souls, charged with protecting forests from destruction by dwarves and orcs.  Fangorn (or Treebeard) is the most famous Ent, making his appearance in The Two Towers and giving protection to Merry and Pippin, two very adventurous Hobbits.  Ents looked a great deal like the species of trees they shepherded, and their personality was exactly what you would expect of that type of tree.

Whenever I visit a forest, I look around.  Perhaps if you are quiet and wait long enough, you will find the Ents shepherding their trees.

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Blackforest, Fall 2007.

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Florida, March 2010.

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Florida, March 2010.

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Florida, March 2010.

 

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Moon Jellyfish

Moon Jellyfish

Moon Jellyfish

These jellyfish were photographed in 2006 at SeaWorld in Florida. It is a large, translucent jelly–mesmorizing as it undulates through the aquarium. The scientific name of the moon jellyfish is Aurelia aurita, which is funny, as aurelia means “golden” and aurita has to do with “ears” or “hearing.” This jelly is not golden and definitely has no ears. Things I didn’t know about moon jellyfish: the bell is called a “medusa” (presumably because its many tentacles reminds people of the Greek monster); they are carnivorous; and the moon jelly reproduces sexually (in fact, those light horseshoe shaped organs are gonads).