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Posts Tagged ‘friendship’

I had a wonderful weekend in Florida with a couple I hadn’t seen in decades. One woman asked the other what she would like for her birthday, and, because she felt that summers with my family had been a positive turning point in her life and because keeping touch through Christmas cards just didn’t cover the ground, she said she would like to have me come for a visit.

If you have never been a birthday present, I’m here to tell you that it is just the best. I include some pictures of our activities, but mainly we talked and talked and filled in the blanks.

May the road rise to meet you, may the wind be at your back, and may you be somebody’s birthday present someday.

trumpet-lily-Florida

great-egret-noisy-babies

swamp-flower-Florida

great-blue-herons-florida

Wakodahatchee-sign

Wakodahatchee-wetlands

here-be-alligators

cactus-Florida

Prime-Catch-Florida

restaurant-view

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The New York Times Science section had a cute piece in January about surprising friendships among different species of animals. Perhaps you saw it.

Erica Goode reported, “Videos of unlikely animal pairs romping or snuggling have become so common that they are piquing the interest of some scientists, who say they invite more systematic study. Among other things, researchers say, the alliances could add to an understanding of how species communicate, what propels certain animals to connect across species lines and the degree to which some animals can adopt the behaviors of other species.

” ‘There’s no question that studying these relationships can give you some insight into the factors that go into normal relationships,’ said Gordon Burghardt, a professor in the departments of psychology and ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of Tennessee, who added that one video he liked to show students was of a small and persistent tortoise tussling over a ball with a Jack Russell terrier. …

“Until recently, any suggestion that interspecies relationships might be based simply on companionship would probably have been met with derision, dismissed as Pixar-like anthropomorphism. That has changed as research has gradually eroded some boundaries between homo sapiens and other animals. Other species, it turns out, share abilities once considered exclusive to humans, including some emotions, tool use, counting, certain aspects of language and even a moral sense. …

Barbara J. King, an anthropologist at the College of William and Mary, said that she hoped researchers would begin to collect examples of cross-species interactions to build a database that would merit scientific scrutiny. ‘I think we’re not even at the point of being able to extract patterns because the database is so small,’ she said, adding that the topic could also benefit from a rigorous definition of what constitutes a ‘friendship’ between members of different species.” More here.

Photo: Noah’s Ark Animal Sanctuary by way of Africa Geographic.

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At around age 2-1/2, small people begin to be ready for friendship. My almost-three-years grandson plays with his friend now, instead of just in the same space.

They understand each other’s words. They find the same things funny — leaning way, way back on the swing, climbing back up the chute of the double slide, feeding wood chips to mitten puppets, getting ready to kick the ball down the hill when suddenly it decides to go ahead without you.

I spent a little time Saturday morning with my grandson, his friend, and her mother. I told the mother how much I love the learning-language stage. She agreed and gave me an example of how it can be confusing when one word has two meanings.

She said she had told her daughter that the new baby brother had no teeth you could see but that the teeth were in his gums. Sometime later, when her daughter asked what she was chewing and she answered that she was chewing “gum,” the little girl thought her baby brother’s teeth must be in there.

Two and a half is a time so full of strange new things, she probably didn’t think it was any stranger than anything else.

A WordPress blogger in Australia [subsequent correction: not Australia but B.C Canada in the Okanagan] has another cute story, here.

Hungry mitten puppets

get ready to kick

the ball got away

casting light, not shadow

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Last night I went to a jazz benefit for the nonprofit Kids4Peace Boston, which sponsors a summer camp and other events for children of three faiths — Christian, Muslim, and Jewish. The children are from both the United States and Jerusalem and are 11 to 12. Read more about the program here.

The fundraising event was held in the Grand Circle Gallery in Boston, which features magnificent travel posters and travel photography from the 1930s and 1940s. The entertainment was provided by Indian vocalist Annette Philip and her jazz quartet. Very impressive.

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