Anniversary Sunflowers

On July 23rd my parents celebrated their 32nd anniversary.

My mother got flowers from some of dad's friends at the office. They were a mix, but the ones that mom liked the most were the sunflowers. She took them out and put them somewhere else in the house, in a special place for her.

I like sunflowers too, they are such 'happy' flowers, especially in Lima's grey winter.

The sunflower (Helianthus annuus) is an annual plant native to the Americas. The stem of the flower can grow as high as 3 metres tall, with the flower head reaching up to 30 cm in diameter with the "large" seeds.

What is usually called the flower is actually a head of lots of florets (small flowers) crowded together. Amazing.

Many indigenous American peoples used the sunflower as the symbol of the sun deity, including the Aztecas (Aztecs) and the Otomi of Mexico, and the Incas in Peru and some other parts of South America.

To grow well, sunflowers need full sun; not exactly the best time for them here...

Too bad I can't plant them in the garden, I wonder how many new beautiful birds they would attract.



The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quiet, alone with the heavens, nature and God. Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be and that God wishes to see people happy, amidst the simple beauty of nature.

- Anne Frank

To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand,
An eternity in an hour.

- William Blake

A flower is an educated weed.

- Luther Burbank


What a gift!!!

If you follow Tommy at Unnaturally Natural, then you will already know that the guide arrived on July 7, EXACTLY a year after I started this blog!! What a blogoversary present!!

Even though we had little time during the week, we managed to start identifying some birds we had pictured this year. It proved to be a challenge. Our pictures were not exactly the perfect close ups, and checking out details on faces and plumages was extremely hard but also sooo exciting!!

We have now 656 pages of pure gold. 1,792 species of birds.
What a treasure!! So much to learn and enjoy!!

I've posted many times about Vermilion Flycatchers that visit our garden or the nearby parks, so I leave you with a pic of pages 450 and 451, where they are shown. You can now have an idea of why are we so excited with this guide: coloured distribution maps, clear descriptions and amazing plates.

I am happy :)


First Blogoversary!!!

A first b-day treat from Tommy

On July 7th, 2007 (07/07/07) I was living in Buenos Aires, Argentina. A different country, new people, new places, lots of study hours and little money to spend on things other than rent, food and university.

The interest in birds 'started', as such, in January 2007, when Tommy and I made a trip to Paracas (south of Lima, Peru). Living abroad with no income wasn't exactly helping. I decided to start this blog as a learning tool, as some sort of virtual notebook.

At first, I didn't know what to do, where to look, or what to post.
My first post was a video about Peru's birds. National Bird of Peru was my second - the Cock of the rocks (Rupicola Peruviana) started me on reading more about birds, habitats, behaviour, etc.

Then the posts about the birds I saw on that trip to Paracas:
Snowy Egret, Guanay Cormorant, Peruvian Pelican, Humboldt Penguin, Larosterna Inca (which got the first comment ever! from John at Born Again Bird Watcher, who has helped me since then, THANKS!), and Peruvian Boovy. In August 2007, a strong earthquake south of Lima that killed few hundred people and destroyed habitats and observation spots.

I couldn't travel and lived in a large grey urban city. I missed home. I started posting about bird related topics, history, nature, environment and conservation, and continued in Peru: Birds in Pre-Hispanic Peru, the Nasca Lines (especially the birds), Promperu, T'ikapapa, the unbelievable Candamo issue (oil companies in Natural Reserves in the Amazon Jungle) and the update, Manu Natural Reserve, Peru World's Catalogue, Owl money, World Wetlands day, Birds crafts, the bird that inspired the Peruvian flag, etc.

Once in Lima, Tommy and I started to walk around the city, trying to get familiar with the local birds. We visited parks and got our first guide (small 100 birds of Lima), we saw beautiful Amazilia Amazilias and families of Vermilion Flycatchers too. We also started attending meetings and activities of the BFS- Brigada de Fauna Silvestre (Wildlife Brigade).

Some family issues forced us to make some quick trips and ended up visiting Guayaquil (Ecuador) and Arica (Chile). Guayaquil was fun, we went Iguana 'watching', walked around the parks, saw some pretty cool birds and unusual bugs. Arica was FAST!

Oh! And we are waiting for our first country guide ever!
Birds of Peru is on its way!! I can't believe how much I've learnt this year. It has been an amazing experience. I've met some incredible people and I believe the best is still to come! THANK YOU!!!