~God’s Handiwork~

I learned about the Red-Lipped Batfish by reading the blog “Strange Animals”  I could hardly stop reading too- there are so many interesting creatures that showcase ~God’s Handiwork~!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How special is this fish?! They are found off of the Galapagos Islands and apparently do not swim very well….they use the pectoral fins to “walk” or scoot along the ocean floor.  In the picture to the right, you can see the illicium on the top of the head.  Similar to the angler fish, this appendage is used to attract prey.  The batfish is not one you would encounter while snorkeling in the Galapagos Islands– they prefer depths of around 100 feet.

Here is a link to a video: LINK    If it doesn’t work, just search for “Red-Lipped Batfish video” and several come up.

Thanks God! These fish are a trip! 🙂 Keep your eyes open for wonder all around you~

 

Image 1: http://fliiby.com  Image 2: thewondrous.com

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~God’s Handiwork~

They are everywhere! They are beautiful! They are…..fixin’ to migrate…..

HUMMINGBIRDS!

How about a Handiwork shout out for these specialized creatures.  Don’t take it for granted when these fast little miracles feed at your feeder.

They are eating like crazy right now to fatten up for the big migration to Central America.  Their flight path crosses the Gulf of Mexico, and some make that distance without stopping. <–That’s 18-20 HOURS ! ! !

From the Cornell University website:

“The nest is the size of large thimble, built directly on top of the branch rather than in a fork.

It’s made of thistle or dandelion down held together with strands of spider silk and sometimes pine resin.  The exterior of the nest is decorated (probably camouflaged) with bits of lichen and moss. The nest takes 6-10 days to finish and measures about 2 inches across and 1 inch deep.”

This seemingly delicate structure is actually very durable and created to hold 1-3 eggs which are the size of a pea.

For Legends about the Hummingbird, CLICK HERE.

Hummingbird Legends

For the Original Post, CLICK HERE

One.

Tzunuum, the hummingbird, was created by the Great Spirit as a tiny, delicate bird with extraordinary flying ability. She was the only bird in the kingdom who could fly backwards and who could hover in one spot for several seconds. The hummingbird was very plain. Her feathers had no bright colors, yet she didn’t mind. Tzunuum took pride in her flying skill and was happy with her life despite her looks.

When it came time to be married, Tzunuum found that she had neither a wedding gown nor a necklace. She was so disappointed and sad that some of her best friends decided to create a wedding dress and jewelry as a surprise.

Ya, the vermilion-crowned flycatcher wore a gay crimson ring of feathers around his throat in those days. He decided to use it as his gift. So he tucked a few red plumes in his crown and gave the rest to the hummingbird for her necklace. Uchilchil, the bluebird, generously donated several blue feathers for her gown. The vain motmot, not to be outdone, offered more turquoise blue and emerald green. The cardinal, likewise, gave some red ones.

Then, Yuyum, the oriole, who was an excellent tailor as well as an engineer, sewed up all the plumage into an exquisite wedding gown for the little hummingbird. Ah-leum, the spider, crept up with a fragile web woven of shiny gossamer threads for her veil. She helped Mrs. Yuyum weave intricate designs into the dress. Canac, the honeybee, heard about the wedding and told all his friends who knew and liked the hummingbird. They brought much honey and nectar for the reception and hundreds of blossoms that were Tzunuum’s favorites.

Then the Azar tree dropped a carpet of petals over the ground where the ceremony would take place. She offered to let Tzunuum and her groom spend their honeymoon in her branches. Pakal, the orange tree, put out sweet-smelling blossoms, as did Nicte, the plumeria vine. Haaz (the banana bush), Op the custard apple tree) and Pichi and Put (the guava and papaya bushes) made certain that their fruits were ripe so the wedding guests would find delicious refreshments. And, finally, a large band of butterflies in all colors arrived to dance and flutter gaily around the hummingbird’s wedding site.

When the wedding day arrived, Tzunuum was so surprised, happy and grateful that she could barely twitter her vows. The Great Spirit so admired her humble, honest soul that he sent word down with his messenger, Cozumel, the swallow, that the hummingbird could wear her wedding gown for the rest of her life. And, to this day, she has.

Two.

The Maya Indians believe that the Great God has leftover pieces after making all of the other birds. The Great God did not want to waste any pieces, so he used the leftovers to create a hummingbird. The Great God wanted to make sure the hummingbird could fly well, being so small. So the Great God gave the hummingbird the gift of extraordinary flight with the ability to fly forward, backwards, hover, and even upside-down. As the hummingbird flew up above the Great God, the wings made a humming sound of dzu-nu-ume, dzu-nu-ume. Because of this the Mayas called the hummingbird Dzunuume or The Hummer. The Great God liked this little bird so much; he made another as a mate for the first. The Great God told to couple that this was their wedding day. All of the other animals in the forest came for the first ever wedding. All the birds sang. The spiders made a path of spider-webs and told the female to use them for her nest later. Everything was beautiful, except for the hummingbirds. All the hummingbirds had where plain grey feather and looked quite ugly. All of the other birds offered some of their beautiful feathers to decorate the first bride and groom. The Sun soon after came out and pronounced them married. The Sun also promised that forever more, the hummingbird’s feathers would gleam with magic as long as the hummingbird looked toward the sun.

~God’s Handiwork~

Focus: the STAR-NOSED MOLE

Food: Primarily an INSECTIVORE (grubs, worms, leeches, snails…)

AND it is an impressive swimmer! It lives in the low wetlands of eastern North America (from Canada down to Georgia).

So… what’ s with the nose?
The nose is unlike any other mammal nose.  It starts out as little bumps (instead of forming as an embryo) and after being born, the appendages split from the nose like a banana peel.

The specialized nose is covered in small extremely sensitive tendrils that have touch receptors.  It can identify and decide if it wants to eat something in 8 milliseconds, and consume anything edible in under 125 milliseconds (most mammals are at 230 milliseconds) Reference   It can also smell underwater! 

The fur is effective to repel water and hold in heat, which assists the mole as it swims in icy rivers and streams.  It makes 2 tunnels– one higher to forage, and one much deeper (sometimes even leads under water) for safety and escape.

The special nose makes up for the poor eyesight….what a wonderful creature to have….nosing around 😉  (Check out videos of this little guy foraging: HERE)

~God’s Handiwork~

Focus:  The Kakapo of New Zealand

This wonderful creature is on the verge of extinction.  It’s nicknamed “New Zealand’s night parrot”.  It is nocturnal and can live up to 90years! They are built for hiking and climbing (without natural predators, they became flightless over thousands of years) …and apparently can growl like a dog!

I love it!  This is truly one creative version of ~God’s Handiwork~

Unfortunately, with the colonization and introduction of predators like cats & dogs, the population plummeted.

Since 2006, a Kakapo Recovery Program has been taking action to save these unique and special birds.  The numbers went from 50 Kakapo in 1995 to 120! Thanks to the recovery program, the Kakapo will delight future generations.

Here’s their link for more information: Kakapo Recovery Program

I encourage you to research these birds, they are wonderfully hilarious~ Thanks God 🙂