Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Dandelion among giants

A dandelion on a patch of grass outside my apartment.
All the dandelions I have seen were short plants; they didn't grow taller than 20cm. Standing so lowly among trees that must have seemed like towering giants to them, I wonder how do the dandelions feel?
Inferior? Self-pity? Jealous?
Do they ever aspire to be taller, to stand as tall as those woody trees?
Do they ever wish to get out of others' shadows, and to have others stand in their shadows for once?
If they could achieve such a change, would they like it?
For this dandelion, its life was nearing an end. After it has released its seeds into the air, it would wither and die. It would not have the chance to grow taller. Its life and legacy would have to live on through its seeds.
I wondered then, if this very dandelion, using each of its last seconds with its seeds, reminded them again and again to grow taller, to make a better future for themselves.
A future not in the shadow of another.
A future that perhaps will one day lead to giant dandelions.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Charlie, the bearded dragon

Here is Charlie, the bearded-dragon kept by Melody, a departmental colleague and my housemate when I first arrived in Davis.Charlie was pretty long, about 30-35cm (tail included) long. I thought Charlie looked pretty menacing, with all the spikes and its grim face, yet surprisingly it's one of the popular common reptile pets. The fact that those spikes are soft and that its grim face is a mere masquerade for its actual tame nature probably has something to do with its popularity.
Charlie lives in an aquarium kept warm by artificial lights. He eats...cockroaches. One of them was sitting nicely on Charlie's nose! The reason Charlie didn't just snap up the cockroach was because it was already passed his usual feeding time, and that they had cooled down his aquarium a bit before the 'show'. Since reptiles are ectothermic and require external heating to get active, Charlie was definitely not in the mood/state to catch cockroaches, or even digest them.
Nevertheless, several minutes later, that cockroach said 'hi' to a couple of his friends in Charlie's stomach.
Here's a better look at the cockroaches. Melody buys them packaged in a carton. To be frank, the cockroaches are prettier than Charlie (in my humble opinion).

On keeping reptiles as pets...it still baffles me. Pets mean extra work, so for me at least, I better get much more than just another mouth to feed in the house to justify the extra work. Pets are meant to be companion, no? And it can't be a companion if I can't connect with it. Connection...is best achieved if we can see eye to eye, literally. That's why I would rather have a dog than any other animal as pets. Dog eyes are just so...expressive!

On that note, here's Bowie contemplating the secrets of the cosmos.

big strawberry

Some things just weren't meant to be, and if you happen upon them, you can't help but doubt.
We found a monstrosity of a strawberry several weeks ago. Strawberries were selling cheaply in boxes. We bought one and lo' and behold--there was a huge fellow snugged among the normal ones.
This fellow looked like it was actually two strawberries that...didn't grow independently. Sort of like twins.
Too bad it wasn't as sweet as it was big :(

*that was a Skittle candy for comparison's sake*