Giant Black Moth

A couple of nights ago, I met a huge black moth right when I was opening the driveway‘s door. I had just got home from work and it was dark already. When I first saw the black wings flapping I thought it was a bat, but no, it was quite a big black butterfly.


Sorry about the dry bits of grass on top of the LiftMaster garage door opener. They belong to a bird who decided that it was a good place to build a nest, but if you take a closer look, part of one wing of the butterfly is visible. I was a bit worried about closing the driveway’s door, because the moth was sitting on the chain.


But, it moved. When I pushed the close button, the butterfly flew away and got stuck to the ceiling, upside down. I tried to take a closer look and noticed this moth had dark but colorful patterns on its wings, but my camera was not able to catch them, so I had to play with iPhoto to get these…


The patterns ranged from a brownish red to some purple and green bits. I tried de-saturating the photo to get these other color patterns, but still, they don’t do justice to this beautiful black butterfly.


Actually, some people over here consider black moths to bring bad luck, especially if one of them visits you at night. They say they come to announce someone will die. I just regard this as folks tales. I think it was a real pretty butterfly and it’s a shame the sun had already set, otherwise I would have been able to photograph its wonderful pattern. Next morning, I went to check if the butterfly was still there, but no, it had flown away. I wonder what kind of butterfly it was.

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The World Within Saves a Gato

I have decided to help a local organization that dedicates to ease the suffering of Old San Juan abandoned cats by trapping, neutering and releasing them (TNR). They also have many adorable kitties for adoption. You can check out their pages here:

Save a Gato on Facebook

and

Save a Gato Org

How will I help?

Simple, I will donate $1 out of each book I sell from now on until October 31st, 2012 to their organization.

To make things a bit easier, here are the links where you can download or get a printed copy of The World Within:

Barnes and Noble

Amazon

Create Space

iTunes

Smashwords

The Beautiful Blogger Award

One of my readers has nominated me for an award, The Beautiful Blogger Award. I am absolutely thrilled and grateful about this, and of course, I was not expecting it at all, so that makes it even more beautiful and surprising.

The rules for this award require me to nominate 7 other bloggers who have inspired me in some way and then I must list 7 things about myself. First, I must link the blogger who nominated me, his name is Otto Von Münchow and his inspiring & wonderful photography blog is this one:

Münchow’s Creative Photo Blog

So, Münchow, I do thank you wholeheartedly for nominating me.

I now nominate the following blogs, in no particular order, for The Beautiful Blogger Award:

Creativity Aroused

Mike’s Look At Life

Susie Lindau’s Wild Ride

Betwixt and Between

Talinorfali

Cartoons & Creative Writing

Bente Haarstad Photography

And now, a list of 7 things about myself:

1. I love shoes and vintage-like girly dresses. I don’t have such a big collection, but I love them.

2. I play with and talk to my cats and most cats I have the pleasure of getting to know or get introduced to. I love all living creatures in the animal kingdom.

3. Hurricanes and storms scare the living daylights out of me and I don’t like them at all. Each hurricane season I pray they don’t develop but if they must, I pray they fly far away from my island.

4. I love books and movies.

5. I work out and I am very athletic. I love exercising, I practice yoga, Spinning and I jog too. I will start swimming soon as well.

6. I have one brother and one sister, both younger than me.

7. I love the Olympics and every 4 years I glue myself to the TV wishing I was there watching it all as it happens.

So there, that’s basically what you get to do when you get nominated for The Beautiful Blogger Award!

Río Piedras Botanical Gardens

These are a series of photos from the Río Piedras Botanical Gardens. They are located very near my home and it is one of those places I wish I had the time to visit more often. Some people go there to relax or to jog through the trails. I went for a walk and took some pictures.

These small red flowers are known as ‘Cruz de Malta.’

But of course, a garden is not a garden without a fountain…

and a turtle in a pond!

There is also a sculpture garden that contrasts with all the lush nature in the surroundings.

These palm trees seemed to resemble some sort of Stonehenge, so I got in there to see if they transmitted good vibes. Everybody needs them.

These offices were closed when I got there, but I know they give guided tours.

These flowers are known as ‘playeras.’

And these are from the family of heliconias.

This lizard did not seem to mind being photographed. In fact he stood still and left right when the flash hit, so he was lucky to be included in the photo.

There is an interesting orange insect feeding from the flowers here, but I don’t know his name. This is the closest I could get without scaring him.

And just as I was leaving, I saw they had parked this lovely train. I believe this is the one they use for their guided tours. I’d like to go back and see when they offer them so I can go again and take more photos.

‘The World Within’ 50% off @Smashwords!

 

Yes, that is right. My fantasy novel is on sale until July 31, 2012.

50% off through Smashwords only.

Here is the link:

The World Within

And, just because I am a generous person, here is an excerpt:

“I had often heard that one great discovery only leads to another one, and what lay before me certainly proved this creed to be right. There were tall walls of earth that encircled the quartz pillars, forming a special kind of funnel around it. I could distinguish roots, long greenish-brown vines that hung down like a curtain and layers of rock formations that crept out, as if protecting the closely-knit quartz pillars on their way up. They did not touch the crystal, though. There was enough space between the cluster of quartz pillars and the surrounding earth for a person or two to climb upwards to the surface. The whole sight gave off the surreal impression that the quartz had been planted on the puddle, rather than it emerged from it. Close to the top I could see some brownish-green areas, but these did not belong to the forest. It was then that I realized I was inside an odd sinkhole, underneath Maboodia, in a world within another one. “

Green Book Festival Honors ‘The World Within’

This is the lovely certificate they gave me.

The book is available in print too. But, if you have Kindle, here is the link where you can read the first chapter and part of the second for free:

For all other electronic devices click here:

The World Within

The River, The Trees and The Tree Cuddler

The River.

There is a long river that runs parallel to the street behind my house. Well, actually it practically runs across the entire neighborhood. It is called Río Piedras. I’m actually standing more than 20 feet away from the water, but it’s a bit hard to appreciate. Yet, if you look to the upper left corner, there is a house that lets you appreciate the steep way down to the river. I wouldn’t dare to walk down. It’s very steep and I’m afraid I wouldn’t know how to climb back up.

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Most of the time, the stream is very low and you can appreciate the river bank and its pebbles.

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There is a bridge that connects my neighborhood with the neighboring one. My reflection got in the way…, sorry about that.

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The Trees.

There are many trees surrounding the green area along the river and the upper bank, the one that runs up to street level; if such a thing exists and I haven’t made it up. Usually, there are many birds on the area, but today they saw me and flew away, aparently.

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Some trees seem to defy the river by growing in all sorts of strange angles, like this palm tree.

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However, there are others that have grown on the grass, like any normal tree, parallel to street level. This particular one has gorgeous gnarled roots and it shows off beautiful flowers around the month of June.

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There are other trees that have served as playground for long-gone kids that used to play around the neighborhood. This used to be a tree house, now only a couple of fences remain.

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I wish I knew the names of all these trees. My botanical knowledge is limited, but at least I know how to plant a tree and that’s why I’m blogging this.

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This baby tree was given to me by the Conservation Trust on Sunday. They had this magnificent fair where they gave out trees to all participants. I got two baby trees and decided to plant them here, close to the river and to some older trees, but with enough space where they can grow strong. Right after I planted the first one, the wind started blowing and bent this baby tree to the side. I waited and when the wind stopped, the baby tree stood upright. I like the way the photo turned out though.

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Yet, the second baby tree needed some special prosthetics to keep it upright. I devised these crutches so that the baby tree can lean on them and grow upright. This means I’ll have to keep an eye on this one and give it some TLC each day until he outgrows his prosthetic arm and can stand on his own.

The Tree Cuddler.

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Obviously someone who likes trees more than enough to cuddle with them.