Lions used to have a much wider range than they do today, extending into Asia and Europe. Now endangered, they remain one of the planet’s most beautiful big cats.
These shy, eye-catching birds live near slow flowing shallow rivers and lakes where they feed on minnows and sticklebacks. They have a very short life-span, often just one season and are highly susceptible to cold and food shortages (due to environmental pollution or flooding which disperses the fish). As a child I often saw them catching sticklebacks along the banks of the River Frome.
In 1976 we had a very hot summer. I was 7 years old and remember it because there were thousands of ladybirds.
The ladybirds used to swarm and if I was outdoors they’d swarm over me! They’re pretty but they bite and you don’t really want them covering you from head to toe.
These ladybirds were in the garden, it looks like they over-wintered there and are just awaking from hibernation since the weather warmed up. I didn’t have my camera to hand so improvised with the camera on a Nokia Lumia. The results were better than I expected.
In this month’s Bloggers For Peace Challenge Kozo asks us to focus on children. “How can we teach children to prioritize peace? How did you experience peace as a child? What in your upbringing made you a Blogger for Peace?”
Children enter the world without preconceived ideas. Full of imagination, wonder and potential yet free of prejudice, cynicism and hate, children are a near-perfect reflection of the world around them.
Encourage thoughtfulness, sincerity and truth and those things will be with our children throughout their lives. Express joy, thankfulness and praise and our children will learn to be joyful, grateful and encouraging. Display a balanced temperament, respectful outlook and engaging spirit and our children will be calm, considerate and collaborative.
Children reflect whatever habits, behaviours, values and beliefs they are shown. They hold a mirror of truth up to our faces and offer us the opportunity to take a long hard look at our reflected selves. What do we see when we look into that mirror?
We can teach children to be peaceful by speaking and behaving with peace in our hearts. From the earliest age our children learn by copying. We can teach children to prioritise peace by making it a priority for ourselves. Children are perceptive and intuitive. We can teach children that life is precious, people are precious and our planet is precious. Preserving these most special treasures means creating and preserving peace.
When we do so, when we stand only for peace, we are at one with ourselves, with each other and with the world around us; the gift of inner and outer peace will be ours.
Hold up the mirror and take a look. Are you seeing peace reflected in our children?
For more Monthly Peace see:
Monarch butterflies rarely visit my country but can be found in botanical gardens and hot houses in some zoos. They’re commonly found in North America as well as Australia and New Zealand.
Butterflies remind me of Spring and Summer. It’s too early for them yet and too cold and wet so here’s a watercolour to brighten things up :-)