The Firebird Is NOT a Myth [Via Nina Reznick]

Image: Birds circle a bushfire in Kakadu National Park (Getty Images)

Columnist and bird researcher Bob Gosford has a theory: Australian birds of prey are not only attracted to fire, but help spread it by picking up burning sticks. It sounds crazy, but he's hitting the road in the NT to verify tales told by Indigenous locals. Matthew Crawford reports.

Could flocks of birds be picking up burning sticks and dropping them on unburned ground in order to spread fire?

It sounds like a scene from an Alfred Hitchcock film, but  lawyer, columnist and self-starting ornithologist  Bob Gosford has collated reports from Africa, India and Central America and he's confident this might be 'a thing'.

However, he makes an admission: 'I need help!'

Australian birds of prey, specifically black kites and brown falcons, are attracted to fire. They follow the fire front, picking out fleeing reptiles, insects and small birds; and feasting on pre-cooked meals.

Facing a lack of photographic or video evidence to date, Gosford has tasked himself with collecting eyewitness accounts and perhaps even first-hand confirmation of this 'ornithogenic fire'.

In the meantime, however, Gosford is calling on the public to contribute information about othr possible sightings. His message to anyone who photographs or videos a kite or falcon with a fire stick is: 'Get in touch with me!'

Gosford points out that Australia currently has only two recognised sources of fire—human activity and lightning.

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Flower Magic [via Nina Reznick]

Kawachi Fuji Gardens. Japan 
 

 Gardens. Japan
Do you like flowers? Even if not much, you will be impressed by this flower  garden! Kawachi Fuji Garden is located in the town of Kitakyushu, not very far from the bustling Tokyo. This amazing place – a series of tunnels Wisteria consisting of millions of incredibly beautiful flowers.

 Kawachi Fuji Gardens. Japan

They say the tunnel of white wisteria, with length of 80 meters, is the most spectacular in the whole garden. White brushes of flowers and delicate sweet flavor won’t leave you indifferent. The Japanese themselves call this tunnel “The Road of Happiness”. Wisteria is a symbol of Japan, “Fuji” in Japanese. Even the highest mountain in Japan, Fujiyama – means “Mountain of Wisteria.” Wisteria symbolizes youth, poetry, female beauty, healing and protection. This plant isn’t inferior to the popularity of the famous Japanese Sakura!

 Kawachi Fuji Gardens

Appearance of tunnels constantly changes, depending on the season and light. These amazing floral tunnels are painted in different colors and shades. Here are about 150 Wisteria flowering plants of 20 different species (white, yellow, green, blue, purple, violet-blue and pink). This makes the tunnel so colorful and spellbinding. Being here, you might want to stop and examine all these tiny pastel-colored petals.

 Kawachi Fuji

The height of these plants reaches 18 meters. They can easily braid the constructed for their support wireframes and create blooming tunnels, hanging down as colorful garlands. To enjoy all the beauty of flowering wisteria it is  recommended to come here in late April – middle May. Unfortunately, wisteria blooms to full flower not every year, but even in the weak flowering garden looks adorable!

 Kawachi_Fuji_Garden

Wisteria Tunnel is one of the most striking sights of Japan and definitely one of the most beautiful places on Earth. If you go into the tunnel, you won’t stop half way, and will definitely want to go to the end!

 
Purple Rain

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This Village Without Roads Is Straight Out Of A Fairytale Book [via Nina Reznick]



If you ever wanted to live your own fairy-tale, you may want to consider moving to the village Giethoorn. Also known as “Venice of the Netherlands”, this magical village founded around 1230 is the kind most people could only dream of…
 
It has no roads or any modern transportation at all, only canals. Well, and 176 bridges too. Tourists have to leave their cars outside of the village and travel here by foot or boat by (usually by “whisper boats”, which have noiseless engines). So you can probably imagine how peaceful it is here (well, when it isn’t flooded with tourists, of course)… Even the village’s website says that “the loudest sound you can normally hear is the quacking of a duck or the noise made by other birds”. It’s like something out of a storybook.

The village Giethoorn has no roads

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Image credits: insureandgo.com

But that doesn’t mean there’s no way to get around…

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Image credits: owegoo.com

The most common mode of transportation is by “whisper boats”, which have noiseless engines

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Image credits: unknown

Therefore, the village is very peaceful…

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Image credits: Dino Cutic

The loudest sounds you’ll hear is probably the quacking of a duck (well, when it isn’t flooded with tourists, of course)

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Image credits: owegoo.com

Also known as “the Venice of the Netherlands”, this magical village was founded around 1230

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Image credits: NLHank

Its first inhabitants found numerous peat deposits and dug many holes over the years

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Image credits: Magda Djm

Eventually, these holes turned into lakes

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Image credits: worldfortravel.com

The newly created islands were connected with more than 176 bridges 

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Image credits: worldfortravel.com

Which give the village a cozy fairy-tale touch…

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