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.

Read more

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!


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