I went very natural this year on my table-most is from our new property. Have a great Thanksgiving, all!
Here are some last minute ideas for your Thanksgiving table-all pretty easy to accomplish.Have fun with pumpkins,cranberries,corn -fill containers with them or sprinkle them on the table….magnolia leaves and bittersweet can add a lot too…I also love my collection of pilgrims,turkeys-get them all out every year….fun to start with kids!
We visited a favela one day while in Rio-pictured above is the one where Michael Jackson filmed his video described.
A favela is the term for slum in Brazil, most often within urban areas. The first favelas appeared in the late 19th century and were built by soldiers who had nowhere to live. Some of the first settlements were called bairros africanos (African neighbourhoods). This was the place where former slaves with no land ownership and no options for work lived. Over the years, many former black slaves moved in.
Even before the first favela came into being, poor citizens were pushed away from the city and forced to live in the far suburbs. However, most modern favelas appeared in the 1970s due to rural exodus, when many people left rural areas of Brazil and moved to cities. Unable to find a place to live, many people ended up in a favela. Census data released in December 2011 by the IBGE (Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics) shows that in 2010, about 6 percent of the population lived in slums in Brazil.This means that 11.4 million of the 190 million people that lived in the country resided in areas of irregular occupation definable by lack of public services or urbanization, referred to by the IBGE as “subnormal agglomerations”.
Michael Jackson connected with Rio in 1996 when he shot part of the “They Don’t Care About Us” video in the Santa Marta favela in Botafogo. The event assumed huge significance for the community, as José Mario Hilario dos Santos, president of the Santa Marta residents association, explained; “There are a lot of fans in the community. Everyone loves Michael Jackson and you could always hear his music here. He could have chosen any of the communities and it means a lot that he came here.”
You can see the video:
excerpts from Wikepedia, article about Michael Jackson, YouTube
Standing atop the Corcovado Mountain with his arms spread out, this enormous statue of Christ the Redeemer (Cristo Redentor) has been embracing the people of Rio since its inauguration in 1931. One of the Seven Wonders of the World, the imposing structure of soapstone and cement provides panoramic views of Rio beyond compare.
Named after the traditional sugarloaves used long ago, the Sugarloaf Mountain is a tall peak rising at the Guanabar Bay in the Atlantic Ocean. At the top you have magnificent views of the sparkling Rio beaches, statue of Christ the Redeemer and the green forests. Although most visitors arrive by a cable car ( which takes 2-3 minutes) others can test their enthusiasm and energy by climbing the mountain.
I found out where Copacabana and Ipanema are!
Although Carnival (Carnaval in Portuguese) is celebrated in towns and villages throughout Brazil and other Catholic countries, Rio de Janeiro has long been regarded as the Carnival capital of the world. The Rio Carnaval is not only the biggest Carnival, it is also a benchmark against which every other carnival is compared and one of the most interesting artistic events on the globe. Foreign visitors to it alone number around 500,000 every year.
This colorful tiled stairway is the work of Chilean artist Jorge Selaron, self-taught. Having traveled the world, Selarón moved to Rio in 1983.There are 215 steps that he entirely covered with majolica collected in urban areas of Rio or donated by visitors from all around the world. Since 1990, Selarón laid over 2000 tiles, mainly red-colored: unique pieces representing a “tribute to the Brazilian people”.
We had heard about the merging of the Rio Negro,a river with dark(almost black colored ) water and the sandy-colored AmazonRiver(Rio Solimoes) just outside of Manaus but nothing could have prepared me for the sight of it from a sea plane that we took from our lodge on the Rio Negro, to Manaus.
For 3.7 miles ,the river’s waters run side by side without mixing .This phenomenon is due to the differences in temperature, speed and water density of the two rivers. The Rio Negro flows at near 1.1 miles per hour at a temperature of 82.4 degrees(28°c), while the Rio Solimões flows between 2-3 miles per hour a temperature of 71.6 degrees(22 c).
We also noticed that there are a lot of places where the convergence is depicted with tile work. This is at the Opera House in Manaus.
Aside from the sheer vastness of the Amazon and the Rio Negro and the incredible vegetation, there were a few things I took away with me that I learned about while there. One is the fact that a lot of the vegetation is merely buried during the rainy season-in the very least,a lot of the trees were covered up to half of their height. The roots of tree can be extremely large-leading one to believe they are hanging on for dear life!
The trees are worse off in the rainy season, when many leaves die but relatively few new ones are produced. In the dry season they thrive; far more new leaves are produced than are shed, allowing the tree to benefit from the season’s increased sunlight. It appears that the trees anticipate the dry season, putting out leaves earlier, suggesting that they have evolved to take maximum advantage of the light.They have deep roots and are able to tap water deep in the soil.
I also loved seeing the pink dolphins.
The Amazon River dolphin averages about 6.5 feet in length. They come in all shades of pink, from a dull gray-pink, to rosy colored pink, to a bright pink like that of the flamingo. This color variation is due to the clarity of the water in which the dolphin lives; the darker the water, the pinker the dolphin will be. The sun’s rays cause the dolphins to lose their pink pigmentation. Murky water helps to protect the dolphin’s bright hue. These animals are also known to flush to a bright pink when excited. There are several anatomical differences between the Amazon River dolphin and other types of dolphins. For one, Amazon River dolphins are able to turn their necks from side to side while most species of dolphin cannot. This trait coupled with their ability to paddle forward with one flipper while paddling backward with the other helps them maneuver when the river floods. These dolphins will actually swim up over the flooded land and their flexibility helps them to navigate around trees. Additional characteristics that set these dolphins apart from other species are molar-like teeth that allow them to chew their prey and bristle-like hairs at the ends of their snouts that help them search for food on the muddy river bottoms.
The tree is able to withstand a broad range of climatic conditions from tropical lowland forest to sub-montane forest. Nitrogen fixing bacteria and fungi in its roots allows the species to survive in nutrient deficient soils. Throughout a short period between November and December its flowers are pollinated by insects, mainly bees and it produces fruit from January until September.
Like all rosewoods, the species has a strong sweet smell reminiscent of the fragrance of roses. The high oil content of the wood also makes it desirable for use as an essential oil for fragrance cosmetics (Chanel no.5 for example) and for use in medicines.
Its timber is heavy and strong, making it highly resistant to insect attack and decay. It is therefore much sought after in local markets as a building material for use in flooring, structural beams and wall panelling/lining. Worldwide, its timber, being highly resonant, is also used to make musical instruments such as guitars.
excerpts from articles on Brazilian Rosewood,the Amazon, National Geographic on Pink Dolphins
A few weeks ago, we went on a fabulous trip with some friends. We flew into Manaus,Brazil and stayed there one night. The next day we took a private bus to our lodge which was 100 miles northwest of Manaus. We stayed for 4 days at a wonderful lodge called Anavilhanas Jungle Lodge. We had a tour guide that took us out every day on the Rio Negro which is a tributary of the Amazon. Even that was about 18 miles( where we were) across to the other side with over 400 islands in it!
Here is more information,as we learned it,about the Amazon and Rio Negro:
Rio Negro is the largest left tributary of the Amazon, the largest backwater river in the world, and one of the world’s ten largest rivers in average discharge. It has its sources along the watershed between the Orinoco and the Amazon basins, and also connects with the Orinoco by way of the Casiquiare canal in southern Venezuela. In Colombia, where the Rio Negro’s sources are located, it is called the Guainía River. Its main affluent is the Vaupes , which disputes with the headwaters of the Guaviare branch of the Orinoco, the drainage of the eastern slope of the Andes of Columbia. The Rio Negro flows into the Rio Solimões to form the Amazon River South of Manaus, Brazil.
Rio Negro is navigable for 430 mi from its mouth in the dry season, but it has many sandbanks and minor difficulties. A small portion of it forms the international boundary between Colombia and Venezuela.
In the wet season, it floods the country far and wide, sometimes to a width of 19 miles, for long distances, and for 40 miles upstream. During this time, from April until October, it is a succession of lagoons, full of long islands and intricate channels. The foothills of the Andes begin just before reaching the Vaupes . At this point, the Negro narrows and is filled with many large rocks over which it violently flows in cataracts, rapids and whirlpools..
Much has been written on the productivity of the Rio Negro and other blackwater rivers. The older idea that these are “hunger rivers” is giving way, with new research, to the recognition that the Rio Negro, for example, supports a large fishing industry and has numerous turtle beaches. If the Negro was empty of Indians during the 17th century, introduced exotic diseases and warfare are more likely causes than low river productivity.
About 700 fish species have been documented in the river basin, and it is estimated that the total is 800–900 fish species, including almost 100 endemics and several undescribed species. Among these are many that are important in the aquarium trade, including the cardinal tetra.