THE WONDROUS BEAUTY CALLED LEAFY SEADRAGON

Australia is popularly known as Island Continent as it is surrounded by water from all sides. And the coastal area of Australia has wondrous treasures of oceanic beauty. Each and every species has its uniqueness as created by God.

There is one species that is seen exclusively in the southern Australian waters, from Wilson’s Promontory in Victoria at the eastern end of its range, westward to Jurien Bay, 220 km (136 miles) north of Perth in Western Australia. The scientific name of this species is Phycodurus eques.

This species looks like a miniature dragon and it is covered with long, leaf-like protrusions. And that is why they were commonly known as Leafy Seadragon. The adults grow up to 20 – 30 cm long.  

The leaf-like protrusions serve only as mask to disguise its predators. They are lobes of skin and give the cutie dragons the appearance of seaweed. To propel itself, the leafy seadragon uses a pectoral fin on the edge of its neck and a dorsal fin on its back, closer to the tail end. Both these fins are very small, almost completely transparent and difficult to see as they undulate minutely to move the creature sedately through the water. Leafy sea dragons can change their color to blend in. They are usually yellowish-brown to green in color. However the ability of changing colors depends on the seadragon’s diet, age, location, and stress levels. Because of this ability and the physical appearance of the Leafy Sea Dragon they don’t really have any natural predators in their environment. They blend in to the surroundings so amazingly well that they aren’t detected as a food source even when predators are right there in front of them.

The funny part is the males are usually the ones that will be carrying the young until they are born. They are usually isolated and timid but when it comes to mating they become aggressive searching for a female. They fight with each other for the right to mate. When a female is ready to mate she will spend several days with the male and mate in between. The tail of a male leafy sea dragon will turn bright yellow when he is ready to mate. During this time the female deposits the eggs into the pouch on the male’s abdomen with well timed movements between both the sexes. The eggs are usually of light pink color and they are very small. There can be as many as 200 of them that she places into the pouch of the male. He will carry them for about 9 weeks till the baby Leafy Seadragons take birth out of those pouches. The young ones are very small when they arrive and they have to care for themselves. That is a startling feature in this particular species. They don’t get any help from the male or the female parents leaving a lesser chances surviving till the age of maturity. Most of them will become prey for various other creatures that live in the same bodies of water.

The real threat for these species comes from humans. The fact that there is so much pollution in the water makes it very difficult for them to survive in their natural environment. In many locations they end up in fishing nets and captured for commercial use. The goal is for them to be sold in the pet trade. Due to the great unique look of the Leafy Sea Dragon there is quite a market for it.

The longevity of leafy seadragons is unknown, but they may live 7 to 10 years but that also look grim when the crown of creation destroy these beautiful species for their pleasure.

The Bible says, 

God created the great creatures of the sea and every living thing with which the water teems and that moves about in it, according to their kinds… And God saw that it was good.  God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the water in the seas…”

But unfortunately we have failed to take care of them rightfully. How beautiful they look! How amazing its behavioural pattern is! We can’t even imagine of creating such a thing ourselves yet we never care for protecting them. Let’s be responsible to protect this species to be extincted from our beautiful earth, from our beautiful creation created by God.

Stay Blessed!

WHO KNOWS MOST OF MY SECRETS??

The question in the title of this article is not a new one, we all ask ourselves at some point or the other, may not be to find who that is, or out of fear but may be to reach out to our trusted one. 

Let me reveal who knows all of my silly tantrums and darkest secrets.

We used to have a garden, very big one. As my dad used to be busy at office, evening duty of watering the plants was mine.  Well, I love plants but the primary reason was I love water. I had a collection of nozzles using which I used to sprinkle water all in the air ( I call it the rain effect :p ) Only she and I knew how much I loved transforming a stream of water to create the artificial rain. 

By rain I recollect, on our terrace at my hometown, we have lot of creepers. So, the drain pipe used for draining rain water is usually kept closed to avoid dried leaves from blocking it. If it rains heavily during summer, we don’t get a chance to remove it and the entire terrace gets filled with a feet deep of water and only one person is authorised to open the cover of the drain hole, that’s me. Lol.. I will go on to the terrace and play with water before I let them drain , again only she knows how mischievous I can get, to be with water …

I love dancing in the rain. 100% of my friends are not aware of this and atleast 99% think I cannot dance, but she does know about it very well…. 

A warm shower can make my day anytime, no matter how worse the situation is, the more time I spend in solitude under warm running water, I feel all the more better. This may sound strange, I speak during shower,  but that helps !! She knows all about it.

warmshower

Tears are my best friend. My pillow is the worst hit. When I get hurt, irrespective of where I am, amid of how many people, I can only control water works for some time, after which I have to find a washroom. I will cry my heart out, throw a splash of water on my face and come out as if nothing has ever happened. I deceive others but she is well aware of my pain.

Who keeps all my secrets? It’s her – water… In my earlier life I would have been a mermaid or some species that lives in water. The connect I feel with water is so strong. Sometimes, I just wonder how my life would have been without her… As much I love her company,  I have other friends whom I really trust and share a special bond with.

I never share many of my feelings with anyone, primarily I think that’s because I am an introvert. This not so sharing personality of mine makes it easy for me to not only hide but keep secrets. There are a ton of secrets I have with me, of mine and others too, but believe me it’s not a burden at all.

I often find myself in situations when I know secrets about a couple of my friends in my girls group, but I have to stay all silent as if I have no clue on what they are talking about. I feel satisfied when another person can believe in my honesty and feel so deeply connected to me to be revealing their secrets. They are etched in my heart and would never come out. 

I think we need to play two roles effectively to be able to keep and accept secrets.

As a keeper of secret, to understand the situation of the other person, what s/he feels, the untold emotions around it, to respect their trust in us.

When we are disclosed about a secret of loved one, it obviously hurts because we care for them from the bottom of our heart, but they loved us too. That is why they couldn’t see us in pain, and love is the only reason why the secret is kept from us. Let go of what has happened, it was intentional but not to harm us.

The idea that certain things in life – and in the universe – don’t yield up their secrets is something that requires a slightly more mature reader to accept. –Samuel R. Delany

A CALL TO OPEN OUR EYES

We finished one more very interesting week discussing about the shortage of food, water and energy etc. and how we waste them in different ways knowingly and unknowingly. When I sat down to write final note I thought of doing a little research on the shortage and wastage in regards to all the aspects before concluding this week. I found some amazing websites which are dedicated to all these issues.

Let’s check them one after the other…

The very first site I stumbled upon is ‘World Hunger Education Service‘.

I loved their mission statement which goes like this:

  • educate the general public and target groups about the extent and causes of hunger and malnutrition in the United States and the world
  • advance comprehension which integrates ethical, religious, social, economic, political, and scientific perspectives on the world food problem
  • facilitate communication and networking among those who are working for solutions
  • promote individual and collective commitments to sustainable hunger solutions.

You can actually get all the updates by LIKEing their FB Page HERE.

Something drew my attention which I want to mention here. They describe the causes of world hunger as follows:

1. Poverty is the principal cause of hunger.

2. Harmful economic systems.

3. Wars & Conflicts.

4. Population Growth.

5. Food and agricultural policy.

6. Climate change.

Apart from the last cause, “Climate change” all are in our hands. We can control and manage poverty, economic systems, conflicts, agricultural policies and population growth. Some countries have succeeded in some areas. It is our turn now.

Next website which caught my attention was, ‘Water‘. I liked their caption:

Water has the power

To break the cycle of poverty.

To protect and save lives.

To make a bright future possible for all.

They have impacted worldwide. They work in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean.

I loved their approach. Why? Because –

  • They use microfinancing to bring small, affordable, easily repayable loans to those who need access to affordable financing and expert resources to make household water and toilet solutions a reality.
  • By bringing local, world leaders and everyday individuals together to make strides on the ground that turn into lasting transformation.
  • Exploring every angle on the water crisis and building, testing, and iterating on approaches that make the most of the resources they have while giving back the most to the people they serve.
  • They get local, they educate and they measure strategically.

I think whoever wants to DONATE them can do so to help them do what they are doing.

There are few interesting websites which drew my attention and I have listed them out as under for all of you to read and learn the strategies to save food, water, energy and human resources.  

  1. Save Energy
  2. Energy
  3. Switch On
  4. Acumen

Loved the last one in the list: Acumen. They literally do everything and providing service to products. Do not just omit it but go through what they are doing. I was so so impressed. 

You might ask why I am highlighting other companies, organisations and websites on Candles Online. We don’t promote others also… then why am I doing it???

I just wanted all of us to know and get aware of what is the condition of our world… what people are doing around us What can we do now 

The scripture says, 

So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.

God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”

Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds in the sky and all the creatures that move along the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food.” And it was so.

God created us and given us authority over all. He wanted us to rule over everything and take care of everything as well. The word ‘Subdue‘ means owning, taking control over. We love to own things but never like to take care of the same. It’s not about you but about me also. So many times I also don’t take care of the things I own. 

Now is the time we need to respond to the call, a call to open our eyes and see clearly the things happening around us.

Keep thinking and keep giving feedback, 

Stay Blessed!!!

SAVE WATER: LESSON LEARNED HARD WAY!

Every morning we hear the noises of women fighting for water outside on the road beside our apartment campus. It is a daily affair of metro cities in India.

The water crisis is acute everywhere in the country. Wikipedia gives a statistic that there’s 88% of the population in India had to access to an improved water source in 2008. So it is expected that the stats would definitely show a positive increase after 8 years, in 2016.

But who will believe that when people see the fights on the roads for water ? Let me explain our life story.

In our previous rented house, we were two families living together in a building sharing the same water source. But we could rarely get even 10 buckets of water in a day. Thankfully both of us were working people and we were only two in number. They were four. And we considered them to avail more quantity of water than us.

We bought different sizes and shapes of buckets and tubs to store water. Only in the morning, the water pump was being run and then I used to fill all the buckets before going to work as my wife used to leave for work earlier than me in the morning.

Sometimes we used to get less than 10 buckets of water too. That time we used to suffer more. My wife used to wash the clothes and keep the waste water intact to be used for toilets.

Huh!!!

But all those months were a learning process for us… It disciplined us. We understood the value of water much better than everybody else. In our present house, we have same water crisis but we never face the problem because we know how to save water by storing as well as avoiding wastage of water.

Watch this interesting video: “10 Tips for Saving Water in the Home

It is high time we all need to buckle up and stand for this cause with a slogan, “SAVE WATER TO SAVE LIFE”.

Stay Blessed !!!