Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Tiny Chuckwalla on Piestewa Peak

Look at this little guy I saw today at Piestewa Peak in Phoenix.  He was the tiniest chuckwalla I've ever seen.  Too young to know that he should be afraid of us, Too young to go do what chuckwallas normally do.  So I got to watch him for a while.

The second chuckwalla I saw today was good at doing what chuckwallas normally do:


Wednesday, February 14, 2024

Words for "Kite" in Different Languages


I was delighted when I learned the word for kite in Czech:  papírový drak, which literally means "paper dragon."  

One of the words for kite in Spanish is cometa, or "comet."

Today I was even more delighted when I learned the word in French:  cerf-volant, which could be translated as "flying stag."  

So I investigated.  Lots of variations on dragons, birds, and other flying creatures (one Spanish term seems to come from the Nahuatl word for "butterfly," and in Georgian it's "bee").  But here's another favorite:

In Chinese, it seems to translate as "wind zither."

Anyone know any other cool literal meanings?

Monday, February 5, 2024

My article, "Postal Culture Shock," in The Mantelpiece

Check out my travel article in the February 2024 edition of The Mantelpiece

It's about my experiences with post offices in different countries, and it's a fun little read.