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How to slow cook ribs : Pressure cooker replacement parts : Hard cooking

How To Slow Cook Ribs

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On the ganga in Gangotri

My Char Dham Yatra (Pilgrimage)

A short spiritual journey by one who does not believe.

It started quite by chance. I wanted to escape into the mountains, away from the heat of the plains. After a short look at the map, I thought Rishikesh might be a promising place. Because the train stops at Hariduar I decided that I too would stop there. In Ariduar I saw Mother Ganga for the first time and for the first time I saw thousands of believers gathering at the river's bank and sending their prayers and hopes on the water. From there I continued upstream and came to Lakshman Jula. There, for the first time, I saw a natural green river, clean and mighty, flowing between green clear mountains. There I sat down and thought about myself, who am I and what am I and what do I want of myself. Answers, of course, I did not really find. Some loose hints, here and there.
I underwent a very short experience in the way of the yogi's' , a slow and powerful way, demanding strong self-discipline. Its aim is to reach inner balance and a more correct understanding of the reality around us and, of course, to be one with God. I didn't feel that this is my way.
At night, the mountains called my name.
I went in the direction of Gangotry, the source of the Ganga.
A few days later I found myself in Tapoban a large meadow, looking out on the glacier from which the
river bursts forth, or one of his streams , as I understood later.
There I sat in front of high summits and my breath got taken away. There I felt very very small in front of the frightening power of the mountains. There I met a sadhu for the first time.
I descended from the meadow together with Tigris Babba. He told me about char dham yatra, the pilgrimage, and showed me on the map the path which the Sadhu's walk on foot from Gangotry to Kedarnath. It was then that the idea to go on this journey came into my head, but I was not sure.
In Gangotry I met many new friends and we had many experiences together. In the hot springs of Gangnany we had many talks on God, mysticism and also on art.
I set out on my way to Yamunotry, the secod dham of my journey. Togther with friends I reached Dudi Tal, the lake of Ganesh, and from there after two days which were not easy, together with a strong couple, we reached Hanuman chatti, a small khan, the base of our pilgrimage to Yamunoty. During the ascent to the temple, on a built path of 7 km zigzagging along the rocky rib of the river, I saw for the first time crowds of pilgrims, thousands of believers, climbing or being carried by porters and all of this so as to offer a present to God and to touch and bathe in the source of the holy river. I found the holiness of the place 50 m from the temple at the river bank in a man sitting calmly with his feet touching the cold water.
From there I went back to Uttarkashi and decided to complete the journey.
I left the town by bus and got out near a suspended bridge crossing the Ganga. I started walking alone, but after a few hours I found myself joining five sadhus on their journey, sleeping with them, eating with them, walking with them, hardly speaking at all, because we didn't have many words in common , but we found a common language in walking, in cooking and in daily life. I saw how the simple people accept them, half with respect and half with awe, part of them helping , the others retreating. I learned that it is possible to be satisfied with very little, especially with very little money. I walked together with them during three days. Then our ways parted, they decided to take the easier longer path and I the steep and shorter one. I reached Guttu and there I met a Babba who told me about an Italian holy man living in the village of Gangi, at a distance of approximately 25 km from Guttu. From there it is also possible to go on and reach the Katling glacier. It is not on my way, but as is well known, ways are tortuous and not always clear. In Gangi I met a man of 60 who, as I myself, came from the West. He has chosen the way of the Sahu. I found a relaxed and clear thinking person, who has found his place. Is this holiness? There is something to it; a man who has found his place reaches a certain holiness.
From there I went on a short trek to the glacier. The going was not easy. The mountains showed me their might. Although I did not make it to the glacier and did not touch the river and see it at the moment of its creation, I felt that someone is guarding me. Although rain poured down every day in the afternoon and although the path got lost under my feet many times, I didn't get wet, I didn't fall from a rock and nature was revealed to me in all its might. Two bears appeared in one of the folds of the ground, roared at me and fled. When I arrived at a few kilometers distance from the glacier, my path was lost and snow began to fall. Lost. Until all of a sudden I found a hiding place in a large cave and there I sat for hou

Galapagos Islands-716

Galapagos Islands-716

A giant tortoise at the Charles Darwin Research Station on Santa Cruz

Galapagos Giant Tortoise
The Galapagos tortoise or Galapagos giant tortoise (Geochelone nigra) is the largest living tortoise, native to seven islands of the Galapagos archipelago. The Galapagos tortoise is unique to the Galapagos Islands. Fully grown adults can weigh over 300 kilograms (661 lb) and measure 1.2 meters (4 ft) long. They are long-lived with a life expectancy in the wild estimated to be 100-150 years. Populations fell dramatically because of hunting and the introduction of predators and grazers by humans since the seventeenth century. Now only ten subspecies of the original twelve exist in the wild. However, conservation efforts since the establishment of the Galapagos National Park and the Charles Darwin Foundation have met with success, and hundreds of captive-bred juveniles have been released back onto their home islands. They have become one of the most symbolic animals of the fauna of the Galapagos Islands. The tortoises have very large shells (carapace) made of bone. The bony plates of the shell are integral to the skeleton, fused with the ribs in a rigid protective structure. Naturalist Charles Darwin remarked "These animals grow to an immense size ... several so large that it required six or eight men to lift them from the ground.". This is due to the phenomenon of island gigantism whereby in the absence of natural predation, the largest tortoises had a survival advantage and no disadvantage in fleeing or fending off predators. When threatened, it can withdraw its head, neck and all forelimbs into its shell for protection, presenting a protected shield to a would-be predator. The legs have hard scales that also provide armour when withdrawn. Tortoises keep a characteristic scute pattern on their shell throughout life. These have annual growth bands but are not useful for aging as the outer layers are worn off. There is little variation in the dull-brown colour of the shell or scales. Physical features (including shape of the shell) relate to the habitat of each of the subspecies. These differences were noted by Captain Porter even before Charles Darwin. Larger islands with more wet highlands such as Santa Cruz and the Alcedo Volcano on Isabela have lush vegetation near the ground. Tortoises here tend to have 'dome-back' shells. These animals have restricted upward head movement due to shorter necks, and also have shorter limbs. These are the heaviest and largest of the subspecies.Smaller, drier islands such as Espanola and Pinta are inhabited by tortoises with 'saddleback' shells comprising a flatter carapace which is elevated above the neck and flared above the hind feet. Along with longer neck and limbs, this allows them to browse taller vegetation. On these drier islands the Galapagos Opuntia cactus (a major source of their fluids) has evolved a taller, tree-like form. This is evidence of an evolutionary arms race between progressively taller tortoises and correspondingly taller cacti. Saddlebacks are smaller in size than domebacks. They tend to have a yellowish color on lower mandible and throat. At one extreme, the Sierra Negra volcano population that inhabits southern Isabela Island has a very flattened "tabletop" shell. However, there is no saddleback/domeback dualism; tortoises can also be of 'intermediate' type with characteristics of both. The tortoises are slow-moving reptiles with an average long-distance walking speed of 0.3 km/h (0.18 mph). Although feeding giant tortoises browse with no apparent direction, when moving to water-holes or nesting grounds, they can move at surprising speeds for their size. Marked individuals have been reported to have traveled 13 km in two days. Being cold-blooded, the tortoises bask for two hours after dawn, absorbing the energy through their shells, then becoming active for 8–9 hours a day. They may sleep for about sixteen hours in a mud wallow partially or submerged in rain-formed pools (sometimes dew ponds formed by garua-moisture dripping off trees). This may be both a thermoregulatory response and a protection from parasites such as mosquitoes and ticks. Some rest in a 'pallet'- a snug depression in soft ground or dense brush- which probably helps to conserve heat and may aid digestion. On the Alcedo Volcano, repeated use of the same sites by the large resident population has resulted in the formation of small sandy pits. Darwin observed that: "The inhabitants believe that these animals are absolutely deaf; certainly they do not overhear a person walking near behind them. I was always amused, when overtaking one of these great monsters as it was quietly pacing along, to see how suddenly, the instant I passed, it would draw in its head and legs, and uttering a deep hiss fall to the ground with a heavy sound, as if struck dead." The tortoises can vocalise in aggressive encounters, whilst righting themselves if turned upside down and, in

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