9/11 remembrance…A sorrowful day for a nation…For the world…For residents of hurricane stricken states…

This is the remainder of a banana tree’s inflorescence described as follows: From 26 to 32, banana leaves will have wrapped around themselves by the time the inflorescence emerges from the center of the pseudostem. This process is called shooting. Ten to 20 flowers spiral around the stem of the inflorescence. Each flower is covered with a fleshy purple to green bract that it sheds as it matures. While we were living in Madeira, Portugal, we post a continuing story with photos of the progression of these unique blooms. See here for details on our story with photos of the morphology of the banana tree.

“Sightings from the Veranda in Costa Rica”

In Kauai, Hawaii, our friend Louise sent us the identity of this bird, an Inca Dove. Beautiful! Thanks, Louise!

Today’s a sad day for millions of citizens as the remembrance of September 11, 2001, is fresh in our minds. Most of us can easily remember where we were when the horrific news was broadcast worldwide of the heinous attacks on the two World Trade Center buildings, flight #77 crashing into the Pentagon, and the crash of flight #93 where brave souls somehow managed to prevent the plane from crashing into yet more structures.

Almost 3000 people lost their lives in the tragic events, and more have perished, including countless first responders over the following years from exposure to the toxic debris. 

Bottle Brush plant with white flowers.

The impact on the lives of the families, co-workers, and friends of those affected by this outrage will remain in their hearts and minds for the rest of their lives. Yet, when those of us are not directly impacted by the attacks, other than bearing witness to its horrors over many months and years, with the utmost compassion and empathy, we can barely imagine how so many have suffered.

Now, in the news over this past week or so, in stunned silence, we watch the news of the devastation of two record-breaking hurricanes losses suffered by countless citizens of Texas, Florida, and other states, including unknown loss of lives; injuries to thousands; and the loss and damage to homes, businesses and worldly goods.

A type of palm tree that produces these bead-like berries.

Those of us tucked away in safe parts of the world may go about our daily lives untouched by these horrific events save for the emotional toll inflicted upon those of us possessing untold compassion and empathy. In other words, none of us with access to news of world events are exempt from feeling the wrath of such events.

The hard part for many of us is that we are helpless bystanders, many of whom may choose to contribute via donations, but few of us can “jump” in and help. 

These berries are

Gaining access to these ravaged areas is difficult, if not impossible, for most who’d like to pitch in. But, then, many of the older generation (and others) don’t have the funds, the fitness, and the physical health to participate in rescue efforts.

Overall, as we’ve traveled the world, we’ve found most of each country’s people to be kind, open-hearted, and more than willing to pitch in during a crisis. This is easily evidenced by watching the news during and aftereffects of many tragic events, including war and natural disasters.


Fortunately, in our world travels, we’ve remained safe. And, although we’ve encountered unexpected events; storms, earthquakes, nearby bombings, and less-than-ideal health issues, we’re grateful to be safe and unharmed, our primary objective as we continue in our quest to see the world.

Pine Cone Ginger.

We can’t let fear immobilize us.  We can only let love, hope, faith, and a positive outlook drive us to the following location, the next adventure, and the next opportunity to embrace this gift of life bestowed upon us.

May you embrace life and opportunity on this sad day and treasure the rest of the days to come.

Photo from one year ago today, September 11, 2016:

Plumeria, aka Frangipani, is a flower used in Hawaii to make leis.  For more from this September 11th post published one year ago today, please click here.