Danny Clark's Posts (165)

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Tell us about your Christmas, OK?

Hi, my friends! The Chrismas season has already started and New Year is about to knock on our doors! It is one of the most desired holidays all over the world, it is time of miracles, magic, hopes and good memories and I'd like to share some of them with you now as I will be very busy later.

Well, I believe everybody knows what Christmas is but I'd like to tell you about the Cristmas spirit our people get to know in the early childhood and never forget. It is the spirit of goodness, forgiveness, a desire to do something good, to feed everyone who is hungry, to warm up everyone who feels cold, to give out gifts to strangers, to make no one feel alone. I wish this spirit lasted all year round all over the world!

I'll tell you about traditional Christmas in America. It is a family holiday, the members of a family usually gather at one place, have a traditional dinner that is a baked turkey and many other delicious things, but a turkey is a must! We decorate our houses and trees all around with a lot of light garlands and traditional American Christmas symbols.

They are poinsettia plants, we call them Christmas Stars, and so called Holly Tree's berries (trivia). Many people like to put on Santa's clothing. And Christmas carols sound everywhere!

But what is so very touching for me is that people hang the socks

 for Santa's gifts over the fireplaces (it is well-known that Santa invisibly comes in through the flue and we leave him a glass of milk and some cookies for him to have a snack to be able to visit everyone on this planet) and those socks are always full in the morning independently on your age! 

Dear friends! I am adding some music for you to feel the Christmas spirit, for you to remember all the best you have ever felt, for nobody to feel alone! St. Nick hasn't disappeared, it is us who lost the main.



And this one is for ladies. In fact, my wife had me without even saing "Hello" (Big Smile!!!)


My friends, I hope you will tell how you celebrate Chrismas and what it means for you. Anyway, I wish you all and myself to live in a peaceful world full of pleasant surprises!

Merry upcoming Chistmas and Happy New Year!

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As I see, you like my stories about Florida so, I will tell you one more today. It is about the area where we live. Our town, Crystal River, is rather small with the population of about 15,000, located at the estuary of the river with the same name. There is almost nowhere to go or nothing to do here. Most of people work somewhere else (like me) or have their jobs in service or tourist business. But we can't leave this area as we all in love with its primordial wild beauty. When I moved to Florida from Boston about 30 years ago and saw Crystal River for the first time I didn't hesitate. I was sure, I want to live here all my life. After living in a big fuzzy city I fell in love with this land that gave me peace of my mind, feeling of harmony with nature being its integral part. I will never exchange this feeling for any luxurious life I can afford. Being a university professor I have been working with young people all my life. And when they say they want to make their carreers to buy luxurious cars, houses, clothes, etc., I always want to ask if they have ever looked around, read world news, visited other countries. Unfortunately, our new generation is spoiled with secured, comfortable, well-organized lifestyle. They don't even know that people from all over the world come here every year just to swim with manatees and to come in touch with our nature. So, here we are to the point! Crystal River is the only one place in the world where you can swim with wild manatees legally. Many hundred of them immigrate from colder waters to Florida in fall and stay till spring or summer. Many of them never leave our waters. Manatees are wonderful creatures! They are smart, very friendly and trusting. They are not scared of people and seem to love us like dolphines. Well, I'd like to say that manatees are the most inordinary animals in our area and there are so very many of them here in winter!  Crystal River wildlife park is not as large as Silver Springs or Everglades but you can see very many different animals and birds here.

First, there are a lot of pink/red flamingoes. They live not only in the park and many Floridians decorate their houses with the images/sculptures of those birds. They are said to bring happiness.

Also, you can meet black Floridian bears here. They are not big or dangerous and their cubs are very funny like all cubs!


Well, if you are patient and brave enough, you can also see water horses (hippopotamuses) here. Just have a look at this peacefully resting female! It reminds me of Gloria from "Madagascar"!

Well, There is much more to see here and tell about but the size of a blog is limited. The only one more thing I'd like to say is that some thoughtless irresponsible authorities permitted to construct the nuclear plant just on the Crystal River! I hope, you can see the contrast! Sure, America consumes much energy and needs it badly to live comfortably but why to built nuclear stations close to wildlife refuges? What will remain if we kill everything alive? Hope, you agree, my friends! Have a nice trip round Crystal River!

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Welcome to Florida!

When you drive highway 95 and cross the border between Georgia and Florida, you always see a big signboard "WELCOME TO FLORIDA!" with a picture of a lady walking her alligator on a string. And, yes, welcome to Florida, the land of alligators and wild nature, the land of contrasts where great modern cities and fashionable resorts are surrounded with wild jungle, where stepping out of the 5 star hotel you can see an alligator crossing the street or a monkey sitting on the palm trying to throw a banana right onto your head, where live many nations and where is always summer!

If I were asked to name a few "Floridian" animals,

I would say they are alligators(or just gators, as we say), pelicans, and manatees (lamatees) although there are also very many monkeys, racoons, squirrels, Floridian long tailed cockatoos here. One may also meet American pumas(coguars), Floridian black bears, foxes, coyotes and other animals, especially in the wildlife refuges. Floridian fauna is very rich, wild and mostly protected by law.

But I think the beauty of Florida is its wild nature. Here we have a few wildlife refuges where you can see primordial undeveloped land. Sure, Everglades is the most well-known and popular (Miami area), but there are also two others. We live close to one of them. It is Crystal River National Park.

The other is a rather large wildlife refuge Silver Springs we visited last Saturday(on the left). Only the park occupies 60,000 aсres (about 24 sq.km)! So, to see all around, you should board a special vehicle or a glass-bottom boat and take part in the excursions or you can hire a canoe and travel yourself. So, we dicided to board a Jeep Safari (land), Jungle Cruise and the Lost River Voyage (water).

One of the most inordinary things in that park is glass-bottom boats where you can see everything in the water very clearly. You can even take pictures. It is how they look from iniside. Anyway, the greatest is nature that you see all around. It is like Florida looked many thousand years ago. The official symbol of Florida is a coconut tree. You can see it on our coat of arms and the flag.

But I would say it is a southern oak, a relict tree that makes our land so fantastic. When you happen to get to that relict forest, you can easily imagine Tarzan living up on one of those oaks being breast-fed and raised by a monkey. As a matter of fact 1930 Tarzan movie was shot in Silver Springs.

There are so many magic places there! I'd like to add at least one more picture!

However, speaking about Florida I have to say you ought to see our sunsets! They are unforgetable! I was told that reflected sunsets can be seen only here. I mean when the sun goes down and you look at the sky you can't imagine where the west is. They are so very different, beautiful and romantic! I wish you all would see this beauty and realize that our planet is the only one comfortable place for us to live.

I think it is impossible to tell everything in one blog. So, if you get interested, I will post a few more. 

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More about Cats: The Cat Theater

Dear friends! I decided to post this blog as a continuation of the first. I didn't expect to get so many comments on my first blog and I am thankful for your attention, your good attitude and friendliness. I see, you love pets in general, but what I've noticed is that many of you either dislike cats or have a wrong idea about them. So, I, together with Tanya (as she knows more), would like to tell you what we know about these mysterious creatures.

There is common belief that a cat can't be tamed completely or trained well. That is as right as wrong. First, we always compare cats with dogs and get a wrong idea that dogs are more faithful, more obedient, more trained and so on. In fact, we can't compare them at all as they belong to different families with different genotypes. As a result of evolution, any dog is born for loving and serving us, it is one of its basic instincts. As to cats, they don't have it, they are born to be free but when they are born and raised at home, they realize advantages of being domestic and never leave their houses. I think you know, if you take a domestic cat far away from home and leave it there, it will find its way home, contrary to a dog as a dog is looking for its master while a cat is looking for its way back home.

Cats, especially female cats, are mistresses at home. Marry, our alpha(dominant) cat, checks out all racks, bowls, toilets in the morning and makes us fill them up. She is always "on guard" stopping all misunderstandings at our zoo. She makes other pets behave and we rely on her when we go out for dinner, beach or so. As to Jenny, our dog, she is like a shepherd, keeps them all together, but she is still so young!

Honestly, I've wanted to tell you about something different. There are no bad pets, there may be bad masters as there are no bad students, there may be unprofessional teachers. If you want to tame a cat, you should love it, realize its nature, its desires and make advantages of that. It is how our girls tame us, men! They really know what they do! (Smile)

So, here we are to the point of this discussion!

I'd like to tell you about one world-known cat trainer, Yuri Kuklachev, Russian clown who really knew what cats want. He started perfoming with two pets only. They were his cat and his dog. Later on, he became very famous  cat trainer. I have no idea if he was the first, but he was the best. Now, there is a world-known Cat theater, Kuklachov Cats. He said, to tame or train a cat, you should know what it wants and is up to and encourage a cat to do that. You are the master of your dog, but you will always be a guest for your cat (in the best case), or just a servant (in the worst). But they may be our friends if we understand their needs. It is how we, men, should know what our girls expect from us. If we get them right, we will be on our ground (BIG SMILE!).

Here is the link to The Cat Theater.


Here is the link to another show as I like it so much! I named it "The Dancing Cat  Show". You should see it!


Whatever you think about cats, I hope you will like those shows.

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My Personal Zoo

Dear friends, I love pets so very much. I can't stand others'  offending them or making them homeless. When I was a boy my parents gave me a dog on my 7th birthday. It was a golden retriever female. They said "It is your friend and from now on, you should be aware she will die if you don't take care of her!" It was the best lesson in my life although I lived through much. We made friends and it is so easy to make a dog a part of your life! She lived a happy life but she had died before I went to Army. Dogs don't live for long and it is such a pity! Since then I couldn't have any other pets at home. But when we came across with my wife, she  convinced me I had been wrong. We lose so much living without pets! Actually, they teach us a lot of things. It is my understanding that the most valuable lessons we learn from pets are the following: 1) the more we give, the more we get in return; 2) we are responsible for those we love. And I am really happy we have a lot of pets now.

So, here is our dog, Jenny, a female golden retriever. She is young and I hope she will live longer than me. She is only 9 months old. She is very friendly with other inhabitants of our Zoo and all people. She is a DOG, the best friend, as we  say "Need a friend, buy a dog!". In all the world you'll never find  a love as true as theirs!

We also have 4 cats. Here is my female cat Anastasya. She is a "flyer" as we say. She is Russian Blue. We  also have 3 other cats. Two of them came here from Ukraine. The male cat was adopted by us. Aren't they great?!

Ukrainian girls! Mother(a black one, Marry, Turkish Angora) and daughter(Kuzya, European short-haired)! This link will never be broken. Marry is an alpha cat. She is a mastress of our Zoo. She makes everyone behave including us! They both are very sweet like all Ukrainian girls!

Here is our male cat Tim. He doesn't know how to behave but our girls teach him! Either he learns from them or they will make him out! Men, it is our fate! 

We also have a crazy parrot who swears like a docker! He is smart but so badly-bred! I tried to teach him good manners, but it was in vain. Anyway, he is a part of our family and we all try to get along! (Smile!)

There is also a racoon family in our yard. Honestly, they are bad guys. They ruin everything around and a female bit our dog some time ago and even tried to bite me. But they have cubs and are welcomed here.

So, how do you like our Zoo?

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