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Morocco's Argania trees are infested with nut-hungry goats.


It is not the goats that are special in Morocco. It is the trees. The Argania tree is a rare tree that produces such a tasty nut that the local goats just can't get enough. They will even climb to the top branches in order to pick the delicious nuts. Goats are natural climbers and are very sure-footed. Goats are also herd animals, so once one goat spots an Argania tree, all of his friends follow. Soon the tree is full of goats.


Grown almost exclusively in Sous Valley in southwestern Morocco, the Argania is a rare and protected species after years of over-farming and clear-cutting. Local farmers condone and even cultivate this bizarre feeding practice, keeping the goats away from the trees while the fruit matures and releasing them at the right time. There is also a secondary benefit to the goats’ habits which is found in their output. After the goats finish eating the fruit and nuts off the tree, they pass valuable clumps of seeds which are then pressed to create the sought-after Argan oil.


It looks like something out of a Dr. Seuss book!







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Native to Australia, this fascinating bird is a master of impersonations.


Lyrebirds are most notable for their superb ability to mimic natural and artificial sounds from their environment such as dogs, koalas, dingoes, camera shutters, construction zones, music, phones, ringtones, car alarms and more. If you are walking through a quiet forest, it is the oddest feeling to all of a sudden be startled by a loud car alarm or get the eerier feeling that someone is taking your picture as you hear the camera shutter continuously going off.


A lyrebird is either of two species of ground-dwelling Australian birds that compose the genus Menura, and the family Menuridae. Lyrebirds are relatively sedentary, shy animals. They have limited flight capacity and magnificent tail feathers and the striking beauty of the male bird's huge tail when it is fanned out in courtship display. Their unique plumes of neutral-colored tail feathers make them one of Australia's best-known native birds.


See for Lyrebird in action:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C0ZffIh0-NA


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Kawachi Fuji Gardens in Kitakyushu, Japan ( 5 hours from Tokyo, if you take the Nozomi high speed train) is where you will find this pastel-colored fairytale tunnel.The garden's most prominent features are two, roughly 100 meter long tunnels made of wisteria trees of differing varieties and colors, ranging from white to dark purple. Furthermore, there is a collection of large wisteria trees that together form an enormous roof of drooping flowers.


The history of Kawachi Wisteria began with a boy's dream that the founder, Masao Higuchi, was impressed by the book he read when he was in elementary school and wanted to leave proof that he lived in this world.


Masao was a man who devoted himself to his work during and after the war, protecting his family, but when his life was settled down, it was a dream he had when he was a boy. When he decided and confessed that he wanted to plant a beautiful wisteria in this mountain of miscellaneous trees and create a wisteria garden that everyone could come to see, his family agreed, and in 1968 (Showa 43), he began cultivating with his eldest son. Masao's dream of leaving a living proof became a family dream from this time.


While the engine sound of the bulldozer echoes in the quiet mountains, the work is difficult due to the hard ground and rocky land. It was a daunting task to collect the stones that came out and carry them out by unicycle. Even so, a few years later, the work to make the slope of the mountain into a pedestal was completed, and the Ofuji shelf and the wisteria tunnel of about 1000 tsubo were completed.


The first tree to be planted at "Kawachi Wisteria Garden" was a wisteria that was transplanted from Kawachi Village, which had sunk to the bottom of the lake when the Kawachi Reservoir was constructed and has been carefully cultivated so far.


It has been 50 years since the land was cleared. The tree that started at "Kawachi Wisteria Garden" has grown to Ofuji, which is over 120 years old, and every year, beautiful flower clusters are fluttering and the visitors are pleased.


From late April to mid-May, 22 kinds of wisteria flowers are in full bloom, an absolute overwhelming view and smell!


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