Saturday, February 19, 2011

Standing on one leg, hoping for beta carotene

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Flamingos in captivity are often  just a pale  shadow of the more vividly colored wild flamingos.
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These standing on one leg*  live at  Jerusalem's  Biblical Zoo.

The zoo  website explains:
"The flamingo feeds mostly on pink shrimp and blue algae, which hold the beta-carotene pigment--giving the bird its unique color. In zoos, flamingos are given food with a color additive or vegetables like beets, red peppers and carrots  to maintain the pink color. The birds' color is mostly important for courtship rituals."

* The famous story from the Talmud (Shabbat 31a):
  Rabbi Hillel, when asked by a prospective convert to Judaism to teach him the whole Torah while he stood on one leg, replied:  
"That which is hateful unto you do not do to your neighbor. This is the whole of the Torah.  The rest is commentary. Go forth and study." 
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A post for both Camera-Critters and Shadow Shot Sunday.
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25 comments:

Honest Abe Lincoln said...

I guess he got the Torah right. It is a shame that it isn't followed by a lot of people.

Reader Wil said...

It's beautiful and often quoted even by people who don't know the Bible or the Torah. I try to live by it all the time, but how difficult is it!

eileeninmd said...

Wonderful post and photo of the flamingos.

VP said...

This sounds familiar...

Roxxy said...

love the colour, haven't seen them for real though..nice shot!

my entry here
http://alwaysfilipina.blogspot.com/2011/02/european-bison.html

Millie Price said...

oh how funny! flamingos really are curious creatures. nice shot.

Kay L. Davies said...

I love that "hoping for beta-carotene"! You have a wry wit, which I enjoy, Dina.
I love the flamingos, and that rabbi was right about the Torah and all other books of religion: "the rest is commentary"! Wonderful.
-- K

Kay, Alberta, Canada
An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel

Rob and Mandy said...

That's right, I saw many wild ones in Africa and other places, their color is often glorious

Kay said...

Fabulous post, Dina! The quote is worth reminding everybody since a lot of people seem to be forgetting. It goes so well with the photo.

i beati said...

don't know why i did not think they would be there as if we Floridians have a lease on them hahaha sandy

Rekha said...

Beautiful shot and nice words....

Karl said...

Beautiful photo Dina, these flamingos are very nice and funny

Spiderdama said...

They are beautiful! I`v never seen flamingo.., maybe when I come to Jerusalem:-)
Wish you a happy evening.

toby said...

So funny - how did I never before think to connect R' Hillel's famous story with flamingos? Great post - have a lovely week!

Jidhu Jose said...

nice shot

Rosy said...

I know nothing of the Torah, although I do find this rather interesting, and as for the Flamingos here at our San Diego Zoo they do get Shrimp with other foods mix in, perhaps they too are using Beets and Carrots as well.

Yogi♪♪♪ said...

Interesting fact about the flamingos. I guess the zoos have to make sure the flamingos are colored or people would complain.

I love the story.

Arija said...

Delightful flamingo shadows but I like the wisdom best.

Hey Harriet said...

Those flamingos and their shadows make for a lovely photo! I've never seen a flamingo in real life... a great post!

Ann said...

I first saw flamingoes when I went to the Singapore bird park. They told me the same reasons that the little shrimps make them red.

DawnTreader said...

Wonderful combination of picture and words. We only have flamingos in the zoo here, I've never seen wild ones.

Francisca said...

Two bits of news for me: flamingos get their natural pink color from shrimps... cool... and in zoos they are colored with additives... ugh! Rabbi Hillel had it right. Appears to be a hard lesson to learn. Your shadows are so cute, Dina.

Miss Becky said...

I love your pink flamingos, and an excellent shadow shot! have a great weekend :)

RNSANE said...

Flamingo shadows are lovely...and the words from the Torah are brilliant.

Marie said...

Wonderful quote -- which I had not actually heard before -- I'm adding it to my list of favorite quotes though.

The flamingos are so lovely, even if they are not as pink as they would be in the wild -- they need a shrimp buffet according to my daughter :-)