Like her protagonist Shannon Kendricks, Cathy Parker is an attorney. She volunteered as a zoo keeper's aide for eight years and did have a very special beluga buddy, Mauyak, just as Shannon Kendricks has. As to encounters with alien children, as in the trilogy, she is not saying. She was also a radio and print journalist and once was the 'Jill of all trades' for a small satellite paper in Wyoming. She did everything from taking to the photos to writing the articles and op-ed pieces to helping with layout and hauling the newspapers through blizzards once a week. As a result, she saw lambs being born and went on a cattle drive and ate her first (and last) Rocky Mountain Oyster. She has seen mountain gorillas in the wild in Rwanda and orangutans in Borneo and even rocked an orphaned baby orangutan to sleep on her chest. She has volunteered with a chimpanzee sanctuary for former research subjects. So you can see where her heart lies. Currently she lives in Costa Rica with her black cat. All similarities between her cat and the trilogy's Narcissus are purely and probably coincidental.
Happy holidays, my friends! If you can't see all of the root system of this Chilamate tree, scroll down for a good look. Alas, the photo doesn't do justice to the tree. An unsuspecting hiker comes along a jungle trail and suddenly the tree comes into view with those magnificent roots. I was about half as tall as the tall vertical root in the center front there. Our guide said that scientists have found other Chilimates in Latin America, but none with roots like this baby, which sits on a private reserve called Hacienda Baru. I hiked out there on Christmas Eve morning, fording some fearsome mud holes along the way. This tree seems symbolic, doesn't it, with it visible roots so solidly holding it to the earth. Some people's roots are just as visible, just as solid. Others' roots are buried deep where no one can see them. Yet others don't really have much of a root system at all. They remind me of the giant cedars of the Northwest, so tall, so magnificent, that can fall in a strong wind because their shallow root systems can't hold them up. I would like to think the Chilamate tree here has a solid enough root system to withstand a storm. What a loss if it should fall.