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.
I am quite under the weather today but I didn't want to miss the chance to connect with you so I thought I would tell you a bit about the Strangler Fig Tree. This particular giant grows in Monteverde, Costa Rica. The tree starts in the high branches of another species of tree, having been deposited by a bird or other creature. There, it begins to grow. Many trees in the tropics contain epiphytes, plants which can grow without soil, and without harm to their hosts, so this beginning is not unusual. There, however, the story begins to turn a bit sinister. The Strangler Fig sends roots downwards, down, and down, until they reach the ground. And they continue to grow and thicken. Soon the tree on which the Strangler Fig has taken root has no access to sun and less access to nutrients from the soil. It slowly dies. After a time, it disappears, leaving the Strangler Fig standing strong and tall with a hollow interior as the only reminder of what has disappeared.
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