Wednesday, 20 June 2018

Amazing Lungish, Who Survive on Land without Water

The lungfish, also known as “salamanderfish”, is a type of freshwater fish actually famous for its ability to live on land, without water, for months on end, and sometimes even years. The lungfish name suggests, the fish have a highly evolved respiratory system that can take oxygen straight from the air, similar of land animals do. However, few species of lungfish are quite used to breathing air that they gradually lose the function of their gills as the fish reach adulthood. Whereas they still live in water, and their requisite to frequently come up to the surface for fresh air. The lungfish can even drown if they are keeping him for underwater for a long time. It has elongated bodies, just like eels, with thread-like pectoral and pelvic fins which they use to swim and crawl along the bottom. The lungfish usually inhabit shallow waters, such as swamps and marshes, but they’re also found in bigger lakes. Lungfish is feeding on fish, insects, crustaceans, worms, molluscs, amphibians and plant matter. They have an intestinal spiral valve rather than a true stomach. Normally, lungfish excrete nitrogenous waste as ammonia directly into the water. The lungfish can be extremely long-lived.

Wednesday, 6 June 2018

An Introduction to When It Comes To Nature, Korea Is Out Of This World!

When you talked about Korea, the first myth comes in mind is for its modern cities and decades of conflict. From several decades tensions between the South and North Korea might be what define it to outsiders. Therefore elsewhere the battles scar there’s a much more striking side to Korea. In South Korea, you can find large pockets of undamaged wilderness where strange animals thrive and Koreans continue to practice age-old traditions in tandem with the seasons and with nature. Climb the mountains and get their good tidings as nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. Thus, in these connections, rather than in division, that you will see the true longing for nature with subtle brilliance and dynamic beauty. This spectacular documentary takes you on a trip into the hidden nature of Korea! Where nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.

Wednesday, 30 May 2018

The Saqqara Bird: The Ancient Egyptian Flying Machine

Saqqara Bird" is a small wooden replica of an actual ancient Egyptian flying machine? The Saqqara bird was excavated in 1898 from a tomb of Pa-di-lmen in Sappho in Saqqara, Egypt. It has one prodigious problem and that is its lack of information since its early discovery. Saqqara bird is one of most mysterious objects ever discovered. It is believed that Saqqara bird is 2,200 years old, resembles to modern day airplane with the head of bird. Some people speculate that ancient Egyptians may have understood the processes of aerodynamics and that the Saqqara Bird may have been a scale model of an actual working aircraft or glider of some type. The perfect placement of the wings reveals advanced aerodynamics design. The Saqqara bird is made of sycamore wood, the bird may have been a ceremonial object, a toy, or even some kind of weather vane. The bird is a fun historical footnote, a minor mystery whose true persistence may never be known, but it doesn't represent anything earth-shattering nor does it?

In 1969, the archaeologist Dr. Khalil Messiha was a professor Of Anatomy for the Artist at Helwan University. He was also a member of the Royal Aeromodellar's Club and the Egyptian Aeronautical Club. He was also an amateur student of bird models .During excavating he came upon a wooden object similar to a bird, mere 7 inch wingspan, and this object has baffled archaeologists and researchers for years. The Saqqara bird has eyes, a nose but the wings are not similar to the wings of birds. The wings resemble to modern day jet plane. To the middle of the rump, the wings are bit thicker; it is where the lift up is at the highest point. The wings become thinner to the end and those wings are modeled down and this is the point which proves that the Saqqara bird has advanced aerodynamic design in its construction.

What is also very imperative is that birds have no rudders, they don’t need rudders. The wing is made of one piece of wood, and its span is exactly 18 cms. The part of the body is the thickest 8 millimeters. Then it tapers in thickness towards the tips. There is a Dihedral angle which is somewhat uneven on both sides due to slight distortion of the wood, caused by the passage of time. Messiha claims "The lower part of the tail is broken and flat which I think may be evidence that the tail was attached there. Saqqara Bird has been housed in the Museum of Egyptian Antiquities in Cairo. The Saqqara Bird has a vertical stabilizer which is unlike the generally horizontal shape of a real bird's tail. This fin as "shaped as if the bird had twisted its tail feathers. It is also legless and has wings set at an angle Messiha sees as similar to that of modern aircraft, which he considered an attempt to create aerodynamic lift.

The Saqqara Bird is just a tiny part of the many theories concerning of the prospects of ancient lost technology and, like most debated theories, we’ll maybe never know the real story. It could be a model of an ancient flying machine, it could be nothing more than a little wooden bird, or it could be something in between. Whereas there are several theories as to what this object is, until now no solid conclusion has been offered. The History Channel, as part of its continuing plan to completely discredit itself, ran an episode of the show "Ancient Discoveries" which purported to prove that the Saqqara Bird was capable of flight. However, the most common accepted theory is that the Saqqara Bird is actually a sacred bird that was used as decoration on the masts of ships or a toy model of a bird.

Friday, 18 May 2018

The Juniper Tree

Juniper or Juniperus are trees what we call red cedar is really a juniper. But many others are shrub like and as such are extremely useful in landscape plantings especially since they will tolerate poor soil. They do well by the seashore as well as in hot dry places, and they cover banks beautifully.
There is great variety in their shape, foliage textures and foliage colors; many make fine specimen plants, and the smaller ones look good in rock gardens, either as accents or tailing down over rocks. The low, spreading junipers make excellent ground covers.
Many varieties of Chinese juniper (Juniperus chinensis) such as the bluish “Hetzii” and the flat topped “Pfitzerana” may grow as tall as 10 feet and just as wide, sending out long, irregular horizontal branches. They are usually misused because people rarely understand how big they will grow; a compact juniper is more appropriate for most landscaping situations.
But given the right space the big ones can be effective. The variety called “Sargent juniper” forms a low, bluish mat. Varieties of common juniper (J. communis) include “Depressa” which grows under 4 feet tall and “Compressa” a little gem of a plant that grows upright with a pointed top and never exceeds 2 feet.
Tam juniper (J. Sabina “Tamariscifolia”) is much used because it forms a low, wide tidy mound of rich green. Varieties of creeping juniper (J. horizontalis) are the most prostrate of all; “Wiltoni” is also called “Blue Rug” forms a blue mat just a few inches high that spreads widely and is excellent for the foreground of a shrub planting or in a rock garden.
“Bar Harbor” is gray green and turns purplish in winter. Andorra juniper (J. H. plumose) is taller than Bar Harbor under 2 feet but also has a fine, purplish winter color. Moreover, Junipers like full sun and a soil that is rather dry, sandy,, well drained and slightly acid. They rarely if ever need feeding.
They should not need much pruning if you have chosen the right juniper for the spot, and they are usually appreciated for the irregularity of their branching patterns. But you can remove awkward hoots in spring or summer, trim recent growth in early spring if more bushiness is needed or cut all of the season’s growth in summer to limit size. Cutting hard to bare wood will not however, produce branching.  Source: Charismatic Planet

Thursday, 3 May 2018

Bridegroom’s Oak: The World’s Most Romantic Postbox

In Germany a 500 year old tree called “The Bridegroom’s Oak” in the Dodauer Forst forest near of Eutin, has its own postal address and actually receives about 5 to 6 letters every day. The letters are sent by love seekers from all over the world, in the hope of someone will read them and write back. In the modern age of dating apps, social media available today, but love seekers still sending letters to this amazing tree, in the hope of finding their love. To sending the letter to charming tree and expecting good fortunate to work would be a really magic. The tree trunk has a circumference of 16 ft, a spread of 98 ft, and a height of 82 ft.
The tree is surrounded by a wooden fence, while the hole is about 9.8 feet off the ground and 1 ft wide. The widespread Bridegroom’s Oak tree growing more than 500 years but became a facilitator of love about hundred years ago, when it found a beautiful love story. A lovely girl named “Minna” fell in love with a young chocolate maker named “Wilhelm”. Both wanted to marry, but girl father was opposed to this relationship, restricted her from seeing the boy. Both didn’t give up, and started exchanging love letters in secret by leaving them in a knothole of Bridegroom’s Oak. Hence, time passes very quickly and her father ultimately came to know about their love letters, but instead of punishing, he decided to let her marry. In June 1891, their wedding took place under the branches of Oak tree that helped them to keep their romance alive.
This love story widespread like a wild fire in Eutin, and soon people start writing romantic letters and leaving them in the tree’s knothole. Therefore, tree has gotten lot of popularity among love birds. So, in 1927, it was already known as “Br√§utigamseiche” had become so popular that the Deutsche Post assigned it its own address and postal code, allowing people from all over Germany and even abroad to send in their letters. People all over the world are visiting Bridegroom’s Oak by following one simple rule. They can check all the letters in its knothole, and take with them the one they wish to reply to, but they have to put the others back for other people to find. According to one BBC reports that it has been responsible for at least 100 marriages, as well as many other romantic relationships, but if you’re still not convinced, just ask Karl Heinz Martens, the postman who has been delivering letters to the tree for the last 20 years.

Friday, 20 April 2018

World’s Biggest Tyre Graveyard

Unbelievable pictures of Kuwaiti landfill site that is home to more than 7 million wheels and so massive it can be seen from space. So, an average car tyre will travel around 20,000 to 25,000 miles over its lifetime, but when they have reached the end of their life in Kuwait City they are destined for the tyre graveyard. Every year gigantic holes are dug out in the sandy area of Sulaibiya filled with old tyres in the ground. Although, the expanse of rubber is so vast that the sizable indents on the earth are now visible from space.

It is believed that tyres of other countries and Kuwait have paid for them to be taken away - four companies are in charge of the disposal and are idea to make a substantial amount from the disposal fees. Even though the European landfill directive means that this type of 'waste disposal would be illegal in Europe -  since 2006 EU rules have banned the disposal of tyres in landfill sites, leaving about 480,000 tonnes of recyclable shredded rubber each year. Few years back a fire broke out in a Kuwait tyre dump which was so big that it could be seen from space. The fire broke out on April 17 at a tire dump near Al Jahrah. Tyre fires are difficult to extinguish they produce a lot of smoke, which often carries toxic chemicals from the breakdown of rubber compounds while burning.

In England all truck and car tyres must be recovered, recycled and reused.  Therefore, presently over 80% of the 55 million used tyres generated in Britain are processed via the Responsible Recycler Scheme. Materials from correctly recycled tyres are used for a variety of uses including a children’s playground, running tracks, artificial sports pitches, fuel for cement kilns, carpet underlay, equestrian arenas and flooring. Bales of tyres can be used in the construction of modern engineered landfill sites and flood defenses. Moreover, if waste tyres are in good condition, they can be re-moulded and put back on the road as ‘re-treads’.  In 2010, just over 30% of waste tyres were turned into crumb, 18%  were used in energy recovery, almost 20% were re-used in the UK or abroad, 16% were particularly used in landfill engineering and 11%t were re-treaded.

In some circumstances tyres are shipped out to countries such as India, Pakistan and Malaysia, but there are strict laws about their exportation. Different tests were performed on grip and skid resistance, with engineers reporting that the rubber road, on a stretch of dual carriageway between Perth and Dundee, resulted in a quieter drive. Experts claim the road requires less maintenance and still allows for drainage, whereas tyre recyclers claim the technique will also save money because the new material is thinner than standard roads. Rubber roads were first built in the 1960s in the US, where today there are 20,000 miles of road made of recycled tyres.

Rubber roads are also popular in Germany, China, Brazil, and Spain. The technique has been found to cut traffic noise by about 25%. The asphalt is made by breaking down used tyres into rubber ‘crumbs’ which are supplementary to bitumen and crushed stone, which are usually used to make asphalt. It is believed that more than five million tires fuelled the fire which specialists struggled to control. Hundreds of firefighters as well as soldiers and employees of the Kuwait Oil Company took part in the efforts to extinguish the blaze. A number of MPs described the fire as an 'environmental catastrophe' and urged to demand a debate on the issue in a particular parliamentary session.

Thursday, 5 April 2018

The Mysterious Coin Wishing Trees

Few centuries ago, around UK people would put coins into trees in order to make wish. The odd marvel of gnarled old trees with coins embedded all over their bark has been spotted on trails from the Peak District to the Scottish Highlands.  Hence, the legends around it and the imageries that follow are quite awe remarkable! Many people thought that by striking a coin into a tree with a hammer, they could make a wish, such as having some sick get better or removing the suffering from their close ones. Also, believe any sick person could press a coin into a tree and their illness would go away. 'If someone then takes the coin out though, it's said they then become ill.' These enthralling spectacles often have coins from centuries ago buried deep in their bark and warped by the passage of time. An oak Wish Tree made famous by Queen Victoria during her visit in 1877, and its inclusion in her published diaries. The tree, and others surrounding it, is festooned with hammered-in coins.

Therefore, it is very interesting but also a bit unlucky as many trees have been damaged due to this. However, it’s quite a sight to behold, a tree covered in coins from all the wishes. The tradition of making offerings to deities at wishing trees dates back hundreds of years, but this combination of the man-made and the natural is far rarer. Some people believed that divine spirits lived in trees, and they were often festooned with sweets and gifts.  The people had no idea why it was being done when first noticed the tree trunk was being filled with coins. As some detective work and discovered that trees were sometimes used as "wishing trees". Although several superstitious people still do this, which explains why some of the coins in the photos are not centuries old! So, do you believe such superstitions to put coin into trees in order to make wish?

Friday, 30 March 2018

Tree of 40 Fruit

New York Based artist Sam Van Ken created a tree of 40 fruit using the ancient technique “chip grafting”. His family lives in Pennsylvania Dutch and he grew up on the family farm. He’s an associate professor of sculpture at Syracuse University. Therefore, each tree produces forty different types of stone fruit, of the genus Prunus, ripening sequentially from July to October in the United States. The tree is fruiting in the artist's nursery, where each spring the tree's blossom is a mix of different shades of red, pink and white. Thus, a variety of fruit, harvested from one of the trees in one week, in August 2011.

Van Aken had produced 16 Trees of 40 Fruit, installed in a variety of private and public locations, including community gardens, museums, and private collections. In the chip grafting technique, which involves cutting the buds off a fruit tree and having them heal to the lateral branches of a rootstock tree? Branches from the different fruit trees grow off of the rootstock, which is naturally a tree variety natural to the area's climate and soil. This lets fruit to be grown in areas that might not otherwise support that type of tree.

In 2008, he was looking for specimens to create a multicolored blossom tree as an art project; then he acquired the 3 acres orchard of the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station, which was closing due to funding cuts. He started to graft buds from more than 250 heritage varieties grown there, some unique, onto a stock tree. Therefore, the tree was nourishing over the course of 5 years the tree accumulated branches from forty different "donor" trees, each with a different fruit, including almond, apricot, cherry, and nectarine, peach, nectarines, and plum varieties. He has plans to populate a city orchard with the trees.

Van Aken tries to include local fruits on each of his trees, as well as varieties that aren't commercially available. And once they happened upon one of these trees, they would start to question ‘Why are the leaves shaped differently?’ ‘Why are they different colors? So, Van Aken's trees can be found in Arkansas, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania.

Thursday, 22 March 2018

Butterfly Winter Sleepers

The cold weather of winter poses a major problem to many creatures. The peacock, small tortoiseshell and brimstone are three butterflies which opt for hibernation in the adult form until spring. The beautiful peacock and small tortoiseshell butterflies that feed on Michelmas daisies in autumn gardens are the same butterflies that will be out and about searching for flowers on the first sunny, warm day of the New Year. The peacock and small tortoiseshell are usually up and about in March. However, the brimstone, which favors the flowers of the woodland rides, can often be seen much earlier particularly in the south of England even in January if the weather is suitable.

These butterflies live for about nine months in their adult stage, much of this time spent in hibernating sleep. Other butterflies have different methods of coping with winter; a few migrate to warmer climates where nectar is available. While others survive the winter in the inactive egg or chrysalis stage or hibernate in the caterpillar stage.

Butterflies need the sweet energy rich nectar from flowers to give them strength to fly and help them survive their hibernation through the long winter months. During this inactive state their energy consumption is minimal, so they can survive without further food. As a protection against the cold, some sugar in their blood is converted to glycerol which works rather like anti-freeze in car radiators.

Hibernating time starts in late autumn the peacocks, small tortoiseshells and brimstones search for a safe dry dark place where they will be protected from winter frosts. Usually peacocks find a hollow tree, although they will sometimes tuck themselves in a wood pile or a corner of a garden shed. Small tortoiseshells choose similar places, but tare also quite likely to come indoors. A hideaway in a little used from is safer than a hollow tree; there are no birds to eat them while they sleep. Brimstones seek dense, ever green cover in their woodland surroundings and particularly thick growths of ivy or holly which offer protection.

The butterflies often bury themselves among dead leaves. At rest, the bright wing colors are hidden only the underside, looking like a dried up leaf, is visible. This gives the butterflies particularly good camouflage. The peacock has a spectacular defense mechanism which it uses if it is disturbed from rest. Opening its wings, it creates an alarming hissing noise as the front and hind wings rub across each other, revealing huge eye sports. A small bird, startled by the hiss and then confronted by large owl like eyes, will usually fly off, leaving the butterfly to go back to sleep.

With the first spring sunshine in late March the peacocks and tortoiseshells awake from hibernation; individual peacocks can be seen much earlier in fine weather, when they come out for a short flight. Although the brimstones may be tempted to stir as early as January they return to hibernate until later. Sometimes tortoiseshells hibernating indoors also wake too early, perhaps because the heating is switched on in a spare bedroom. If you see a tortoiseshell fluttering at a window in midwinter, put it in a cool shed or garage where it can go back to sleep until spring really arrives. There are small migrations of tortoiseshells from abroad which augment our own butterflies.

The new brood of adult brimstones emerges in July and August and spends most of the day feeding. It shows a distinct preference for purple flowers, particularly those of the thistle, knapweed, scabious, bramble and clover. The new brood of adult tortoiseshells, which emerges in late June or July, lays eggs to produce a second brood in August and September; this feeds on most garden flowers, especially ice plant and buddleia, and is the overwintering brood. The peacocks emerge later in August and are numerous in gardens there they feed on buddleia and in fields where they feed on Lucerne, thistle, knapweed, marjoram and clover.

Remember that you need more than flowers to attract butterflies to your garden. An undisturbed corner of a shed will give the butterflies somewhere safe to hibernate and a patch of nettles in a sunny corner of the garden will feed the caterpillars which will turn into chrysalides and eventually become the next generation of butterflies.

Life Cycle of peacocks and small tortoiseshells:

Butterflies go through four stages the egg the rapidly feeding and growing caterpillar the chrysalis and the adult butterfly. A peacock takes one year to complete a cycle but the small tortoiseshell caterpillar has less growing to do and there is time for two broods each year. The summer brood lives only a few weeks as butterflies.

Egg: after feeding for few days from spring flowers, peacocks and tortoiseshells mate and then the females search for stinging nettles on which to lay eggs.

Caterpillar: when the eggs hatch the crowd of young caterfpillars spins a single silk tent in which they all live as they feed and grow.

Chrysalis: the fully grown caterpillars crawl away to find a fence or branch from which they can hang down while they turn into chrysalides’.
Butterfly: Within a few weeks the glistening adult emerges fully grown. The butterflies die several weeks after mating and laying their eggs.

Monday, 19 February 2018

The Llangernyw Yew: The Oldest Living Thing in Europe

The Llangernyw Yew is an ancient yew in the village of Llangernyw, Conwy, North Wales. The yew is fragmented and its core part has been lost, leaving numerous huge offshoots. The girth of the tree at the ground level is 10.75 m, split trunk section where the church oil tank was formerly located. The Llangernyw Yew is an ancient tree, ad its cleft trunk appears as a living portal to the world of the dead, with a small field of tombstones resting just on the other side of wooded gateway. The Llangernyw Yew was planted sometime in the prehistoric Bronze Age and amazingly it's still growing.

This male yew tree lives in the churchyard of St. Digain's, very hard to determine the age of yew trees. Although the churchyard gate holds a certificate from the Yew Tree Campaign in 2002, according to all the data the tree is dated to between 4,000 and 5,000 years old. There is an alternative theory that presumes the tree is only as old as the adjacent saint site, which would make it around 1,500 years old. In the mid-1990s the church oil tank stood in the space between the two trunk fragments; however, this was moved when it was realized that the tree was ancient. The yew is designated one of the fifty Great British trees in recognition of its place in national heritage.

When this tank was built a lot of the dead wood was removed from the site which makes dating the age of the tree more difficult for dendrochronologists. This makes the Llangernyw Yew a likely candidate for one of the oldest still-standing trees in Great Britain. Due in no small part to this, the yew was designated as one of the Fifty Great British Trees in 2002. Local says the church of Llangernyw is inhabited by an ancient spirit known as “Angelystor”. Every year on Halloween and 31 July the spirit is said to appear in the church and solemnly announces, in Welsh, the names of those parish members who will die within the year.