Saturday, April 18, 2009

earth day

(I will put all new posts below this one for a while. This will mean I will have to change the dates on them.)

What we have is unique. Think about it, a little bit closer to the sun and our world would be a fiery wasteland too hot to support life. A little farther and our world would be a frozen wasteland too cold to support life. If we didn't have Jupiter to pull in wayward asteroids we'd be an arid pockmarked rock insignificant and unnoticeable. If we didn't have a planetary core of solid nickel the earth would have no magnetic field to protect it from the sun's radiation and we would have no atmosphere.

but by some astronomical chance, some of you may even say by God's will;

we have:


and this

and this

and this

and this

and this

and this

and we have a planet that can support beautiful human cultures

like this

and this

and this

and this

and this

and this

and this

and how does the(industrialized) human race show its gratitude:
with this
and this
strip mining for coal
and this
and this
and this
an offshore oil rig that has had a spill which has caught aflame
and this
and this
and this

We have the only world anything like this that even the hubble space telescope can see and we're destroying it! According to National Geographic four species go extinct every hour! And according to scientists 25% of all earth's biodiversity will be extinct and the world's coral reefs will be all but gone by 2050. Yet still one and one half acres of rainforests are destroyed every second. We are killing our mother, our mother earth. The same one that provides all our food, our water, and our habitat, and every single, beautiful thing I have ever photographed. BUT IT'S NOT TOO LATE TO SAVE OUR DYING MOTHER!

Here's how we can do it. (You might want to get a notepad.) Have a wood fire, take the bus to work, unplug our cell phone chargers once the phone is charged, buy dolphin-safe tuna. Instead of watching TV we can go outside and play in the beautiful natural world. Turn off the lights. Don't buy what we don't need. Before we buy any wood furniture we should ask what the wood is. Mom and Dad didn't do this for the dinner table and turns out it was Malaysian. (That's where a lot of the rainforests are being cut down.) In their defense it didn't occur to them that anyone would be so evil as to make one.
We can also kill any invasive species on our property (but not with chemicals). Depending on the amount of importance your household attaches to cleanliness you can choose not to flush the toilet when you go number one. Buy recycled toilet paper and paper towels as regular toilet paper is made from Canadian old growth forests. We can also turn off the water when we brush our teeth, take shorter showers (for every two minutes each one of us cuts off their daily shower enough hot water can be saved yearly to fill a swimming pool), turn the heat down a bit when we leave our houses, turn the heat down when we're at home and put on warm clothes and/or blankets, unplug our appliances when we're done as they continue to suck energy, walk or ride our bicycles instead of driving, inflate our tires an extra 10%, carpool, and drive more slowly ( increasing fuel efficiency), use reusable shopping bags, compost, dry our clothes outside when the weather permits, get low flow showerheads(this saves a lot of energy and costs about $5), always buy Energy Star appliances, and post your own ideas on saving energy in the comments section.

reusable shopping bags(Can you see the cat in this picture?)
A fire in the woodstove is also old- timey and fun.

Recycling: I can't stress recycling enough. Recycling one soda can saves enough electricity to run a TV for three hours. Just think about how much natural resources go into one soda can. The aluminum has to be mined, transported to a refinery, refined, transported to the soda facility, and then transported to the grocery store. To just throw that away seems a huge waste. So imagine how much energy could be saved if we recycled our aluminum, plastics, paper,and glass.

Here is a link to the four biggest 'green' scams
including Clorox 'Green Works' products. Unfortunately compact fluorescent light bulbs aren't on there because they have mercury in them. However they're okay as long as you have them properly recycled.

I challenge you and my family to plant at least ten trees.

Food consumption can account for up to 30% of the average carbon footprint. Here are some things we can do about that: 1-garden. Gardening can cut down our carbon footprints immensely mainly because the food doesn't have to be shipped around. However using artificial fertilizers is terrible for the environment. If you want to know why click here. 2-Hunt & fish Hunting & fishing can also cut our carbon footprints immensely largely because of the fact that the meat and the food the animal eats doesn't have to be shipped around.

Eat less beef
. Beef produces ten times as much carbon per pound as chicken does. Also cattle burps and farts in some areas produce more greenhouse gasses even than cars and their
treatment in slaughterhouses these days is downright inhumane. However when the need arises to buy beef grass fed is always greenest & leanest.

Buy locally, organic, natural,and free range. I think you can guess why.

We can build chicken coops. To those of us who live in towns it may seem impossible but there are chicken tractor coops that are easy to build, house 1-3 or more chickens, and are designed for town sized yards. Here are plans for them. They can also be bought here.

Don't buy or drink fiji brand water as it is actualy from Fiji and has to be shipped here.

High fructose corn syrup: high fructose corn syrup is in a huge portion of all food and it's in all regular soda. In addition to being fattening, one the growing of corn is extremely hard on the land, and two they use petroleum products as fertilizers for corn.
Some alternatives to regular soda are Hansen's natural soda, Izzy brand soda which is only fruit juice and carbonated water, and Pepsi natural which is sweetened with natural cane sugar. Some other alternatives are Odwalla brand juices which are all natural and use no genetically modified ingredients, Naked Juice brand organic juices, and juice made from acai berries -- a berry found in the Brazilian rain forest. When they're picking the berries from the trees they don't cut them down. One way to avoid high fructose is buying organic.

All the suggestions that I have made so far are all small things that we can all do and it will add up. However, bigger things need to be done to save the planet. Though the common man cannot enact those changes we can egg them on with things like bumper stickers with environmental messages, giving to green causes, letters to legislators on the local and national levels, and when the elections come around voting for pro-environment politicians. pro-environment politicians
anti-environmental politician(don'cha know)
environmental bumper-sticker click here to buy

And possibly the best thing you can do is join the We movement.

When we do things to help the planet we're not only helping her but saving ourselves as well because if we get to the point of no return and damage her badly enough she will take her retribution. So you should also go green to save our civilization. If we don't stop, if we ruin the planet and make her take her retribution, aren't we a little bit like the characters from some old stories. If we let this happen, don't we kind of deserve it?

(p.s. if you need more motivation how about this: saving energy can save alot of money)

Friday, April 17, 2009

Fruit In Bloom

above and below: moyer breed plum blossoms
The fruit is blooming!plum blossoms blooming
bees buzzing about
Spring in all it's glory

In the above picture you can see the pollen filled sacks on the bee's legs.
above: another breed of plum called brooks.
above and below: apple blossoms
above: a peach blossomabove: crabapple blossom
above and below: (at least) 100 year old pear
above and below: apple

Back To The Promontory

Recently Me, Dad, and grampa Charlie went back to the promontory.

The Smooth Yellow Violets(above) had become much more abundant than last time. However the Snow Queen(below) were much less abundant than before. The Trilliums(below below) were mostly in decline.

Calypso Orchid
It's one of my favorite flowers.
The 'unbloomed promontory flower' (pictured above) bloomed into
The pattern on the lilie's leaves faded since we last saw it.

The view from the promontory is spectacular! I'm not saying there's anything wrong with domestic flowers, but wildflowers just seem to have a special charm and mystique to them.
These plum pits were atop the promontory and no one knows how they got there. They've apparently traveled all the way from the orchard(that's several miles).I suspect bear involvement.