Gleanings of the Week Ending July 13, 2019

The items below were ‘the cream’ of the articles and websites I found this past week. Click on the light green text to look at the article.

We organized a conference for 570 people without using plastic. Here’s how it went – It’s hard to do anything without plastic….but we’ll find ways eventually. I am focused on the ‘single use’ items first but when I can I choose materials other than plastic even for more durable items.

Arches National Park Recognized As "Dark Sky" Park – Now for my husband to find a way to get there with his telescope….

Timber Rattlesnakes: Cool Facts and an Uncertain Future – This snake is found in western Maryland….not in the county where I live. But we always mention it to students interested in snakes. This article provided some additional ‘cool facts’ to pass along.

Macro Photos of Water Droplets Reveal the Overlooked Beauty of Nature – Beautiful images in water droplets - And the artist included some pictures of the set up he uses to get the pictures!

In an Era of Extreme Weather, Concerns Grow Over Dam Safety – There have been dams in the news in recent years (like the Oroville Dam spillway failure in 2017). In our area, some small dams have been removed. But there are 91,000 dams in the US that are aging and need repairs. It’s going to be expensive…and the extreme weather we’ve been having probably makes it more urgent…but the funding is just not forthcoming so far.

Chiggers are the worst – Agreed.

Photo of the Week – July 5, 2019 – Milkweed in bloom. This is a blog post from The Prairie Ecologist…showing some bugs too. No Monarch butterflies though.

8 ways wild animals beat the heat – The mucous that hippos secrete was new to me…it’s acts as sunscreen, antibiotic, moisturizer, and water repellant. Now that we’ve learned that the sunscreen we’ve been using may be toxic to corals (and maybe to us too), perhaps we could develop an alternative by learning more about the hippo mucous.

Winter Bee Declines Greatest in 13 Years: Survey – Habitat loss, pesticides, Varroa mites….it adds up. Evidently in recent years the strategies that beekeepers have been using to deter mites have not worked as well. Some crops rely more on commercial beekeepers than others. Almonds, cherries, and blueberries are mentioned as examples.

Top 25 Wild Bird Photographs of the Week: Flowers – Last but not least this week…..birds and flowers. Enjoy the photographs.

Gleanings of the Week Ending July 6, 2019

The items below were ‘the cream’ of the articles and websites I found this past week. Click on the light green text to look at the article.

Older forests resist change, climate change, that is -- ScienceDaily  - A study from the University of Vermont. But there are a lot of other changes in the forest too – the advent of non-native diseases like emerald ash borer and the explosion of deer populations so that there is a lot less understory in the forest (and few young trees). Is the net still that old forests resist change more effectively than younger ones?

Top 25 Wild Bird Photographs of the Week: June – National Geographic Society Newsroom – The always beautiful series of bird pictures.

Expanding the temperature range of lithium-ion batteries ScienceDaily – I’ve noticed the battery in my Prius Prime does not last for as many miles in the winter as it does in the summer. It’s one of the issues I want improved before I buy my next EV.

Chattanooga Becomes First U.S. Airport to Run Entirely on Solar – YaleEnvironment360 – Congrats to Chattanooga on this milestone. Evidently the first airport to do it was Cochin International in Kerala, India which went 100% solar powered in 2015. I’ve noticed a lot of US airports have fields of solar arrays…but maybe they haven’t also installed batteries to make the airport 100% solar powered.

You Can Now Tour the Tunnels Beneath Rome’s Baths of Caracalla – Smithsonian – A little Roman history linked to a place where tons of wood were burned per day to keep the fires going so that the caldarium would have hot water…where 18.5 gallons of water per second were consumed…copper tanks and lead pipes.

Timed release of turmeric stops cancer cell growth – ScienceDaily – Part of the search for gentler treatments for children with osteosarcoma.

A Tale of Contrasting Rift Valley Lakes – NASA Earth Observatory – Lake Tanganyika and Lake Rukwa as viewed from NASA’s Aqua satellite.  Deep and shallow. Salty and fresh. Brown and Blue.

Alibates Flint Quarries National Monument: Holding History in Your Hand – National Parks Traveler – I had to look up where Alibates Flint Quarries National Monument is located. It’s in the panhandle of Texas, north of Amarillo. I might go someday…on the way to somewhere else. The route would probably pass through the small western Oklahoma town where I was born.

Grand Canyon will soon be a dark sky park – Smithsonian – The park service has retrofitted lights to make it happen. This could be a good reason to camp in this national park!

What does the dust in your home mean for your health? – The Conversation – Thought provoking post. About one third of the ‘dust’ is created inside by ourselves and our pets, food debris, fibers from carpet/fabrics, particles from cooking plus chemicals like flame retardants. Are they toxic? There is ongoing research. Re outdoor sources – lead is the one of most concern.

eBotanical Prints – June 2019

I added 29 new books to the collection this month bringing the total of botanical print books I’ve found to almost 1,700 - available free of charge on the Internet. The whole book list can be accessed here. The list for June 2019 is below the sample images. I’ll be posting about several of the books in more detail in subsequent blog posts.

There is quite a date range for the June books. The oldest is from 1553 – authored by Rembert Dodoens. The newest is the last volume available on Internet Archive of a botanical journal published in 2014.

Journal of the Botanical Research Institute of Texas V2 no 2 2008 * Botanical Research Institute of Texas * sample image * 2008

Journal of the Botanical Research Institute of Texas V3 no 1 2009 * Botanical Research Institute of Texas * sample image * 2009

Journal of the Botanical Research Institute of Texas V3 no 2 2009 * Botanical Research Institute of Texas * sample image * 2009

Journal of the Botanical Research Institute of Texas V4 no 1 2010 * Botanical Research Institute of Texas * sample image * 2010

Journal of the Botanical Research Institute of Texas V4 no 2 2010 * Botanical Research Institute of Texas * sample image * 2010

Journal of the Botanical Research Institute of Texas V 5 no 1 2011 * Botanical Research Institute of Texas * sample image * 2011

Journal of the Botanical Research Institute of Texas V 5 no 2 2011 * Botanical Research Institute of Texas * sample image * 2011

Journal of the Botanical Research Institute of Texas V 6 no 1 2012 * Botanical Research Institute of Texas * sample image * 2012

Journal of the Botanical Research Institute of Texas V 6 no 2 2012 * Botanical Research Institute of Texas * sample image * 2012

Journal of the Botanical Research Institute of Texas V 7 no 1 2013 * Botanical Research Institute of Texas * sample image * 2013

Journal of the Botanical Research Institute of Texas V 7 no 2 2013 * Botanical Research Institute of Texas * sample image * 2013

Journal of the Botanical Research Institute of Texas V 8 no 1 2014 * Botanical Research Institute of Texas * sample image * 2014

Journal of the Botanical Research Institute of Texas V 8 no 2 2014 * Botanical Research Institute of Texas * sample image * 2014

The florist : containing sixty plates of the most beautiful flowers  * Bowles, Carrington * sample image * 1770

Purgantium aliarumque eo facientium, tum et radicum, conuoluulorum ac deleteriarum herbarum historiae * Dodoens, Rembert * sample image * 1574

Florum, coronariarum odoratarumque nonnullarum herbarum historia * Dodoens, Rembert * sample image * 1568

Frumentorum, Leguminum, palustrium et aquatilium herbarum * Dodoens, Rembert * sample image * 1566

Remberti Dodonaei ... trium priorum de stirpium historia commentariorum imagines ad viuum expressae * Dodoens, Rembert * sample image * 1553

Alpine flora of the Canadian Rocky Mountains * Brown, Stewardson; Mrs. Charles Schaffer * sample image * 1907

The Fern Garden : how to make, keep, and enjoy it ; or, fern culture made easy * Hibberd, Shirley * sample image * 1872

New and rare beautiful-leaved plants * Hibberd, Shirley; Fawcett, Benjamin * sample image * 1870

Garden Favorites * Hibberd, Shirley * sample image * 1858

Australian Wild Flowers * Flockton, Margaret * sample image * 1912

The Forest Flora of New South Wales V1 * Maiden, Joseph Henry * sample image * 1904

The Forest Flora of New South Wales V2 * Maiden, Joseph Henry * sample image * 1907

The Forest Flora of New South Wales V3 * Maiden, Joseph Henry * sample image * 1908

The Forest Flora of New South Wales V4 * Maiden, Joseph Henry * sample image * 1911

The Forest Flora of New South Wales V5 * Maiden, Joseph Henry * sample image * 1913

The weeds of New South Wales, pt. I  * Maiden, Joseph Henry * sample image * 1920

Gleanings of the Week Ending June 29, 2019

The items below were ‘the cream’ of the articles and websites I found this past week. Click on the light green text to look at the article.

Porcupines | National Geographic – I was disappointed that they didn’t include more pictures of the North American Porcupine. I’ve never seen one in the wild.

BBC - Future - How to build something that lasts 10,000 years – Specifically – this post is about building a clock that will last for 10,000 years…in West Texas!

Researchers uncover indoor pollution hazards -- ScienceDaily – Some surprises: pollutants change with temperature inside the house….and time of day makes a difference. Formaldehyde seems to be particularly prevalent. These studies are scary for existing homes. We need work on mitigations that homeowners can implement…and new construction that reduces the source of pollutants.

Infographic: Immunity Isn't the Body's Only Defense System | The Scientist Magazine® - Symbiotic bacteria, metabolism and pathogen mutation examples overlay the immunity strategy. As we learn more, we realize that the human body is more complex that we realized.

Top 25 Wild Bird Photographs of the Week: Blue – National Geographic Society Newsroom – So many blue birds!

Tortoises rule on Aldabra Atoll – Tortoises making their way through the huts where people bunked! The tortoises sleep with head and legs stretched out…no predators to fear on the inhospitable atoll.

Past climate change pushed birds from the northern hemisphere to the tropics -- ScienceDaily – Thought provoking. I wondered if some of the birds that now migrate from North America to Central or South America for the winter….will not go as far or will shift their range northward.  I suppose it would work if their food sources shifted and the birds followed the food. The synchrony of plants blooming and seeds ripening….of horseshoe crabs laying eggs…all while birds are migrating or getting ready to produce young; it’s not a simple system.

Making STEM Education More Welcoming to Underrepresented Minorities | The Scientist Magazine® - Education doesn’t happen in a vacuum that has well defined boundaries. We must do more than just academic support…I’m glad there is more research and conversation on how to move forward in tangible ways to make STEM education and careers more open to everyone.

An Ancient Asteroid Crater May Be Hiding Off Scotland’s Coast | Smart News | Smithsonian – Some recent work that points to a crater of a asteroid from 1.2 billion years ago.

Three Studies Track People's Microbiomes Through Health and Disease | The Scientist Magazine® - Interesting…but they could just be expensive association studies (a quote from the end of the paper). At some point, maybe the findings will lead to something that benefits the patient.

Gleanings of the Week Ending June 22, 2019

The items below were ‘the cream’ of the articles and websites I found this past week. Click on the light green text to look at the article.

The royal tombs of Ur reveal Mesopotamia's ancient splendor – From National Geographic - Leonard Woolley’s excavation of Ur in the 1920s.

Astronomers Worry New SpaceX Satellite Constellation Could Impact Research | Smart News | Smithsonian – Are telescopes on the surface of the earth doomed? Will we only be able to study the universe from space?

Americans May Be Ingesting Thousands of Microplastics Every Year | Smart News | Smithsonian and Hawaii’s newest black sand beach already contains plastic pollution – Plastics everywhere...and there is growing evidence that it is negatively impacting life on our planet. What are we doing about it?

Image of the Day: Hot Stripes | The Scientist Magazine® - Did you know that zebras can raise the black stripes separately from the white stripes!

Top 25 Wild Bird Photographs of the Week: Communication – National Geographic Society – Birds…never can resist including a wild bird photo collections.

BBC - Future - How modern life is transforming the human skeleton – The way we live – written in our bones.

New Jersey 100% Renewable Energy Plan -- More Fiber, Less Fluff | CleanTechnica – Hurray for New Jersey….having a tangible plan to use zero carbon energy by 2050.

Eliminating packaging is a good start – but here's what supermarkets should do to stop harming the planet – I’ve made it a point to reduce the amount of packaging when I shop; I am way past the easy things…and up against the way groceries operate in my area. I buy local produce through my CSA for 5 months of the year (a good way to eliminate packaging, eat seasonally, and reduce food transportation costs) but the other 7 months of the year, I’m back to the typical grocery store for produce.

How old are your organs?  -- ScienceDaily - To scientists' surprise, organs are a mix of young and old cells: Scientists discover cellular structures with extreme longevity, leading to insights for age-associated diseases.

Tropical Cyclones are Stalling More – Hurricane Harvey (Texas)….Tropical storm Fay (Florida)…Hurricane Florence (North Carolina) – All three storms caused a lot of damage to the coasts when they lingered over the coastal area becoming prolific rain producers. Is this the new normal for Atlantic Hurricanes?

English Botany in 12 Volumes – Sowerby Illustrations

 Now I am looking for other ‘Sowerby’ works….probably will discover some more botanical print books that I haven’t seen previously.

eBotanical Prints - May 2019

27 new books were added to the collection this month bringing the total of botanical print books I’ve found to over 1,600 - available free of charge on the Internet. The whole list can be accessed here. The list for May 2019 is below the sample images. I’ll be posting about several of the books in more detail in subsequent blog posts.

The flora sylvatica for southern India: containing quarto plates of all the principal timber trees in southern India and Ceylon V2 * Beddome, Richard Henry; Bentham, George * sample image * 1869

Specimens of the plants and fruits of the island of Cuba V1 * Wollstonecraft, Anne Kingsbury * sample image * 1826

Specimens of the plants and fruits of the island of Cuba V2 * Wollstonecraft, Anne Kingsbury * sample image * 1826

Specimens of the plants and fruits of the island of Cuba V3 * Wollstonecraft, Anne Kingsbury * sample image * 1826

Icones florae Germanicae et Helveticae V 17 * Reichenbach, H.G. Ludwig * sample image * 1855

English Botany or Coloured figures of British plants V1 * Syme, John T. Boswell (editor); Lankester, Phebe; Sowerby, James de Carle and Salter, John Willam and Sowerby, John Edward (illustrators) * sample image * 1863

English Botany or Coloured figures of British plants V2 * Syme, John T. Boswell (editor); Lankester, Phebe; Sowerby, James de Carle and Salter, John Willam and Sowerby, John Edward (illustrators) * sample image * 1864

English Botany or Coloured figures of British plants V3 * Syme, John T. Boswell (editor); Lankester, Phebe; Sowerby, James de Carle and Salter, John Willam and Sowerby, John Edward (illustrators) * sample image * 1864

English Botany or Coloured figures of British plants V4 * Syme, John T. Boswell (editor); Lankester, Phebe; Sowerby, James de Carle and Salter, John Willam and Sowerby, John Edward (illustrators) * sample image * 1865

English Botany or Coloured figures of British plants V5 * Syme, John T. Boswell (editor); Lankester, Phebe; Sowerby, James de Carle and Salter, John Willam and Sowerby, John Edward (illustrators) * sample image * 1866

English Botany or Coloured figures of British plants V6 * Syme, John T. Boswell (editor); Lankester, Phebe; Sowerby, James de Carle and Salter, John Willam and Sowerby, John Edward (illustrators) * sample image * 1866

English Botany or Coloured figures of British plants V7 * Syme, John T. Boswell (editor); Lankester, Phebe; Sowerby, James de Carle and Salter, John Willam and Sowerby, John Edward (illustrators) * sample image * 1867

English Botany or Coloured figures of British plants V8 * Syme, John T. Boswell (editor); Lankester, Phebe; Sowerby, James de Carle and Salter, John Willam and Sowerby, John Edward (illustrators) * sample image * 1868

English Botany or Coloured figures of British plants V9 * Syme, John T. Boswell (editor); Lankester, Phebe; Sowerby, James de Carle and Salter, John Willam and Sowerby, John Edward (illustrators) * sample image * 1869

English Botany or Coloured figures of British plants V10 * Syme, John T. Boswell (editor); Lankester, Phebe; Sowerby, James de Carle and Salter, John Willam and Sowerby, John Edward (illustrators) * sample image * 1873

English Botany or Coloured figures of British plants V11 * Syme, John T. Boswell (editor); Lankester, Phebe; Sowerby, James de Carle and Salter, John Willam and Sowerby, John Edward (illustrators) * sample image * 1872

English Botany or Coloured figures of British plants V12 * Syme, John T. Boswell (editor); Lankester, Phebe; Sowerby, James de Carle and Salter, John Willam and Sowerby, John Edward (illustrators) * sample image * 1886

Orchidophile V1-2 * Gedefroy-Lebeuf, A.  * sample image * 1882

Orchidophile V3 * Gedefroy-Lebeuf, A.  * sample image * 1883

Orchidophile V4 * Gedefroy-Lebeuf, A.  * sample image * 1884

Orchidophile V5 * Gedefroy-Lebeuf, A.  * sample image * 1884

Lindenia - iconography of orchids vol 1 * Linden, Jean Jules * sample image * 1885

Lindenia - iconography of orchids vol 17 * Linden, Jean Jules; Linden, Lucien * sample image * 1901

The genera of the Eupatorieae (Asteraceae) * King, Merril; Robinson, Harold * sample image * 1987

Journal of the Botanical Research Institute of Texas V1 no 2 2007 * Botanical Research Insitute of Texas * sample image * 2007

Journal of the Botanical Research Institute of Texas V2 no 1 2008 * Botanical Research Insitute of Texas * sample image * 2008

Journal of the Botanical Research Institute of Texas V1 no 1  2007 * Botanical Research Insitute of Texas * sample image * 2007

Gleanings of the Week Ending June 8, 2019

The items below were ‘the cream’ of the articles and websites I found this past week. Click on the light green text to look at the article.

5 Unusual Species Found in and Around the Everglades - The National Wildlife Federation Blog – I’ve seen two of the 4: the snail kite and wood stork!

Want to reduce single-use plastic in your life? Try these tips from National Geographic Explorer and #ExpeditionPlastic team member Lillygol Sedaghat. – National Geographic Society Newsroom – It’s hard to avoid single use plastics completely….but easy to cut back.

How big data can be used for personal health -- ScienceDaily – Yes – doing a lot of tracking of personal health information and having a baseline might be useful – but it’s not clear (from this article) that it didn’t result in overtreatment. It will be a challenge to match treatments in asymptomatic situations…that may never develop into a health problem. How well do we really understand risks?

BBC - Future - How weeds help fight climate change – And experiment in Australia showing how weeds might help in the process toward sustainable agriculture

Fracking: Earthquakes are triggered well beyond fluid injection zones: Computer model and field experiment data suggest a new link between subsurface injections and earthquake swarms -- ScienceDaily – Oklahoma….in the hot center of man-made earthquakes.

Do additives help the soil? Scientist suggests nature knows what's best -- ScienceDaily – Wow – a whole industry (bio-fertilizers) that is not having the positive effect on crops anticipated….and could have long-term effects on soil that are not positive. Why is the industry surviving?

Blood-squirting insects and more tiny creatures flourish in African park – Gorongosa National Park in Mozambique.

Exploring the origins of the apple -- ScienceDaily – Large fruits developed to attract large animals like wild horses and large deer…..and probably other animals that are now extinct. The modern apple is a hybrid of at least 4 wild apple populations….along the Silk Road.

A Better Route Planner & Other Open Source Projects Need Our Help | CleanTechnica – Technology that needs to mature before Electronic Vehicles become more numerous.

Excessive rainfall as damaging to corn yield as extreme heat, drought -- ScienceDaily – This year there has been too much rain in the corn belt. This story is over a month old but there are still areas of high water. What percentage of the corn fields haven’t been planted yet because they are still flooded?

Gleanings of the Week Ending June 1, 2019

The items below were ‘the cream’ of the articles and websites I found this past week. Click on the light green text to look at the article.

Flu virus' best friend: Low humidity -- ScienceDaily – Yet another reason to have a good humidifier in our homes during the winter.

Top 25 Wild Bird Photographs of the Week: Seabirds – National Geographic Society Newsroom – I saw a few of these during the Cape May trip in May: American Oystercatcher, Northern Gannett, Laughing Gull, and Forster’s Tern.

Novel 5-minute workout improves blood pressure, may boost brain function -- ScienceDaily – Preliminary results….have to wait to see if it holds up. It would be great to have another option than medication (that often has side effects).

More Megalithic Jars Mapped in Laos and A Singular Landscape - Archaeology Magazine – Plain of Jars in Laos. The jars were created 1,500 to 2,500 years ago. Excavations are revealing a bit more about the people that created them.

Common food additive found to affect gut microbiota: Titanium dioxide nanoparticles E171 may impact human health -- ScienceDaily – It’s a whitening agent used in foods and medicines in high quantities. I checked the jar of mayonnaise in my refrigerator and it didn’t list it on the ingredients list but evidently some brands do contain titanium dioxide. Maybe I will cut back on the mayo.

Solar System and Beyond Poster Set | NASA Solar System Exploration - Beautiful posters suitable for printing in 11x17 format.

Ancient Egyptians Enjoyed Sweet Watermelons - Archaeology Magazine – All melons in ancient Africa were not the bitter cucurbitacins found wild in Africa today!

Walnuts may help lower blood pressure for those at risk of heart disease -- ScienceDaily – Walnuts are tasty too.

The Bird Conservation Program You’ve Never Heard Of (And the Birds It Saves) – Cool Green Science – Going beyond the Migratory Bird Treaty Act to improve neotropical habitat the birds require during their annual migrations.

Escaped pet parrots are now naturalized in 23 US states, study finds -- ScienceDaily – 25 species! They are not native to North America, but many are thriving, and those populations become critical to the survival of their species.

3 Free eBooks – May 2019

There are so many books to browse through – or read – online. I am always fascinated with the perspective of history from books of a time period. It’s the closest we come to talking to the people that lived the events before our time.

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Newell, Peter. The Rocket Book. New York: Harper & Brothers. 1912. Available from the Library of Congress: intro to the collection here and the book in slideshow mode here. The upward course of a rocket from the basement up 20 floors of apartments! Yes – it’s dated (keep in mind the copyright date) but it is fascinating to notice what the author thought people would be doing in their apartments…and that he was thinking about rockets!

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Menpes, Mortimer (with text by Dorothy Menpes). World’s Children. London: A & C Black. 1903. Available from Hathi Trust here. Menpes was an Australian born British painter, author, printmaker and illustrator. He was a developer of techniques to produce colored art works in book form. His daughter, Dorothy, wrote the text for some of those books. The sleeping baby was one of my favorites from this book.

Sunset (magazine). San Francisco: Southern Pacific Company. Issues from May 1898 – 1923 from Hathi Trust here. I pointed to this magazine last month as well. I am still working my way through the magazines up to 1923. The one to look at this month is V31 from 1913. There are lots of colorful pictures – like this one of Mt. Hood in Oregon. Soon the years of World War I would cause the magazine to be produced with only the cover and a few ads in color.

Gleanings of the Week Ending May 18, 2019

The items below were ‘the cream’ of the articles and websites I found this past week. Click on the light green text to look at the article.

Beautiful Photos by Manuelo Bececco Captures the Essence of the Forest – Awesome views of the forest…mostly looking upward.

IYPT 2019 Elements 023: Vanadium: Hardened steel and yellow blood | Compound Interest – Vanabins are vanadium-binding proteins that make sea cucumber blood yellow!

Titanium: Sunscreens and space stations | Compound Interest – Lots of makeup and other cosmetics have titanium (for its sunscreen properties) and fighter jets do too!

Marine Viruses Detailed from Pole to Pole | Technology Networks – There are a lot more viruses than previous cataloged in the ocean. The are in roughly 5 groups based on location and depth. The Arctic Ocean has high viral diversity…higher than at the equator.

NASA's Cassini reveals surprises with Titan's lakes -- ScienceDaily – The data from Cassini’s final flyby of Titan in 2017 has revealed that the lakes in its northern hemisphere are more then 300 feet deep and are methane. Lots more science still to come as more analysis of the Cassini data is done.

Could high-flying drones power your home one day? - BBC News – How could this not cause problems with aircraft if it was widespread? Both the drone and the tether could cause problems.

Top 25 Wild Bird Photographs of the Week: Passerines – Always room on the gleanings list for bird photographs!

Four ways to attract birds and butterflies – Native plants, bird bath, brush pile in my yard….3 of 4 is not bad!

Black, Hot Ice May Be Nature’s Most Common Form of Water – Superionic ice – a new kind of ice crystal with the oxygen atoms forming a cubic lattice and the hydrogen atoms flowing like liquid through the rigid cage of oxygens.

We’ll soon know the exact air pollution from every power plant in the world. That’s huge. –It won’t just be regulators and politicians that can see the data…it will be accessible by the public too. It will become a lot clearer to everyone which power plants are negatively impacting air quality.

Macro Photography at Belmont

I did a short session of macro photography at Belmont with my smartphone and the clip-on lens in early May before one of the elementary school field trip students arrived. I already had some ideas of what I wanted to photograph from some previous field trips with student BioBiltzers. My first stop was the shelf-fungus growing just below eye level on a large sycamore.

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I got as close as I could focus with just the smartphone:

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Then clipped on the macro lens to take a closer look at the cracks and edges of the fungus.

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Dandelion seed globes are always a favorite subject. I was careful to not touch it and cause the seeds to scatter before I could get the picture!

The tiny sycamore leaves have a lot of color – I took a picture with the phone alone…and then the macro lens.

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The sweet gum is beginning to form gum balls. The balls are small and green currently; they enlarge as the seeds form.

I took pictures with the macro lens of the female flowers (becoming gum balls) and the male flowers that had already fallen from the tree. Both are hard to photograph with the macro lens because they have depth…and the focal plain is shallow.

Overall – it was a very productive 10 minutes of macro photography!

Gleanings of the Week Ending May 11, 2019

The items below were ‘the cream’ of the articles and websites I found this past week. Click on the light green text to look at the article.

Epic Proportions - Archaeology Magazine – Standard measures of Stonehenge and other Neolithic monuments?

Potassium: Soaps and radioactive bananas | Compound Interest – Potassium regulates blood pressure and transmission of nerve impulses in our bodies!

Colorful Birds  and Terrestrial birds – From the National Geographic Society. Still catching up on the backlog. I enjoy birding – and seeing birds in action…and photographs of birds taken by others. That’s why these photographic collections show up on my gleanings list.

BBC - Future - The princess who transformed war medicine – A little medical history not widely known from the early 1900s.

Ancient secrets of medicinal mint -- ScienceDaily – There are so many members of the mint family. This article is about the DNA sequencing from a plant…learning how to more rapidly tap the therapeutic benefits of that plant and the mint family at large.

Four Out of 10 Americans Breathe Unhealthy Air - Yale E360 – That’s 141 million people…up 7 million since last year….partly due to impacts of climate change on air quality. So – we need to find ways to clean up air better than we do now either by reducing emissions or cleaning them out once they are produced.

Aging gracefully: Study identifies factors for healthy memory at any age -- ScienceDaily – The good news is that some of the factors are things we can control - engaging in more social activities, more novel cognitive activities, losing excess weight, and living with others.

What is a Naturalized Outdoor Learning Environment? -The National Wildlife Federation Blog – Early Childhood Health Outdoors (ECHO) program….daily access to the outdoors for young children. When I was growing up, we were outdoors most days but that is not happening consistently these days. I applaud the initiatives that are honing ways to get children outdoors more.

Your Questions About Food and Climate Change, Answered - The New York Times – A hefty article on the topic…with pull down details.

Medical guidelines may be biased, overly aggressive in US -- ScienceDaily – Thought provoking. How is a patient to know when a doctor recommends a test or procedure that it is truly in the best interest of the patient when the doctor has a financial interest in the recommendation, or the doctor is so specialized that they always think their specialty is the best solution?

eBotanical Prints – April 2019

April was a slim month for botanical print books. I was thrilled to find two volumes of Curtis’s Botanical Magazine that I had not found before; the magazine began in 1787 and has continued through to the present with some name changes periodically but reverting back to the original name and is widely cited. Hopefully more volumes will be made available as the copyright on them expires; the most recent I’ve found online is from 1920. Find the list of all 1,628 volumes of botanical prints I’ve found online here.

Handbook to the ferns of British India, Ceylon and the Malay peninsula * Beddome, Richard Henry * sample image * 1892

Curtis' Botanical Magazine Vol 7-8 * Curtis, William * sample image * 1794

Curtis' Botanical Magazine Vol 25-26 * Curtis, William * sample image * 1807

The flora sylvatica for southern India: containing quarto plates of all the principal timber trees in southern India and Ceylon V1 * Beddome, Richard Henry; Bentham, George * sample image * 1869

 

I have already passed the 4 volume mark for May – more botanical prints into the collection by the end of the month!

Gleanings of the Week Ending May 4, 2019

The items below were ‘the cream’ of the articles and websites I found this past week. Click on the light green text to look at the article.

Exploring the Parks: White Sands National Monument – Another place I want to return to and spend a bit more time. I’ve been once when we were on the way from Dallas to Tucson. I posted about it back in 2013. We stayed long enough to have a picnic, walk along the boardwalk trail, and photograph cliff swallows at the visitor center.

New Analysis of Depression-Era Fossil Hunt Shows Texas Coast Was Once a 'Serengeti' | Smart News | Smithsonian – Research on collections made by the Works Progress Administration and mostly just stored since the 1940s….Other states than Texas probably have research projects on these collections as well.

IYPT 2019 Elements 020: Calcium: Teeth, bones and cheese | Compound Interest – Another article in the International Year of the Periodic Table series. Did you know that the human body contains about 1 kilogram of calcium?

Image of the Day: High Contrast | The Scientist Magazine® - The milkweed bug! The milkweed is just beginning to come up so I haven’t seen any of these bugs yet this year…but they’ll come out soon enough. I’ll try to remember some of this article next time I see the bug with a group of field trip hikers!

12 Famous Flower Paintings, from Monet to Mondrian – A little eye candy. Notice that there are insects with the flowers in the Ambrosius Bosschaert painting.

An invasive, thorny tree is taking over Africa – can it be stopped? – It’s not just the US that has problems with invasive plants and animals brought from elsewhere in the world. The Mesquite tree that is problematic in Africa came from South America.

Top 25 Wild Bird Photographs of the week: April and Waterbirds – Catching up a little on the series…two this week and there are still some left for the next gleanings collection.

‘Exquisitely Preserved’ Skin Impressions Found in Dinosaur Footprints | Smart News | Smithsonian – The prints are from a small theropod. Not only do they show the impression left by skin…they also indicate the dinosaur was in Korea earlier than previously thought (10-20 million years earlier).

Electric Cars Could Be as Affordable as Conventional Vehicles in Just Three Years - Yale E360 – EV technologies are developing rapidly. In 2015, batteries made up 57% of the EV total cost; today it’s down to 33% and by 2025 the projection is 2025. I know that I have enjoyed my plug-in-hybrid and that my next car will probably be an EV.

Clean Tech Jobs Lead Employment Statistics in Many US States | CleanTechnica – The map is worth the look. Solar panel installer or wind turbine service technician is the fastest growing type of job in 11 states!

Gleanings of the Gleanings of the Week Ending April 27, 2019

The items below were ‘the cream’ of the articles and websites I found this past week. Click on the light green text to look at the article.

Berkeley Soda Tax, 3 Years In: What New Research Shows About Its Effectiveness | Berkeley Wellness - Consumption of sugary drinks has fallen by half in low-income areas of Berkeley, California.

The Real Reason You See Earthworms After Rain – Cool Green Science – There could be multiple reasons. Maybe they are moving to new territory while the surface is wet, and they won’t become dehydrated. Or maybe they want the extra oxygen that is at the surface.

Exploring The Parks: Great Sand Dunes National Park And Preserve – It’s been a long time since I have been to this park…and we didn’t explore it thoroughly when we were there. Maybe time to plan another trip.

Image of the Day: Pretty Jellies | The Scientist Magazine® - Genetic comparisons of jellyfish types

These Cities Are the Most Dangerous for Migrating Birds | Smart News | Smithsonian – Chicago, Dallas, and Houston….an area that Texas would probably prefer to not be at the top. Maybe the “Lights Out” trend with help.

Washington Monument Opening Pushed Back To August Due To Contaminated Soil – I was surprised when I saw this headline because I didn’t even know is was closed! The soil is below the surface and probably from the 1880s.

Allergy Season Is Getting Longer and Nastier Each Year | Smart News | Smithsonian – It’s happened gradually but the length of allergy season and the amount of pollen has been increasing over the past 20 years. There are new treatments for those suffering enough to go to allergists - many allergists are prescribing immunotherapy tablets for people suffering from grass pollen, dust mite or ragweed allergies.

Scientists Say They Have Found a Viable Replacement for Petroleum-Based Plastic - Yale E360 – Plant based material that has the strength and aesthetics…suitable for food packaging. The research described in the article is from Ohio State but there are probably others working on the problem too. If a replacement for petroleum-based plastic can be found it would make it much easier to ‘go green.’

BBC - Future - How air pollution is doing more than killing us and Air Pollution Increases ER Visits — Largest US Study On The Topic Confirms It | CleanTechnica – Lots of public health issues being studied in light of air pollution….and the findings are concerning. The linkage to things like asthma has long been discussed but now there are more details and more negative impacts of air pollution on health being identified.  Emerging studies show that air pollution is linked to impaired judgement, mental health problems, poorer performance in school and most worryingly perhaps, higher levels of crime.

#IYPT2019 – What elements do you need to live? – in C&EN | Compound Interest – An infographic to answer the question.

3 Free eBooks – April 2019

All three picks for this month are groups of items rather than just one – two magazines and the last one a series of volumes from the late 1700s of plants and animals. So many freely available books…so little time!

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Shadowland (magazine). New York City: M. P. Publishing Company from 1919 – 1923. Most issues available from Internet Archive here. Shadowland was an American monthly magazine about art, dance, and film. I particularly enjoyed the covers by A. M. Hopfmuller. The sample image I choose to include with this post was one that reminded me of a Zentangle pattern….a very stylized ‘tree.’

Sunset (magazine). San Francisco: Southern Pacific Company. Issues from May 1898 – 1923 from Hathi Trust here. The magazine has morphed many times and continued to be published after these fully available online issues (expired copyright); check the Wikipedia info here for the history. I have perused the issues to 1904 so far. I was intrigued by the picture of oil production in Los Angeles from the year one of my grandfathers was born.

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Shaw, George. The naturalists' miscellany : or Coloured figures of natural objects. London: Nodder & Co. 1789. 24 volumes available from Internet Archive here. The sample image I am including for these books is a cecropia moth; I’ll be starting my volunteering at the Wings of Fancy exhibit at Brookside Gardens soon and hope we have cecropia caterpillars again this year!

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Gleanings of the Week Ending April 20, 2019

The items below were ‘the cream’ of the articles and websites I found this past week. Click on the light green text to look at the article.

People who feed birds impact conservation -- ScienceDaily – A study of the impact people have on birds….and the impact feeding birds has on the people!

Bird Species Impacted By Cutthroat Declines At Yellowstone – Colonial water birds have declined as the lake trout have increased (and cutthroat trout had decreased) in Yellowstone Lake. There could be other reasons for the decline of the pelicans, Caspian terns, and cormorants….more study needed.

Medicinal Uses of Mint: IBS, Itching, Nausea, and More | Berkeley Wellness - Human studies of peppermint in enteric-coated capsule form….confirming some of the benefits of peppermint oil. I like the peppermint flavor…so like fresh mint in salads and hot/cold water…the smell and the flavor are wonderful, so the other positive actions mint may have are just ‘icing’ on an already appreciated cake.

In ancient oceans that resembled our own, oxygen loss triggered mass extinction -- ScienceDaily – Oceans are big but they have reached tipping points in the past. This study looks closely at the Silurian Period…the conditions then and what happened with those conditions…making comparisons to the oceans of today.

What An Aging Population Means For The Future Of The Internet – The average age in many countries is trending older…how does that trend ripple into how the internet is used/misused?

Deciphering the walnut genome: Findings could lead to new walnut varieties -- ScienceDaily – Creating hybrids of English walnuts (the most widely sold form of walnuts sold in the US for human consumption) with native Texas Black Walnuts that have better resistance to soil borne pathogens currently impacting the crop.

Why Is Cancer More Common in Men Than in Women? | The Scientist Magazine® - Studying cancer-linked cellular differences between males and females.

Çatalhöyük, Turkey's Stone Age settlement that took the first steps toward city life – Only 4% of the site has been excavated….still a lot to learn.

To build the cities of the future, we must get out of our cars – Letting nature into the core of the city.

A Colonial-Era Cemetery Resurfaces in Philadelphia - The New York Times – Teasing out the history from remains of a cemetery that was supposed to have be moved years ago…but maybe wasn’t entirely.

Gleanings of the Week Ending April 13, 2019

The items below were ‘the cream’ of the articles and websites I found this past week. Click on the light green text to look at the article.

Coconut Spice Cake Recipe | Magnolia Days – The cake I made for my husband’s birthday. It tasted great even without icing!

Photographer Captures Stunning Images of Ice Shards Along Lake Michigan | Smart News | Smithsonian – Spectacular ice forms – made during the breaking up on Lake Michigan a few weeks ago.

Ancient Caribbean children helped with grocery shopping in AD 400 -- ScienceDaily – Snail and clam shells (small ones) might be from child, rather than adult, foragers!

Thousands of Invasive Cane Toads Overtake Florida Community | Smart News | Smithsonian – Ugh! Not something people want in their yards and pools and driveways. These toads have a toxin strong enough to kill cats and dogs that munch on toads and can cause burning eyes or skin irritation in humans.

Top 25 Wild Bird Photographs of the Week: March – National Geographic Society – Beautiful birds….changing environments and habitats.

Where Have All the House Sparrows Gone? – Cool Green Science – House sparrow numbers have been declining since 1966 – all around the world!

66-million-year-old deathbed linked to dinosaur-killing meteor -- ScienceDaily – Fossils of animals killed and buried within an hour of the meteor impact!

Pairing Geothermal Plus Rooftop Solar For A Truly Renewable Home | CleanTechnica – At what point will the idea of geothermal heating and cooling catch up with rooftop solar for our homes? Will Dandelion – or comparable companies - become nationwide?

Five new frog species from Madagascar -- ScienceDaily – Some tiny new frogs. The smallest is only a little larger than a grain of rice.

These pictures of seed bank samples turn biology into art – The beauty of seeds. The first photograph (of Australian windflower flower heads is my favorite. The x-ray of a red yucca seed head is also interesting….showing the 3D of the pod in the image.

Gleanings of the Week Ending April 6, 2019

The items below were ‘the cream’ of the articles and websites I found this past week. Click on the light green text to look at the article.

BBC - Future - What happens when we run out of food? – Even in the US, nearly 12% of households re classed as being food insecure; more than 6.5 million children go without adequate food. And the whole food system can be disrupted very easily by war and very bad government all around the world.

Refugee women have healthier pregnancies than US women -- why? An unhealthy US culture: For African refugee women, acculturation may negatively impact health -- ScienceDaily – I was surprised that the researchers did not explore the idea that maybe the value of early pre-natal care is overrated for people that are generally healthy when they get pregnant since the refugee women tended to not start pre-natal care until their 2nd trimester.

Top 25 Wild Bird Photographs of the Week: Migration – National Geographic Society  - Birds are migrating through our area…we’re seeing more robins…and the juncos will leave soon to go further north. These pictures feature birds from around the world…that are migrating.

Hospital disinfectants should be regulated like antibiotics new study suggests – It’s not just antibiotics that drive antimicrobial resistance…it’s disinfectants (particularly in hospitals) too.

BBC - Future - The unexpected magic of mushrooms – New items made from fungus...replacing some kinds of plastics. It’s good that fungi are so plentiful on the planet – exceeding the biomass of all animals.

An Island Apart – Acadia National Park’s Isle ad Haut. A very different experience from Mount Desert Island

Beautiful cherry blossoms photos – Our cherry tree is in bloom right now. I guess cherry trees are enjoyed around the world very year about this time. There is a picture of the cherry trees around the tidal basin in Washington DC included in the pictures.

Green tea cuts obesity, health risks in mice: Follow-up study in people underway -- ScienceDaily – More research needed…. but I am enjoying green tea already (my favorite is a blend with mint).

Make A Home for Wildlife – Cool Green Science – Some ideas for creating an oasis for wildlife --- it doesn’t take much to help pollinators or birds!

Why did Flamingos flock to Mumbai in record numbers this winter? – 120,000 flamingoes…that’s a lot of birds!