Controlling Lake and Pond Algae

Lakes and ponds are the place we head to for enjoyment to swim, fish or relax. Unfortunately it is also the perfect environment for algae to grow. Where there is sun, water and nutrients pants will grow. And since algae is a very basic and simple form of life, it will be one of the first to establish itself and the quickest to rebound from steps taken to eradicate it such as herbicides.

A pond is a closed system functioning much like an organism with all the life within interacting to create a balance. Algae, rooted plants, zooplankton, fish, birds and so on all have their part and keep the other parts in check and under control. Too often this balance tips and the system spirals out of control. Algae, being the opportunist that it is, is usually the first to take charge. Thick mats of slime or pea green soup-like water are the result.

This is usually a sign of high nutrients and poor water conditions. In the summer and winter months a pond often becomes stagnant and a thermocline forms. As this forms, the water column is cut into two regions. An area of livable water near the surface and a layer of toxic oxygen deficient water closer to the bottom. This upper livable area is susceptible to wild swings in quality as the algae growth spikes and drops, first giving oxygen then sucking it back out as it goes through respiration near dawn or decomposes after a die off. In the spring and fall these two regions will suddenly and violently mix, called a turnover event. It is these turnover events that can trigger a fish kill as the toxins are released to the entire water column stressing all fish contained within the lake or pond.

One very effective technique to prevent this situation is to aerate the water column of the lake or pond. By aeration we mean using laminar flow methodology (bubblers) to move the water from surface to the bottom. Fountains do work in certain situations, such as shallow water areas. But only laminar flow has the ability to completely mix even the deepest of areas to get oxygen down to the sediment-water interface. The thermocline is prevented from ever setting up and the entire water column is improved.

The tiny bubbles pull the water with them as the travel to the surface. The water pulled up from the deep are exposed to the atmosphere and two things happen at the surface. Toxins from the natural bacterial digesting process are released harmlessly to the air while oxygen is absorbed into the water. This oxygen rich water is then pushed back down to the bottom to release the oxygen to the bacteria and move the toxins back to the surface. It functions as a toxin/oxygen conveyor belt that keeps the system in balance.

Once oxygen is in all areas natural bacteria are able to consume nutrients available in that water. Aerobic bacteria, those with oxygen available, can digest nutrients SEVEN times faster than bacteria forced to go through anaerobic, without oxygen, conditions. This reduces the available nutrients for algae to use to grow. It is an indirect method to outcompete the algae for the food they need to survive.

The Effects of Drought on Your Trees

Drought can affect your trees in many different ways. The longer the drought, the more severe the effects on your trees. The effects of drought are considered short-term or long-term, and your trees are more likely to recover from short-term effects.

Short-Term Effects

• Temporary Wilting. As the amount of moisture available in the soil decreases, the leaves on the tree dry out and begin to wilt. The amount of visible tree leaf wilting varies by tree species as well as the amount of soil moisture available. Temporary leaf wilting is usually resolved at night when the leaves are re-hydrated with dew and recover until the next day.

• Leaf Shedding and Coloration. Premature shedding of tree leaves and leaf coloration can be brought on by periods of drought. In many species, leaf mottling or partial browning occurs during droughts. It is quite common for yellow poplar trees to shed leaves during summer droughts, as well as sycamore and buckeye trees. Dogwood leaves wilt and die, rather than being shed during droughts. Summer droughts often cause early autumn leaf coloration, and the needles of conifers may turn yellow and brown.

• Growth Inhibition. Periods of drought decrease the seasonal growth potential of your trees. Drought affects the development of the tree shoots, the width of the annual growth ring in the tree trunk, and the root system. The young roots, which are the major water-absorbers, are the most easily damaged by drought.

Long Term Effects

• Signs of Die Back and Decline. If there is not enough moisture in the soil for an extended period, the roots cannot supply the crown of the tree with enough nutrients and moisture. The result is the crown beginning to die back in order to bring the tree and the root system into a better balance. Leaves, twigs and branches will begin to die, especially in the uppermost areas of the tree.

• Pest Problems. As trees' health decline from long-term drought, they become predisposed to pest attack and infestation. Many pests are unable to survive in healthy trees. However when trees have been deprived of moisture and nutrients for a lengthy period, their response to pest attack is weakened and they have poorer recovery from pest damage.

• Wounds and Disease. Long-term drought weakens the tree's ability to recover from minor wounds, and increases the chances of tree diseases. When a tree is unable to compartmentalize or isolate a small wound, pathogens readily invade and colonize, causing increasing damage. Stem canker disease is a common effect of long drought periods.

The Red Rose Of Lancaster

This ancient red rose, also known as the Red Rose Of Lancashire, is believed to be "Rosa Gallica Officialis", which was understood to be the first cultivated rose. It grew wild in central Asia and was discovered by the Persians and Egyptians. The Romans adopted it and took it to France, where it assumed the name of Rosa Gallica. It Rata Penuhis recorded as being cultivated for the courts of Charlemagne in the ninth Century AD for use in medicine and perfume. Other names have included Apothecary's Rose, Old Red Damask and Rose Of Provins. To our eyes it actually appears more bright pink than red, with bright yellow stamens in the centre. They are highly perfumed and their slightly ruffled petals, even when dried retain much of their scent. It is therefore no surprise that they quickly became popular for international trade, especially for their many herbal and medicinal remedies and their suitability, even today for using in potpourris. They have been just as attractive to bees as they have to ourselves. Their tough and hardy bushes grow to about a metre high and they provide masses of blooms towards the end of June and into July. They can thrive in impoverished soils and enjoy full sun. Although they lose their blooms relatively quickly, they certainly perform abundantly each year, after a session of pruning.

The first time the rose was adopted as an emblem or heraldic device was by the English first Earl Of Lancaster and it became the Lancashire Emblem after the Battle Of Bosworth Field in 1485 during the famous Wars Of The Roses. This was a time when signs and symbols spoke louder than words. When Henry Tudor ascended to the throne of England, it merged with the York White Rose to form the Tudor Rose. York and Lancashire were the two fighting factions during The Wars Of The Roses.

The Wars Of The Roses began in 1399 when Henry Bolingbroke, who was the Earl Of Lancaster, overthrew King Richard 11 from the English throne. It wasn't until Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485 when Henry Tudor defeated the Yorkist leader King Richard 111 and claimed the throne, becoming Henry V11. He cemented his claim by marrying Elizabeth of York, the daughter of King Edward 1V. Thus the two houses of Lancaster and York merged, forming the Tudor Dynasty, which had it's emblem of the Tudor Rose.

In more recent times it was worn as a badge during World War 1 by the British 55th (West Lancashire) Division of the army. Their motto was "They win or die who wear the Rose Of Lancaster." It has also been adopted on the cap badge of the Duke Of Lancaster's Regiment since 2006. The American baseball team adopted the name Lancaster Red Roses in 1906, changing their name from The Maroons. Their rival team York White Roses criticized them for this, but many believed that the two teams were named after the historic Wars Of The Roses in British Tudor times.

Love of Life - Nature

To love the natural world of our environment is not difficult in view of the beauties and wonders that abound throughout our home planet. Whether we find a personal affinity with the earth, minerals, agriculture and other aspects of the material element or feel more drawn to the watery worlds of fishing, diving, sailing or aquaculture it is a matter of our own personality and inclinations. All the realms of nature can offer their own unique interest, to warrant our fascination and response of admiration and wonder, enough to maintain our lifelong focus on the exploration and enjoyment of the natural world around us.

The studies of one sphere or another is often associated with our activity of collecting samples. This was more evident in the 19C when collecting included such trophies as birds' eggs, insects and butterflies, and creatures of all kingdoms including animals from all over the far flung colonies of the times. With present understanding and greater sense of responsibility in not interfering with ecological systems this has been largely restricted to museums and research establishments rather than private collections. Public urge to collect natural specimens is discouraged and in many countries is illegal.

A new spirit of appreciation and preservation of natural life has been injected into the educational system of some countries and is applauded even though many scientists consider the effort comes too late to adjust the imbalances that material lifestyles have created through destruction of the environment and pollution problems. There are certainly wider issues beyond the personal activities and interests of individuals.

However, for the moment it is good to be aware of the unlimited range that Nature offers us to observe, to study and to respect as examples of the infinite variety of forms and energies that comprise the natural kingdoms for our hobbies, professional research or for our inspiration.

Many people and philosophies equate Nature with God and natural life as expressions of the cosmic consciousness. When considered synonymous then natural life is perceived as the outer garment of God as the poets, the Bible and many philosophers believe. Naturalists tend to agree that their religious nature finds easiest worship when focussed in the outdoors or in the wilderness rather than in man built churches and make their choices accordingly.

Our spiritual devotions are a private matter but it is clear that we need inspiration and best when we have a means of enhancing our appreciation of the wonders of natural life to avoid becoming imprisoned in the limitations of the man made world where material values dominate and the human ego establishes an artificial 'glass ceiling'.

When we are in direct contact with nature and natural life forms there is a light in the eyes - an eagerness and an innocence unequalled and perceived sometimes in those astronomers who study the stars, or in plant lovers in their gardens, or those who pursue the search for Nature's mysteries and secrets in the spheres of the earth, the air, the waters and the energies of fire. Whether it is by the instrument of the human eye alone or by microscope or telescope we are privileged to be able to perceive the natural wonders that abound.

How To Achieve Self-Sufficiency

It is 'we' who need to initiate things for our own cause; to secure our today and improve our tomorrow without being dependent on any external source.

Here's a quick guide on how to get one step closer to a sustainable living.

First, let's understand what does it mean to become self-sufficient. It is a state of being independent where you no longer need any aid, support, and assistance from anyone else other than yourself to survive and sustain. So, you self-govern yourself because you have all the resources required to lead a happy life. When you achieve the state, you become mentally stress-free (to a large extent), and economically independent.

Now, let's get back to the point, "How to achieve self-sufficiency?" As mentioned earlier, it all starts from within. You need to explore the possibilities of what can you do depending on your abilities and resources available. To start a sustainable living, you need not to step out of your home in search of help. You are the power person and your home is your happy lab.

Start from doing little things, as simple as plant your own vegetables in your own garden and save the useful seeds for future planting, begin rain water harvesting by preserving it naturally, begin worm farming to produce great fertilizers, raise dairy cows to get your daily dairy products, cut tree branches to build your home furniture, use solar panels to meet your home energy requirements, do fishing if you love to, value the effectiveness of renewable resources instead of relying on non-renewable resources.

These are just a few of the many ways self-sufficiency can be achieved. It will take time in understanding, analysing, and practicing these activities, but it will earn you a complete sense of certainty with every passing day.

Practicing the above-mentioned things relieves you from being dependent on any external source. Like when you plant trees, raise cows or begin rain water harvesting, you are no longer dependent on shop or municipality. While you become self-sufficient, you do your bit in improving the ecology. For example, without throwing away the dinner leftovers, when you use them into the worm compost for worm farming, worms eat these; make great fertilizers as well as help in maintaining ecological balance. Thereby, by becoming self-sufficient, you are improving your abilities to raise and grow your own stuffs as well as helping in maintaining an ideal environment where we can breathe trouble-free.

However, is it practical enough to say you can grow all your foods on your own? Do you have enough time and resource to live your daily life without taking anyone's help? Perhaps, this is where the difference between self reliance and self-sufficiency comes. That's the topic of our next article. Don't miss reading.

The Largest Mangrove Forest Of The World

A forest is mainly large areas of land thickly covered with trees. Mangroves on the other hand are tropical trees that grow in mud or at the edge of rivers and have roots that are above ground. Mangrove forest is thus generally forests composed of mainly mangrove tree species. A forest is one of the natural features that make countries natural features and add up to the country's flourish in the amount of green cover. Forests are a great resource as they are a source of fuel, timber, bark and many other useful products and raw materials.

The Sunderland, which is recognized the largest mangrove forest of the world. It is located in the southwest part of an Asian country known as Bangladesh in the greater Khulna district. The forest is also shared by the India republic, though in a very small part. The forest covers an area of about 38,000 square kilometers of land. It is actually a large block of littoral forests put together to form one massive thick forest.

The largest mangrove forest in the world has its greatest beauty lying in its surrounding which is quite rare and unique. Forests are good water catchment areas.The Sundarbans is a part of the world's largest delta formed by rivers Ganges, Brahmaputra and Meghan. Many streams, rivers and estuaries have enhanced the charm of the largest mangrove forest in the world.

The lofty tree tops form a complete full well formed canopy that goes unbroken throughout the forest. As you get to the tree trunks your attention is caught by the works of high and ebb tides marked on the soil and them.

Despite being naturally beautiful the largest mangrove forest in the world it is also a habitat to many wild animals that attract a great deal of both national and international tourists to the area and the country in general. The Sundarbans is not only the world's largest mangrove forest but generally a wildlife sanctuary. It is the home to one of the big five animals of the world; the world's famous Royal Bengal Tiger. It also has other animals like the spotted deer, salt water crocodiles, jungle fowl, wild boar, king cobras and many more. Thousands of migrating flying ducks fly over the area and further into the serene natural beauty of the largest mangrove forest of world. The forest has over 260 bird species recorded in it. It has not less than 50 species of reptiles and eight amphibian species. The gangetic river dolphin is found in most of its rivers.

Due to availability of many fish species in the rivers, the gypsy fishing families have also settled in the world's largest mangrove forest making it their home. However not all parts of the biggest forest are suitable for settlement as about a third of the forest is covered with watery marshy areas.

Threats to the Galapagos Environment

The Galapagos Islands, located 1000km off the coast of Ecuador, have been known for their pristine environment and unique wildlife. These remote islands have been privileged with the seclusion that has allowed ecosystems to evolve in a rare and unmatched way.

However, today the islands are experiencing the effects of extreme weather events, introduced species, a fast-growing population and exploding tourism.

The endemic species to the Galapagos have survived in harmony for hundreds of years. In fact, as Darwin noted many species have become so secluded that they have evolved and adapted to the environments of individual islands. Darwin noticed this particularly with the Galapagos Finch, a bird whose beak, color, and size is different on each island.

Today, you can see a large yellow land iguana on one island and a smaller, grayish land iguana on a different island. Recently, however, new species have been introduced to the islands and are disrupting the harmony of the endemic animals.

Rats, goats, and wild dogs are among these species brought to the islands by humans. On Isabela Island, for example, some hundreds of thousands of goats are destroying the tortoise population.

Another threat to the preservation of the islands is overpopulation. Humans have been living on the islands since the early 1800s, but recently the population among several of the islands has exploded.

The four inhabited islands of Isabela, Santa Cruz, San Cristobal, and Floreana are now home to over 40,000 people. Although human settlement is restricted to only 3% of the islands (97% of the archipelago is protected by the National Park), the effect that this growing population has on the islands is becoming perilous.

As the Galapagos Islands gain popularity, more and more visitors grace the archipelago each year. While tourism is a booming industry in the islands, it is also taking its toll on the environment. With airplanes landing and departing the islands' four airports daily, yachts and cruises transporting tourists daily from island to island, and the hundreds of thousands of tourists trekking through the pristine landscape the wear and tear on the islands is increasing.

Extreme weather events have also taken a toll on the wildlife and environment. "El NiƱo" affects the islands every few years, raising the water temperature and increasing rainfall. Adverse effects of this phenomenon are perilous to marine life.

These threats to the Galapagos environment have become a serious issue and several organizations have now made it their mission to pursue Galapagos conservation projects. The Inter-institutional Committee for the Management and Control of Introduced Species, or CIMEI, is dedicated to controlling domestic animals and introduced species.

In efforts to address the increasing population, Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa and the Ecuadorian government is working on legislation to restrict immigration. So far the government has implemented new travel regulations and begun requiring "visas" for Ecuadorians visiting the islands.

The tourist traffic to the islands is also being regulated. An entrance fee for the Galapagos National Park ranging from $6 for Ecuadorian citizens to $100 for most foreigners is required upon arrival to the islands. Additionally, travelers entering the Galapagos must purchase a Transit Control Card for a fee of $10, which contains a chip, a barcode, and an identifying photograph registering information about the traveler. This card allows the Galapagos National Park to track the number of guests on the island at any given time.

The Galapagos is a natural treasure; however, the beauty of these enchanted islands is in danger of being tarnished.

Read more about conservation efforts before planning your trip to Galapagos. Inquire with trip advisors now to see how to collaborate with the sustainable tourism effort and options for your environmentally friendly trip.

The Galapagos National Park and other organizations are working hard to preserve the integrity, beauty, and immaculacy of this UNESCO World Heritage Site. We can expect to see tighter regulations on immigration and tourism in the near future as measures are taken to protect the islands.

Learn About a Fish That Has a Reptilian Appearance

This fish looks more like a reptile than a fish, which explains the name. In addition to the appearance, this fish generally stays still on the floor of the ocean, similar to the characteristics of a reptile.

Do not let it fool you though; the Lizardfish is alert and watching what is happening around it, while it is resting, not moving.

They are not easy to spot because the colors of this fish make it blend in well with the surrounding coral, sand and vegetation of the sea floor. For this reason, it can be in the open, in plain sight and yet concealed at the same time. At other times, the Lizardfish will bury itself in the ocean sand, with just the eyes and maybe the very end of the snout sticking out from the sand that is covering it. This makes it possible to hide out and wait for prey to come by close enough to grab for a meal.

The mouth of this fish is large. When the mouth is open, you can see that the numerous teeth have the appearance of thin, sharp needles.

Some Lizardfish are found in Hawaiian waters, especially within reefs, where they like to live among corals. Divers have not reported this type of fish as posing any danger to humans.

If caught by a fisherman, they may quite often be thrown back into the water as they are not commonly considered good for eating.

Generally, Hawaiian Lizardfish do not grow to more than 12 inches long. In other parts of the world, the largest lizardfish has been known to grow to around 24 inches in length.

The scientific name for this family of fish is: Synodontidae, with genus species Saurida and Synodus.

Within the genus species Synodus, found in the Indo-Pacific oceans are the Arrowtooth, Engleman's, Two-spot (also called Sand) Lizardfish, and others.

In the Pacific Ocean, the Capricorn Lizardfish may be found.

The Inshore Lizardfish inhabits waters on the East Coast of the United States from North Carolina and South to as far as Brazil. In these waters, the Lizardfish may be found resting on a mud ocean floor, instead of the sand ocean floor which would be found in some tropical waters.

Within the genus species Saurida are the Brazilian Lizardfish, living mainly in the Eastern Atlantic Ocean, the Shortjaw Saury living in the Pacific Ocean and the Clouded Lizardfish in the South Pacific, just to name a few.

There are around 60 species of Lizardfish. The few named in this article can be a start for you to know a direction for further research of the specific types, if desired. The site is a great resource for information about many different types of fish and anything related to the fish topic.

Five Tips for Removing an Unwanted Tree

Having a yard and garden you can be proud of and enjoy with family, neighbors and friends is one of life's simple pleasures. Unfortunately, the process of creating a garden is not always so simple. Aside from the usual concerns about watering, lawn feeding and pest control, you may occasionally find that you have to remove a tree from the landscape. The process of removing a tree requires careful planning and preparation.

Controlling the Fall
Think before you cut a single branch. You want to know exactly where each limb will fall when you cut it. It is particularly crucial to know where the tree trunk is going to fall. To bring down the truck, make a wedge cut inward almost to the center from the direction you want the tree to fall. Then make a higher cut on the opposite side. You should be able to drop the tree within a few feet of where you want it. No one should stand anywhere near the spot the tree to fall.

Incremental Removal
For large or even medium sized trees, you should avoid simply cutting them whole thing down at once. It is much safer to slowly trim away smaller branches first, and then tree limbs. After that, you should cut sections from the top until you get close enough to the ground to safely drop the rest of the tree.

General Safety
Anyone involved in the process of cutting down trees should take all necessary precautions'. They should wear a protective helmet, goggles, and gloves. Steel-toed boots are also a smart idea to protect your feet from crushing injuries. Since you will almost certainly be using chainsaws, you should also wear ear protection.

Other Equipment
You will need a chainsaw for this process, since axes can be far more dangerous for those who do not know how to use them, as well as more exhausting. If it is a small tree, you may need only the saw, but for larger trees, you may have to rent a crane to lift you into position for the higher branches and the top of the tree. Using straps and boot spikes to climb a tree the cut the top branches is inadvisable unless you have a great deal of experience and are in decent shape.

There are several ways to get rid of the remnants of your tree. One is to cut part of it as firewood for you or others if the wood is a type that will burn well. For the smaller pieces, a rented wood chipper will let you turn it into mountains of mulch for your garden.

The Spectrum of Sea Glass Colours

Sea glass, which is also known as beach glass, is glass which has been found washed up on beaches. Typically it is glass that was once discarded or somehow found its way into the sea. It could have originally come from any source of glass from windows to jam jars or beer bottles. The glass has been naturally pounded by the waves and rubbed against rocks and sand until it features smooth edges and a frosted appearance.

Sea glass can come in a wide variety of colours, mainly determined by the origin of the glass. However due to the natural processes involved to form it, the shades of the colour can vary greatly depending on the amount of time it has spent in the sea and the amount of sun light it has been exposed to while lying on the beach.

Again depending on the origin of the glass, different colours of sea glass are more common in different parts of the world. However amongst collectors, there are colours which are referred to as common and some very rare shades indeed which are classed as treasured pieces.

The most common colour of beach glass is green. Green glass is generally vibrant in colour and originates from beer bottles. Some green coloured glass is very old and from early green beer bottles while other pieces are more modern in origin from beer bottles that can still be found in shops today. Brown sea glass is also a common colour. Again this colour originates from beer bottles, some of which are very old in origin while others are much more modern.

The next most common colour is clear. Clear sea glass comes for a variety of sources including window panes, soda bottles, glass plates, drinking glasses and juice bottles. Although it is referred to as 'clear' you actually can't see through it due to the frosted appearance of the glass. This is caused by the effect exposure to salt water has on the chemicals used to produce the glass in the first place.

Amber sea glass is the next colour in the rarity spectrum and is a slightly lighter shade of brown than more commonly found brown glass. It originates from old whiskey and other alcohol bottles, along with medicine bottles. The most common way for these kinds of bottles to find themselves in the ocean was for sailors to throw them overboard.

Turquoise beach glass is reasonably rare and, depending on the shade, can also be referred to as aqua in colour. This glass originates from fruit preserve jars, soda bottles and old ink bottles. Rarer still is deep blue or cobalt blue sea glass which comes from old poison bottles. These are much darker in shade and are usually found in very small pieces due to their age and the amount of time they have spent in the ocean.

Then we come onto really rare shades which are prized by many collectors as they are extremely difficult to find. Purple and red glass can be found in very small pieces and the origin of them is completely unknown. Black beach glass is also rare but is believed to come from old alcohol bottles that pre-date 1800. Although this colour is rare to find due to its age, it's also difficult to find as it's hard to pick out from the surrounding dark pebbles on the beach, especially if the pebbles are wet.

Controlling Pond Weeds

While some aquatic plants are needed in a lake or pond for a healthy fishery, controlling them so they do not become lake or pond weeds can be a challenging task. Many times a lake or pond owner will start by using a chemical treatment. We are accustomed to running to the hardware store to get a herbicide to handle our dandelions in the yard, so this seems to be a logical place to start.

Additionally, the per application cost appears to be cheap. However, to maintain this level of water quality, one must repeat this application process throughout the growing season. Depending on the plant and the region, that can be every two to four weeks for five to seven months or more. So an application that costs $300 per treatment will ultimately cost you $1,500 to $4,200 for the entire season depending on frequency and duration the plants are growing. Not as cheap as it seemed.

Another problem with chemicals is that the plants that were killed with each application drop to the lake or pond bottom. While the initial decomposition pulls oxygen out of the water depriving the fish, the nutrients contained within the plant are released back into the local ecosystem. This in turn feeds the next generation of plants and possibly and algae bloom that takes advantage of the lack of competition. The next generation of plants is now a little resistant to that chemical as they were exposed but survived. The next time that chemical is used, more is going to have to be used to get the same effect. Much like a drug addict, your pond is now hooked and will need more over time and costs will go as product needed goes up.

Applications of herbicides, pesticides or other aquatic chemicals are a very useful tool for SHORT TERM CONTROL of aquatic plant growth. They do NOT, however, address the underlying problem that is causing the unwanted growth. They are best used to keep an ecosystem under control while targeting the root problem and improving the conditions that are causing the problem.

One very successful option is to harvest those lake and pond weeds mechanically. As the growing season begins the plant grows absorbing nutrients, producing oxygen and providing great habitat for the young fry just hatched. Once the growth level nears your desired level manual harvesting can begin. This can be done manually in small scale or with an aquatic plant harvester for large scale applications. Removing the nuisance and with it the absorbed nutrients from the bottom material without adding to the bottom muck. There isn't any oxygen deprivation as there is no material decomposing at the pond bottom. As with chemicals, this will have to be repeated throughout the growing season but usually not as often and it does not leave residues behind. Leaving some plant growth in areas keeps the fishery in good order and buffers the water column from wild swings and algae blooms.

There are many tools in the pond owners' bag to deal with lake and pond weeds. Consider your ultimate goals in determining which management technique you wish to use and remember that short term success does not always mean a long term triumph.

Climate Change Adaptation and Agriculture


Climate Change (CC) is the among the most important global environment concerns. CC is having significant impacts on the most vulnerable communities. Considering characteristics, agriculture can be considered as one of the most affected sector and thus most vulnerable to climate change. Susceptibility and sensitivity of agriculture to the variance of the climatic parameters is responsible for the fact. Agriculture having the significant contributor in national GDP, translates the susceptibility of national economy and growth to climate change. In context of India the GDPs 60% share is agriculture and approximately 60% population's livelihood is depends on farming co emphasizing the need of resilient systems and strategies for agriculture sector and farming community. In which semi-arid regions are considered particularly most vulnerable to climate change. Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation Supported Development Alternatives, a Civil Society Organization, active in Bundelkhand Region of Central India for taking up actions and influence policy to address the climate vulnerability of the region and its impact on livelihhods.


Semi arid regions being particularly less resilient to the non favourable climatic conditions, lead to more negative impacts. Bundelkhand has faced severe drought years in recent past (five drought years in last seven years). Last year was not the hydrological drought but delayed monsoon resulted into the failed Kharif season in most part of the Bundelkhand region. Increasing frequency of the drought in the region is causing the farmers to take extreme steps in frustration. There have been incidences of farmers letting their animals in fields as the crops would not yield anything, in cases of delayed monsoon.

Even though farmers are facing these challenges, haven't yet realized that these droughts are not incidental but reflecting the trend of reducing rainfall and erratic character and these are going to be more common incidents in future. Thus there is dire need not only of identifying strategies to fight climate change but also to make the vulnerable sections aware about the climate change and make them ready to adopt the strategies for adapting to climate change.

Mitigation and Adaptation:

There are several factors and sectors which are responsible for Green House Gas emissions and thus climate change. Agriculture sector remained most unmanaged till yet due to i) non point source emission of GHGs, ii) need and priority of higher productions to feed the ever growing population. As mentioned above, agriculture sector is also most susceptible to climate change contributing into the vicious cycle. Inefficient agricultural practices causes the GHG more emissions, which accelerating the CC, resulting into the lower production. To compensate this, farmers tend to put more resources whenever and wherever are available in terms of fertilizer, water etc. which are the main factor for inefficiencies in the farm sector.

Effects of Climate Change and Solutions:

In Bundelkhand region, calculations of the climate reflect that after 25 years, rainfall is expected to reduce by 20% and the productivity of the existing crops may reduce by 15%. Decreasing landholding per farmer is going to have enhanced negative impact of these projections.

Thus the expected facts after 20-25 years would be:

• Reduced rainfall, thus
o Less availability of surface water
o Deepened ground water level
o Low returns of rain fed agriculture

• Smaller landholdings
• High input costs in agriculture
• Lower profitability per unit of land
• Higher risks of crop failures

Above estimations on reduced productions are based on the existing crops and practices. Our adaptation strategies need to be focus on the methods which can nullify or reduce the effects of the unreliable climatic conditions. Such as:

• Adopting low water requiring/ drought resisting crops/crop verities
• By reducing the water losses in agriculture and by irrigating the crops/plants not the land
• Using improved practices to save the applied water like mulching etc
• Reducing the input costs by appropriate application of inputs
• Adopting and promoting the alternative models for duel/multiple use of land like different forms of agroforestry or multi cropping
• By having fall back options like alternate income sources/crop insurance etc.

Where is will there is a Way

Approach which has been adopted to take up and fight with climate change is two sided, i) Identifying the technical options and interventions required, ii) making community aware and helping them to take lead to fight climate change.

Identification of interventions

Drought resistant varieties are available at different stakeholders. However the adoption is not much as farmers are not aware about these varieties and characteristics of these crops/crop varieties. Such varieties have been promoted as they are the important option which can provide reliable production level even in extreme conditions.

There are various methods and ways available for reducing the water losses in irrigation. Sprinkler and drip methods can reduce the water application significantly. Similarly, mulching can reduce the water loss from the soil. For flood irrigation also contour cultivation, and making the check basins or borders depending on the land slope and soil type, can increase the water use efficiencies significantly. Information on these options is being made available to the farmers through different stakeholders including the research organizations.

It has also been observed that the quantity of seed we use per acre of land is quite higher than required for optimum production. This, not only increase the input costs but also reduce the productivity by creating unnecessary competition within the crop itself. Appropriate use of manure and fertilizers, minimal tillage is the practices which reduces the input costs and enhance the profitability of the particular crops.

Agro-horticulture and other forms of Agro-forestry can be one way of reducing the dependability of the output of our efforts on the erratic monsoon, thus, stabilizing the incomes of the household and also its distribution across the year. For the purpose of reducing the risks of crop failure, government is also promoting the efficient irrigation systems like drip and sprinkler for agro-horticulture use.

Government has also various other schemes to protect or at least protect partially ourselves from the risks of the crop failure from several reasons. National Agriculture Research Scheme (NAIS) is one of them. We can get our crop insured under this scheme and in case of crop damage due to any o the enlisted reasons, we can get the benefits of the schemes.

It is also worth knowing at this point of time that quite of the options available are more accessible for the groups. Let's join hand together to access the information and take the challenges posed by climate change.

Creating Institutional Systems for Adaptation

Adaptation is the community and social initiative, which needs community actions. For sustainable farming society initiative, three tier institutional systems has been formed, at village level farmers groups consists of active farmers. The objectives of the farmers clubs is to keep interactions and ensure access of farmers to knowledge and resources bases in terms of the meetings with scientists and extension workers, ensuring appropriate seed varieties and technologies etc. At second tier representatives of the farmers groups have formed the cluster of the farmers group. These clusters are responsible for managing and creating cluster (cluster of geographically nearby villages). Top level tier is the federation level institution which takes the responsibility to resource building for all three levels of the institutions and establishing backward and forward linkages with markets.

In fact these institutions are playing their role effectively and have shown the capacity. Several activities have been taken up by them. These three tier system is part of the Farmers adaptation cluster. During the first year of operations, the Farmers Adaptation Cluster, has established linkages with different institutions like Water Technology Centre, Indian Agriculture Research Institute, Krishi Vikas Kendra (KVK), National Research Centre on Agro Forestry (NRCAF), etc. and had arranged exposure visits for its member farmers, introduced high yielding varieties and appropriate practices affecting the yield enhancement by 35 to 40%. It has also recorded the reduction in required inputs due to information and appropriate technology propagation.

Humans Exist Because Of Pollination

Pollination is important to our very existence. Without pollination, we haven't any food. If you want to help mankind, you can plant flowers and plants to attract bees, butterflies and hummingbirds. The best plants to accomplish this goal are nectar producing plants. There are many good resources on the internet that can provide you the information you need to know what kinds of plants to grow in your area. Here are a few tips.

Your growing zone is key to determining what plants will grow well. BUT you also need to consider local soil type, growing conditions, etc. Visiting a local nursery will give you a good start on what grows well in your area. You can purchase plants there, or purchase seeds and grow your garden from scratch. Now, what kinds of plants attract pollinators? Bees especially like legume plant blossoms like clover but will collect any pollen they can find. To attract bees, other plants to consider are, fireweed, monkshood (caution: this plant is poisonous), red clover, asters, goldenrod, foxglove, germander, Joe pye weed, sedum Autumn joy, oregano, thyme, globe-thistle, hyssop, lavender, chives, penstemons, rosemary, and of course, sunflowers. Pollinators also included hummingbirds and butterflies, so don't forget those feeders! Yes, there is such a thing as a butterfly feeder! Go the extra step and hang houses for birds, bees, and butterflies too.

To attract butterflies, choose a variety of plants so that flowers are always blooming. If you only plant flowers that bloom at the same time, the butterflies will leave when those flowers die. Butterflies like color so remember that too. Flowers that attract butterflies include, day lily, iris, lavender, Asters, Butterfly bush, Heliotrope, Cosmos, Clover, Zinnia. As you can see, many of the flowers that attract butterflies also attract bees. Remember to use lots of color.

Ever considered creating a nesting site for bees? Farmers do it. Some of the non-stinging bees, like the Mason bee are inhabitants of gardens that provide nesting sites. They need these sites in order to reproduce. Alfalfa farmers, for example, set up nesting sites for leaf-cutter bees because they are the main pollinators in their fields. Large orchards usually set up bee hives to pollinate their crops during the blooming season. If you are interested in setting up a nesting site, you can find a Mason bee lodge online, or you can make one, they're easy. All you need is a block of wood and a drill. There are instructions online for the varying kinds of bee lodges and houses.

Now that you have your information on what kinds of flowers to plant and what kind of nesting area to create (if you choose to) you are ready to get out there and get the seeds you need before Spring arrives. If you aren't into seeding plants, visit your local nursery in the Spring to purchase budding plants.

The Effects of Garbage on Our Environment

Garbage is very harmful to our environment. It poses dangerous risks to our land water, and air. Landfills overfilling with garbage destroy profitable land, and take many years to regain the nutrients and the land destroyed. Sewage water poured into oceans poison fish and other marine wildlife. Emissions that come out of cars limit the amount of air and oxygen we have to breathe. As you can see, garbage is harmful to our environment.

Garbage is very harmful to our environment because of the ways it is currently being disposed. Some of the ways we currently dispose of it are recycling, composting, hazardous material disposal, landfills, and incineration. Recycling is a cost-effective way to dispose of specific things such as metal scraps, paper, and plastic because it wastes less energy to make a new item out of an old item than to make a new item from scratch. For example, it takes almost eight hours of electricity to make enough aluminum for thirty-four aluminum cans, but only takes an hour of electricity to make the same amount of cans from recycled aluminum. In addition, new aluminum has to go through the process of extraction the needed materials, refining the materials, smelting, and casting the aluminum while a recycled can only has to be shredded, melted, and casted before it can start the process again. It takes less energy and materials to make a new can from an old can. Composting is another way to get rid of garbage such as untreated paper, fruit scraps, vegetable scraps, and biodegradable plastic. It is also a cost-effective way of disposing of specific items because you can dig a put it in your backyard and until it rots. It also gives your plants much-needed nutrients when it decays. Therefore, it is a harmless way of disposing of specific garbage.

Properly disposing of hazardous materials is important, so another effective way that we currently use to get rid of garbage is hazardous material disposal. There are certain facilities designed to dispose of dangerous materials that would otherwise contaminate land if put into a landfill. Some of these materials are used paint cans, used oil, and chemical-based items such as bleach. One of the hardest hazardous materials to dispose of is syringes, because those contain disease, and disease is very easy to transmit.

Even though we recycle, compost, and dispose of hazardous materials, we still practice dangerous and unsafe ways of taking care of trash, such as landfills and incineration. Landfills have both a positive and a negative impact on the environment. After trash is packed into a hole about twenty feet deep (six and a half yards), dirt, clay, or asphalt is packed an inch or two above it so the smell does not appear and so that random trash does not fly away. Then a tube is inserted to suck out all the methane the garbage produces since the element is flammable. The methane can be used as a form of electricity. However, landfills also have a negative effect on the environment. If it leaks, it will contaminate surrounding water and surrounding groundwater. The water will travel to the nearest ocean or lake and poison the wildlife there.

One last way that we currently dispose of trash is by incinerating it. Combusting, or incinerating, burns garbage and turns water into steam as the same time. The steam is then used to turn turbine engines, which produces electricity. Incinerating trash then turns the volume to twenty percent of the original volume. You might think this is a good thing, because then landfills can fill more, right? However, incinerating trash has a bad effect on the environment. It creates exhaust and emissions, which contributes to air pollution, and air pollution contributes to global warming. As you can see, recycling, composting, and disposing of hazardous materials only take care of a small percentage of garbage. The rest goes to either a combustion facility or a landfill, which both contribute to pollution. Leaky landfills contribute to water pollution and incinerating contributes to air pollution.

Garbage also harms the environment because it results in pollution if you dispose of it in a certain way. As stated above, landfills might leak chemicals into surrounding bodies of water and any water under it, such as groundwater. Then the lake or groundwater may evaporate and cause acid rain or poison larger bodies of water. Acid rain is caused by depositing wet and dry acidic components, such as water, oxygen, and carbon dioxide. This happens when a large amount of carbon dioxide enters clouds. Then when it rains, the elements mixed together kill plants, pollute water, and erode stonework. Incineration also pollutes the environment as stated above. Incineration is guaranteed to lead to a lot of air pollution and acid rain, while landfills are not that bad because there is only a small chance that they will leak since they are usually sealed properly. As you can see, a few of the ways we dispose of garbage result in pollution.

Biomass - Renewable Energy - The Lowdown

Biomass Energy - An Overview:

Biomass energy is derived from carbon based sources; namely, material that was once living or came from a living source. Unlike fossil fuels, however, biomass material is not millions of years old, nor does it need to be drilled or mined. It's also largely renewable unlike fossil fuel.

So what materials are actually used as biomass energy?
A vast number of things can be harvested or grown and turned into useable energy by power plants that have biomass energy producing capability. Energy crops, such as certain fast growing grasses, corn, wheat and other plants comprise a large amount of biomass material. Fast growing, sustainable tree varieties are also used, as well as waste products from the timber and agricultural industries. Even the manure from animals and waste from landfills is used; methane gas from these sources can be converted into source of biomass energy.

A Brief History:
Biomass energy isn't a new idea; up until the mid 1800s, almost all energy in the United States (and in the world) was biomass, with the exception of coal and a few other oils and fuels. While electricity had long since been discovered by that point, it still had not been turned into a commercially useable form of energy production, and coal was available only in some regions. Most fossil fuel sources were still inefficient to harvest and produce, making them a much less useful method of energy output than other biomass sources.

With the boom of the fossil fuel industry and advancing technology in the area of electricity, biomass energy became less commercially popular. It wasn't until 1978 when Congress passed the Public Utility Regulatory Policies act that scientists and energy companies began to take another serious look at biomass.

Environment Impact:
Responsible biomass energy production and consumption can have very positive impacts on the environment in several ways. In the case of energy crops CO2 is produced by biomass energy plants, but the same CO2 is taken back out of the atmosphere when new energy crops are planted and grown. This helps maintain a much more even balance of carbon emissions than what is seen with fossil fuel sources.

Because harmful methane gas can be harvested and used to produce cleaner energy, biomass can help reduce the amount of methane in the atmosphere. It also saves an estimated 350 million tons of waste from the timber and agricultural industries from entering landfills.

Because most of the sources used in biomass are sustainable, it has a much lower overall impact on the environment, both regionally and globally. Responsible selection of proper biomass land areas for crops, trees and other materials is essential in keeping the balance, however, with scientists working with energy producers to protect savannahs, old forests, and food crop farms.

Mountain Building

Mountain building has operated during the recent geologic past in several locations around the world. These relatively young mountain belts include the American Cordillera, which runs along the western margin of the America from Cape Horn to Alaska: The Alpine Himalayan chain, which extend from the Mediterranean through Iran to northern India and into Indonesia: And the mountains terrain of western Pacific, which include mature island arcs such as Japan, the Philippines, and Sumatra. Most of these young mountain belts have come into existence within the last hundred million years. Some including the Himalayas began growth as recently as 45 million years ago.

In addition to these recently formed complex (folded) mountains, several chains of much older mountains exist on earth as well. Although these stretches are deeply eroded and topographically less prominent, they clearly possess the same structural features found in younger mountains. Typical of this older group are the Appalachians in eastern United States and the Urals in the Soviet Union.

Although complex mountains differ from one another in particular details, all possess the same basic stretches. Mountains belts generally consist of roughly parallel ridges of folded and faulted sedimentary and volcanic rocks, portions of which have been strongly metamorphosed and intruded by somewhat younger igneous bodies.

In most cases the sedimentary rocks formed from enormous accumulations of deep-water marine sediments that occasionally exceeded 15,000 meters in thickness, as well as from thinner shallow-Water deposits. Moreover, these deformed sedimentary rocks are for the most part older than the mountain building event. This fact indicates that long quiescent period of deposition was followed by an episode of deformation. In order to unravel the events that produce mountains, many studies are conducted in regions that exhibit ancient mountain structures as well as sites where upward displacement of the earth's crust is thought to be in progress. Of particular interest is active subduction zone, where plates are converging. Here partial melting of a sub-ducted plates and possibly frictional heating of mantle rocks generate a supply of magma that migrates upward.

At sites where oceanic crust is being sub-ducted, continental blocks are also being rafted towards one another. Recent studies indicate that the most important cause of upward movement of earth crust is the collision of two or more of these crustal fragments. Collision can be occurring between a continental block and a variety of land mass, including archipelagos such as the Aleutian Islands, or small crustal fragments similar in size to Madagascar, or even other continental sized blocks.

The Many Opportunities That Await Those Who Took Horticulture Courses

For people who have natural liking for plant life and desire to apply different principles and techniques to better care, propagate, and enhance the growth and life of wide variety of plants, they should consider taking up Horticulture courses. A couple of years ago, it maybe almost impossible for someone to take this course if he is just interested to use the skills for personal use as it appears to be a waste of time, money, and energy unless he intends to start a career out of it. Enrolling for lessons, squeezing the class schedule to fit work schedule, and going to and from the class venue, among others, are too inconvenient for one to make these sacrifices regardless of how much passion he has for plants. Fortunately because of correspondence education, a plant-lover can keep his day job, learn the skills that he wants without having to sacrifice so much.

Horticulture courses may not be as popular as other fields of study because of the impression that unless you work in research or the academe, career-opportunities are very limited. However, not many people know that it is very lucrative considering the numerous opportunities that are opened for those who took horticulture-related courses such as the following:

Jobs in the Government Sector- depending on the degree or level of educational attainment or academic exposure, one can be employed as:

Agricultural Inspector
Technical Officer in Horticulture-related agencies
Horticulture Inspector
Farm Supervisor
Professor, Assistant Professor, or Instructor in Agricultural Universities
Jobs in the Private Sector

Horticulture or Landscape Supervisor in farm houses, golf courses, construction companies, and other industries.
Horticulture Officer in companies that produce agriculture products
Marketing and Sales-related job in chemical companies that manufacture pesticides and insecticides and other plant-related industries
Jobs for the Self-Employed

Horticulture Advisor or consultant for individuals who and companies that are in need of advise related to garden, orchard, and other plant-related concerns
Raising a nursery for fruit-bearing, flower, and other ornamental plants
Opening a florist shop or carry out a floral decorating business
Starting a seed producer, mushroom grower, or fruit/flower/vegetable grower business
Support or Service-related Jobs

Researching and developing new techniques and principles to improve/enhance the different types of vegetables, fruits, and other ornamental plants
Experimenting and producing chemicals that will result to better plant production and quality
Collaborating with engineers who produce tools and machines that are used for plant production, harvesting, and storing
Getting involved in transporting and distribution of horticulture-related produce and products.
Working on landscape designing, ground maintenance, lawn care, and plant/tree care.
The list above proves that taking Horticulture courses is very rewarding both personally (peace brought about by communing with nature) and financially (potential earnings). If you are one of the talented people who have green thumbs and would like to explore this field without necessarily giving up everything and immersing in horticulture completely, you can test the waters by taking basic classes through correspondence learning. As the course progresses you will have a better understanding and appreciation of this field; hence, you will be in a much better position to make an informed decision if you can actually shift careers and start focusing on various plant-related industries.