Lake and Pond Scum

Lake and pond scum is that nasty film of debris and biological decomposition that usually indicates a stagnant body of water with more significant problems. It is not pleasant to look at, swim in or even boat across. And the water column is typically not healthy for the fish that live within those waters. These fish are trapped in those conditions and have to endure low oxygen levels and high algae growth leaving them stressed. If these conditions continue weak fish will die off. If they worsen, even healthy fish will succumb to the conditions.

One very effective technique to prevent this stagnation from happening is to install a laminar flow aeration system. Also known as a bubbler, the only indication of the system is a small area of bubbles rising to the surface in one or more places depending on the size of your lake or pond. Installing a system such as this will mix the water column from the surface to the bottom. The movement breaks up the pond scum allowing toxins trapped at the bottom of the pond to release into the air. At the same time, oxygen is absorbed into the water which then travels to all levels of the water. Bacteria are then able to utilize the oxygen rich conditions to more effectively digest the biological load preventing algae blooms by taking away their food source.

You lake or pond will not only appear cleaner, the water quality will be improved and be a more healthy environment for you and the fish. A more balance ecosystem is the result with fewer swings in water quality. Minor fluctuations will still occur due to adverse weather conditions, but overall your pond will suffer fewer of these events and will self correct more quickly than if no aeration were present.

Aeration is a time tested technique used to digest biologicals in the waste water industry. It has been used in numerous lakes and pond around the world with great results. It uses nature and the good bacteria present in every body of water to remove the excess nutrients. Instead of aquatic pesticides and herbicides which can leave harmful residues that have long lasting unintended effects, aeration simply adds oxygen back to a ecosystem that desperately need it to operate properly. If you choose to discontinue the aeration, the ecosystem returns back to its previous state without and detrimental effects.

Soil Formation and Erosion

Soil formation

Soil is the uppermost, fertile layer of the earth. It is one of the natural resources present on the earth. It is formed by the physical, substance, genetic and organic changes which go on taking place constantly in the layers of the earth, by the external forces like water, wind, glacier, ocean waves, etc. the weathered rock can be of different size. The numbers factors contribute a lot in the formation of the soil.

Climate has a significant role in influencing the decomposition of the different rocks to a great extent. The quality and amount of moisture and dryness in the soil depends upon the climate. The soil forming processes take place differently in varying climatic conditions. Its' took place more rapidly in the summer and rainy season. The classification and patterns of soils also depend on the climate.

The nature of weathered particles is responsible for the formation of soil. The particles may be obtained from the weathering of rocks or depositing of material by river, winds, glaciers, etc. The physical and chemical compositions of soil particles determine the relative proportions of different minerals in the layers.

The topography of a region affects the formation of soil. Steep slopes in the mountainous areas have the thin soil layers. It's due to the erosion and the state of moisture in the different layers. In areas of bad drainage and rigid topography, soil is not well developed.

Time is an important factor of soils' formation. A rich and fertile soil is formed only when the weathered particles of rocks remain uninterrupted on the same place for a long time.

It is only the longevity of time that the action of physical, chemical and organic processes takes place. It leads to the formation of deep and well- developed layers of soil. If time is not sufficient, the soils will remain undeveloped and skinny.

Soil profile

Each type of soil has a well-developed vertical section called the soil profile. There are four distinct layers in the soil profile.

The top layer is the biological layer and consists of fine particles and natural matter from decayed plants and animals. It is about 1-2 inches thick. Living things carry on with their life activities in this layer. Therefore, it is called humus.

The second layer is the horizon A. This layer has bacteria, which helps in the recycling of different material, and has plant's roots, fungus, etc.

The next layer is called horizon B, which contains materials obtained from the top layer by the seepage of water from the surface. It has a few symptoms of life. Below the sub- soil, there are the layer rocks and pebbles, of partly weathered rocks. In some areas, it contains water, depending on the water table.

Causes of Soil Erosion

Deforestation is the major cause of soil erosion. In the natural conditions, the roots of the trees hold the soil particles together and save soil for erosion. However, when trees are cut down uncontrollably, running water cut the soil and become a cause of erosion. Nothing can check the speed of running water during the rainy season. It erodes soil ruthlessly.

Drizzle and light showers do not cause much damage to the soil, but heavy and torrential rains carry away the fine soil particles with them due to their great speed and erosive capacity.

Overgrazing, especially by cows, goats, camels and sheep in the desert and semi-desert areas are the causes of Soil erosion. Plants and vegetation, which conserve soil, are uprooted by these animals. It generally happens on the mountainous, arid and semi-arid regions. Water during the rainy season carries away the loose soil. Same actions are done by wind the desert areas, resulting in the soil erosion.

In the areas of steep slope like mountain and hilly areas, water is more affected, then any other agent of erosion.

Clayey soil an absorb water easily. Therefore, the soil erosion is much less in the areas of clayey and sandy soil. Land is a prime natural resource, but due to its excessive use; it has been degraded to a large extent throughout the world.

Monarch Caterpillars

The tiger striped Monarch caterpillars are among the most beautiful of the caterpillars. Monarch caterpillars are usually born on and eat milkweed plants. This is helpful to the caterpillar and butterfly because the toxins from these plants are passed into the insect, which makes them distasteful to predators like birds. Even if an ignorant bird tries to eat a Monarch caterpillar, its bad taste will discourage the bird from eating any others.

The caterpillar is but the second stage in the life cycle of the Monarch butterfly. It starts out as an egg laid on the milkweed plant. The female butterfly will glue the eggs to the leaf of the plant with her own bodily secretions to make sure they're secure, then she'll leave and give no more care to the eggs or the larvae.

When it's time for the caterpillar to emerge, it will chew a circular lid in the eggshell, then pull its body free of the egg. Then, it will eat the eggshell, which gives it some nutrients before it starts to eat the milkweed.

Like all caterpillars, the Monarch caterpillar's task is simply to eat and eat till it reaches the size when it will be ready to pupate. This is about two inches long and takes about two weeks. After the caterpillar has reached this size and survived predators and other hazards, it will find a location (usually away from the milkweed) and spin a pad there. It'll attach its rear to the pad with hooks and hang in the shape of a "J" for about twenty four hours.

Then, the caterpillar's skin splits down the back and the pupa emerges. It wriggles free from the skin which is finally cast off. The pupa then hardens, and waits.

Even the pupae of Monarch caterpillars are attractive. They're mostly jade green and have beautiful dots of what look like gold along the tops and on the side.

During the pupal stage, the body of what was the caterpillar is broken down into something like a soup and slowly formed into the adult butterfly. This drastic process is known as complete metamorphosis.

Finally, the pupa case splits and the Monarch butterfly struggles out. After it emerges the butterfly rests for a while. Its wings are crumpled and damp and can't work right away. The butterfly spends a couple of hours pumping fluid into the wing veins so the wings can expand and harden properly. The Monarch butterfly then flies away to begin the process all over again. The time between egg and adult is about a month.