An Eco-Friendly Company Since 2006!
    Join Now! 
Twitter YouTube RSS

Earth Blog

Individuals can help us by telling others, by being involved in the Earth Blog, by sharing your ideas with us and by forwarding your support to companies who you think should get involved!

Galveston is the Next City to Get Blue Trees

Posted by Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral is a native Southern Californian who now resides on the shores of
User is currently offline
on Monday, 25 March 2013
in Mother Nature's Vegetation

"I realized that forests are the lungs of the world," Konstantin Dimopoulos said in a press release that blue-trees-houston-announced his most recent art installation in Houston, Texas: trees painted blue.  Not pink not green, but ultramarine!  This is a vibrant color to make the viewer think about a world without trees and deforestation.

The press release pointed to a Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations report three years ago that said 32 million acres of forests were lost due to natural causes or were cleared for other uses between 2000 and 2010. That means 3.2 million acres were lost per year during that time frame.

"Through my work I am striving to address global issues and provide a visual platform to effect change," said Konstantin Dimopoulos. "So many universal concerns seem larger than an individual's power of influence, and I want to evoke in people the idea that we can all contribute to change in a positive way."

Hits: 604 Continue reading
0 votes

The Daffodil: A Not Very Detailed Look at a Flower

Posted by Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral is a native Southern Californian who now resides on the shores of
User is currently offline
on Sunday, 10 March 2013
in Mother Nature's Vegetation

The first day of spring is still more than a week away but the University of Oxford is helping us poor Narcissus-closeup-Jasssmit-wikiunfortunate souls stuck between winter and spring pull through with the story of how the daffodil got it’s trumpet!

During the long winter days when the sun was seldom seen there was a girl who couldn’t stand the cold and the darkness any longer. She vowed to grab the sun the next time it peeked out from behind the layer of clouds and stick it in a jar forever to hoard the warmth.

Finally the day arrived when the weak winter sun made an appearance so the girl grabbed the sun and crammed it into the jar. But on her way to hide the sun from the rest of the world she tripped and fell. The jar flew out of her hand and rolled away from her.

The sun struggled to get out but its head got stuck halfway out of the opening and it’s yellow and white light seeped out around it creating a halo. The sun was left there and its light seeded the ground for daffodils to grow.

Hits: 541 Continue reading
0 votes

Actions to Reduce Deforestation In Brazil are Working

Posted by Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral is a native Southern Californian who now resides on the shores of
User is currently offline
on Saturday, 09 March 2013
in Mother Nature's Vegetation

There have been a few creatures I’ve featured on Fridays whose populations have been affected by pete-newton-brazil-rainforest-UMdeforestation- especially animals that live in the Amazon rainforest like the lowland tapir and the giant armadillo.

Animals aren’t usually the first thing that pops into a person’s mind when deforestation is mentioned. The air is usually the first topic of discussion because clearing trees affects air quality and most of us learn that in elementary school: “Trees help us breathe!”

Conserving biodiversity and Brazil’s recent commitment to reduce deforestation in order to lower carbon emissions in the country’s two million square miles of Amazon rainforest are probably what led to a University of Michigan (UM) study that explored the efficacy of Brazil’s policies.

Hits: 403 Continue reading
0 votes

Huanglongbing Disease Affects Trees and a Good Breakfast

Posted by Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral is a native Southern Californian who now resides on the shores of
User is currently offline
on Saturday, 26 January 2013
in Mother Nature's Vegetation

The USDA’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS) has some good news about citrus trees affected with oranges-muyral-mfileHuanglongbing disease (citrus greening disease) or the obviously less fun to say HLB: sick trees will always affect the taste of the fruit that is used in orange juice, a delicious breakfast beverage, but sometimes we won’t be able to tell.

A research team in Fort Pierce, Florida- where the United States Horticultural Research Laboratory is located- studied Midsweet, Hamlin, and Valencia oranges with or without HLB symptoms over two growing seasons. They found that orange juice squeezed from fruit with HLB symptoms  usually contained higher amounts limonin and nomilin. These two compounds gave the juice a bitter taste but even though the amounts were higher they were generally below the level that could be detected by people.

ARS researchers say the fruit that is affected need only be mixed with healthy fruit to produce a juice that is palatable. Now if you are anything like me and have had the luxury of fresh-squeezed orange juice the liquid was never drinkable until I had poured about two or three cups of sugar in it and then chased that down with three bowls of Frosted Flakes.

Hits: 543 Continue reading
0 votes

A Look At Chicago's Urban Gardens

Posted by Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral is a native Southern Californian who now resides on the shores of
User is currently offline
on Sunday, 20 January 2013
in Mother Nature's Vegetation

Doctoral candidate John Taylor, at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s Department of Crop onions-garden-1971ks-mfileSciences,  was skeptical about the lists of urban gardens that were being circulated by local non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Taylor told the university’s news office that of the NGO lists he saw one reported almost 700 urban gardens in Chicago.

700 urban gardens may seem like a lot but when you start to think about the size and population of the city that one list didn’t seem accurate to Taylor. He surmised that there were actually more than what the lists presented. The content of the lists weren’t always accurate either and Taylor said some of the greenery was just well, greenery: planter boxes or landscaping that did not produce food, at least not food for humans.

So Taylor partnered with Assistant Professor Sarah T. Lovell at the same department to obtain a more accurate count of urban gardens with the help of everyone’s favorite time-waster and map on the Internet- Google Earth.

Hits: 486 Continue reading
0 votes

California's Plants Are Extra Special

Posted by Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral is a native Southern Californian who now resides on the shores of
User is currently offline
on Wednesday, 09 January 2013
in Mother Nature's Vegetation

A not yet published study about California’s plants says that the reason the Golden State is a shining california-poppies-mfile-k4example of biodiversity is because low extinction rates over the past 45 million years have allowed flora to thrive.  California’s climate is just one of the contributing factors to the singularity of the plant life and researchers say the plants may not have survived elsewhere in the country.

“Because California has so many unique and relatively young plant species, it was long assumed by biogeographers and naturalists that high speciation rates were the cause of California's biodiversity," said ecologist and evolutionary biologist Lesley T. Lancaster Ph.D, currently with Lund University in Sweden, "It turns out that these species have not arisen at a particularly high rate in California compared to elsewhere. Instead, features of California's climate, topography, and latitude have preserved these species, allowing us to see them today, when they may have simply gone extinct if they had arisen elsewhere."

Hits: 554 Continue reading
0 votes

Fungus: Wine's New Flavor Descriptor

Posted by Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral is a native Southern Californian who now resides on the shores of
User is currently offline
on Thursday, 27 December 2012
in Mother Nature's Vegetation

“In the wine industry, the fungal communities on grapes are especially important. The microbial species wine glass color odapipresent on the berry may contribute to the fermentation process, and therefore the aromatic properties of the resulting wine," said the authors of a study all about what yeast-like fungi and yeast species that are found in vineyards.

If your head is still foggy from all that beer and asparagus you ate last night let me present a scenario that helps explain that quote up there:

You and your friends are on a weekend winery tour and everyone is doing an excellent job remembering to tip the glass to examine the wine’s color, swirling, smelling, and sipping.  After a brief swish fun adjectives and “flavor descriptors” are being thrown around when all you really need to say is, “This is good. I like it. I’ll take eight!” Then someone says, “Yes, I can really taste the Aureobasidium pullulans and Sporobolomyces roseus in this wine. Both are fungi prevalent to the South African vineyards where this wine is cultivated.” Try not to glare at your friend even if they are an insufferable know-it-all thanks to the Internet and an obsession with PLOS ONE.

Hits: 699 Continue reading
0 votes

Have Some Asparagus With Your Beer

Posted by Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral is a native Southern Californian who now resides on the shores of
User is currently offline
on Wednesday, 26 December 2012
in Mother Nature's Vegetation

According to a study published in the Journal of Food Science, a publication of the Institute of Foodasparagus sideshowmom Technologists, the amino acids and minerals present in asparagus extract could lessen the painful blow of a hangover and protect liver cells against the stress and toxins caused by almost all of us willingly partaking in alcoholic beverages from time to time. Asparagus officinalis or garden asparagus is the official and only asparagus of people who want to prevent hangovers

Scientists at the Institute of Medical Science and Jeju National University in Korea studied components of young asparagus shoots and leaves and then compared the biochemical effects on human and rat liver cells. They found that asparagus leaves were higher in in amino acid and minerals than the shoots.

Hits: 536 Continue reading
0 votes

Not so Jolly Holly

Posted by Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral is a native Southern Californian who now resides on the shores of
User is currently offline
on Tuesday, 25 December 2012
in Mother Nature's Vegetation

Heterophylly is the natural phenomenon that means leaves possess the ability to change their holly.boselacharacteristics within a single tree. This a feature of many different species like ivy and the evergreen European holly (Ilex aquifolium). Holly will either grow spiky leaves to deter hungry animals from eating them or grow smooth leaves if there is no threat.

Two researchers from the National Research Council of Spain in Seville studied 40 holly trees from a forest in South Eastern Spain and found 39 of them were heterophyllous.  They found a direct link between the feeding activity of local deer and goats and the growth of prickly leaves versus non-prickly. Leaves under the height of 2.5 meters or the average reach of an adult red deer, were consistently pricklier meaning the trees were purposely grown that way.

Hits: 662 Continue reading
0 votes

You May Have 25,000 Unexpected Holiday Guests

Posted by Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral is a native Southern Californian who now resides on the shores of
User is currently offline
on Sunday, 23 December 2012
in Mother Nature's Vegetation

We are only two days away from Christmas and there is something you should know about your tree:christmas tree fish jade there could be as many as 25,000 bugs hanging out amongst the Hallmark ornaments lovingly hung on your tree. Bugs like springtails, bark lice, mites, moths, and maybe even spiders who didn’t get enough love during Halloween.

Bug expert, Associate Professor at the University Museum of Bergen, and Christmas panic inducer Bjarte H. Jordal said that 25,000 was the number pulled from previous tree research. If you’d like Jordal suggests conducting your own research: “If you pound the tree on a white cloth before you throw it out after Christmas, you will discover quite a number of small bugs.”

Hits: 478 Continue reading
0 votes

Mighty Phragmites Invade the Great Lakes

Posted by Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral is a native Southern Californian who now resides on the shores of
User is currently offline
on Saturday, 22 December 2012
in Mother Nature's Vegetation

Phragmites australis, or the common reed, could be considered the kudzu of the Great Lakes region. The Phragmites Michigan  Technological  Universityinvasive reed is threatening the delicate wetlands with lakes Huron and Erie hosting the biggest groups or stands of reeds according to a recently released study conducted by Michigan Technological University’s Michigan Tech Research Institute (MTRI), and Boston College with help from the USGS and USFWS.

If left to flourish the reed has the capacity to out-compete native wetland plants for resources, if not outright choke out native plants the reed can displace them, this will reduce the quality of the lake habitat by changing the levels of nutrients in the soil and water.  Altered levels of nutrients could decrease the diversity of animals and plants that normally live in the wetlands, increase air temperatures, dry wetland soils, and trap sediments.

Worst of all the reed has the power to lower property values along the lakeshore because mature stands of Phragmites can grow to be 16 feet tall or approximately the height of a giraffe. The next time you are on the shore of a Great Lake imagine a herd of giraffes just hanging out blocking your view.

Hits: 608 Continue reading
0 votes

Saving Frankincense and Christmas For Future Generations

Posted by Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral is a native Southern Californian who now resides on the shores of
User is currently offline
on Monday, 10 December 2012
in Mother Nature's Vegetation

“Whilst we are all familiar with gold (especially in this Olympic year), it is the mention of frankincense andFrankincense and matchbox myrrh that really says ‘Christmas’ to us and and takes our imaginations back to ancient times,” opened an Oxford University Press news release about a study published earlier this month in the journal Annals of Botany called “Resin secretory structures of Boswellia papyrifera and implications for frankincense yield.”

Does it take your imagination back to “ancient times?” Do the the three gifts the Wise Men brought to welcome baby Jesus and “resin secretory structures” evoke Christmas like chestnuts roasting on an open fire or pink aluminum trees?

I think the majority of us wonder what frankincense and myrrh are- spices, plants, or are they candy? Please let them be candy!

Hits: 825 Continue reading
0 votes

Capitol Christmas Tree Is On Its Way To DC

Posted by Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral is a native Southern Californian who now resides on the shores of
User is currently offline
on Thursday, 22 November 2012
in Mother Nature's Vegetation

Late in the summer the US Forest service began publicizing the Capitol Christmas tree’s road from the chamomile tree xmasWhite River National Forest in Colorado to the west lawn of the Capitol building in Washington D.C. This is the third time the state of Colorado has gifted a tree for the Capitol’s holiday season.

There is now only a little over a month between us and Christmas. Leave it to our government to make us all look like lazy procrastinators for not having our tree plans all lined up for the coming season since the summer like they did.

Hits: 771 Continue reading
0 votes

Valencia Oranges In The Grip of Thrips

Posted by Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral is a native Southern Californian who now resides on the shores of
User is currently offline
on Monday, 19 November 2012
in Mother Nature's Vegetation

A team of researchers from Universitat Politècnica de València, in where else but Valencia, Spain, the Pezothrips scar valenicia orangeUniversity of Navarra in Pamplona (Fun Fact: The founder of the University of Navarra is also the founder of Opus Dei the “ultra-secret” Catholic organization featured in the bestselling thriller The Da Vinci Code), and a Belgian company Biobest Belgium NV have studied thrips: a disease that affects Valencia oranges and is transmitted by a tiny, winged pest and they may have found a bug to fight the bug.  

The guilty bug is called Kelly’s citrus thirps or Pezothrips kellyanus and whatever you do don’t do a Google image search for the insect- here is a link. You’re welcome.

Hits: 821 Continue reading
0 votes

Creating Green Spaces In the Sky

Posted by Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral is a native Southern Californian who now resides on the shores of
User is currently offline
on Monday, 05 November 2012
in Mother Nature's Vegetation

In June of last year the Coca-Cola Company’s Philippines division created a living billboard advertisement bamboo morguefile s mannalong Epifanio de los Santos Avenue near Forbes Park in Makati, one of the cities located within the Metro Manila region. The billboard was comprised of over three thousand carbon dioxide consuming Fukien tea plants.

It also features a white silhouette of a Coca-Cola bottle amidst the tea plants and was created through a partnership between the beverage giant and the World Wildlife Fund or the World Wide Fund for Nature as its known outside the US and Canada. The billboard is 60 x 60 feet and contains a grand total of 3,600 plants housed in recycled Coca-Cola Company beverage bottles.

Anthony Gao, a consulting botanist on the project, told the Philippine Star each plant had the capability to absorb 13 pounds of carbon dioxide on average for a combined absorption total of 46,800 pounds of carbon dioxide a year. I haven’t found any news that the billboard has been removed so I am going to assume it’s still going strong.

Hits: 961 Continue reading
0 votes

Creating Hardy Tomatoes

Posted by Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral is a native Southern Californian who now resides on the shores of
User is currently offline
on Thursday, 13 September 2012
in Mother Nature's Vegetation

If it isn’t inclement weather threatening our fresh tomatoes (see hurricanes and cold snaps in Florida tomato harvest joebwhere about 50 percent of our country’s tomatoes are grown according to the Florida Tomato Commission) than it’s bugs like the whitefly.

The whitefly is an indiscriminate pest and its many species will destroy whatever vegetation it can by sucking or feeding off the host plant until it withers or in the case of tomatoes it forces the fruits to irregularly ripen. The whitefly is often difficult to control even with the use of chemicals.

In the quest to create a whitefly resistant tomato, and reduce if not completely eliminate the use of pesticides in open field cultivation (the method used in Florida), scientists have turned to genetic modification. Oh the irony of creating a genetically modified tomato to end the use of chemicals!

Hits: 1060 Continue reading
0 votes

Grass Doesn't Really Like Being Painted

Posted by Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral is a native Southern Californian who now resides on the shores of
User is currently offline
on Monday, 27 August 2012
in Mother Nature's Vegetation

The third week of the NFL preseason wrapped up last night with the Carolina Panthers narrowly defeatingfootball field the New York Jets. The Jets certainly made it look easy for the Panthers to come away with the win seeing as the Jets scored no touchdowns at MetLife Stadium completed in 2010, and a part of the Meadowlands Sports Complex.

MetLife’s FieldTurf playing surface is relatively new, fresh, and obviously artificial compared to other stadiums like Soldier Field home of the Chicago Bears. Soldier Field is notorious for its awful playing surface which switched back to good ol’ fashioned grass in 1998 after having Astroturf for over ten years.

Why is the field in Chicago in such awful shape? Is it perhaps due in part to the paint used to mark the yard lines, sidelines, and the team logo on the field?

Hits: 1514 Continue reading
0 votes

Speaking of Trees....

Posted by Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral is a native Southern Californian who now resides on the shores of
User is currently offline
on Tuesday, 07 August 2012
in Mother Nature's Vegetation

In honor of The Lorax being released today on DVD let’s look at another tree cover study from the United cypress trees LA swamp ronniebStates Forest Service (USFS) because they speak for the trees all day every day.

In February a study by the USFS estimated that the tree cover in urban parts of the country was declining at four million trees per year.

Even at that astonishing rate (for urban areas at least) the USFS released a study a few months later that says the tree cover in the contiguous 48 states is at 659 million acres. That means over one-third of the nation is shaded by glorious trees or other impervious cover.

Hits: 1173 Continue reading
0 votes

Boring Beetles Destroying Country's Trees

Posted by Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral is a native Southern Californian who now resides on the shores of
User is currently offline
on Saturday, 04 August 2012
in Mother Nature's Vegetation

Another day and another warning to not move firewood because there are non-native invasive beetles asian longhorned beetle USFWSkilling the trees in our country’s forests. The trees minding their own business and supporting the hammocks in our backyards are at risk too.

Hits: 1393 Continue reading
0 votes

California's New Tiny Pest Has Long Name

Posted by Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral is a native Southern Californian who now resides on the shores of
User is currently offline
on Wednesday, 09 May 2012
in Mother Nature's Vegetation

As if California didn’t have enough to worry about in the pest department (Lindsay Lohan is still roamingavocado xenia free, isn’t she?) a new threat has been identified that could cripple the avocado industry if left unchecked.

In 2003 the tiny beetle known as the Tea Shot Hole Borer (Euwallacea fornicatus) which is smaller than the size of a single flaxseed, was first “detected” in Los Angeles County, probably with a magnifying glass or the trained eye of a professional if it was a spotting.

According to the article it wouldn’t be until nine years later that the health of California’s trees was considered at risk when an avocado tree in a Los Angeles backyard was found with a beetle, fungus, and dieback symptoms by Akif Eskalen, a plant pathologist at UC Riverside.  The Agricultural Commissioner of Los Angeles County and the California Food and Drug Administration have both verified the identity of the tiny menace to ensure this isn’t a case of mistaken identity.

Hits: 1764 Continue reading
0 votes
Image Caption

1944: Camano Class Light Cargo Ship was laid down for the US Army as FS-289 at Wheeler Shipbuilding in Whitestone, NY.

Image Caption

1945: Delivered to US Army.

Image Caption

1950: Acquired by the US Navy on July 1, 1950 and placed in service as USNS New Bedford (T-AKL-17).

Image Caption

1954: The movie, Mister Roberts, was made on the USNS New Bedford (T-AKL-17).

Image Caption

1955 - 1963: Used as a cargo supply ship for the Texas Towers, a network of advanced radar stations located off the Eastern Seaboard. In 1957, Capt. Sixto Mangual was commander of the AKL-17 and in 1961 it was rechristened the USNS New Bedford. The New Bedford, sailing out of State Pier, was keeping vigil when Texas Tower No. 4 callapsed off the New Jersey coast during a January 1961 nor'easter.

Image Caption

1963: Reclassified as Miscellaneous Unclassified (IX-308).

Image Caption

1971: The New Bedford (IX-308) served as a Torpedo Test Firing Vessel in the Puget Sound area.

Image Caption

1994: Ceremony in New Bedford.

Image Caption

1995: The ship was struck from the Naval Register on April 4.

Image Caption

2004: The Sea Bird's current disposition is a tuna long liner (fishing boat) out of San Diego, CA.

Image Caption

2006: Design of the Tesla Turbine began on June 11, 2006. The Sea Bird was sold by Defense Reutilization and Marketing Service for commercial service.

Image Caption

2007: The Sea Bird was drydocked for renovations.

Image Caption

2008: The Sea Bird setting sail to Sea-Tac in Seattle, WA.

Image Caption

2009 - 2010: The Sea Bird is currently docked at Seattle Sea-Tac.

Image Caption