Tuesday, November 26, 2013

How to plant a tree?

arbor day trees
  • Select the right time of year for planting the tree. Do not plant in late spring or summer because the heat will stress the plant and may cause it to die. The best time to plant a tree is fall (autumn) or early spring.
  • Check to see if there are any local requirements concerning digging deep holes if you need to dig near telephone and other cables (for example, in urban areas). We have already contacted Miss Utility and have been cleared to dig.

  • Choose a suitable tree for the region, climate, and space.

  • Research local cultivars of species native to your area. If you are willing plant a non-native species, consider carefully why. We have chosen all native trees which will do well in our area.

  • Prepare the hole. Take a suitable shovel and dig a hole that is 4-5 times the width of the root ball, more than enough so it will fit, and give room for the fresh roots to grow without stress. This lets the roots ease in more easily and begin to grow outwards into the soil. No need to cut off the wire root basket if there is one, the roots will grow through and it will prevent damaging the root ball during planting.

What is the proper solution for global warming?


There is no single solution to global warming, starting from people at home. Adapting to changes already underway: As the Climate Hot Map demonstrates, the impacts of a warming world are already being felt by people around the globe. If climate change continues unchecked, these impacts are almost certain to get worse

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

  • Do your part to reduce waste by choosing reusable products instead of disposables. Buying products with minimal packaging (including the economy size when that makes sense for you) will help to reduce waste. And whenever you can, recycle paper, plastic, newspaper, glass and aluminum cans. If there isn't a recycling program at your workplace, school, or in your community, ask about starting one.

  • Wrapping heat and cooling ducts with duct wrap or mastic sealant, insure all ventilation ducts from leeks and wasting more energy.

  • Unplugging every electrical device that's not being used, you free yourself of being the victim of vampire energy, in which appliances still consume energy while still being turned off.

  • Checking window frames and doors for leeks and installing weatherstrips help keep your home well heated while lessening the consumption of energy.

Friday, November 22, 2013


also the longest in south africa

The Vaal River is found in South Africa. The river has its source near Breyten in Mpumalanga province, east of Johannesburg and about 30 km north of Ermelo and only about 240 km from the Indian Ocean. It 1,120 km in length.

Water is drawn from the Vaal river to meet the to supply the whole of Gauteng  Area and a large part of the Free State. As a part of the Vaal-Hartz Scheme it is a major source of water for irrigation. Water drawn from the Vaal supports 12 million consumers in Gauteng and surrounding areas

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Metrorail warns pedestrians


Metrorail has warned the public not to walk along the railway line after three tourists from overseas were injured when a train hit one of them on the tracks near St James station on Saturday.

Metrorail was formed as a business unit of Transnet and was transferred to the South African Rail Commuter Corporation (SARCC), the predecessor of PRASA. In the early 1990s Metrorail was placed under Spoornet, another business unit of Transnet but on 1 January 1997, Metrorail became an independent business within Transnet and the Metrorail regions were formed. In 2006 Metrorail was transferred back into the SARCC; in 2008 the SARCC became PRASA.

madagascar island

indian ocean near south africa

Madagascar is an island country in the Indian Ocean, off the southeastern coast of Africa. The nation comprises the island of Madagascar, it is the fourth-largest island in the world, as well as numerous smaller peripheral islands. The island's diverse ecosystems and unique wildlife are threatened by the encroachment of the rapidly growing human population. 

Until the late 18th century, the island of Madagascar was ruled by a fragmented assortment of shifting socio-political alliances. Beginning in the early 19th century, most of the island was united and ruled as the Kingdom of Madagascar by a series of Merina nobles. The monarchy collapsed in 1897 when the island was absorbed into the French colonial empire, from which the island gained independence in 1960.

Friday, November 15, 2013

What to eat for Breakfast


Beacon and Eggs

Breakfast is the first meal taken after rising from a night's sleep, most often eaten in the early morning before undertaking the day's work.  Among English speakers, "breakfast" can be used to refer to this meal or to refer to a meal composed of traditional breakfast foods served at any time of day. The word literally refers to breaking the fasting period of the prior night.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Eating yoghurt may ease anxiety and stress

snacking on yoghurt

Snacking on yoghurt twice a day could relieve anxiety and stress by reducing activity in the part of the brain linked to emotion and pain, according to new research.
Researchers have suggested that bacteria found in the gut send signals to the brain that can change over time depending on the person’s diet.

Previous studies showed that beneficial gut bacteria affected the brains of rats but no research has confirmed that the same effect happened in human brains.
Scientists had already found that the brain sends signals to the gut, which is why stress and other emotions can contribute to gastrointestinal symptoms. The new study of 36 women show that the signals also travel the opposite way.

The participants, all of healthy weight and aged between 18 and 53, were split into three groups, with one eating a yoghurt with live bacterial cultures twice a day for a month, another group eating a dairy product with no living bacteria, while the third group was given no dairy products at all.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

taproot system


A taproot system is where the primary root system becomes the main root of the plant with only a secondary root system coming off, it the root that grows downwards.  The taproot is larger in diamater than the lateral roots. Lateral roots. The taproot system contrasts with the fibrous root system with many branched roots.

Dicots, one of the two divisions of angiosperms, start with a taproot, which is one main root forming from the enlarging radicle of the seed. The tap root can be persistent throughout the life of the plant but is most often replaced later in the plant's development by a fibrous root system.  A persistent taproot system forms when the radicle keeps growing and smaller lateral roots form along the taproot. The shape of taproots can vary but the typical shapes include

Friday, November 1, 2013

making a backyard vegetable garden

the size you choose for your vegetable garden will be determined by the amount of available space you have in your backyard.
Orientation to sun - the plants in your garden will want to face south, and will require a minimum of 5 hours of direct sunlight per day, The area of maximum continuous light will likely be the best location for your garden.


in-ground garden beds

- easiest way to get a bed established; nothing to build
- cheaper than buying lumber for raised beds
- pathway weeds can creep into the bed
- more likely that pets and children will walk on the beds
- you have to reach further down to tend the plants


raised garden beds

- provide the best drainage and prevent soil compaction
- soil warms up more quickly in the spring
- the bed sides prevent weeds from creeping into the bed
- easier to tend the plants because the soil level is raised
- serve as a barrier to pests such as slugs and snails

- for more information, including how to build.

Friday, October 25, 2013

gray wolves habitat

The gray wolf or grey wolf (Canis lupus) is a species of canid native to the wilderness and remote areas of North America, Eurasia, and North Africa.

Wolves are the largest members of the dog family. They have a highly organised social structure enabling it to enjoy maximum cooperation when hunting, communicating and defending territory.

Wolf packs are established according to a strict hierarchy, with a dominant alpha male at the top and alpha female not far behind. Usually this male and female are the only animals of the pack to breed. Packs consist of between five and ten animals – usually offspring from several years.  All of a pack's adults help to care for young pups by bringing them food and watching them while others hunt.

Historically, the grey wolf held the title of the world’s most widely distributed land mammal. It ranged throughout much of the northern hemisphere, from Mexico, north through North America to the Arctic, and throughout most of Eurasia, as far south as southern India. Today, however, this species has a more restricted distribution, occurring mainly in wilderness and remote areas of Canada, Alaska, northern USA, Europe and Asia, and is extinct in parts of Western Europe, Mexico and the US


butterfly is a mainly day-flying insect of the order Lepidoptera, which includes the butterflies and moths. Like other holometabolous insects, the butterfly's life cycle consists of four parts: egg, larva, pupa and adult. Most species are diurnal. Butterflies have large, often brightly coloured wings, and conspicuous, fluttering flight. Butterflies comprise the true butterflies (superfamily Papilionoidea), the skippers and the moth-butterflies.

Butterflies in their adult stage can live from a week to nearly a year depending on the species. Many species have long larval life stages while others can remain dormant in their pupal or egg stages and thereby survive winters

flying insects

Butterfly eggs are protected by a hard-ridged outer layer of shell, called the chorion. This is lined with a thin coating of wax which prevents the egg from drying out before the larva has had time to fully develop.

honey bees facts


1.Bees   fly from flower to flower, sipping nectar and collecting grains of pollen. Bees have a special tongue that sucks up the nectar and a crop in their throat for storing it until they get back to the hive, where it is turned into honey to use as food.

2. Honey bees have 6 legs, 2 compound eyes made up of thousands of tiny lenses (one on each side of the head), 3 simple eyes on the top of the head, 2 pairs of wings, a nectar pouch, and a stomach

3. Honey is the only food that includes all the substances necessary to sustain life, including enzymes, vitamins, minerals, and water; and it's the only food that contains "pinocembrin", an antioxidant associated with improved brain functioning.

4. The honey bee's wings stroke incredibly fast, about 200 beats per second, thus making their famous, distinctive buzz.

5. Only worker bees sting, and only if they feel threatened and they die once they sting.

6. A honey bee flaps its wings about 12,000 times per minute.

7. A honey bee worker visits more than 2,000 flowers on a good day.

8. Bees will travel as far as one or two miles from the hive to gather nectar.

Honey and Lemon for Weight Loss


honey on your diethoney and lemon diet can help relieve you of your weight problem. Obesity is the physical condition of the body when excessive deposition of fat takes place in the tissues.

it is never too late The Lemon Diet, one of the simplest and most effective diets out there, Lemon can have staggering effects on weight loss, so if you want to increase your vitality, eliminate toxins, get rid of excess pounds and boost your glow, get zesting!

Lemon gives you vitamin C, which in turn helps you to boost immunity, fight infections, fight food cravings, have supple skin, absorb calcium efficiently and much more... But don't expect this vitamin to just burn your body fat!

Friday, October 18, 2013

what is the color of milk

The color of milk is white

 As an agricultural product, milk is extracted from mammals during or soon after pregnancy and used as food for humans. Worldwide, dairy farms produced about 730 million tonnes of milk in 2011. India is the world's largest producer and consumer of milk, yet neither exports nor imports milk. New Zealand, the European Union's 28 member states, Australia, and the United States are the world's largest exporters of milk and milk products. China and Russia are the world's largest importers of milk and milk products

In almost all mammals, milk is fed to infants through breastfeeding, either directly or by expressing the milk to be stored and consumed later. The early milk from mammals is called colostrum. Colostrum contains antibodies that provide protection to the newborn baby as well as nutrients and growth factors. The makeup of the colostrum and the period of secretion varies from species to species

In many cultures of the world, especially the Western world, humans continue to consume milk beyond infancy, using the milk of other animals as a food product. Initially, the ability to digest milk was limited to children as adults did not produce lactase, an enzyme necessary for digesting the lactose in milk. Milk was therefore converted to curd, cheese and other products to reduce the levels of lactose.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

What is the longest snake

The reticulated python

The longest snakes that are found in the wild or that are living in zoo today are reticulated pythons
The reticulated python gets its name from the distinctive color and pattern on its scales.

Reticulated pythons inhabit steamy tropical rainforests (Mattison 1999). These snakes are heavily dependent on water and can often be found near small rivers or ponds. They require tropical environments with temperatures in the range of 80 - 92 degrees F.

The reticulated Python lives in rain forests, woodland, and nearby grasslands. It is also associated with rivers and is found in areas with nearby streams and lakes. An excellent swimmer. It has even been reported far out at sea and has consequently colonized many small islands within its range

Their natural diet includes mammals and occasionally birds. Small specimens up to 3–4 m (10–14 ft) long eat mainly rodents such as rats, whereas larger individuals switch to prey such as Viverridae (e.g. civets and binturongs), and even primates and pigs. Near human habitation, they are known to snatch stray chickens, cats, and dogs on occasion. Among the largest, fully documented prey items to have been taken are a half-starved Sun Bear of 23 kilograms that was eaten by a 6.95 m (23 ft) specimen and took some ten weeks to digest as well as pigs of more than 60 kg (132 lb). As a rule of thumb, these snakes seem able to swallow prey up to one-quarter their own length and up to their own weight. As with all pythons, they are primarily ambush hunters, usually waiting until prey wanders within strike range before seizing it in their coils and killing via constriction. However, there is at least one documented case of a foraging python entering a forest hut and taking a child.

The most dangerous insect


Many spiders of the genus Steatoda are often mistaken for widow spiders (Latrodectus), and are known as false black widows

How to identify one
Steatoda nobilis can be identified by its bulbous midrift, glossy tawny body and cream coloured belt positioned on its front. Some people have likened its markings to a skull.

If you do suffer a bite you may experience chest pains, tingly fingers and swelling

Some members of this genus do have bites which are medically significant in humans (such as S. grossa and S. nobilis), however bites by Steatoda species generally do not have any long-lasting effects. The symptoms associated with the bite of several Steatoda species are known in the medical profession as steatodism; and have been described as a less-severe form of latrodectism (the symptoms associated with a widow spider bite). The redback spider antivenom has been shown to be effective at treating bites from S. grossa, after it was mistakenly administered to a S. grossa bite victim who was erroneously believed to have been bitten by the far more dangerous redback.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

What is platinum used for

Platinum is a chemical element with the chemical symbol Pt and an atomic number of 78. Its name is derived from the Spanish term platina, which is literally translated into little silver.
As a pure metal, platinum is silver-white in color, lustrous, ductile, and malleable

Platinum has many uses. It is a great conductor with excellent strength so it can be used in contacts to prevent wearing down.

In the laboratory, platinum wire is used for electrodes; platinum pans and supports are used in thermogravimetric analysis because of the stringent requirements of chemical inertness upon heating to high temperatures (~1000 °C).

Platinum is used as an alloying agent for various metal products, including fine wires, noncorrosive laboratory containers, medical instruments, dental prostheses, electrical contacts, and thermocouples. Platinum-cobalt, an alloy of roughly three parts platinum and one part cobalt, is used to make relatively strong permanent magnets. Platinum-based anodes are used in ships, pipelines, and steel piers.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Health Effects of air pollution

Air pollution is a broad term applied to any chemical, physical, or biological agent that modifies the natural characteristics of the atmosphere. Examples include particulate matter and ground-level ozone.

Air pollutants fall into four main categories: criteria air contaminants, persistent organic pollutants, heavy metals and toxics. Individual pollutants differ from one another in their chemical composition, reactions with other chemicals, sources, persistence, ability to travel through the atmosphere, and impacts.

Air pollution may possibly harm populations in ways so subtle or slow that they have not yet been detected. For that reason research is now under way to assess the long-term effects of chronic exposure to low levels of air pollution—what most people experience—as well as to determine how air pollutants interact with one another in the body and with physical factors such as nutrition, stress, alcohol, cigarette smoking, and common medicines. Another subject of investigation is the relation of air pollution to cancer, birth defects, and genetic mutations.

§  Fine particulate matter and ground level ozone (O3) can affect human respiratory and cardiovascular systems. The young, the elderly and those with cute illness are at greater risk of such effects. PM2.5 and ground level O3 have been associated with hospitalizations, increased respiratory and cardiovascular mortality, asthma exacerbation, decreased lung function, lung inflammation and changes in heart rate variability. In 2009, 8.1% of Canadians 12 years and older had been diagnosed with asthma by a health professional. This rate did not significantly change from 2001 to 2009.

§  Impacts range from minor breathing problems to premature death. The more common effects include changes in breathing and lung function, lung inflammation, and irritation and aggravation of existing heart and lung conditions. There is no safe level for PM2.5 and O3 that does not pose risks to human health.

§  Negative health effects increase as the concentrations of pollutants in the air increase. Even modest increases in concentration can cause small but measurable increases in emergency room visits, hospital admissions, and premature death. 

Friday, October 11, 2013


Hummingbirds are birds that comprise the family Trochilidae. hey are known as hummingbirds because of the humming sound created by their beating wings, which sometimes sounds like bees or other insects. To conserve energy while they sleep or when food is scarce, they have the ability to go into a hibernation-like state (torpor) where their metabolic rate is slowed to 1/15th of its normal rate.[1] When the nights get colder, their body temperature can drop significantly and thus slow down their heart and breathing rate, thus burning much less energy overnight.

Hummingbirds eat

Insects: Small insects, larvae, insect eggs and spiders are critical food sources for hummingbirds. Insects provide the fat, protein and salts the birds cannot derive from nectar, and these are crucial nutritional components, especially for rapidly growing hatchlings. Hummingbirds may hunt insects in several ways, including gleaning them from bark, flowers or leaves, hawking them from the air or plucking them from spider webs or sticky sap. To get the required amount of protein for a healthy diet, an adult hummingbird must eat several dozen insects each day.

Sap: When nectar is scarce, hummingbirds will sip tree sap from wells drilled by woodpeckers. While the tree sap is not as sweet as floral nectar, it still provides an adequate source of sucrose for a hummingbird’s energy needs.

Pollen: Hummingbirds do not directly consume pollen, but a great deal of pollen can be stuck to their tongues and bills when they sip nectar from flowers. Some of that pollen is ingested, and it can be a minor source of protein. Less than 10 percent of the ingested pollen is actually digested, however, which shows that while viable, this is not a common food source for hummingbirds.

Ashes and Sand: Some hummingbirds have been observed eating ashes and sand in small quantities. These foods can be a good source of vital minerals and salts, but not much is needed to fulfill a hummingbird’s dietary needs.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Are Electric Vehicles Better for the Environment

Electric cars create less pollution than gasoline-powered cars, so they are an environmentally friendly alternative to gasoline-powered vehicles (especially in cities).
Any news story about hybrid cars usually talks about electric cars as well.
EV Connectors is the brand name for a range of EV products and charging connectors specifically for the Electric vehicle Industry including public charging stations and domestic chargers.

With the growing interest and investment in Electric Vehicles infrastructure a dedicated website was required to service the requirements of developers, manufacturers and after-market sales with EV charging products and connectors.

The study found that while the environmental impact of making electric vehicles is greater than for making gas and diesel vehicles, this is more than made up for by the greater impact of gas and diesel vehicles while they’re being used. This is true in terms of total energy consumption, use of resources, greenhouse gases, and ozone pollution. The electric vehicles were assumed to be charged from a grid that includes significant amounts of fossil fuels. (Other studies show that electric vehicles beat gas-powered ones in terms of greenhouse gas emissions even if they’re charged in regions that depend heavily on coal.

Clean environment is necessary for all living beings to live healthy and fit having pollution creates unbalance in it ,so electric helps to control the pollution because electric cars start from electricity and
it does not create pollution as much as the car start from fuel.It helps to keep environment clean and tidy.

Friday, September 27, 2013


An ecosystem consists of the biological community that occurs in some locale, and the physical and chemical factors that make up its non-living or abiotic environment. There are many examples of ecosystems -- a pond, a forest, an estuary, a grassland. The boundaries are not fixed in any objective way, although sometimes they seem obvious, as with the shoreline of a small pond. Usually the boundaries of an ecosystem are chosen for practical reasons having to do with the goals of the particular study.

Energy, water, nitrogen and soil minerals are other essential abiotic components of an ecosystem. The energy that flows through ecosystems is obtained primarily from the sun. It generally enters the system through photosynthesis, a process that also captures carbon from the atmosphere. By feeding on plants and on one another, animals play an important role in the movement of matter and energy through the system. They also influence the quantity of plant and microbial biomass present. By breaking down dead organic matter, decomposers release carbon back to the atmosphere and facilitate nutrient cycling by converting nutrients stored in dead biomass back to a form that can be readily used by plants and other microbes.

Ecosystems are controlled both by external and internal factors. External factors such as climate, the parent material which forms the soil and topography, control the overall structure of an ecosystem and the way things work within it, but are not themselves influenced by the ecosystem. Other external factors include time and potential biota. Ecosystems are dynamic entities—invariably, they are subject to periodic disturbances and are in the process of recovering from some past disturbance. Ecosystems in similar environments that are located in different parts of the world can have very different characteristics simply because they contain different species.

 The introduction of non-native species can cause substantial shifts in ecosystem function. Internal factors not only control ecosystem processes but are also controlled by them and are often subject to feedback loops.  While the resource inputs are generally controlled by external processes like climate and parent material, the availability of these resources within the ecosystem is controlled by internal factors like decomposition, root competition or shading.  Other internal factors include disturbance, succession and the types of species present. Although humans exist and operate within ecosystems, their cumulative effects are large enough to influence external factors like climate.

Terrestrial ecosystem

 A terrestrial ecosystem is an ecosystem found only on landforms. Six primary terrestrial ecosystems exist: tundra, taiga, temperate deciduous forest, tropical rain forest, grassland and desert. A community of organisms and their environment that occurs on the land masses of continents and islands. Terrestrial ecosystems are distinguished from aquatic ecosystems by the lower availability of water and the consequent importance of water as a limiting factor. Terrestrial ecosystems are characterized by greater temperature fluctuations on both a diurnal and seasonal basis than occur in aquatic ecosystems in similar climates.

 The availability of light is greater in terrestrial ecosystems than in aquatic ecosystems because the atmosphere is more transparent than water. Gases are more available in terrestrial ecosystems than in aquatic ecosystems. Those gases include carbon dioxide that serves as a substrate for photosynthesis, oxygen that serves as a substrate in aerobic respiration, and nitrogen that serves as a substrate for nitrogen fixation. Terrestrial environments are segmented into a subterranean portion from which most water and ions are obtained, and an atmospheric portion from which gases are obtained and where the physical energy of light is transformed into the organic energy of carbon-carbon bonds through the process of photosynthesis.

Terrestrial ecosystems occupy 55,660,000 mi2 (144,150,000 km2), or 28.2%, of Earth's surface. Although they are comparatively recent in the history of life (the first terrestrial organisms appeared in the Silurian Period, about 425 million years ago) and occupy a much smaller portion of Earth's surface than marine ecosystems, terrestrial ecosystems have been a major site of adaptive radiation of both plants and animals. Major plant taxa in terrestrial ecosystems are members of the division Magnoliophyta (flowering plants), of which there are about 275,000 species, and the division Pinophyta (conifers), of which there are about 500 species. Members of the division Bryophyta (mosses and liverworts), of which there are about 24,000 species, are also important in some terrestrial ecosystems. Major animal taxa in terrestrial ecosystems include the classes Insecta (insects) with about 900,000 species, Aves (birds) with 8500 species, and Mammalia (mammals) with approximately 4100 species.

Aquatic ecosystem

An aquatic ecosystem is an ecosystem in a body of water. Communities of organisms that are dependent on each other and on their environment live in aquatic ecosystems. The two main types of aquatic ecosystems are marine ecosystems and freshwater ecosystems.

Marine ecosystems cover approximately 71% of the Earth's surface and contain approximately 97% of the planet's water. They generate 32% of the world's net primary production.  They are distinguished from freshwater ecosystems by the presence of dissolved compounds, especially salts, in the water. Approximately 85% of the dissolved materials in seawater are sodium and chlorine. Seawater has an average salinity of 35 parts per thousand (ppt) of water. Actual salinity varies among different marine ecosystems.

A classification of marine habitats.

Marine ecosystems can be divided into many zones depending upon water depth and shoreline features. The oceanic zone is the vast open part of the ocean where animals such as whales, sharks, and tuna live. The benthic zone consists of substrates below water where many invertebrates live. The intertidal zone is the area between high and low tides; in this figure it is termed the littoral zone. Other near-shore (neritic) zones can include estuaries, salt marshes, coral reefs, lagoons and mangrove swamps. In the deep water, hydrothermal vents may occur where chemosynthetic sulfur bacteria form the base of the food web.

Thursday, September 26, 2013



  • Fruit / flower: Flower
  • Colour: Colours range from white, red, pink, purple
  • Flowering time: Throughout spring, summer into autumn
  • Flower size:
  • Fragrance: No distinct fragrance
  • Foliage description: unimpressive, sticky leaves
  • Foliage colour: green

Petunia is genus of 35 species of  flowering plants of South American origin, closely related to tobacco, cape gooseberries, tomatoes, deadly nightshades, potatoes and chili peppers; in the family Solanaceae. is great variety: single and double blooms, ruffled or smooth petals, striped, veined or solid colors, mounding and cascading habits and even some fragrance. Most of the petunias sold today are hybrids, developed for specific design purposes.

Petunias are usually carefree growers although they can get pummeled by rain. Even the newer varieties that say they don’t require deadheading will benefit from a pinching or shearing mid-season. When the branches start to get long and you can see where all the previous flowers were along the stem, it’s time to cut them back and refresh the plant.

The 2 oldest types of petunias are grandifloras and multifloras. Both are somewhat mounding. Grandiflora has larger flowers, but Multiflora holds up better in the rain. If you grew petunias a few decades ago, you will remember how the flowers turned to mush, when they got wet.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Birds of Paradise flower

crane flower

Birds of Paradise
Native to south America, birds of Paradise is also known as the crane flower. The name comes from the appearance of the bloom which looks similar to exotic, brightly colored birds in flight. Each bloom has 3 blue and orange petals while a few variations have yellow ones. This flower is a symbol of joyfulness and magnificence. The flower can also be used to indicate wonderful and exciting anticipation

He species S. nicolai is the largest in the genus, reaching 10 m tall, with stately white and blue flowers; the other species typically reach 2 to 3.5 m tall, except S. caudata which is a tree of a typically smaller size than S. nicolai. The leaves are large, 30–200 cm long and 10–80 cm broad, similar to a banana leaf in appearance but with a longer petiole, and arranged strictly in two ranks to form a fan-like crown of evergreen foliage. The flowers are produced in a horizontal inflorescence emerging from a stout spathe. They are pollinated by sunbirds, which use the spathe as a perch when visiting the flowers. The weight of the bird when standing on the spathe opens it to release the pollen onto the bird's feet, which is then deposited on the next flower it visits.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Vultures and traditional medicine

Vultures are used in southern Africa as traditional medicine 
by a number of ethnic groups for a wide range of purposes, and recent research has for the first time attempted to quantify the extent 
of such use. Considering the impacts of other factors such as habitat loss, electrocutions, collisions 
with man‐made structures and direct or indirect poisoning, the extent of harvest of vultures for traditional medicine is a threat to the continued survival of a number of species of vultures.  This ultimately threatens the survival  of traditional  customs  and  belief systems  which rely  on the continued presence and use of vultures. 

Use of vultures is an important component of traditional medicine, particularlyin southern Africa and there is evidence to suggest that traditional use is at least partly responsible for the rapid decline of vulture populations in the subcontinent. There is a widely held belief

in many African cultures that health, disease, success or misfortune are not chance events but the result of the active influence of individuals or ancestral spirits. For this reason, traditional medicine is held in high esteem in such cultures and is regularly used by a large proportion of the population. Traditional

medicines represent herbal, animal and mineral material used for physiological as well as symbolic/psychological purposes. Approximately 80% of the population in South Africa uses traditional medicine in one form or another because pharmaceutical drugs are too expensive or traditional methods are considered more appropriate.

health benefits of carrots

1. Carrots are known to be good for the overall health and specially organs like the skin, eyes, digestive system and teeth. One of carrots' fat-fighting features is their respectable fiber content, half of which is the soluble fiber calcium pectate. Soluble fiber may help lower blood-cholesterol levels by binding with and eliminating bile acids, triggering cholesterol to be drawn out of the bloodstream to make more bile acids.

2.  Cancer Prevention

Studies have shown carrots reduce the risk of lung cancer, breast cancer and colon cancer. Researchers have just discovered falcarinol and falcarindiol which they feel cause the anticancer properties.

Falcarinol is a natural pesticide produced by the carrot that protects its roots from fungal diseases. Carrots are one of the only common sources of this compound. A study showed 1/3 lower cancer risk by carrot-eating mice.

3.  Anti-Aging

The high level of beta-carotene acts as an antioxidant to cell damage done to the body through regular metabolism.  It help slows down the aging of cells.

4.  Healthy Glowing Skin (from the inside)

Vitamin A and antioxidants protects the skin from sun damage. Deficiencies of vitamin A cause dryness to the skin, hair and nails. Vitamin A prevents premature wrinkling, acne, dry skin, pigmentation, blemishes, and uneven skin tone.

5.  A Powerful Antiseptic

Carrots are known by herbalists to prevent infection. They can be used on cuts – shredded raw or boiled and mashed.

6.  Beautiful Skin (from the outside)

Carrots are used as an inexpensive and very convenient facial mask.  Just mix grated carrot with a bit of honey. See the full recipe here: carrot face mask.

Friday, September 20, 2013


rhino horn

Rhino horn consists of compressed hair known as keratin, calcium and melanin. Rhinoceros, often abbreviated as rhino, is a group of five extant species of odd-toed ungulates in the family Rhinocerotidae. Two of these species are native to Africa and three to Southern Asia.

In Africa we are currently seeing the methodical and calculated reduction of rhino numbers in their natural habitat. The number of poached numbers has been escalating year-on-year over the past 5 years.

It is true that we have experienced severe poaching pressure before, and defeated it. However today, because of the insanely inflated price being paid for rhino horn, the poachers are now employing a diversity of methods which no longer fall within the traditional poaching mould. Banked-rolled by substantial finances, the modern day poacher can now afford the latest technology and buy the services of skilled people and influential officials.

Rhino poaching

The demand for rhino horn emanates from a few Asian countries (east and south East Asia ). There are many apparent reasons for the need for rhino horn, but it is used mainly as an ingredient in traditional medicines and not as an aphrodisiac as is often widely reported. In more recent times it is being marketed to cure non-traditional conditions such as cancer.

Rhino horn is valuable because of the simple economics of the situation – demand far exceeds supply.

South Africa has the largest rhino population in the world of both white and black rhino. We have traditionally been seen as a difficult environment within which poachers could operate. As the easier targets (i.e. other countries) have lost all their rhino, so the demand has shifted to South Africa . We also know that crime of all types is rampant in this country and rhino poaching is an extension of this.

Thursday, September 19, 2013


Garlic is a species in the onion genus. Garlic is easy to grow and can be grown year-round in mild climates. While sexual propagation of garlic is indeed possible, nearly all of the garlic in cultivation is propagated asexually, by planting individual cloves in the ground.[6] In cold climates, cloves are planted in the autumn, about six weeks before the soil freezes, and harvested in late spring. The cloves must be planted at sufficient depth to prevent freeze/thaw which causes mold or white rot

To treat skin infections

The chemical ajoene found in garlic may help treat fungal skin infections like ringworm and athlete’s foot.

Blood thinning

The anti-clotting properties of ajoene found in garlic help in preventing the formation of blood clots in the body. Hence, it may also increase the risk of bleeding after surgery.

Reduce blood pressure

Angiotensin II is a protein that helps our blood vessels contract thereby increasing the blood pressure. Allicin in garlic blocks the activity of angiotensin II and helps in reducing blood pressure. The polysulphides present in garlic are converted into a gas called hydrogen sulphide by the red blood cells. Hydrogen sulphide dilates our blood vessels and helps control blood pressure.

Protect heart

Garlic protects our heart against cardiovascular problems like heart attacks and atherosclerosis. This cardio-protective property can be attributed to various factors. With age, the arteries tend to lose their ability to stretch. Garlic may help reduce this and may also protect the heart from the damaging effects of free oxygen radicals. The sulphur-containing compounds of garlic also prevent our blood vessels from becoming blocked and slow the development of atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries). The anti-clotting properties of ajoene help prevent clots from forming inside the blood vessels.

Reduce cholesterol

Garlic has the ability to moderately lower our blood triglycerides and total cholesterol and reduce arterial plaque formation.


There are a few people who are allergic to garlic. Symptoms of garlic allergy include skin rash, temperature and headaches. Also, garlic could potentially disrupt anti-coagulants, so it's best avoided before surgery. As with any medicine, always check with your doctor first and tell your doctor if you are using it.


Aloe vera is a succulent plant species that is found only in cultivation, having no naturally occurring populations, although closely related aloes do occur in northern Africa.
Aloe vera has been widely grown as an ornamental plant. The species is popular with modern gardeners as a putatively medicinal plant and for its interesting flowers, form, and succulence. This succulence enables the species to survive in areas of low natural rainfall, making it ideal for rockeries and other low water-use gardens. The species is hardy in zones 8–11, although it is intolerant of very heavy frost or snow

Different parts of the plant are used for different effects on the body and Aloe Vera has both internal and external applications. Aloe Vera contains over 100 components including vitamins, minerals, amino acids, enzymes, polysaccharide, and fatty acids- no wonder it’s used for such a wide range of remedies. The bulk of the Aloe Vera leaf is filled with a clear gel-like substance, which is approximately 99% water.

Aloe Helps with Digestion

Poor digestion is related to many diseases. A properly functioning digestive tract is one of the keys and foundations of health. Aloe is known to soothe and cleanse the digestive tract and help improve digestion. The interesting thing about taking aloe internally is that, because it is an adaptogen, it helps with either constipation or diarrhea, helping to regulate your elimination cycles in whatever way you need.  It’s been a great remedy for people with problems such as irritable bowel syndrome as well as acid reflux. Aloe also helps to decrease the amount of unfriendly bacteria and in our gut keeping your healthy intestinal flora in balance. Aloe is also a vermifuge, which means it helps to rid the body of intestinal worms.

Aloe Helps in Detoxification

Aloe Vera is a gelatinous plant food, just like seaweeds and chia. The main benefit to consuming gelatinous plant foods in your diet is that these gels move through the intestinal tract absorbing toxins along the way and get eliminated through the colon. This will help the proper elimination of waste from your body and help the detoxification of your body.

Friday, July 12, 2013


Sea turtles are turtles that inhabit all of the world's oceans except the Arctic. Sea turtles, along with other turtles and tortoises, are part of the order Testudines. The leatherback belongs to the family Dermochelyidae and is its only member. Sea turtles constitute a single radiation that became distinct from all other turtles at least 110 million years ago.

Sea turtles are large, air-breathing reptiles that inhabit tropical and subtropical seas throughout the world. Their shells consist of an upper part and a lower section. Hard scales  cover all but the leatherback, and the number and arrangement of these scutes can be used to determine the species.

Only females come ashore to nest; males rarely return to land after crawling into the sea as hatchlings. Most females return to nest on the beach where they were born. Nesting seasons occur at different times around the world. In the U.S., nesting occurs from April through October. Most females nest at least twice during each mating season; some may nest up to ten times in a season. A female will not nest in consecutive years, typically skipping one or two years before returning.