Archive for July, 2013

July 27, 2013

A Natural Bird Deterrent for Wind Turbines and Windows

Windows and wind turbines are a hazard to birds who cannot see them. If birds are flying into wind turbines and windows why not stick bird deterrent spider web stickers on them? These kind of stickers found at the nature and garden store works by bio-mimicry. Bio-mimicry is a new scientific term and science that copies nature or looks to natural elements and systems to solve problems. Nature of course has all the solutions.

imageThis web sticker idea bird deterrent works by simulating a spiders web design, which picks up a UV light spectrum that humans can’t see. Birds see this reflection or refraction and it acts a warning that something is there and to stay away. Spiders naturally spin webs in windows where birds will see the light refraction. The design of the web helps to breaks up the window reflecting trees, which the birds think is wide open forest.

These bird deterrent spider webs have inspired a German company to develop invisible paint using this UV spectrum designed after an Orb spider web. The paint is visible to the birds but invisible to us. Why not paint this UV paint on big turbines and windows and anything else that will endanger birds? Even though the paint is invisible I think the spider web design would be cool to look at too.

http://www.sciencebuzz.org/blog/spider-webs-inspire-invisible-bird-safe-window-treatment

Instead of saying wind technology doesn’t work maybe it’s the design that needs  changing.

There are many new designs that are less costly, more efficient, and bird and human friendly.
Why not put sensors on wind socks to harvest energy? Wind socks of the world unite!image
This is one of the many new designs

http://www.geek.com/science/super-efficient-wind-turbine-600-more-1554866/

 

July 20, 2013

Rare Mammatus “Breast” Clouds

Mammatus, also known as mammatocumulus (meaning “mammary cloud” or “breast cloud”), is a meteorological term applied to a cellular pattern of pouches hanging underneath the base of a cloud. They are a rare example of clouds sinking in air, most form in rising air, and are associated with severe storms.

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I saw these marshmallow skies at sunset over Toronto, Canada last night after the severe wind thunderstorm blew through. Trees were damaged and one huge tree had fallen on the path blocking it in the park.
These “Breast” clouds, probably named by a man, are seen with severe weather usually after a storm, but it is pretty hard to see during, for obvious apocalyptic type weather reasons.

These cloud formations were named Mammatus because some scientist said it looked like a cows udder. I thought they looked like marshmallows, I would have named them Marshmalltus.

If seen before a storm seek shelter immediately, some heavy weather and wind is coming your way. Although some people associate these clouds with tornadoes, it is not always the case. It was a wicked wind thunderstorm yesterday and some power lines and big trees came down as proof.
It is advised not to chase these types of storm clouds, so I’m sure lots more people will now.
It is fitting that these breast clouds showed themselves on the anniversary of the arrest of Gwen Jacob who changed the law and got topless rights for women. The goddess thanks you from the skies and so do a lot of men I’m sure. Thanks for the mammaries!!! May the Breast Cloud be with you always.

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July 15, 2013

DIY Aromatherapy Body Spray

imageCreate your own multi-purpose aromatherapy spray to use for body spritzers, perfume, cologne, first aid, linen or room spray.

Create amazing smelling essential oil recipes to use as a first aid spray treating wounds and burns, or use the spray as a body mist, perfume, aftershave cologne or deodorant. Spray it on clothes and linens in closets to repel bugs and to make it smell fresh. Making your own body mist and room spray is better for your health and more economical.

For a body spray use cooling essential oils to lower body temperature when it is too hot or use warming essential oils to warm the body when it is cold.

One way to beat the summertime heat wave is to cool off using essential oils that lower body temperature. An easy and effective recipe is to use the powerful cooling action of peppermint essential oil in a spray bottle.

Peppermint is really strong so be careful and keep spray and essential oils away from eyes.

Read more about the many medicinal uses and cautions of peppermint essential oil

Here ->

http://earthelixir.ca/2013/06/06/do-not-use-peppermint-essential-oil-in-the-bath/

imageCool Peppermint Spray Recipe

ITEMS NEEDED:

Spray bottle
Essential oils
Witch hazel or vodka
Distilled water

DIRECTIONS:

1. In a spray bottle add essential oils.
If using an 8 oz bottle which equals 1 cup or 250 ml

Add 16-17 drops of peppermint essential oil

For a strong oil like peppermint I use less drops-

Around 1 drop per 15 ml of liquid.

Use other cooling essential oils of your choice to create your own blends.

Make it stronger or weaker depending on if you run hot or cold.

When using other less strong oils like citrus top notes add more essential oil drops to make stronger smelling room sprays. An estimation is 1 drop per 2 ml

2. Add 1 Tablespoon (which is equal to 15 ml)
of distilled witch hazel or rose-water/ hydrosol for body recipes
Or use vodka or pure ethyl alcohol for room spray

3. Fill up the rest with distilled water

(around 75 ml in a 100 ml bottle )

You can make it with just water but adding the witch hazel or vodka makes it lasts longer and the essential oils mix together better. Adding Aloe Vera juice will help to treat burns or wounds.

Make your own cooling recipes with these cooling herbs and essential oils found here -> http://earthelixir.ca/2013/07/15/keep-cool-in-the-summer-heat-with-herbs-and-essential-oils/

Mix together and spray all over for a refreshing cool down.

More information about peppermint herb found here->
http://earthelixir.ca/2013/06/06/healing-properties-of-peppermint-herb/

July 15, 2013

Keep Cool in the Summer Heat with Herbs and Essential Oils

imageThere are many essential oils and herbs that help to cool the body down when feeling too hot and sweaty, but the best known one is peppermint.

See my blog about the many medicinal uses and cautions of peppermint –
http://earthelixir.ca/2013/06/06/healing-properties-of-peppermint-herb/

The mint family lowers body temperature which is good to help cool off in the summer heat, but there are other essential oils and herbs besides peppermint that lower body temperature including spearmint, lemon balm, lavender, eucalyptus, chamomile, geranium, rose, frankincense, comfrey and borage to name a few.

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Ways to Keep Cool with Herbs

1. Drink iced herbal infusions. Use peppermint, chamomile iced tea or use flavours of your choice to create your own recipes that help cool the body.
I love mints like peppermint, spearmint, lemon balm, bee balm mixed with rose petals.

See my blog about herbal infusions and floral waters –
http://earthelixir.ca/2012/07/19/diy-floral-waters/
Put a drop of organic peppermint essential oil in drinks

2. Eat mints and cooling herbs as food.
Experiment with many culinary herbal delights incorporating these cooling herbs as delicious food.

3. Make an essential oil spray or spritzer to cool down your body, and spray linens and rooms as well. See my blog on how to make DIY body spray and there is a cooling peppermint spray recipe here->
http://earthelixir.ca/2013/07/15/diy-aromatherapy-body-spray/

4. Soak your feet and ankles or hands and wrists in cool herbal infused water or add your choice of cooling Essential oils
See my blog about Bath Recipes –
http://earthelixir.ca/2013/04/10/diy-aromatherapy-bath-recipes/

Soak a cloth or bandana in a cool herbal infusion and wear around your neck, this will cool main arteries and veins.

5. Make a massage oil blend using a carrier oil and some cooling essential oils. Use coconut oil it lowers body temperature and cools the body as well and is great to quench dryness.

Peppermint is so cooling it may cause hypothermia in the bath so caution is advised using that method to cool off. See more of the uses and cautions of peppermint essential oil here –
http://earthelixir.ca/2013/06/06/do-not-use-peppermint-essential-oil-in-the-bath/

Enjoy the summer here in the North!

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July 11, 2013

DIY no-‘poo alternative shampoos & conditioners

This is almost exactly what I was about to post! I have been experimenting with alternatives to shampoo and love the no poo idea! I love the soapwort mixed with argan and jojoba oils but the clay is my favourite and of course I always mix in essential oils or herbal teas. I am just about to try the soap nuts with shikakai and I am sure I will love it too and so will my hair. Try the way of no poo today!

almost exactly blog

as we know, no-‘poo can be pretty difficult to master. i did “no-‘poo week” in hopes i’d help a lot of people. but there’s still one huge thing i wanted to address & publish…

diy natural shampoos and conditioners

for some people, baking soda/acv isn’t the route to go. neither is castile soap. but what do you do when those no-‘poo methods don’t work for your hair, but you don’t wanna go low-‘poo?

try these homemade alternatives i’ve gathered up! these do require more time, but you should be washing your hair much less, so no big deal, right? 🙂

as with any no-‘poo/low-‘poo method, there is a transition period when you first switch from regular shampoo/conditioner. and with these following recipes, using hair products is not advised since there’s nothing in these mixes that will clean the products back out of your hair.

also, these methods won’t lather (unless you add soapwort)…

View original post 1,017 more words

July 3, 2013

Dog strangling vine Threatening Native Species and The Monarch Butterfly

The dog strangling vine is a destructive invasive alien plant that is threatening to strangle out native species in North America. Even the name sounds so horrific I want to just call it the strangling vine for short.

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This strangling vine Cynanchum rossicum is from the milkweed family, but it is a different Genus than the native North American milkweed that the monarch butterfly lays their eggs on.

Flower They not only strangle out milkweed, the vine tricks the monarch into laying eggs on it, probably because it is from the same family. The eggs do not mature, which endangers the monarch butterfly population numbers. The loss of milkweed due to pesticide use and loss of habitat is having devastating consequences on the monarch butterfly population.

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This plant is tough to take out too, you need to remove all the roots or it will grow back.

I have removed all of these invasive vines from my garden. I pull them every year because I didn’t like they way they strangled everything, and now I know what a true danger they are I will pull them even earlier.

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I am growing a small patch of milkweed in my garden for the Monarchs and it surprises me how many people say to me why don’t I pull ‘those weeds.’

Between people pulling native milkweed or putting pesticides on them, destroying natural habitat and now invasive aliens competing, it is no wonder why the monarch butterfly population is in decline.

If you see this plant in your garden or anywhere else please remove it. As a caution wear gloves and long sleeves when removing it, it may cause a rash or wound.

Thank you for helping the Monarch butterfly and our native plant species.

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July 2, 2013

Milkweed is Important Monarch Butterfly Food

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Milkweed is not a weed, it is important butterfly food. The Monarch butterfly population decline is directly related to environmental degradation, destruction of their habitat and the use of pesticides from Monsanto. The use of glyphosate developed by Monsanto in the U.S. for products like Round-up, which is the number one selling herbicide in America, are a threat to important pollinators and plants.

Read the full story here-

http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/story/2013/03/20/f-monarch-butterfly.html

Monarch butterflies cannot complete their life cycle without the milkweed family. These plants are important because it is the only food source of the monarch butterfly larvae.
The female lays her eggs on the plant and the young caterpillar eats it as food. Then it turns into a butterfly to then feast on the milkweeds nectar. Eating the milkweed as its only food source, it absorbs the acidic bitter constituents from the plant and that is what deters predators from eating it.

Common milkweed has the Latin name Asclepias syriaca and is the most common milkweed, although it is not invasive, it grows in colonies like goldenrod. Milkweeds are becoming less common in some areas in North America, and that’s the reason for the declining monarch population.

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Maybe it is considered a weed because of the name, but it is very pleasant smelling and the flowers are very beautiful. It blooms June to August in umbrella like clusters, with up curved horn purple petals below a crown of hoods. It releases silky parachute seeds from pods after it flowers.

It is native to North America, even though the Latin species syriaca name of the common variety suggests it is from Syria. It is common there and in Southern Europe, but it was actually brought there from North America. It is native from Quebec to Saskatchewan south into The United States.

The common name Milkweed is named so because it has a thick milky white sap that has bitter chemicals that protect it from predators. The sap and root are potentially toxic, having cardioactive compounds that influence the heart, so avoid internal use of fresh sap.

There are other Asclepias species of milkweed- butterfly weed milkweed, swamp milkweed, poke milkweed and all are important nectaring and nesting sites for the monarch butterfly. It is important to build butterfly friendly areas for monarch butterflies and other important pollinators on their flight path, and stop the use of pesticides and insecticides from Monsanto to ensure a rebound in population numbers.

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