Add Agrivoltaics To Your Green Vocabulary

Originally posted on Raxa Collective:

agrivoltaics

Farming food and fuel, side by side

Thanks to Conservation, and particularly Courtney White, for this synopsis:

What is the best way to utilize sunlight—to grow food or to produce fuel?

For millennia, the answer was easy: we used solar energy to grow plants that we could eat. Then, in the 1970s, the answer became more complex as fields of photovoltaic panels (PVPs) began popping up all over the planet, sometimes on former farmland. In the 1990s, farmers began growing food crops for fuels such as corn-based ethanol. The problem is that the food-fuel equation has become a zero-sum game.

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Hughenden Manor

Originally posted on The Girl Who Had Wanderlust:

On the 24th we took a trip up to Hughenden Manor for the day to take a look around the estate.

We were aiming for the Manor first but we grabbed a tea first at the Stable’s restaurant, and they had awesome fruit teas. I had the Raspberry and Vanilla, which was amazing.

Then we went to the Manor, which was the old Prime Minister of England Benjamin Disraeli’s house in the times of Queen Victoria. To be brutally honest, I didn’t know that he existed until that day but now I know quite a bit. The house was beautiful, decorated in full Victorian style but downstairs in the cellars it was set up as it was in World War Two, because the house was used as a place to produce maps in the war.

We picniced in the apple orchards and looked at the gardens and the walled garden where…

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Yellowstone: Bears

Originally posted on The Best 5 Years:

This is part of a series of posts about wildlife we saw in Yellowstone National Park during our June vacation in Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks.

Yellowstone has two kinds of bears: grizzly bears and black bears. Grizzlies are brown bears, larger than black bears. Grizzly bears have longer claws and can’t climb trees like black bears can. Both can run faster than humans.

We had three notable bear sightings during our week in Yellowstone NP. The first was a pair of black bear cubs just south of Tower Junction. Another person saw the mother and three cubs and gave us directions, but we only saw these two. We saw the bear in the above photo as we drove by, with a ranger hurrying us along. We pulled over at the next turnout and saw the second cub.

second black bear cub

second black bear cub

Two days later we ran into the same helpful guy…

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Australia breaks world tree planting record

Originally posted on SAVING OUR TREES - Marrickville municipality:

Planting trees at Sydney Park on National Tree Day last Sunday.

Planting trees at Sydney Park on National Tree Day last Sunday.

Tree-planting volunteers in Western Australia are waiting for official confirmation of a new Guinness World Record after planting more than 100,000 tree seedlings in one hour.  How fantastic is that!

The current record holder is India with a record of 99,103 trees, which was set in 2012.

The event organized by the ‘Men of the Trees,’ who are well known for their tree planting, gathered more than 2,200 volunteers in Whiteman Park in Perth.  Twelve hundred participants were school children.

Confirmation from Guinness World Record should happen within the next two weeks.

See – http://ab.co/1l2PZKN

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Rothschild Cactus Gardens

Originally posted on not at home:

The Villa Ephrussi Rothschild is surrounded by nine magnificent gardens decorated with patios, waterfalls, ornamental ponds, flowerbeds, shady paths and rare species of trees.

The gardens took seven years to complete, from 1905 to 1912. The site chosen for the Villa, with all the grandeur of its dual aspects, was not however particularly conducive to the establishment of a garden. In fact, the creation of a landscaped park on this rocky promontory covered in trees and battered by gusts of wind would be an amazing feat. But that was no obstacle!

All they had to do was to dynamite the ground and bring in enormous quantities of earth to make it flat. Hundreds of Italian workers were hired for these colossal excavation works. In 1912, on the day the Villa was inaugurated, the four hectares of garden were still not completely landscaped:  Béatrice Ephrussi gave priority to the areas that were…

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Perhaps Parasola plicatilis, the Pleated Inkcap, in Flagler county, Florida; 09 July 2014

Originally posted on Dust Tracks on the Web:

2014-07-09 at 07-27-49

Perhaps Parasola plicatilis, the Pleated inkcap, photographed in Flagler county, Florida (09 July 2014).

The Word For The Day: PLICATE |ˈplīkāt, -kit | adjective Biology & Geology | folded, crumpled, or corrugated.

And that pretty much sums up the delicate, folded, crumpled, and tiny mushrooms featured here. If my identification is correct, this is perhaps Parasola plicatilis, the Pleated inkcap. I’m the first to admit I can’t really identify this fungi with total certainly. Apparently it’s rather hard to do so without collecting and studying spore samples, and that’s somewhat beyond my pay grade. Unlike most vertebrates and a decent number of other animals, fungi species can be wicked difficult to  distinguish from one another and often require spore sample evaluations. Whereas their biodiversity is immensely expansive, their morphological traits are far too often incredibly similar to one another.

2014-07-09 at 07-27-04

Assuming this is a Pleated inkcap (and I do suspect…

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Visit Plantasia at Kew for Herb Heaven

Originally posted on Herb Society UK:

Herb information in abundance at Plantasia

I visited Kew in the first week of June with friends, not realising that Plantasia was on. It’s a really informative project, with signage everywhere, explaining the usefulness of a variety of plants.

Experience the life-enhancing power of plants at the Kew Gardens Summer Plantasia Festival until 7 September 2014.

Of course we made a bee-line for the glasshouses, and the herb garden was a must.

kew glasshouse

Kew glasshouses

The herb garden at Kew

Although of a manageable size, the herb garden was packed with informative signs, not just about individual plants, but also the uses of herbs, such as traditional strewing herbs and herbs thought to ward off the plague in times past.

Kew garden herb borders

Kew garden herb borders

 Many wayside flowers have had herbal uses

These common flowers were all thought to have their uses:

cranesbill herb info

Cranesbill with herb info sign

According to the sign, Geranium…

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