Tuesday, 29 March 2016

The Stunning Images of Alaskan Volcano

An airline passenger captured the moment of his life, by taking the photograph of an Alaskan volcano erupting disseminating ash 20,000 feet into the air. The passenger was travelling on a Penair flight from Dutch Harbor to Anchorage in Alaska yesterday evening. So, he said that he had heard that the Pavlof Volcano on the Aluetian Islands had started to eruption ash so the pilot flew his plane closer in order for passengers to get a better look. Pavlof is in a volcano-rich, sparsely populated region about 625 miles southwest of Anchorage on the Alaska Peninsula. Pavlof Volcano has been one of the most active in the United States since 1980, with eruptions recorded in 1980, 1981, 1983, 1986–1988, 1996–1997, 2007, 2013, twice in 2014 and most recently in March 2016.

Therefore, U.S. Geological Survey confirmed the eruption of Pavlof Volcano, 600 miles southwest of Anchorage led to tremors on the ground.  Thus, they’ve also raised the volcano alert level to “warning” and the aviation warning to “red”. Although, regardless of the eruption there are no evacuations taking place or the ash affecting flights in the region.  The volcano is around 4.4 miles in diameter, has had 40 well-known eruptions and is 'one of the most regularly active volcanoes in the Aleutian arc.  However, the previous eruption was taken place in 2013; ash plumes raised 27,000 feet, whereas other eruptions have formed clouds as high as 49.000 feet.

Moreover the community closest to the volcano is Cold Bay, which is approximately 37 miles south west of it. It is Alaska’s second most active volcano has erupted over 40 times in recorded history. Although the first one is Shishaldin has had around 55 eruptions. Furthermore, Pavlof is amongst 52 historically active volcanoes in the Aleutian arc of the “Ring of Fire” string of volcanoes encircling the Pacific Ocean. Thus, the future threat of eruptions is considered on the high sides, as much of this threat comes from the possibility of disruption of nearby air routes by large releases of ash. The first recorded ascent of Pavlof Volcano was on June 27, 1928, but straightforward nature of the climb suggests that an earlier unrecorded ascent may have occurred. The second ascent was in June 1950.  However, the main challenge of climbing this peak is its remoteness and the consequent difficulty of access. 

Monday, 28 March 2016

World's oldest Tortoise, age 184

The world's oldest living tortoise is starting over with a clean sheet at 184 years old and enjoy his first ever bath. The tortoise named Jonathan has come out of his shell after centuries of grime were painstakingly scrubbed off his back with a loofah, soft brush and surgical soap. Dr Joe Hollins, 58, the vet for the British outpost of St Helena in the south Atlantic where Jonathan lives, decided to give him a bath. Therefore, he prudently scrubbed each of the segments of Jonathan's shell, recognized as scutes, and removed black sludge and bird droppings while the tortoise calmly chewed on grass. Hence, surgical soap was selected as it is not caustic and soft brushes and loofahs were gently used to evade injury to his shell.  It was only after his bath it was realized the rings on his shell, which habitually tell a tortoises' age, have totally worn away. Jonathan, who is 45ins long and can stand up to 2ft tall, arrived on St Helena as a gift to the governor from the Seychelles.

There was no medical reason for his hour-long soak but it was done ahead of a visit by an unidentified royal to the small island of St Helena in May for the dedication of the new airport. However, the spring clean comes months after the giant tortoise, who was aged 50 when he arrived on the historic isle in 1882, was placed on a special high calorie diet as it was feared his health was on the wane. Dr Hollins, believes it is Jonathan's first ever bath. Because in the past Jonathan's keepers had a rather laissez faire insolence to the tortoises on St Helena and so this is perhaps his first wash in 184 years. We are trying to give him a good scrub as we’re supposing a royal visitor who is going to meet him so we want him to look his best.

Furthermore, now Jonathan looks so much cleaner and seemed to relish the entire experience.  He stood like a statue when I was washing him, even I don't know whether that was the vibrations he found soothing or he was thinking at last, have had my first baths. Therefore, I just had a bucket of water with some surgical scrub and used the loofah and a little brush and just gradually cleaned him, it was pretty tiring though, but he doesn't look any younger, but he does look changed. He is much paler and you can see the rings on his shell have almost totally disappeared. The massive tortoise had black deposits on his shell that came from wear and tear. As far as I could see his shell is in great condition for his age. It is believed that Jonathan's journey made his way from the Seychelles to the remote island of St Helena more than a century ago.

So, I’m very hopeful that he won't have to wait another 185 years before his next bath. In his time on St Helena he has seen 28 British governors come and go. Moreover eight British monarchs from George IV to Elizabeth II have been crowned during his lifetime and 51 British Prime Ministers have served at 10 Downing Street. For those keen to see Jonathan luckily plodding around the Governor's house, private tours have been arranged in the past.  He at present shares his enclosure with four other giant tortoises David, Emma, Frederika and Myrtle.

Though he has lost his sense of smell and his eyesight is also dying, but he is said to be in good health. Dr Hollins has decided to take his loofah to the other tortoises and some of them are dirtier than their elderly friend Jonathan. However, following the death of Harriet, a 175-year-old giant Galapagos Land tortoise, in 2005 in Australia, Jonathan has been recognized as the world's oldest living land animal. 

Monday, 21 March 2016

Stunning House on the Shores of the New Zealand

The majestic house is tucked away on the shores of the New Zealand coastline. The beachside house is designed by Patterson Associates. The one of most beautiful house is nestled into the Banks Peninsula, veiled among the hills, with its own small private beach and cove to relish.

The house has built with local materials, like rocks which were gathered near the site. Moreover, there’s also on-site water harvesting and wastewater treatment. Therefore, large floor-to-ceiling windows furnish the textbook opportunity to relish the natural surroundings all day long. 

This stunning holiday home, can be rented, has just three rooms, a lobby, a living and sleeping area and a bathroom. This is a perfect place for those, who love true nature. You can stroll on the peaceful beach; relax yourself away from busy life, hike the nearby hills, enjoy the fireplace, sunbath, and many more.

Thursday, 17 March 2016

Butcher’s Broom, The Fruits Grow on its leaves

The mysterious and rarely seen Butcher’s Broom, or Ruscus aculeatus, is a low-growing permanent shrub with hard, erect, stems and very rigid leaves that lay off in a sharp spine. Thus, from the center of the leaves grow small greenish-white flowers that flourish in early spring and grow into red berries in autumn. The minute red berries are attached directly to the leaves by a short stem, making it a very bizarre looking plant. Butcher’s Broom belongs to Liliaceae family and has the height between 60 cm to 90cm max. 

Therefore, the Butcher’s broom is not breaking any rules of the plant kingdom, because what appear to be leaves are really modified stems called “cladodes” that have been compressed to not only look like leaves but serve their function as well. Hence, Butcher’s broom is extensively distributed, from Iran to the Mediterranean and the southern United States. Butchers Broom has a long history of use in herbal medicine traditions as a diuretic and blood vessel toner. They have also been used for over two thousand years as laxative and diuretic and use to cure various ailments such as hemorrhoids, varicose veins, itching, deobstruent, aperient, and swelling. 

The plant young shoots are also eaten like those of asparagus. So, the stiff twigs were once bundled together and used by butchers to save their cutting boards clean, from which came its public English name: butcher’s broom. It is also recognized by others names such as “Knee Holly”, because of its knee height, “Jew's Myrtle”, for its use during the Feast of Tabernacles, “Sweet Broom” and “Pettigree”, although its meaning is not clear. Furthermore “Butcher's Broom” is very hardy, thriving in almost any soil or situation, and is frequently planted in shrubberies or edges of woods, on account of its remaining green after the deciduous trees have shed their leaves.

Moreover, to extracts of butcher’s broom have been used throughout the ages, but the medicinal use of this plant did not become common until the last century. Therefore, research in the 1950s specified that butcher's broom could induce constriction of veins, because of which it is still widely used for treating definite circulatory diseases. It also covers an alkaloid which inhibits the passing of sodium ions across the cell membrane and thus is an effective anti-arrhythmic substance. Also, Butcher’s broom is widely planted in gardens and its berries used as decorations purpose. The primary related species phytochemical in the similarly named Scotch broom Cytisus scoparius is sparteine, a cardiac depressant - use with great caution.