How to provide a backyard habitat to protect animals in the winter

November 26, 2018 by  
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We live in an ecosystem where plants and animals depend upon one another for survival. During the cold winter months, the animals in your area may struggle to find adequate food, shelter and water; however, you can make a difference in these tough situations. To help animals survive the winter, here are a few simple actions you can take in your own yard in the name of wildlife conservation . Hold off on deadheading Birds eat seeds and make nests from grasses. Critters store nuts and seeds from plants . Although you might find it unsightly, leaving the dried heads of roses, wildflowers, sunflowers, coneflowers and blazing star makes it easier for birds to forage during the winter. So instead of cutting them back in the fall, allow them to overwinter, and trim them back in the spring instead. Rethink your landscaping selections Every gardener knows that some plants appeal to animals more than others. We need flowers for insects to pollinate, attractants for butterflies and plants that produce seeds for small critters to eat. Most of this activity happens during the summer months, which is why animals store up for winter. But when the stores run out or animals seek fresh foods, the right plants in your garden can provide year-round feedings. Related: How to plant fruit in the winter If you are due for a change or some additional shrubbery, consider planting trees that produce nuts such as hazelnut, walnut or oak trees. Plant foliage that produces berries year-round to feed the animals. Some examples include bayberry, viburnum, chokeberry, wintergreen teaberry, dogwood and winterberry holly. Also plant trees that produce pine cones as a food source for birds, and while you’re considering evergreens, note that the juniper tree also provides berries. Some varieties of crabapple trees are an additional option for providing fruit throughout the winter. Create water reservoirs Animals can’t drink snow or ice — keep fresh water available. Build a small pond or maintain bird baths. Keep your water source warm enough to avoid freezing with an easy-to-find heater that you can run in your pond or bath. A layer of ice on the top of your pond will not only trap invertebrates and frogs inside, but it also reduces the amount of oxygen in the water. If you live in a generally mild climate but have a water source ice over during an unseasonal cold snap, place a pot of hot water on the icy surface. Related: Birdbath care during the winter You don’t want rodents falling into the water sources, so make sure that any water available is in the form of a bird bath or other elevated source. Reservoirs, like rain collection barrels, should be completely sealed around any openings to repel critters who could get trapped inside. Build protection out of debris Your yard clippings, especially tree branches, make an appealing refuge for foraging rodents, rabbits, squirrels and reptiles . They also allow birds to have a protected space for building nests in preparation of spring. To create a brush pile for housing, start with a pile of the largest branches and cuttings. Stack smaller debris on top for additional layers of protection and warmth.  Critters and nesting birds will thank you for the protection. You can also encourage animals to take shelter in your woodpile by stacking wood pieces with copious spacing. Criss-crossing split wood chunks provides protection for rabbits, squirrels and other small animals. Craft tiny animal homes Animals that are cold during winter will seek out warmth and shelter wherever they can. That’s why you’ll find rats sneaking into the house, mice burrowing into covered patio furniture or taking over the RV and birds tucked into the rafters. To keep them happy and warm without sharing your living space, build them their own homes. In addition to mounds of protective foliage, put together a row of basic wooden birdhouses resting on posts, hanging from trees or mounted to the fence. Bat houses have visual appeal and functional elements, too. If you have space, choose an area away from the main activity on your property to place a recycled chicken coop, bus stop shed or other small building; lay down straw for added warmth. Put out food Fill your bird feeders and remember to check them often during the winter. Those that keep food dry are the best. Also make and hang some pine cone feeders from your trees. Simply smear some nut butter on the pine cone and roll it in bird food for an easy and animal-friendly craft that the whole family can work on together. Related: Attracting backyard birds in winter Leave the leaves Autumn is dubbed fall because of the obvious characteristic of leaves dropping everywhere. As leaves float away from the trees and onto your property, resist the urge to get out the leaf blower and yard debris cart. Instead, move those leaves over to your flower beds. Not only will they provide mulching benefits to your plants, but they will also offer a habitat for ground birds, such as the thrush, and frogs, which prefer the moist environment that leaves provide. While it’s tempting to strip the yard down to the ground during your fall list of chores, remember to think about the animals. By holding off on debris removal and taking a few calculated steps, you’ll not only improve their winter habitat, but you will also have a more appealing green space with foliage and animals to view. Via Humane Society , Discover Wildlife and HGTV Images via Annie Spratt , Maria Shanina , Peter Trimming , Zailin Liu , Phil Roeder , Erin Wilson , Wes Hicks , DaPuglet and Rachel Kramer

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How to provide a backyard habitat to protect animals in the winter

Giant manta ray nursery discovered in Gulf of Mexico

June 22, 2018 by  
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Researchers have identified the first recognized giant manta ray nursery in the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary in the Gulf of Mexico , about 70 miles offshore from Galveston, Texas . Graduate student and executive director of  Manta Trust Josh Stewart first made this discovery while studying adult mantas in the area for the first time. “I was there trying to get a genetic sample from a full grown manta, and that’s when I saw it. It was a juvenile male manta, which is a very rare,” Stewart told NPR . After expressing his excitement to local researchers, he was informed that young manta sightings were quite common there. He said, “And that’s when I knew that this was a really special, unique place.” The local researchers at the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration had misidentified the young manta rays as another species, neglecting to recognize the importance of this place until the arrival of an outside perspective. Typically, adult manta rays live in deep tropical and subtropical waters, making the study of these majestic sea creatures quite difficult. Young manta rays are almost never seen with adults. Related: Microplastic pollution poses particular threat to filter-feeding rays, sharks and whales “The juvenile life stage for oceanic mantas has been a bit of a black box for us, since we’re so rarely able to observe them,” Stewart explained. “We don’t know much about their movements, their feeding behavior and how that compares to the adults. Now we have a pool of juveniles that we can study.” The recognition of the nursery will ensure that these young mantas, now an endangered species in the U.S., are protected while also providing a road map for the protection of juvenile habitats around the world. “This research backs up the need for protection of other critical habitat, especially since manta rays have recently been designated as threatened species,” study co-author Michelle Johnston told the Herald Sun . “Threatened species need a safe space to grow up and thrive and live.” + Scripps Institution of Oceanography Via NPR and  The Herald Sun Images via G.P. Schmahl / FGBNMS

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Giant manta ray nursery discovered in Gulf of Mexico

Mesmerizing levitating plants blend technology and nature

June 3, 2016 by  
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Bialek told Inhabitat, “We are two students who share the same passions: technology and nature, especially the art of bonsai. We take care of our own little bonsai garden . We wanted to combine those seemingly separate worlds to find a perfect balance between them.” Related: Floating Air Bonsai elevates an ancient art form to a whole new level Air Flowers levitate via magnets. The system is housed in a ceramic base which comes in five different colors. Above the base, users can choose to levitate either kokedama – living Japanese moss balls – or little pots (also offered in multiple colors) in which they can plant whatever they like. Air Flower offers two different bonsai tree options. “Each piece is unique and handcrafted by a dedicated artist using traditional methods and natural materials,” Bialek said. “You can choose between sets with real bonsai trees, cactus, or you can create your own composition that weighs up to 300 grams, so our design is the strongest on the market.” The team is currently crowdfunding on Kickstarter . For 120 Euro, or about $133 dollars, backers can obtain a complete kokedama set. For 130 Euro, or around $145, backers receive a levitating ceramic pot set in which they can plant their own plant. Backers can pay more for sets that come with cactus or bonsai trees. “Air Flower brings nature to people’s homes in a completely new way. Now everybody can own their own little zen garden in which technology and nature enrich each other in harmony,” said Bialek. “Flying and levitation have always been a desire of mankind, and now everyone can master it with Air Flower and enjoy perfect zen on their office desk or at home.” + Air Flower Kickstarter Images courtesy of Thomas Bialek, Air Flower

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Mesmerizing levitating plants blend technology and nature

NL Architects design luxury hotel shaped like a massive amethyst geode

January 21, 2015 by  
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Read the rest of NL Architects design luxury hotel shaped like a massive amethyst geode Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Amethyst geode , Amethyst Hotel , china , crystal , geode , hotel design , luxury hotel , luxury hotel design , nl architects , Ocean Flower island , purple windows

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NL Architects design luxury hotel shaped like a massive amethyst geode

INFOGRAPHIC: A Color Calendar to Help You Keep Flowers Blooming All Year Long

August 8, 2014 by  
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Summer may be on the decline up here in the northern hemisphere, but that doesn’t mean that your world will be flower -less until next spring. There are many species that bloom right through autumn, and even into winter, depending on which planting zone you’re in. Planting flowers that pop up in early Spring are ideal for giving pollinators some vital nourishment when they wake from their wintery slumber, and fresh flowers have also been known to help fend off seasonal affective disorder, aka the “winter blues”. This color calendar offers solid information about when to plant some of the most popular (and most beautiful) blooms around, so take a look and see which might be right for your garden. + Chadwicks Read the rest of INFOGRAPHIC: A Color Calendar to Help You Keep Flowers Blooming All Year Long Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: autumn , blooms , bluebells , daffodils , fall , flower , flowers , garden , Gardening , infographic , moods , poinsettias , Seasonal Affective Disorder , spring , summer , winter , yarrow

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INFOGRAPHIC: A Color Calendar to Help You Keep Flowers Blooming All Year Long

Devastating Plastic Paradise Documentary Shows How Our Trash Lands up in the Pacific Ocean (VIDEO)

August 8, 2014 by  
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Thousands of miles away from civilization, Midway Atoll is in one of the most remote places on earth. And yet its become ground zero for The Great Pacific Garbage Patch , syphoning plastics from three distant continents. In this independent documentary film, journalist/filmmaker Angela Sun travels on a personal journey of discovery to uncover this mysterious phenomenon. Along the way she meets scientists, researchers, influencers, and volunteers who shed light on the effects of our rabid plastic consumption and learns the problem is more insidious than we could have ever imagined. + Plastic Paradise The article above was submitted to us by an Inhabitat reader. Want to see your story on Inhabitat ? Send us a tip by following this link . Remember to follow our instructions carefully to boost your chances of being chosen for publishing! Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Angela Sun , documentary , environmental destruction , great pacific garbage patch , independent journalism , indie documentary , midway atoll , pacific ocean garbage , pacific trash heap , plastic paradise , plastic pollution , plastic waste , reader submitted content

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Devastating Plastic Paradise Documentary Shows How Our Trash Lands up in the Pacific Ocean (VIDEO)

Ocean Mercury Levels Have Tripled Since the Industrial Revolution

August 8, 2014 by  
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An alarming new study shows that mercury levels near the surface of many of the world’s oceans have tripled since the industrial revolution. The leap is due to pollution from a variety of sources including mines, coal-fired power plants and sewage. The study stops short of warning against human consumption of seafood, but it does warn of damage to marine life – and one scientist calls it “an alarm call for the future.” Read the rest of Ocean Mercury Levels Have Tripled Since the Industrial Revolution Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Arctic Circle , damaged marine life , marine environment , marine life , mercury , mercury pollution , murcury levels triple , Nature , north atlantic ocean mercury , ocean seafood , oceans , pacific ocean mercury , shallow waters , simon boxall , south atlantic mercury , stop eating ocean fish , woods hole oceanographic institute

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Ocean Mercury Levels Have Tripled Since the Industrial Revolution

2014 China Flower Expo Pavilions Resemble Giant Floating Flower Petals

October 31, 2013 by  
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Read the rest of 2014 China Flower Expo Pavilions Resemble Giant Floating Flower Petals Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: art and science pavilion , China flower expo 2014 , Chinese architecture , lab architecture studio , sustainable design , sustainable design competition , wujin        

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2014 China Flower Expo Pavilions Resemble Giant Floating Flower Petals

Scientists Find Plants Use Caffeine to Attract Bees

March 8, 2013 by  
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According to research published in in the journal Science on Thursday, humans aren’t the only creatures who get a good buzz from caffeine. It turns out that plants produce caffeine-laced nectar to attract honeybees and keep the insects keep coming back for more. By using a psychoactive drug, organisms rooted to the ground are able to influence the behavior of their moving partners. Not only does this new information shed some light on how plants and pollinators have co-evolved, but on the similarities between brain chemistry across the animal kingdom. Read the rest of Scientists Find Plants Use Caffeine to Attract Bees Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: BLOOM , brain , caffeine , citrus , coffee , drugs , England , evolution , experiment , flower , geraldine wright , honeybee , incentive , kenyon cells , learning , memory , nectar , neurons , newcastle university , odor , pollinator , reward , science , sugar

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Scientists Find Plants Use Caffeine to Attract Bees

Industoftrial Uses Unconventional Materials to Give a Prague Apartment a Colorful Facelift

October 26, 2012 by  
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Young designer Ondra Bumbalek wanted to create an unusual interior for his apartment in Prague, Czech Republic . He sought to reconstruct the space for the lowest cost possible without sacrificing an interesting, modern aesthetic. His solution was to combine low-cost technical and retro furniture and accessories to create a cool contrast in the spaces. The finished project features flourishes ranging from complementing ashtray flower vases to a spectacular welding mirror. Check out more of his furniture pieces  here  – many are up for sale! + Industoftrial The article above was submitted to us by an Inhabitat reader. Want to see your story on Inhabitat ? Send us a tip by following this link . Remember to follow our instructions carefully to boost your chances of being chosen for publishing!

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Industoftrial Uses Unconventional Materials to Give a Prague Apartment a Colorful Facelift

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