This beautiful but toxic weed could make you go blind

July 26, 2017 by  
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Be careful before you pick that pretty wildflower . Giant hogweed, which can grow up to twenty-feet-tall and produce attractive white flowers, is a beautiful but dangerous plant. The plant produces a clear sap capable of causing third-degree burns or even blindness in humans who touch it. Native to the Caucasus in Central Asia , giant hogweed has become a wide-ranging invasive species in the Northern United States, Southern Canada, and Western Europe. Those who encounter the toxic flora are advised to admire from a distance. Like Japanese knotweed and other invasive, noxious plant species, giant hogweed was first introduced to the United Kingdom and other countries as an ornamental plant. Its white flowers reveal its familial origins as a member of the carrot family, like its similar though diminutive and less-toxic relative known as Queen Anne’s Lace. Hogweed flowers can be up to two feet across and are popular among pollinators. Related: Could Lasers Be The New Way to Kill Weeds? Hogweed’s curse is its phototoxic sap, which causes skin, eyes or whatever it touches to become highly sensitive to UV light. If the affected skin is exposed to sunlight, it can quickly become red and irritated. Affected areas will rapidly deteriorate if exposure is continued and the sap is not washed off. In North America, giant hogweed usually blooms in July. If possible, it is important to eliminate the plants before they flower and reproduce. “You want to have it eradicated before it does go to seed,” said Barbara Ashey, Town Administrator for Northport, Maine . “There are thousands of these seeds.” On the bright side, pigs and cows seem able to consume giant hogweed without harm and may be used as a biocontrol solution in the fight against the invasive species . Via Bangor Daily News/WGME Images via Nature Photos/Flickr and debs-eye/Flickr

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This beautiful but toxic weed could make you go blind

President Obama establishes controversial new National Park in Northern Maine

August 25, 2016 by  
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In honor of the National Park Service’s centennial anniversary, President Obama declared the establishment and protection of Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument, a new National Park site in Northern Maine . Katahdin Woods “may be one of the last, large national parks that we see in our lifetime,” said Theresa Pierno, chief executive of the National Parks Conservation Association. More than 87,500 acres of woodland wilderness were donated to the National Park Service by Roxanne Quimby, co-founder of Maine-based Burt’s Bees. President Obama’s declaration puts an end to a contentious process, which has pitted conservationists against local residents and Maine politicians. The region is home to lynx, bears, brook trout and moose, as well as rare birds such as gray jays, boreal chickadees and the American three-toed woodpecker. Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument is located in the North Maine Woods region, where the decline of the paper industry has left the economy weakened. Locals expressed concern that a National Park designation would further threaten their livelihoods through increased regulations and restrictions. The Maine Legislature and Governor also opposed the creation of the Monument. “It’s sad that rich, out-of-state liberals can team up with President Obama to force a national monument on rural Mainers who do not want it,” said Governor LePage (R). Related: Tiny Off-Grid Cabin in Maine is Completely Self-Sustaining Despite the requirement of an act of Congress to create a National Park, Maine’s congressional delegation refused to introduce such a measure. President Obama maneuvered around this opposition by using the authority granted by the Antiquities Act of 1906, which allows the President to create National Monuments without Congressional approval. To accommodate this strong opposition, the establishment of Katahdin Woods has been shaped by compromise. The new National Monument will be the only National Park Services site that allows hunting , though the killing of bears will remain forbidden. Snowmobiling, a popular local pastime, will also be allowed on all existing trails at the site. The site is not without its supporters in Maine. Angus King, independent US Senator and former governor of Maine, said that “the benefits of the designation will far outweigh any detriment” and a National Park site “will provide much-needed diversity to the region’s economy .” “This isn’t the only monument that has been criticized, and our governor isn’t the only governor who has criticized a monument,” says Lucas St. Clair, organizer of the pro-park campaign. “From the Grand Tetons to the Everglades , it’s a theme in the creation of these parks. But I think time will help heal these divisions.” Via Washington Post Images via U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Northeast Region  and North Maine Woods Inc.

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President Obama establishes controversial new National Park in Northern Maine

Deconstructing Construction Waste

August 22, 2016 by  
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When I approached my neighbor’s construction site, Edward Small of Sheridan Brick & Stone Work was chiseling off construction waste — mortar from old bricks to be exact. He suspects they were salvaged from a nearby Maine paper mill, and…

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Deconstructing Construction Waste

No Bees, No Berries

August 13, 2015 by  
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Now this is true flower power.  Wyman’s of Maine, one of the nation’s leading growers and marketers of frozen fruits and a longtime supporter of native pollinators, is distributing millions of wildflowers seeds to consumers who want to do their…

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No Bees, No Berries

What is Killing Maine’s Baby Puffins?

June 3, 2014 by  
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It’s fair to say that people tend to give more attention to endangered animal populations when the animals in question are cute. In the case of the ridiculously endearing puffins of Seal Island , their sharp decline over the last two breeding seasons is an indicator of significant environmental and population shifts that are having an impact on all marine life in the Gulf of Maine. Read the rest of What is Killing Maine’s Baby Puffins? Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: baby puffins , fish , global warming , Gulf of Maine , Maine , population crash , puffin die-off , puffins , rising sea temperatures , Seal Island , Stephen Kress , The Audubon Society

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What is Killing Maine’s Baby Puffins?

JaK Studio to Built London’s First ‘Invisible’ Eco-Home

June 3, 2014 by  
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Read the rest of JaK Studio to Built London’s First ‘Invisible’ Eco-Home Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: eco-home London , green homes , invisible eco-home London , invisible house London , JaK Studio invisible home , JaK Studio UK , London architects , mirror-clad architecture , passivhaus London , passivhaus UK , renewable energy sources , Sustainable Building

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JaK Studio to Built London’s First ‘Invisible’ Eco-Home

Colorful LEDs Transform Industrial Shipyard into Giant Origami-Like Light Show

June 3, 2014 by  
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Read the rest of Colorful LEDs Transform Industrial Shipyard into Giant Origami-Like Light Show Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Adriatic sea , architectural lighting , Art , croatia , dean skira , LED lights , LED spotlights , lighting designer , lighting giants , Philips LED spotlights , pula , shipyard art , shipyard machines , skira , uljanik industrial shipyard

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Colorful LEDs Transform Industrial Shipyard into Giant Origami-Like Light Show

Tiny ‘Cube in the Woods’ Offers Forest Solitude with a Minor Footprint in Maine

October 16, 2013 by  
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Read the rest of Tiny ‘Cube in the Woods’ Offers Forest Solitude with a Minor Footprint in Maine Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Architecture , artist studio , Botanical , Daylighting , green design in Maine , green materials , green studios in Maine , Harpswell Studio , Maine , Maine art studios , Petra Simmons Art Studio in Maine , Petra Simmons Design , tiny homes , wooden cube , wooden shelter        

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Tiny ‘Cube in the Woods’ Offers Forest Solitude with a Minor Footprint in Maine

Tom’s of Maine eyes potatoes for biodegradable packaging

August 8, 2013 by  
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Research by the personal care company may lead to potato-based mouthwash bottles.

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Tom’s of Maine eyes potatoes for biodegradable packaging

LEED Platinum Bigelow Laboratory Dedicated to Understanding the Relationship Between the Oceans and Our Planet

July 25, 2013 by  
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Read the rest of LEED Platinum Bigelow Laboratory Dedicated to Understanding the Relationship Between the Oceans and Our Planet Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: bigelow , bigelow laboratory , bigelow laboratory for ocean sciences , eco design , eco lab , eco laboratory , green architecture , Green Building , green design , LEED platinum , Maine , perkins and will , perkins+will , Sustainable Building , sustainable design , water issues        

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LEED Platinum Bigelow Laboratory Dedicated to Understanding the Relationship Between the Oceans and Our Planet

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