Friday, November 28, 2008

Japanese Cherry Blossoms

There are many beautiful aspects to Japan, but for me the absolute winner is seeing Japan in cherry blossom season. The bountiful gorgeous blooms that might cover historic temples or pop up between skyscrapers and everywhere else in between are for me the most photogenic sight in the world, and really something that makes my heart leap at their beauty.

Getting the timing right to enjoy cherry blossom season in Japan is a bit tricky, cherry blossoms start to bloom in January, and in far northern Hokkaido, they usually bloom in May – everywhere else is somewhere in between, with an average blooming date in Tokyo and Osaka of around late March or early April.

The best cherry blossom photos I have are usually combined with beautiful historic temples or castles.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Pet and Wild Animals

Wildlife includes all non-domesticated plants, animals, and other organisms. Domesticating wild plant and animal species for human benefit has occurred many times all over the planet, and has a major impact on the environment, both positive and negative.

Pet Animals

It's true, pets really are part of the family. Show your dog, cat, ferret or goldfish just how much you love them by making sure they are healthy and happy.

A pet is an animal kept for companionship and enjoyment or a house held animal, as opposed to livestock, laboratory animals, working animals or sport animals, which are kept for economic reasons. The most popular pets are noted for their loyal or playful characteristics, for their attractive appearance, or for their song. Pets also generally seem to provide their owners with non-trivial health benefits; keeping pets has been shown to help relieve stress to those who like having animals around.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Colorful Birds

Birds feeding in Winter

If you plan on feeding wild birds this winter, here's a few tips you'll want to keep in mind. The main one being, if you do start feeding wild birds in your backyard this winter, don't stop until Spring arrives. It wouldn't be nice if we traveled many hungry miles for a good meal at our favorite restaurant only to find out that there was no food available to eat when we got there. Always have plenty of seed and water available for the birds. Birds will burn many calories over the winter months and need high fat foods to help them sustain their high body temperatures. Wild birds can be fed suet and peanut butter to supplement their fat intake that they don't receive from seeds.
Black sunflower seed is higher in fat content than striped sunflower seed and should always be available for the many varieties of birds passing through your backyard. If you had a plot of wildflowers growing this year, cut back the seed heads and store these in a dry place for offering to the birds in the dead of winter. Other common seeds, besides sunflower seed, for feeding wild birds in the winter include millet, niger, thistle, safflower and cracked corn. Save yourself some money and buy only seeds and grain that you know your birds will eat. Most mixed feeds contain filler seed that the majority of birds will not eat. If you wish to keep the squirrels away from your bird feeders, keep a squirrel feeder filled with corn and unsalted peanuts for these little guys. Make sure the squirrel feeder is located well away from the bird feeders, but still in view so you can watch them play in the snow this winter.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Beauty of Mountains

A mountain is a landform that extends above the surrounding terrain in a limited area, with a peak. A mountain is generally steeper than a hill, but there is no universally accepted standard definition for the height of a mountain or a hill although a mountain usually has an identifiable summit. Mountains cover 64% of Asia, 36% of North America, 25% of Europe, 22% of South America, 17% of Australia, and 3% of Africa. As a whole, 24% of the Earth's land mass is mountainous. 10% of people live in mountainous regions. Most of the world's rivers are fed from mountain sources, and more than half of humanity depends on mountains for water.

The adjective montane is used to describe mountainous areas and things associated with them.