Friday

Where to see the Northern Lights

Have you ever seen the Northern Lights? If not, it's a spectacle you will not want to miss. Only certain locations in the world allow you to glimpse the beautiful spectral display of the Aurora Borealis. Escape Here offers our 5 favourite places to catch the lights.

 
Don't forget to check out the entire article on ESCAPE HERE over here 

Monday

Most wonderful National Parks in the world

The 30 best National Parks and Natural Reserves of our planet.
See if your favourite park is included while you listen to the wonderfully soothing soundtrack is written and performed by Lorenzo Pescini an Italian piano composer.




Watch a video of Yosemite National Park

Saturday

Yosemite National Park, California, USA

Yosemite, California. "It is by far the grandest of all the special temples of Nature I was ever permitted to enter." —John Muir 

Not just a great valley, but a shrine to human foresight, the strength of granite, the power of glaciers, the persistence of life, and the tranquility of the High Sierra. (58 National Parks)
Yosemite is a park for all seasons and all moods. From relaxing serenity to extreme adventures, Yosemite is a park for everyone. This new widescreen music video is a bonus feature on Finley-Holiday's soon-to-be-released 3rd edition of Discovering Yosemite National Park DVD.

Yosemite National Park covers nearly 1,200 square miles of mountainous terrain in the Sierra Nevada of California. From high peaks and deep canyons to ancient forests and quiet meadows, the diversity of the world is on display here. At Yosemite you can see the tranquillity of the High Sierra, the power of glaciers, giant sequoia groves, thundering waterfalls, clear streams and much more. Designated a World Heritage Site in 1984, Yosemite is also home to hundreds of wildlife and plant species. Two Wild & Scenic Rivers, the Tuolumne and Merced rivers, begin in the park and flow west to the Central Valley. Visitors experience the park's 800 miles of hiking trails and 282 miles of road.

Visitors fall in love with the park's many waterfalls, specifically 2,425-foot Yosemite Falls that ranks as the tallest in North America, flowing down into the scenic Valley meadows. Hikers take notice of the enormous granite mountains from the 8,842-foot Half Dome to the 13,114-foot Mt. Lyell-Yosemite's tallest peak. Glaciers, which John Muir sought out in California as well as Alaska, add into the mix with the Maclure and Lyell still intact.

Animals: Yosemite supports more than 400 species of vertebrates, including fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals. Overall, the park's widespread coniferous forests--with a relatively mild climate and a mixture of plant species--provide a lush habitat for animals to live. Wildlife species typically found include mule deer, black bear, bobcat, gray fox, mountain king snake, Gilbert's skink, white-headed woodpecker, brown creeper, spotted owl, and a wide variety of bat species. Black bears in Yosemite are active both day and night. Most bears that rely on natural food sources are active during the day. However, those that get food from people are often active at night, when they can quietly sneak around and grab unattended food.

Plants: Move up or down in elevation and feel as though you are in another park. Vegetation changes from oak woodlands to chaparral scrublands to lower montane to upper montane to subalpine to alpine. Those who step into the alpine zone can see krummholz whitebark pines and perhaps a western juniper or mountain hemlock. Scientists study many individual plants, including the black oak, to understand its future challenges.

TRAVEL & TOURISM
Yosemite is open all year, though some areas of the park are inaccessible by car from approximately November through May due to snow.

INFO: Yaroooh! for Kids | News - Magazine

Sunday

Secrets of the ancient Wollemi

public domain image of wollemi Nobilis
 PHOTOS THANKS TO: Ivo Antušek and  www.biolib.cz.
Wollemi Pine is a genus of coniferous tree in the family Araucariaceae. 
It has an amazing story. It is one of the world's oldest plants and was around at the time of the dinosaurs. It is one of the worlds rarest plants as it was only thought to exist in fossil records and then in 1994 it was discovered in Australia. The  species found is named Wollemia nobilis.

There are less than 100 adult trees known to exist in the wild, so research is being done to safeguard its survival. We can assist in the conservation effort by growing our own Wollemi Pine and becoming part of one of the most dramatic comebacks in natural history, helping to preserve this wonderful species for the future. It is the ultimate survivor plant, making is easy to grow and maintain. (Which is important for a "brown thumb" like me.) There are 4 ways you can get your own relic of the dinosaur times. Find out here.


Wollemi Pine

This post is linked up at Communal Global a group of photographers from around the world.
 


Wednesday

Frank Lloyd Wright's children's playroom

Interior of the Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio
at 951 Chicago Avenue in 
Oak Park, Illinois

Frank Lloyd Wright purchased the land and designed and built this home in 1889 when he was 22 years old and had just married Catherine Tobin. This is a photograph of the children's playroom where six of his children would have played. It was part of the two story extension to the east side of the home in 1895.  The room has glass windows along both side walls and a large central skylight, in the arched ceiling, which can be seen in the photograph, creating beautiful natural light. 

The home has been restored by the Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust to its 1909 appearance, the last year Frank Lloyd Wright lived there with his family. 
The building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1972. This is the United States government's official list of  buildings and structures considered worthy of preservation. The home was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1976 and is considered a must when touring the master pieces of the prolific architect Frank Lloyd Wright..

RESOURCES:The Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust.

SEE ALSO: Winslow House in River Forest, Illinois

Tuesday

Earthbag dome in Australia

An Australia a team of happy young builders raised an earthbag dome from the soil of Milkwood Organic Farm in the hills near Mudgee, Australia. A structurally strong house was created from a bunch of bags, earth, stones, clay and lime. They held a EarthBag Building Workshop to show hands on how a low-impact natural building technique, utilising resources from nature, could be made with minimal costs.

Axel 'tamping' down the newly laid course of bags at Milkwood.
See more photos of earthbag workshop.


Earthbag construction is suited to sites where an ideal soil mix is not present for rammed earth building.  Basically it consists of filling of bags with soil, which is then compressed with hand tools. The moisture content of the soil is important. Barbed wire is included between each row to hold the bags in place and provide extra wall strength.


Milkwood is a small organic farm being created from scratch by
Kirsten and Nick.  In April they are holding a comprehensive Natural Building course with Sam Vivas of Viva Eco Homes. The course, designed for the home builder, covers light earth, cobb, load-bearing straw bale, mud rendering techniques and reciprocal roofs. They are rather passionate about natural building, and the empowerment that comes from having the skills to build non-toxic, living homes from natural materials.

OTHER RELATED LINKS:
Permaculture Research Institute of Australia
Photoset of our 2010 EarthBag Workshop at Milkwood Farm
How to make an earthbag dome – pdf by the Permaforest Trust

Wednesday

Plastic bottle car canopy

Designer Garth Britzman of  Nebraska, USA used recycled bottles to create this magical structure to shade a car. In Australia we call them car ports but we have never seen one like this before. The plastic bottles are filled with coloured water which creates the feeling of hundreds of flowers - around 1500 flowers to be more precise: old plastic bottle flowers that undulate in the air.
The project was funded to support the concept of plastic recycling to make something both practical and unique.

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