rhamphotheca:

A Call For Backyard Biodiversity 

Common suburban landscapes consist of manicured lawns and nonnative ornamental plants, which provide little nourishment to local fauna.

Acclaimed author and ecologist Douglas Tallamy explains the reasons behind the decline of native flora and fauna, and how we can work to reverse it from our own backyards.

Photos and story by Douglas Tallamy

You have probably never thought of your property as a wildlife preserve representing the last chance we have to sustain plants and animals that were once common throughout the US. But that is exactly the role our suburban and urban landscapes are now playing – and will play even more in the near future.

If this is news to you, it’s not your fault. We were taught from childhood that the plantings in our yards are made mostly for beauty; they allow and encourage us to express our artistic talents, to have fun, and to relax. And whether we like it or not, the way we landscape our properties is seen by our neighbors as a statement of our wealth and social status.

But no one has taught us that we have forced the plants and animals that evolved in North America (our nation’s biodiversity) to depend more and more on human-dominated landscapes for their continued existence. We have always thought that biodiversity was “happy somewhere out there in nature”: in our local woodlot, or perhaps our state and national parks. We have heard nothing about the rate at which species are disappearing from our neighborhoods, towns, counties, and states. Even worse, we have never been taught how vital biodiversity is for our own well-being…

(read more: American Forests)

Okay Kiwi. You reblogged it. I expect to see some awesome backyard-scaping next time I come home. (:

(via because-weareglass)

3 days ago
174 notes
The provinces and territories of Canada.

(Source: leodcaprio, via gunnarolla)

5 days ago
44,212 notes

photojojo:

Besides cats, there’s nothing more commonly photographed than sunsets. In spite of that, Bing Wright manages to capture them in a truly unique way. 

In “Broken Mirror/Evening Sky,” Wright photographs the reflections of magnificent sunsets on shattered mirrors. 

Sunsets As Seen Through Shattered Mirrors

via Colossal

2 weeks ago
3,171 notes

On friendship

Something I’ve realized recently is that similar personalities//interest have little to do with how good of a friend you become to someone. It’s all about interaction time and quality. Taking it back calculus, integration is the area under the curve is THE VALUE OF FRIENDSHIP.

image
Short high-quality time = extended mediocre-quality time = why hullo friend.
Extended high quality time = BESTIES! :D
Extended crappy quality time = err… still not friends. 
But interaction is not constant over time. It tends to increase (though it can decrease as well), so you really have something like this: 
image
When you cross this magical threshold from acquaintance to friend, quality growth rate increases dramatically. 
Quality starts out low, and continues to be low, increases negligibly with time.
Quality starts high, and therefore, because of each previous + interaction, achieves a much higher friendship value than the low quality relationship, even though the slopes initially relatively similar. And then once you hit the friendship threshold, this curves shoots WAY up, and green pretty much is SOL in terms of catching up to pink unless circumstances change.
Integration of the linear function shows that friendship is actually an exponential function. 
The cool part of this is that time is not the only variable you control, though it is an important one. Quality0 and slope pretty much depend on how willing you are to talk to someone and show that you care. Also depends on how friendly they are, but that is an external variable out of your control. 
Basically I’m becoming “friends” with people that I never thought I would really care about (hello grumpy-old-fart and didn’t-know-what-a-bitch-was-until-I-met-you) and the only reason I can fathom is that we’ve spent so much frickin’ time together that negligible quality friendship interactions are starting to build up to significant levels. And then you wonder if there is any intrinsic difference in value between “high quality low time” and “low quality high time” friendships. You think instinctively that it’s important to “click” with someone, but is there a difference if you get to the same point in the end?
And then there are people that you may never become friends with because their intrinsic quality0 or m is so low that they’re never able to hit the friend threshold. But I think those are the minority. 
mtot = mother person + mself, quality0tot = quality0other person + quality0self
mself and quality0self are up to you, mother person and quality0other person are independent variables. 
TAKE HOME MESSAGE: you can be pretty much anyone’s friend if you’re willing to make the effort and invest time into them. 
TAKE HOME MESSAGE 2: Math is FRICKIN’ awesome. 
1 month ago
0 notes

3.2.14

People move. Ambitious cool people tend to move the most.

(Not that I don’t have super ambitious friends who stayed in the bay area. But sometimes the best opportunities aren’t usually just a hop and a skip away. Most of the time you have to chase them.)

I met a lot of amazing people at Davis. Everyone is scattered all over the 4 corners of the world now, literally. Midwest, East Coast, West Coast (Bay Area, Washington, So-Cal). Even South America. I was lucky that a lot of my friends have family in the Bay Area, so I usually get to see a lot of people during break. Even so, this isn’t guaranteed as breaks are pretty sporadic, and often don’t correspond. Some of my friends… I really don’t know when I’ll see them next. Maybe never? Such is life, especially in this day and age, where we literally have the opportunity to live any place in the world we want. It’s crazy, and I accept it, but it just means you have to live life to the fullest every single frickin’ day. Gone are the days when you were born, lived, and died with the same group of people at your side. Now it’s a mad whirlwind clustercuss ferris wheel ride where you’re grabbing at the strings as they zoom by, and the only thing that is really really constant is yourself, and maybe your family.

You know you’re adjusting to a place when you re-adjust your definition of home. I’m excited to revisit ‘Tino next week, but there is also SO much I want to do in the rare hiatus from schoolcrammingforever with all the cool kids here at A&M that I almost regret buying my ticket back “home home”.

There is a pretty high probability of me moving out of Texas after vet school. Seems like a lot of the good lab animal residencies are in the midwest or east coast. Which means I only have 3.5 more years with everyone here in Texas. FOR EVER! Shit, life is so short. I literally have NO reason not to platonically hit on everyone. I understand that there are many people who for some reason or another, I won’t ever become real friends with. But there are SO many people crowding at the boundaries, where by being friendly to them, I could let them in. Missed out on those friends at Davis, this will not happen again! Band-uh kids mostly, all y’all, I am sorry I didn’t try harder. I wish I did.

I used to think that hobbies and skills made you an interesting person. I mean, they do. I appreciate a friend who understands my taste in alternative rock, my fascination with sci-fi, and my obsession with the ridiculously stupid, and my propensity for over-psychoanalyzing the crap out of everything. I can draw you artwork, I can write a (pretty lame) song, I can help you with  math, and I can edit your essay, I can take amateurish photos, I can make you food, I can play most sports with you… to contribute and show that I care. Oh and is it flipping’ awesome that I’ll be able to diagnose and treat your animals in a few years or what!? Don’t get me wrong, those are tools of self expression that are not to be taken lightly. But the most valuable skill you can develop is the ability to treat people well. The ability to connect with people and show them that you care. Extrovert or introvert, we all need need to feel appreciated and loved. It’s what makes life worth living.

And the difference between saying chatting up people between class and scowling at the professor takes 0 sacrifice of time. It’s not like I need to give up substantial me time to do this.

A friend told  me:  ”Just be your cool self and people will start platonically hitting on YOU!”

I think I’ve unleashed my inner hyper (questionably cool?) self these past few weeks. Ruh-roh, there’s no going back.
Forever relevant, streetlight manifesto is amazing on so many levels.
1 month ago
0 notes

inkfromtheoctopus:

A 13-year-old eagle huntress in Mongolia.

Most children, Asher Svidensky says, are a little intimidated by golden eagles. Kazakh boys in western Mongolia start learning how to use the huge birds to hunt for foxes and hares at the age of 13, when the eagles sit heavily on their undeveloped arms. Svidensky, a photographer and travel writer, shot five boys learning the skill - and he also photographed Ashol-Pan.

"To see her with the eagle was amazing," he recalls. She was a lot more comfortable with it, a lot more powerful with it and a lot more at ease with it."

The Kazakhs of the Altai mountain range in western Mongolia are the only people that hunt with golden eagles, and today there are around 400 practising falconers. Ashol-Pan, the daughter of a particularly celebrated hunter, may well be the country’s only apprentice huntress.

They hunt in winter, when the temperatures can drop to -40C (-40F). A hunt begins with days of trekking on horseback through snow to a mountain or ridge giving an excellent view of prey for miles around. Hunters generally work in teams. After a fox is spotted, riders charge towards it to flush it into the open, and an eagle is released. If the eagle fails to make a kill, another is released.

The skill of hunting with eagles, Svidensky says, lies in harnessing an unpredictable force of nature. “You don’t really control the eagle. You can try and make her hunt an animal - and then it’s a matter of nature. What will the eagle do? Will she make it? How will you get her back afterwards?”

The eagles are not bred in captivity, but taken from nests at a young age. Female eaglets are chosen since they grow to a larger size - a large adult might be as heavy as seven kilos, with a wingspan of over 230cm. After years of service, on a spring morning, a hunter releases his mature eagle a final time, leaving a butchered sheep on the mountain as a farewell present. “That’s how the Kazakh eagle hunters make sure that the eagles go back to nature and have their own strong newborns, for the sake of futuregenerations”, Svidensky says.

He describes Ashol-Pan as a smiling, sweet and shy girl. His photographs of her engaging in what has been a male activity for around 2,000 years say something about Mongolia in the 21st Century.

(via because-weareglass)

5 days ago
256 notes
Dug this up from the depths of my tumblr. Trufax trufax.

Dug this up from the depths of my tumblr. Trufax trufax.

(Source: staypozitive, via blainesmith11)

1 month ago
36,466 notes

honeycastle:

h0-llah:

explorethecity:

ticktockdonttouchtheclock:

Every time it appears on my dash.

I will reblog it.

So simple yet so clever

it kinda scares me…

oioioioioioioi

(Source: iraffiruse, via because-weareglass)

2 months ago
957,729 notes