Friday, 27 February 2009

Cheering-Up Bird 2

OK so it's not quite as unusual as the quetzal, but the Toucan is a pretty close second cheering-up bird-

Beautiful pictures of waves

The Daily Mail has some wonderful photos of waves online today taken by a surfer from inside the waves. What an amazing world we inhabit.

Saturday, 21 February 2009

Giant ant nest-

Ever wondered how big an ant nest can be? I was recently shown this wonderful video of some researchers filling a giant ants nest with concrete and then excavating the solidified concrete cast- it’s truly amazing-
I can’t help wondering if the scientists expected to use to much concrete or the nest to take so much excavation when they started out...

(VN wishes to thank SL for this information)


Hello. Thank you for visiting my blog. This blog is mostly about the natural world- the amazing plants and animals around us. Some of the posts here were previously published in a different format elsewhere; I have dated them according to when they were either first published or completed, so some posts are dated prior to the creation of this blog.

Friday, 20 February 2009

Cheering-Up Bird

The Resplendent (arguably "ridiculous") Quetzal-
National Bird of Guatemala and possibly the greatest "Cheering-Up-Bird" of all time...

Wednesday, 4 February 2009

Tea harvest

(copyright) V Neblik 2009

Tea plants being harvested, Jeju (aka Cheju) Island, South Korea. I love the little buggy thing. Given the South Korea's high level of industrialisation, it is perhaps unsurprising that the tea harvest is so mechanised. I think it is interesting that tea and coffee plants require almost opposite growing conditions- tea plants require high levels of sunlight (but, surprisingly, can tolerate cool winters), whereas coffee plants absolutely require shade. In Cuba, which is the only place I have seen coffee plants growing wild, they grow them as an understory to the cloud forest. There is a picture on this blog of a chocolate plant (Theobroma cacao) taken in Cuba, in fact this plant was one of several "chocolate" bushes, which was growing next to a coffee plant and in the same, mostly shaded, warm conditions.

I managed to get some tea seeds, amongst other unusual seeds from
. and have been growing them in a conservatory in the UK, but they are still only small plants, even after several years.

Tobacco plants

Nicotiana sp. Granma province, Cuba
(copyright) V Neblikov 2009

Theobroma cacao

Source of the World's greatest substance
This particular chocolate tree grows in the cloud forest of southern Cuba
(c)V. Neblik 2009