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30 ноября, 08:30

Tamar's manure canal returns to nature

Gunnislake, Tamar Valley Barges that carried coal, corn, manure, granite, bricks and lime had to be hauled manually upstream against the currentFrom the hilltop railway station, rain clouds veil sight of Dartmoor and, in nearby Stony Lane, run-off flows between shoals of sodden beech leaves. Down this sunken way towards the river, ferns, mosses and pennywort show green under the tangle of fading bramble, yellow-leafed hazel and bare sycamore; the enclosing hedge-banks frame occasional glimpses across the valley where steep woodland engulfs river-cliffs and pinnacles like Chimney Rock.Sound of water roaring over the weir carries uphill and becomes even louder below Hatches Green, where tennis court and football pitch in King George’s Field are overlooked by the orange and dark green deciduous and coniferous woods opposite – once part of the Duke of Bedford’s estate. Continue reading...

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20 ноября, 09:00

Gardens: about a boysenberry

Now’s the time to plant this most delicious of hybridsTo me, the best thing about growing your own fruit and veg is that it opens up a vast array of flavours that just aren’t sold by the supermarkets – and nowhere is this truer than when it comes to berries. Gooseberries, currants and many of the weird and wonderful bramble hybrids that were once commonplace in the British diet have become increasingly rarer finds in the bland uniformity of flavourless commercial offerings. Fortunately, they also happen to be the easiest of all fruit to grow and now is the perfect time to plant the delicious boysenberry – my favourite of all.Wonderful bramble hybrids are the easiest of all fruit to grow Continue reading...

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19 ноября, 08:30

In a Lilliputian world of leaf litter

Holmsley Inclosure, New Forest Each silk button spangle gall has a minute larva inside. Looked at later under the microscope, they remind us of a scrumptious doughnutWe drop down the side of this woodland on a bright day buffeted by a cold wind. First planted in 1811 with scots pine and oak, its fences now enclose a wide variety of trees. We turn along the eastern edge to find the lower gate and, on entering, are plunged into a claustrophobic tangle of branches, before quickly coming to a narrow path close set with brambles on one side and hollies on the other. The recent rains have made the soil beneath the fallen leaves a muddy squelch, deeply incised with fresh bike tracks. Getting our eyes in, we begin to see a host of small brown and greyish fungi tucked into the patchwork of sodden foliage and decaying leaf-fall. For us, most of them are “little brown jobbies”, as they are known to those without sufficient skill to identify them. We notice, too, some so much smaller that we are drawn into a Lilliputian world. Continue reading...

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15 июня, 19:11

Впервые целый вид млекопитающих вымер из-за глобального потепления

Из-за климатических сдвигов вымерли рифовые мозаичнохвостые крысы — единственные млекопитающие, обитающие на территории огромного барьерного рифа, и первые жертвы глобального потепления среди данного класса животных.

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15 июня, 19:11

Впервые целый вид млекопитающих вымер из-за глобального потепления

Из-за климатических сдвигов вымерли рифовые мозаичнохвостые крысы — единственные млекопитающие, обитающие на территории огромного барьерного рифа, и первые жертвы глобального потепления среди данного класса животных.

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14 июня, 06:44

Revealed: first mammal species wiped out by human-induced climate change

Exclusive: scientists find no trace of the Bramble Cay melomys, a small rodent that was the only mammal endemic to Great Barrier ReefHuman-caused climate change appears to have driven the Great Barrier Reef’s only endemic mammal species into the history books, with the Bramble Cay melomys, a small rodent that lives on a tiny island in the eastern Torres Strait, being completely wiped-out from its only known location.It is also the first recorded extinction of a mammal anywhere in the world thought to be primarily due to human-caused climate change. Continue reading...

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23 мая, 21:05

I’m coming out – as a gardener | Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett

Transforming a bramble jungle into my very own urban sanctuary has given me peace of mind. Gardening’s lost generation should turn over a new leafOne gloriously hot day last summer I was in my kitchen with a friend, sweating into our lemonades, and wanting desperately to be outside. “I wish we had some kind of outdoor space,” I moaned. My friend was standing by the window. “Um,” she said, “don’t you already have a garden?” Related: How do we spark a gardening revolution? Continue reading...

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18 мая, 09:56

Severed foot found in Bath may have been training aid, say police

Human foot discovered in a park in Bath could have been anatomical specimen used by schools or colleges, say investigatorsA severed human foot found in a park in Bath could have been an anatomical specimen used as a training aid, police have said.Dog-walkers discovered the left foot on top of bramble bushes in Weston Park East on 19 February, sparking a police investigation. Continue reading...

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17 мая, 07:30

The whitethroat expresses both acacia thorn and bramble

Claxton, Norfolk The song is as lowly and modest as the bush from which it emerges. It inhabits our spring subliminallyI can tell the weather by the St Mark’s flies, because, as they sail over the brambles, their fore-legs dangle together and are held so that they face directly into the oncoming breeze and fractionally ahead of the body. Rather like a boat’s keel, those legs keep the fly true in relation to the airstream, and they now point southwest. Those warm winds brought the summer migrants streaming home. As I walk down the beck the whitethroats sing at intervals. They are lithe creatures, adept at threading mouse-like through spiked vegetation. Two tiny extravagances of plumage are the ginger patches mainly in two wing feathers and a white powder puff at the throat, which swells up when they sing. Continue reading...

29 марта, 11:31

Utah Governor Signs Anesthesia Requirement For Some Abortions

(Reuters) - Utah's governor on Monday signed a bill requiring doctors to administer anesthesia to women receiving an abortion at the 20th week of gestation, his office said. The bill, the first of its kind in the nation according to the Salt Lake Tribune, states that an anesthetic or analgesic will "eliminate or alleviate organic pain to the unborn child." "The governor is adamantly pro-life. He believes in not only erring on the side of life, but also minimizing any pain that may be caused to an unborn child," a spokesman for Republican Governor Gary Herbert said in a statement. Supporters of the bill and anti-abortion groups say that around the 20th week of pregnancy a fetus can feel physical pain, and anesthesia can eliminate discomfort. Reproductive health advocates, including Planned Parenthood of Utah, told the Tribune the position is scientifically unproven and lawmakers have inserted politics into a private medical matter. Under the new law, doctors performing abortions would be required to administer anesthesia to women seeking an elective abortion around 20 weeks. Previous state law gave women the choice whether or not to opt for anesthesia. Abortions are prohibited in Utah after the point when the fetus is viable, which is around 22 weeks. The law will not affect a large number of women, the Tribune reported, with 17 women in Utah receiving abortions at 20 weeks of pregnancy or later in 2014, it said. Republican state Senator Curt Bramble, who sponsored the bill, had originally wanted to ban abortions after 20 weeks but was told the move would be unconstitutional, the Salt Lake Tribune reported.   -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

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20 марта, 08:59

Wines for Easter | David Williams

You’ve slammed in the lamb and decorated the eggs, now what are you going to drink? David Williams chooses three bottles for a perfect Easter weekendCave de Lugny Sparkling Burgundy Blanc de Blancs, France NV (£10.49, down from £13.99, Waitrose) Easter may be a little quieter and altogether less gaudy, expensive and stressful than Christmas, but it’s still a time when many of us will be cooking for family. The supermarkets inevitably have a few deals to reflect this outbreak of entertaining, with sparkling wines at the top of the list. Waitrose for example, has brought down the price of this very good champagne-alike. A 100% chardonnay made by a reliable co-operative in the village of Lugny, in Mâcon in the south of Burgundy, it offers patisserie creaminess with the snap of green apples. Very good value for a wine that works just as well with starters such as scallops or smoked salmon as it does as an aperitif.Salvaje del Moncayo La Garnacha, Spain 2014 (£8.99, majestic.co.uk) For the roast lamb that will be at the heart of my own Easter Sunday meal, the splash out option would be a mellow mature traditional old Rioja. The soft and savoury style of classics such as La Rioja Alta 904 Gran Reserva 2004 (£36, Oddbins, Booths) and López de Heredia Viña Tondonia Reserva 2003 (£25.50, Hennings Wine) fits so snugly with tender pink meat, while the more youthful CVNE Crianza does a similar, if less deeply satisfying job for £12.99 (Waitrose). An alternative would be to match the fat of the lamb with the brighter, more vibrant brambly-fruited youthfulness of garnacha from elsewhere in Spain in the shape of a vivid, succulent, fresh red from the mountains of Moncayo in Aragon. Continue reading...

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10 марта, 18:00

Food in books: syllabub from Brambly Hedge Summer Story

As she waits patiently for spring weather, Kate Young revisits her bookshelves and stumbles upon this sweet tale of mice making cheese and celebrating weddingsBy Kate Young for The Little Library Café, part of the Guardian Books NetworkThe kitchens of Brambly Hedge were full of activity. Cool summer foods were being made. There was cold watercress soup, fresh dandelion salad, honey creams, syllabubs and meringues. Brambly Hedge Summer Story, Jill Barklem Continue reading...

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05 марта, 15:30

The wild west of my dreams: California’s Sequoia national forest

A little-visited peak above the San Joaquin valley feels like ‘my mountain’, says American novelist TC BoyleAs a boy growing up in the tame, tramped-over precincts of the Hudson Valley, 30 miles up the river from what was then the world’s biggest city, I couldn’t help wanting more from nature. I avidly read Outdoor Life magazine, watched documentaries about the Rockies and Alaska, traced my finger along the serrated spine of California’s Sierra Nevada on the relief map our teacher thumbtacked to the wall in elementary school.There were bears out west, mountain lions, coyotes and wolves, badgers, marmots, golden eagles – and what did we have? Deer, squirrels, maybe a fox or two (not that I ever saw any). Westchester County was the only place I knew then, a place of housing developments and remnant woods, swamps, brambles and fished-out lakes, and I couldn’t help thinking that everyplace I set down my sneakered foot was a place where dozens of others had stepped before me. It was all so used, landscape like second-hand clothing. Continue reading...

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29 февраля, 01:30

Ascending larks keep the bird-snarer busy: Country diary 100 years ago

Originally published in the Manchester Guardian on 4 march 1916As the snow melted from the middle of the broad meadow under the down, larks appeared, almost in a multitude, with one or two occasionally rising towards the sun, as if to start an early song, but soon settling again. The bird-snarer was busy taking them by the half-dozen, for it appears that there are epicures among us yet. A partner, he said, was on lower land a few miles away after plover; “a cold job, worth all the money.” As for the birds, it was a mistake that they had been created so wild. In the early morning we had one of the first of those peculiar ground mists that hide the earth and seem to lift most things feet above the surface of the land. Cattle coming from the byre appeared as if raised out of a low, white cloud; then in places where the fog cleared they sank as if dropped gently on to the grass. But the scene soon altered, for the younger heifers, gambolling and prodding with their horns, were away to the hedge shelter, sniffing and tossing the hay fodder thrown there in heaps for them. The birds delighted in their company, or perhaps it was the breakfast which attracted them in the hay seeds. Yellow-hammers, a stray wagtail, three or four pairs of chaffinches, a titmouse, most of them chirping or singing, and then - the sun shooting a beam of warm light on to the small green shoots of the thorn and the straggling bramble - all gave us a promise, if no more, of spring. Continue reading...

27 февраля, 11:02

Oregon City Fires Goats From Landscaping Duties

(Reuters) - A crew of goats brought in to devour invasive plants at a popular park in Oregon's state capital, Salem, have been fired because they ate indiscriminately, cost nearly five times as much as human landscapers and smelled far worse, a city official said on Friday. The 75 billy and nanny goats were supposed to eat Armenian blackberry and English ivy and other invasive plants choking native vegetation across the 1200-acre Minto-Brown Island Park, the city's largest, in a pilot program last fall. But the program ended in November after six weeks, and Salem has no plans to renew it, Keith Keever, the city's parks superintendent, said Friday. The goats "had a barnyard aroma" and cost $20,719, including $4,203 for drinking water and a workers' toilet, and $2,560 for monitoring, city staff said in a report to the city council this week. The cost was nearly five times the $4,245 for a normal parks maintenance man backed by a prison inmate work crew to do the job, the report said. Rachel McCollum, owner of Yoder Goat Rentals, the company that supplied the goats, praised the work of the animals, adding: "The public response was very favorable." While the goats were "almost universally welcomed by park users as a pleasant, pastoral addition to the scenery," they also greedily devoured native flora right along with invasive targets, choosing tasty maple and hazelnut trees. In one area, they ate all the leaves from blackberry stems but left the prickly bramble. It is not the first time goats have been used as gasoline-free lawn-mowers. They have been used at Alphabet Inc's headquarters in Mountain View, California, and at the Historic Congressional Cemetery in Washington, D.C. Keever did say that Salem is not ruling out using goats in the future for certain landscaping projects, such as maintaining steep hills. (Reporting by Eric M. Johnson in Seattle; Editing by Sharon Bernstein, Leslie Adler and Lisa Shumaker) Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that Minto-Brown Island Park is 9.1 acres, when it is more than 1200 acres. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

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23 февраля, 08:30

A woodland herb of subtle charm

Allendale, Northumberland Sanicle was once an all-round herbal remedy, taken for wound healing, blood disorders, chest complaints and sore throatsHalf the wood at Allen Mills is a mixture of spruce, larch, sycamore and birch. Beneath lies a muddle of fallen branches and plants that jostle one another: bramble, dog’s mercury, ivy and ferns. The eastern end is a contrasting habitat. What grows here is mainly beech, giving the ground beneath a quite different feel. It is open and light and sparse of plants. Curling beech leaves lie crisply over years of rot. There are occasional clumps of woodrush, small clusters of celandines and sanicle, a plant that thrives in these less competitive conditions.In winter Sanicula europaea stands out against the burnt orange of the leaf litter and years of personal observation show it does not die back here. A woodland specialist, sanicle has glossy leaves with toothed edges and a tracery of pale raised veins. Despite the ground being dry under the beech trees, the plant finds enough moisture from water seeping down the steep bank towards the East Allen. When in flower, the sanicle here will only be 30cm high, though in the damp verges of the Lake District it reaches twice that, as do the examples I grow in my garden. Continue reading...

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22 февраля, 08:30

A twittering troupe of acrobats

Haslington Trail, Cheshire An excitable flock gather in a leafless tree, flitting between the branches, chasing one another, tumbling and somersaulting. “They look like flying teaspoons,” I sayIt is early morning. Birds are singing. The air is chilly but the sun is bright. I pause to watch a wren darting between the stones of a wall. Then continue walking along Primrose Avenue, a hotchpotch of bungalows and houses, with parents taking children to school. I turn to stroll through a conservation area, a stretch of woodland, the Haslington Trail. Beyond the hawthorn hedge and brambles, there are misty-green fields dotted with mole hills and sheep. Dandelions bold as brass and celandines, glossy heart-shaped leaves, shiny bright-yellow flowers, embroider the well trodden path. There are buttercups, daisies too, small and bright as stars.There is a smell of damp earth and green shoots. Raindrops glitter in the grass like glass beads. Last night there had been another deluge. This morning the sky flares salmon-pink and honeycomb-gold with a patch of midnight blue over the white poplar tree. The poplar has pale bark, though the trunk, low down, is patterned with black diamond shapes. Continue reading...

22 февраля, 01:00

Amputee long jumper Markus Rehm’s Olympic hopes boosted by Glasgow win

• Paralympic champion beats able-bodied rivals with jump of 8.10m• British long jumpers Chris Tomlinson and Dan Bramble back Olympics claimsThe German Paralympic long jump champion, Markus Rehm, has stepped up his bid to compete in the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro by urging the IAAF to meet him to find a way to allow him to attempt an unprecedented Olympic/Paralympic double.Rehm, a single-leg amputee who is nicknamed Blade Jumper, was an impressive winner at the Glasgow Indoor Grand Prix on Saturday, beating his able-bodied rivals with a leap of 8.10m. Continue reading...

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14 декабря 2015, 22:38

The Force Is Strong With The Iowa Department Of Transportation

It doesn't matter whether you can make the Kessel Run in 12 parsecs -- the Iowa Department of Transportation just wants you to get there safely. To that end, the government agency is running a variety of "Star Wars"-themed messages on digital signs across the state this week, in honor of Friday's release of the latest film in the iconic movie series. "Texting & driving leads to the dark side," one sign warns. Another reads, "The Force is strong with you. Put down the phone."  "We try to make all our Message Monday signs relevant," Tracey Bramble, a spokeswoman at the Iowa DOT, told The Huffington Post. "With the big movie premiere this week ... we asked around the Iowa DOT for suggestions," she added. "While we typically stick to just one message per week that runs from midnight Sunday night to midnight Monday night, this week we had just too many good messages to choose just one." Bramble said the messages are running in a couple of other states as well. Arizona, Colorado and Utah also signed up to run similarly humorous public safety announcements. The Iowa DOT has a reputation for lighthearted messages. Earlier this year, it riffed on the famous line from "Dirty Dancing" -- "Nobody puts baby in a corner" -- to remind drivers not to leave children unattended in a car. (The "Dirty Dancing" campaign coincided with performances of the play in Des Moines.) And if you prefer "Star Trek" to "Star Wars," the Iowa DOT has you covered: Actor George Takei, onetime helmsman of the USS Enterprise, shared one of the department's messages on his Facebook page in October. "Get your head out of your apps," it read. "Drive safely." Also on HuffPost: -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

03 декабря 2015, 03:09

Rolling in Xenophobia's Brambles

Let's consider. Terrorists reared in France and Belgium mowed down innocents in Paris -- and over thirty US governors cry: "No Syrian refugees beyond my state line!" That makes as much sense as a bellicose presidential candidate proposing Muslim databases and mosque shutdowns a few weeks after he assails Mexican immigrants. We've lain in this anti-immigrant and refugee bed before and it always sprouts thorns. The most infamous moments circled around World War 2, when the U.S. confined American citizens of Japanese descent in internment camps and rejected Jews fleeing Nazi Germany. But let's tour the brambles even more. Maybe the governors will pause and Donald Trump's popularity will vanish. The Alien and Sedition Acts The Federalist-controlled Congress passed these measures in 1798 and President John Adams signed them into law. Rumors rolled up and down the coast of an invasion from Revolutionary France, which supposedly swarmed the nation with spies. The new rules raised the residency requirement for American citizenship from five to 14 years, sanctioned the imprisonment or deportation of aliens deemed "dangerous to the peace and safety of the United States," and hemmed in critical speech. Surprise-surprise: The Federalists were not pure. They were aiming their political guns at their arch-rivals, Thomas Jefferson's Democratic-Republican Party, which befriended the immigrants. One Federalist Congressman tipped his party's hand when he said he saw no need to "invite hordes of Wild Irishmen, nor the turbulent and disorderly of all the world, to come here with a basic view to distract our tranquility." To give him due, no Statue of Liberty welcomed the world's huddled masses yet. But notice: "Wild Irishmen" were not French. They did, however, support the immigrant-friendly Democratic-Republicans, who called themselves "Republicans" but would evolve into the future Democratic Party. About twenty Republican newspaper editors were arrested. Representative Matthew Lyon of Vermont was thrown in jail for ridiculing President Adams and his "unbounded thirst for ridiculous pomp, foolish adulation, and self-avarice." That's not nice, but we've heard worse from Donald Trump. German-American harassment during World War I America had flung its gates open to German immigrants ever since the colonial era, with the greatest influx arriving from 1881 to 1892. They often settled in the Midwest, where they stoked their own culture, established their own schools, spoke their own language, cooked their own food, and named their communities after German cities and famous Germans. Almost a tenth of the US population was German-American by 1910 and some entire cities -- such as Hoboken, New Jersey -- spoke German. Most were Lutherans; some were Mennonites. All of which made them sitting ducks when the US aligned itself with France and Britain in the slaughter on the Western Front. Soon, Attorney General Thomas Gregory passed cigars at the birth of the American Protective League: Two hundred thousand volunteers were deputized to spy on German immigrants. It didn't take long before they were snooping on all dissenters. State councils of defense and the National Security League pressured German-Americans to buy war bonds, sing the national anthem, and declare their allegiance to the flag. The Minnesota Commission of Public Safety was adamant: "The test of loyalty in war times is whether a man is wholeheartedly for the war and subordinates everything else to its successful prosecution." No room for conscientious objection in this America. Quakers and, especially, German-bred Mennonites fell under persecution. It got uglier. German books were burned; the German language was verboten in schools; towns were re-named (one Michigan congressman suggested a federal mandate on all such changes); foods were re-branded (hamburger was now liberty steak; sauerkraut was liberty cabbage). South Dakota outlawed the use of German over the telephone and in assemblies of more than three. And, of course, the rumors crammed the nation with spies, spies, and more spies. President Woodrow Wilson fanned the flames in his 1917 Flag Day speech: "The military masters of Germany have filled our unsuspecting communities with vicious spies and conspirators have sought to corrupt the opinion of our people." Rumors told of spies lurking in the pews of German-American churches and Congress passed the Espionage Act, which banned mail "advocating or urging treason, insurrection, or forcible resistance to any law of the United States" (in practice, that jeopardized Socialist newspapers). German-Americans were tarred and feathered and expelled from their homes. A 45-year-old coal miner named Robert P. Prager dreamed of joining the US Army as it marched to war. Instead, he was imprisoned on trumped-up charges near St. Louis Missouri, and lynched in early April, 1918. Several thousand German-Americans were interned in camps. Incidentally, there were legitimate worries about German plots, saboteurs and spies. Before the US declared war, British intelligence intercepted the "Zimmerman Telegram" in which the Kaiser's government invited Mexico to join its side should hostilities erupt, and it seems that German agents blew up a munitions dump on Jersey City's Black Tom Island in 1916. In other words, Imperial Germany spawned America's first terrorist cell. But, as we all know, a single cell does not bespeak an entire population. Operation Wetback Imagine this: Mexicans cannot eke out a living in their native land so they migrate north, where farmers recruit undocumented workers for jobs no American wants. That means a labor shortage for Mexican farmers and crops rot in the fields. Their government implores our government to do something while American anti-immigration campaigners warn of spies (this time, for the communists) and cultural demolition. The birth child: Operation Wetback of 1954. The Immigration and Naturalization Service rounded up Mexicans and shipped them south, whereupon many waded back across the Rio Grande. The INS re-loaded them onto cargo ships and dropped them off in Veracruz, far from the border and their own families. The INS also dumped migrants in the steaming desert. Eighty-eight died in the heat. The INS was so draconian that it even shipped off US citizens. Donald Trump, incidentally, hailed this program as a model -- even though it did not stem the immigration tide. Look back and weep As the Good Book says: "There is nothing new under the sun," including ignorant demagogues and politicians who forget their roles as statesmen. Venting our anger on defenseless immigrants is often popular; history always renders it a harsh verdict and condemns its practitioners. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.