a blog about plants, cats and other lovely creatures

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Sunday, October 9, 2011

young squirrels 2

Today I was able to take some more shots of the squirrel youngsters playing.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

young squirrels!

Thank you to all my followers who have patiently waited for me to blog again...

Today I had a big surprise waiting for me outside the door. Four young squirrels were chasing each other on the pine trees in front of our house! They are so cute. I like to think that our squirrel feeder has helped their mother along, and I hope to see these little ones find the feeder as well, as the winter time is approaching... There has been abundance of acorns, beech nuts, and hazel nuts this year, and I have been diligently collecting, drying, and storing.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

sunflowers to heal contaminated soil in Fukushima

Activists are asking people to plant and grow sunflowers with a goal of decontaminating soil made radioactive in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear disaster. A group of young entrepreneurs and civil servants are asking volunteers to grow sunflowers, then send the seeds to the Fukushima area where they will be planted next year to help clean the soil of contamination.

The process of extracting contaminants from the soil via plants is called phytoremediation. While animals can move away from pollutants or other toxics (if they’re lucky), plants have evolved ways to live with the toxics and eventually extract them from the soil. The downside is that the concentrated pollutants, such as radioactivity or lead, can then pass along the food chain if not disposed of properly. 

Fungi, bacteria and plants have remarkable properties that can help clean up the messes that we humans create. While no one solution will solve the problem of irradiated soil and the struggling farmers, it’s always wise to look to nature first for the processes that can heal the land.
Read the whole article here

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Flower market in Leuven

Two weeks ago I went on a business trip to the town of Leuven, Belgium. 

On Friday morning they made my day by taking all these beautiful flowers out into the streets!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

praying for Japan

for the people, animals and gardens of Japan

A message from Torako Yui, Chairperson of the Japanese Homeopathic Medical Association:

This huge earthquake in North east coastal area has been reported as the worst in Japan and I heard the below news as one episode what was happening on this horrible day. This made me think about this event, being in the midst of an ongoing process. I would like to tell you very important thing how I would take this disaster and would like you to think.
There was a young lady, who was working for the village town hall in south Sanriku town, which was one of the badly affected places. She was in charge of risk management in the town hall and had a responsibility to inform people in village that the town is expecting to have a huge Tsunami, so she decided to stay at the hall. Even her mother called her to escape, this young lady did not respond to it and kept announcing people in the village through local transmission ‘Please evacuate from the village! Please evacuate! 6m high Tsunami is coming to this town!’
Her mother made the heartbreaking decision to evacuate from the village by a car, leaving her daughter behind. She evacuated, listening to her daughter’s announcing voice. Cars behind the mother were wiped away. People kept beeping horns in their cars for seeking help. The mother could escape to a mountain side with listening to her daughter’s voice and car horn sounds, but it was real pain for her.
In the end, most of people at the village town hall were killed by this disaster. Only a few tough men who hanged on an iron pole on a roof terrace could survive. The young lady was announcing on third floor of the building until the end. All windows were broken and there were full of rubbles in the wracked building. It was found that the tsunami was not 6 meter high, but was 10 meter high, and wiped the young lady and the village town.
Moreover, the most serious problem by this huge Tsunami has now been on nuclear plants on the coastal area. Japan has approximately 55 nuclear plants on coastal places, which is extraordinary in the world.
What this disaster made me think was that Japanese people should be awakened cleverly. I think that we should start a movement to stop having nuclear plants. I think Japanese people should be brave enough to say that we do not need them anymore, and I would like to generate such move from Japan to the world.
I think it would be good if other countries in the world agree with this move, as Japan start this protest against nuclear plants. What Japanese people should do now is to replace nuclear plants with other resourced plants, being used natural power such as oceans’ waves, and winds. We really should work towards such development, which we can use nature to generate electricity.
I am strongly feeling that Japan should start this move, dreaming a day, when there is no nuclear plants in Japan, in midst of this disaster. 

At the moment, 1,800 people were found killed, 15,000 people are missing. It is expecting the death toll will be more than 10,000 people.
As Japan have already experienced atomic bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, we, Japanese people really should tell that we do not want to have nuclear plants in our country. I think that it is time for Japanese to face this issue.
If we, Japanese people, do not do any actions after suffering from such big disaster and huge victims and being expected radiation exposure, it will not change nuclear plants situation in the world.
I am feeling this is our mission for Japan, who received this big catastrophe. That is why, it is time for we, Japanese, to hang in. We could not realize how dreadful to have 55 nuclear pants until we had such huge victims. That is why, I think we have to keep improving ourselves every day.
Hahnemann said ‘Aude sapere (Dare to know)’.
We have to know what is safe and what is not safe, what is truth and what is not truth, and what is right and what is not right. It is time to know those things.

I believe that people in the world will be saved if Japan stop having nuclear plants.

I think that Japanese people should start this move with courage. I really hope such dangerous nuclear plants will disappear from your countries, too.

Torako Yui
Chairperson of JPHMA

Monday, February 21, 2011

European Tree of the Year

Through the trees we help people find their way to nature and each other.

Choose one of the candidates from 
Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia, 

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

homegrown revolution

Winter time... Gardeners are half-hibernating, searching through gardening books, dreaming of spring...

Time to watch some inspiring videos... I found this great one on

Thursday, February 3, 2011

the keeper of the wilderness

Continuing with the theme of preserving ancient forests and natural habitats of wild animals, let me take you for a virtual walk through the Silent Valley of the Slovak mountains - the Tatras. Here, in the heart of Europe, an isolated fortress of true wilderness has been restored after 40 years of no interventions by humans. Meet the bears, the wolves, the mountain goats...

The trailer is in Slovak but the images speak for themselves

The DVD with English, French, German and Polish subtitles can be ordered at info@arollafilm.com

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

help save ancient forests of England - petition

"So often described as our equivalent to the rainforest, ancient woodland is defined as a habitat of extraordinary continuity which stretches back hundreds - even thousands - of years. Ancient woods therefore are fragile and highly sensitive to change - and are irreplaceable."