NatureCanada Photo Contest 2015 ~ Enter Now

Tree Frog On Leaf

O.K. Canada ~ It’s time once again to enjoy the great outdoors and start snapping your outstanding shots of Canadian nature with your favorite camera and enter this contest.  Make sure to check out the fabulous prizes!

Get your cameras ready… Nature Canada is happy to announce the
launch of its 2015 Photo Contest!

LOON

Last year’s 75th Anniversary Photo Contest was a huge hit. We received over 3,000 entries and the top photos were featured in our 75th Anniversary Calendar as well as at the Canadian Museum of Nature!

Starting May 19th and running until August 14th, we will be accepting photo entries which capture the beauty of Canadian nature all around us. Special prizes from our generous supporters are available for the winners who will be announced.

DRAGONFLY 2014

In case you were looking for inspiration, we’ve created a variety of categories into which you can submit your photo(s)!

  • Canadian Landscape
  • People in Nature
  • Nature in Action
  • Fauna & Flora
  • Nature Nearby
  • Favorite Memory in Nature

Image result for nature canada 2014 photo contest entries

There will be Early Bird draws, so get your submissions in early! See our rules and regulations for more information.

It is our hope that by spending time in nature you will experience and learn about the natural beauty our country has to offer. So get up, get outside, and enjoy the great outdoors!

Contest link ~

http://naturecanada.ca/2015-photo-contest/

We wish you all the best of luck!

Wonderfully Weird Animals You Didn’t Know Existed

 The following article, “10 of the Weirdest looking animals you’ve never heard about!” was posted by Webmaster, Mar. 2, 2015 to http://www.yolodaily.com/

The Springhare
This little guy has stumped taxonomists everywhere. It’s been classified as a jumping rodent, squirrel and even porcupine before finally getting its own classification. They’re located primarily in Southwest Africa.

 “Mammals of the World: Springhare”

kiwiThe Kiwi
These are beautiful but strange animals. The kiwi is a flightless bird and its endemic to New Zealand. While these little guys are tiny and plump, they are actually extremely temperamental and violent, so admire from a distance!
“Kiwis: Saving The World’s Cutest Endangered Birds”

solenodon

The Solenodon
Solenodon actually means “slanted tooth.” These beautiful animals are certainly cute, but do not be fooled! They are capable of injecting lethal, rattlesnake-like poison through its teeth. It’s the only mammal with that ability.
“Mammals of the World: Cuban Solenodon”

The-Maned-Wolf

The Maned Wolf
These strange animals resemble a beautiful red fox, but in fact it’s in a completely different genus. The maned wolf can be found in South America and is known to be extremely shy! <a
“Feeding the Maned wolf – Nordens Ark”

The-Tapir-
The Tapir
The tapir is listed as an endangered species and can weigh anywhere from 300-700 lbs. They have the unique ability to sink to the bottom of a river and search for vegetation.
“Jack Hanna’s Into The Wild 2011 – Tapir Conservation Segment”

The Sea Robin
This bottom-feeding Scorpaeniform fish is colored beautifully and has unique fins that almost resemble wings! Fishermen lucky enough to have caught this fish describe a frog-like sound when they pull it up.
“Sea Robin Walking at Blue Heron Bridge”

Kiwa-Hirsuta-Yeti-Crab

Kiwa Hirsuta (Yeti Crab)
This cute crustacean was just discovered in 2005 , in the South Pacific Ocean. It’s defined by its yellow or white furry arms.

New Species Discovered – The Yeti Crab

Colugo

Colugo
Located in Southeast Asia, these beautiful tree-gliding animals have flaps of skin between their limbs that allows them glide better than any other mammal!
I think this is the most fascinating video, “GIANT BAT MYSTERY SOLVED”


The-Fossa

The Fossa
Also endemic to Madagascar is the fossa, a beautiful carnivorous mammal akin to a cougar; however, its tail is about as long as its body. Despite its cat-like form, the fossa is actually more closely related to the mongoose.
“FOSSA – Amazing Predator”

OSCAA-00000009-001

The Aye Aye
Only on the island of Madagascar will you find these cute little creatures. And believe it or not, these tiny, little mammals are related to the chimpanzee, apes and humans! They are known to spend their entire lives in the rainforest trees.
“World’s Creepiest Animal – The Aye Aye”

Is Alberta well water safe to drink?

The following article was featured in the Mar/Apr WaterCanada magazine issue: “One Health” – Alberta researchers collaborate to better understand potential microbial hazards in rural drinking water. By Sylvia Checkley

Image result for waterborne pathogens in rural AlbertaResearchers from the University of Calgary and University of Alberta in collaboration with Alberta’s Provincial Laboratory for Public Health (ProvLab), Alberta Health Services, and FoodNet Canada will be using a “one health” lens to assess water quality and waterborne pathogens in rural Alberta. The “one health” approach recognizes that the health of people, animals, and the environment are all intrinsically linked.

  When bacteria like E. coli contaminates our water supply, it can greatly affect human, animal, and environmental health. Approximately 450,000 Albertans depend on private wells (or water systems) as a source for drinking water. Twenty to 40 per cent of these water systems fall short of current drinking water quality standards, as outlined in the Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality. Guidelines recommend that private systems should be tested two to four times per year for microbial water quality, depending on type and treatment; however, testing is voluntary. A well water survey in Alberta published in 2010 indicated that only about 60 per cent of Albertans will test their water over a five year period. Most rural residents rarely or never test their water quality despite this service being offered at no cost to the well owner.
CATTLEWe know that there are disease causing agents such as bacteria and viruses from human septic systems, animal waste from livestock and wildlife, and other environmental microbial contaminants that can contaminate rural ground. The factors that influence the possibility of microbes contaminating a well water supply are many and varied, but important factors include climatic conditions, local soil, and aquifer properties; well characteristics such as type, depth, condition, and age of the well; age of the septic system; manure storage; and livestock housed on property in last 12 months.

  The public health authority currently looks at water quality indicators to determine if the water is safe. Currently, total coliforms (any bacteria in the coliform family) and E. coli are used as indicators of fecal contamination in a water supply. An E. coli or total coliform positive water sample is considered abnormal and is brought to the attention of the public health authority so they can discuss the results with the home owner and recommend appropriate actions such as well shock chlorination and resampling. Research has shown that drinking untreated or improperly treated groundwater can be associated with the transmission of disease causing agents. When untreated groundwater is used for irrigation, it can also be a threat to food safety especially through fruits and vegetables which might be eaten raw. Monitoring E. coli and total coliforms in drinking water based on current microbiological standards does not provide a reliable assessment of risk related to viral pathogens in the water systems. ( In depth information : http://www.waterencyclopedia.com/Ge-Hy/Human-Health-and-Water.html)  This issue has been Image result for Alberta groundwater quality assessment guidelinepreviously identified by Health Canada (Guideline for Canadian Drinking Water Quality) and the Alberta groundwater quality assessment guideline. They also may not be good indicators for other disease causing organisms.
  This project, funded by the Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency and Alberta Innovates Environment and Energy Solutions, as well as FoodNet Canada, brings together professionals from different disciplines such as economists, engineers, environmental health officers, epidemiologists, microbiologists, physicians, veterinarians, and virologists to provide a robust assessment and interpretation of different aspects of well water quality. We are collaborating at local, provincial, and national levels to understand, manage and inform risk mitigation at the animal-human-environment interface. Stakeholders will be engaged throughout the process. Our partner, FoodNet Canada, is a federal program that uses a comprehensive surveillance at sentinel sites across Canada to reduce the burden of gastrointestinal disease in people. The newest surveillance site will be located in Alberta.
  This project has been developed to describe the patterns of disease causing E. coli and other bacteria, viruses, and antimicrobial resistant organisms in well water across Alberta, both seasonally and annually. We will be able to compare the traditional water quality indicators to newer monitoring methods looking directly for disease causing agents through molecular and other means. This will tell us how well the indicators work and provide evidence to support future changes to testing protocols. The study results will be applied to assess if there are associations between well water contamination and well characteristics, land use (septic systems, manure storage), environmental (climatic, geologic) and animal husbandry risk factors using our broad team’s expertise in this “one health” approach.
  Image result for Alberta livestock producers associationWe will also examine livestock producers’ perceptions of water quality, water contamination, and the influence of their perceptions on the management practices they choose that prevent
water contamination by animal waste. Engaging stakeholders in the process will help to provide robust evidence-based information that will be used to inform rural water users, livestock producers, decision makers, and the general public on the implications for human, animal, and environmental health.
CHECKLEY CROPPEDSylvia Checkley is an assistant
professor in ecosystem and public
health in the Faculty of Veterinary
Medicine at the University of
Calgary. She is also a program
lead in environmental surveillance at the Alberta
Provincial Laboratory for Public Health

 

Happy Victoria Day 2015! Canada

 

Happy Victoria Day!

from your friends at

Rainsoft Ottawa.

Victoria Day is celebrated on the first Monday preceding May 25th, in honour of Queen Victoria’s birthday.  On this day we also recognize Canada‘s reigning sovereign’s official birthday.It is a statutory holiday throughout all of Canada except the Atlantic provinces (New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island).

The holiday has been observed since before Canada was formed, originally falling on the sovereign’s actual birthday, and continues to be celebrated in various fashions across the country on the fixed date. In Quebec, the same day was, since the Quiet Revolution, unofficially known as Fête de Dollard until 2003, when provincial legislation officially named the same date as Victoria Day the National Patriots’ Day. It is a statutory holiday federally, as well as in six of Canada’s ten provinces and all three of its territories.

Victoria Day Happy Canada Icon Icons Emoticon Emoticons Animated Animation Animations Gif Gifs Happy Canada Day Niagra Falls Horseshoe Falls Fireworks Pictures, Images and Photos

 Who was Queen Victoria?

Victoria, who was queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and empress of India, was born in 1819. She was only 18 when she took over the throne in 1837 after her uncle George IV died. She ruled until her death in 1901, when her son Edward the VII became the King of England.

Queen Victoria was born on May 24th but Canadians celebrate Victoria Day on the Monday before May 24. Victoria Day became a popular holiday in Ontario (it was Canada West back then) in 1845 and a national holiday in 1901.  First Victoria Day was called Empire Day, then later called Commonwealth Day and now we call it Victoria Day.

“Timewatch: Young Victoria”, a BBC documentary was published on Oct 18, 2012.  Many of us have an image of Queen Victoria as a dour, restrictive woman. But, as Dr. Kate Williams explores in ‘Young Victoria’, the reality is very different. Based on her research, ‘Young Victoria’ will show the hidden story of behind the Queen who brought us into the modern age – and how she saved the very institution of monarchy itself.

Victoria Day Trivia
  • The earliest postage stamps in the world were the Penny Black of the United Kingdom and had the head of Queen Victoria on them. They were first used on May 6, 1840.
  • As a kid, Queen Victoria was trained to keep her chin up. To help her out, holly was put under her collar to irritate her if she put her chin down.
  • Victoria’s mom spoke German at home and even though she ruled England for 64 years, Victoria never learned to speak perfect English.
  • Queen Victoria was the last teenager to rule England.
  • Some cities celebrate this day with fireworks in the evening.

After the death of Queen Victoria, an Act was passed by the Parliament of Canada establishing a legal holiday on May 24 in each year (or May 25 if May 24 fell on a Sunday) under the name Victoria Day. An amendment to the Statutes of Canada in 1952 established the celebration of Victoria Day on the Monday preceding May 25, making it the first long weekend of the summer season.

From 1953 to 1956, the Queen’s birthday was celebrated in Canada on Victoria Day. In 1957, Victoria Day was permanently appointed as the Queen’s birthday in Canada. In the United Kingdom, the Queen’s birthday is celebrated in June.

Victoria Day has also been known as the Queen’s Birthday, Empire Day, and Commonwealth Day. The holiday name was changed to Empire Day in the 1890s when enthusiasm for the British Empire was at a peak. By the mid-20th century, however, the Empire had given way to the Commonwealth, so the holiday became known as Commonwealth Day. In 1977 Commonwealth Day was moved to the second Monday in March and Canadians continued to celebrate Victoria Day in May.

http://www.calendar-updates.com/info/holidays/canada/victoria.aspx

Lake Vanishes Every Summer ~ Awesome!

1-LOST LAKEAll The Water In This Lake Vanishes Down a Hole Every Summer May 6, 2015 | by Janet Fang of IFLSCIENCE

photo credit: A screenshot of the lava tube draining Lost Lake from a youtube video by Ryan Brennecke for The Bulletin

In the mountains of Oregon, there’s a shallow lake just off the highway that disappears once a year during the dry summer months, then reappears during the wetter seasons. It’s called Lost Lake, and its magical vanishing act is thanks to a lava tube.

These geographic features form when streaming lava cools and hardens at the top while the hot insides beneath the surface continue to flow downhill. The tunnel that’s left behind may open up a hole after an eruption or through erosion. Lava tubes ranging from trash-can-sized little guys to subway-tunnel-sized ones you can walk through are scattered across the volcanic terrain of Central Oregon and the Cascade Range.

Several small streams flow into the 0.34-square-kilometer (0.13-square-mile) Lost Lake, and they all drain into one (possibly two) of these large holes on the north side of the lake. Water starts pouring in during the late fall, and it continues throughout the rain and snowstorms. “It fills up in the winter, when input exceeds the rate of draining, and then it goes dry and it’s a meadow,” Willamette National Forest spokeswoman Jude McHugh tells The Bulletin of Bend, Oregon. The hole has been there as long as anyone can remember.

Here’s a very cool video from The Bulletin of Lost Lake funneling down the lava tube drain hole, the lake’s only known outlet:

Published on Apr 23, 2015 – Water from Lost Lake drains down one of the many lava tubes scattered throughout the Central Oregon Cascades. The water is most likely seeping into the subsurface below and refilling the massive aquifer that feeds springs on both sides of the Cascades. The story: j.mp/1aXYVBU.

Lost Lake probably formed about 3,000 years ago, when lava flowing from a volcanic vent blocked a river channel to create a lake, McHugh tells Live Science. It sits atop 12,000-year-old volcanic rock that was filled with bubbles back when it was forming. When the gas escaped into the atmosphere, it left behind pores alongside various cracks and fissures throughout landscape.

We don’t know if the water flowing into the hole travels to an outlet, though McHugh thinks that it likely seeps into the porous subsurface below—recharging the aquifer that feeds the springs on either side of the Cascades. It can take a decade for the water to filter down through all those holes and cracks.

“Here in western Oregon, it pops out at the valley floor and supplies drinking water and important habitat for humans, fish and all kinds of species,” she adds. “That water that fell today, there’s some kid that’s going to be born tomorrow that’s going to be drinking it when he’s 10.” [Via Live Science, The Bulletin]

A TRIBUTE TO MOTHERS EVERYWHERE

FLOWERS FUZZY COLLAGE

COLUMBINE2I thought it would be interesting to check into the history of Mothers Day and also thought it would be nice to create a YouTube video with inspirational quotes on motherhood. I’d appreciate you watching it on YouTube and ‘liking it’. I dedicated my Mothers Day tribute to my amazing daughter who is the fabulous Mom of my now 7 year old grandson and is my inspiration, “my hero” and “the wind beneath my wings” ~ I hope you enjoy it and you are welcome to share with all the Moms near (or far) and dear to you.

EARLIEST HISTORY OF MOTHERS DAY:
CRONUSThe earliest history of Mothers Day dates back to the ancient annual spring festival the Greeks dedicated to maternal goddesses. CRONYS AND RHEAThe Greeks used the occasion to honor Rhea, wife of Cronus and the mother of many deities of Greek mythology. Ancient Romans, too, celebrated a spring festival, called Hilaria dedicated to Cybele, a mother goddess. It may be CYBELEnoted that ceremonies in honour of Cybele began some 250 years before Christ was born. The celebration made on the Ides of March by making offerings in the temple of Cybele lasted for three days and ROMAN CELEBRATIONSincluded parades, games and masquerades. The celebrations were notorious enough that followers of Cybele were banished from Rome.

History of Mother’s Day in England:
MOTHERING SUNDAYThe more recent history of Mothers Day dates back to 1600s in England. Here a Mothering Sunday was celebrated annually on the fourth Sunday of Lent MOTHERING SUNDAY2(the 40 day period leading up to Easter) to honor mothers… Custom of celebrating Mothering Sunday died out almost completely by the 19th century. However, the day came to be celebrated again after World War II, when American servicemen brought the custom and commercial enterprises used it as an occasion for sales.

Mother’s Day in the United States:
JULIE WARD HOWEThe idea of official celebration of Mothers day in US was first suggested by Julia Ward Howe in 1872. An activist, writer and poet Julia shot to fame with her famous Civil War song, “Battle Hymn of the Republic“. Julia Ward Howe suggested that June 2 be annually celebrated as Mothers Day and should be dedicated to peace.
ANNA JARVISAnna Jarvis is recognised as the Founder of Mothers Day in US. Though Anna Jarvis never married and never had kids, she is also known as the Mother of Mothers Day, an apt title for the lady who worked hard to bestow honor on all mothers… The hard work paid off. By 1911, Mother’s Day was celebrated in almost every state in the Union and on May 8, 1914 President Woodrow Wilson signed a Joint Resolution designating the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day.

Mother’s Day in Canada:
TULIPSIn North American country of Canada, Mothers Day is the most popular festival after Christmas and Valentines Day. Just as in USA, Mothers Day in Canada is celebrated in the second Sunday in the month of May. People pay tribute to their mothers on the day and thank them for their constant support and love.  Here in Ottawa we have the Tulip Festival which coincides with Mother’s Day.

http://www.conservapedia.com/Mother’s_Day

fLORAL GREETING FOR BLOG

Is Ottawa Still Doing This in 2015? – Alarming!!!

2015 – Ottawa is still dumping raw sewage into the Ottawa River and for some time the toxins have been getting into our drinking water!!!

The following excerpts are from an article from GREG WESTON, QMI AGENCY, entitled, |”Canada Is Full of Crap”, reposted today, May 5, 2015.  While Olympic ads are pitching Canada to the world as a land of vast beauty and pristine waters, a damning internal government report describes a country that’s full of crap. Literally. Hard to imagine in the 21st century, but a federal environmental study has found almost 400 cities and towns across the country are flushing their raw sewage directly into lakes, rivers and the ocean…The water communities are using as an open sewer is what they – and hundreds of others – use for drinking, bathing and food preparation…
How bad are the worst 399?
Apparently they are even more polluting than the nation’s capital, and Ottawa’s record is truly disgusting. In one incident, the city released over 700 million litres of raw sewage into the Ottawa River just in one nine-day period. Ottawa isn’t even on the list of the country’s worst offenders. It’s time the poop hits the fan and not the nearest river.

Ottawa Separated Sewage System?
DRY AND WET WEATHERMERITS AND DEMERITS LISTSEWERAGE SYSTEM
SEPARATE SEWER CROPPEDSeparating raw sewage from storm water may not be as easy as it appears, nor may it always be a practical solution.
Ottawa’s director of water and wastewater services, Dixon Weir, told the Sun that on a dry day in the nation’s capital 100% of the raw sewage residents create is treated.
COMBINED SEWER CROPPEDOn a wet and rainy day, when the city’s combined sewer operation is at capacity and handling not only raw sewage but storm water as well, the combined sewer operation system is capable of capturing and treating 99% of the raw sewage and storm water mixture, while the remaining 1% empties into the Ottawa River untreated.
The overflows into the river are built to prevent the system from backing up onto city streets or into basements.
Untreated runoff:DEMERITS
Weir said if the city decides to separate the raw sewage from storm water – which also carries contaminants, including E. coli- it wouldn’t be able to capture and treat any of the contaminated storm water.
SETTLING POND
In community developments built in the past 30 to 40 years, there are about 150 massive settling ponds where storm runoff sits and naturally cleanses itself before discharging into the river.
WASTEWATER TREATMENT PLANT OTTAWAOttawa would be able to direct all sewage to a wastewater treatment plant, but none of the storm water collected in older neighbourhoods – containing animal and bird feces as well as other substances like lawn and garden fertilizers- would be treated.
WESTBORO BEACHFor example, Ottawa’s Westboro Beach had consistently high levels of E.coli and been closed 20 days this summer – more than any other city beach – but that neighbourhood has a separated sewer system.
LAST PARA“It would be obvious to say that a separated system would be the best solution, but that may not be true,” said Weir.
– Derek Puddicombe

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This system removes any concerns you have about your family’s health issues as a result of these toxins in your drinking water. You will also be amazed at how ‘refreshingly delicious’ our water tastes!!! 

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