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Butterflies – Amazing Epic Journey

MONARCH ICONOn a late August morning just north of Lake Huron a miracle of nature unfolds ~ a tiny yellow, black and white striped caterpillar destined to become a monarch butterfly begins its life journey.  

MONARCH ICONIn the  most amazing transformation the caterpillar sheds its skin four times. The fifth time the caterpillar disappears and is transformed into a chrysalis – a delicate case in which a completely new being takes form. 

MONARCH ICONAfter 10 days the new creature is complete.  All traces of caterpillar are gone and in its place is a butterfly with four delicate wings.

MONARCH ICONThe new monarch butterfly must wait a few hours for its wings to harden and then finally it can fly.

The following video, “World’s Most Beautiful Butterflies” posted to Youtube by the Documentary tv network June 20, 2014 is a must see. The scenery, narration, videography, etc. all magnificently done!



MONARCH ICONThis is by far one of the most memorable video presentations I have watched.  I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it.  Its one that I will bookmark to watch again.   I am amazed and thrilled to have had the opportunity of following this epic journey.










Plastic choking our oceans – Tragic

The following article, “10 Things We Learned About Tackling Plastic Ocean Waste”, by Hannah Gould was posted to June 23, 2015

Earlier this year an NGO warned we could end up with ‘as much plastic in our oceans as fish’. Here is what the experts said in an online debate on plastic pollution.

Image result for oceans being choked by plastics1) We can’t keep up with waste management
More than 50% of ocean plastics are coming from rapidly developing geographies around the world, where population growth and increased plastics consumption is outpacing the capacity to manage waste. Even in the US, waste infrastructure is set up for a material mix that’s less relevant today.
“Plastic never dies, and that means every piece we ever produce will stay on this planet,” warns Cyrill Gutsch, founder of Parley for the Oceans.
A lot of areas don’t have the infrastructure to manage plastic, so even if consumers put their bottles in the right bins, it won’t necessarily end up being recycled.

  Image result for oceans being choked by plastics

Image result for Tackling ocean waste will require a range of different policies2) We need action from governments and businesses
Tackling ocean waste will require a range of different policies that drive manufacturer participation, combined with voluntary efforts by companies. Key to this will be global corporate leaders that recognise the scale of the problem and its local impact.

TURTLE3) It’s an economic as well as an environmental issue
We’re told of ocean plastic strangling seals and turtles swallowing it, but the mainstream media rarely frame the problem as an economic one.
Bridget Croke, head of investor and industry partnerships at the Closed Loop Fund, says some big consumer packaged goods companies are demanding more recycled content because they are concerned with the price volatility of raw materials. However, she says it’s early days and markets must be pushed pro-actively.
“We need to show [companies] that designing in a way that holds the value of the materials makes economic sense”.

4) Designers and recyclers often feel helpless

Just designing a product with its end-of-life in mind could have a big impact, says Jenna Jambeck, assistant professor of environmental engineering at the University of Georgia. She says that “so many issues [are] caused downstream from not considering this point in a product’s life cycle”.
But Sandy Roger from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation (EMC) points out that there’s a “kind of helplessness pervading this space”.
RECYCLE END PRODUCTConsumer goods companies keen to design for recycling don’t know which system to design for because municipal recycling is so diverse, while municipalities and waste companies are overwhelmed by a growing and changing portfolio of plastics. “It’s a stalemate, and both sides end up with lowest common denominator solutions,” Roger says.
EMC is trying to bring together the two sides to allow more joined-up thinking, while Croke says the Closed Loop Fund is looking at packaging trends to make sure it builds appropriate infrastructure.

YOGURT SHAMPPOO5) There are global solutions to this global problem
One way to solve the end-of-life problem would be to make simple products, such as yogurt pots and shampoo bottles, from a single material that is recyclable around the world, suggests Alexis Haas, director of sustainability at Adidas. Currently, consumer goods are mostly made from mixed plastics, which are only suitable for down-cycling.

6) There are also local solutions
Ben Kneppers, co-founder of Bureo Skateboards, explains that an artisanal fishing village in Chile was left with no choice but to burn or discard its old fishing nets. In giving the community the resources and opportunity to return nets for recycling, the company says it has prevented waste, created jobs and captured a valuable material for its skateboards.
Its business model works with both large and small fisheries and, according to Kneppers, results in “an amount of material 100 times more than we can make direct use of at the moment”.

JEANS7) We have to eliminate the ‘ick factor’
Shubhankar Ray, global brand director at G-Star RAW, says: “People buy what they desire in fashion, so eco-clothing needs to be cool and sexy to drive desire.”
The company’s Raw for the Oceans jeans collection, fronted by singer Pharrell Williams, is made from 35% recycled ocean plastic and 65% cotton. Eliminating preconceptions around reusing waste can push the idea of recycling, which is one part of the solution.

8) Labelling plastic bags like tobacco is not helpful
Adding a warning sign to plastic bags about the damage they can cause may not be a great solution. While Kneppers agrees that a lack of education is part of the problem, he believes that we would better engage consumers with positivity, by highlighting how small actions can protect the places we love.

Image result for oceans being choked by plastics

9) A ban might not be best
“We need to be careful when proposing an all-out ban on any one material,” warns Nicholas Mallos, director of the Trash Free Seas programme. “If material substitutes are available to replace a given non-recyclable plastic, like cellophane, then it’s key to look at the entire life cycle and ensure we don’t replace one unintended environmental impact with another.”
Besides, a ban isn’t practical or actionable. Ray suggests that it would be better to lobby policy makers to put plastic reduction and suitable alternatives on serious agendas.

10) Together, we can take plastics off the market
“The problem we are facing is that plastic is simply the wrong material – it needs to be reinvented,” says Gutsch. “There is no need to use plastic straws, plastic utensils, plastic bottles, plastic bags … We can take these products off the market right away. By doing so, we show there is a movement happening, which motivates the research and development labs for material development.”

Remarkable quest ~ Adrift

1-ALEX BELLINI ADRIFT“Alex Bellini ~ Man to live on melting iceberg for one year to urge climate change action.”
Crazy publicity stunt or stroke of daring genius? We’re not sure, but it got our attention. The man pictured above is Alex Bellini, a professional adventurer and motivational speaker who plans to live alone on a melting iceberg off the coast of Greenland for one year, to emphasize the urgent need for climate change action.
This bold one-man campaign comes at a time when a chorus of scientists, organizations and policymakers continue to warn about the accelerating loss of Arctic ice.
Thus, extreme circumstances seem to call for extreme measures, but for this former finance student from northern Italy who has already run 23,000 kilometres (14,291 miles) of marathons, rowed solo across the Mediterranean, Atlantic, and Pacific oceans, this new project seems even more extreme. Watch Bellini explain his actions himself:

Starting in spring of 2015, Bellini plans to find a suitable iceberg in the northwest region of Greenland, where he will remain for up to a year as it slowly melts. Provisioned with with 300 kilograms (661 pounds) of dried food, Bellini will shelter in a survival capsule, the Kevlar-reinforced kind used for ocean oil rigs,
until it becomes too risky – at which point he will take to the sea in the capsule, floating adrift until he is rescued.

The project will also serve science: the UK-based explorer plans to observe the changes to our planetary climate, firsthand. Bellini’s technical equipment will be powered by a rowing contraption that will convert his muscular energy into electricity.
He says on Motherboard:
Image result for entire lifetime of an icebergMy objective is reporting and investigating, by means of scientific methods, the entire lifetime of an iceberg. I want to prove how the pace of ice-melting has dramatically accelerated over the last decades. We’ll also play the symbolic card: the adventure of a man floating adrift on an iceberg will come to represent the condition of the whole humankind going adrift on an endangered planet.

Though Bellini earnestly seeks to draw attention to the seriousness of climate change, some have expressed awed disbelief at the adventurer’s proposed plan. When asked if he was “crazy,” the self-professed “explorer of human nature” replies to Adventure Journal that it is also about pushing the boundaries of human WIFEpossibilities: “Well, I want to be honest with you: yes, probably I’m a bit crazy, but is it not equally crazy someone who lives a life constantly dreaming of something different? Is it not equally crazy someone who procrastinates, someone who, fearing to be or look imperfect, refrains from dancing, acting, singing, wooing a girl? Is it not equally crazy someone who postpones his happiness to future events that might never occur? Maybe I’m crazy because I chose sacrifice, remoteness, and solitude or because I decided to live the life I love, but as you can see nobody is straight.”

It may seem crazy, but this seems like another much needed nudge to the collective human psyche to adapt and change for the better; in a way, we’ll all be floating adrift with Alex. More over at Alex Bellini’s site, Facebook and Twitter; read more about Adrift 2015.

WATER DROPLET HAPPY ICON GIMPCROPPEDFor those of you fortunate enough to speak or understand Italian enjoy the following in depth video of Alex and his quest.

World Water Week 2015 Stockholm Water Prize Winner


The water man of India wins 2015 Stockholm Water Prize

SWP Banners with image

Click here for short video of interview –

STOCKHOLMStockholm, Sweden (20 March 2015) – Rajendra Singh of India is named the 2015 Stockholm Water Prize Laureate, for his innovative water restoration efforts, improving water security in rural India, and for showing extraordinary courage and determination in his quest to improve the living conditions for those most in need.


Mr Singh, born 1959, lives and works in the arid Indian state of Rajasthan, where he for several decades dedicated himself to defeating drought and empowering communities. The results of his tireless work are without equal: in close cooperation with local residents, he and his organization have revived several rivers, brought water, and life, back to a thousand villages and given hope to countless people.


On receiving news about the prize, Mr Singh said “this is very encouraging, energizing and inspiring news. Through the Indian wisdom of rainwater harvesting, we have made helpless, abandoned, destitute and impoverished villages prosperous and healthy again.

SWP Banners resized newsIn its citation, The Stockholm Water Prize Committee says that “today’s water problems cannot be solved by science or technology alone. They are instead human problems of governance, policy, leadership, and social resilience. Rajendra Singh’s life work has been in building social capacity to solve local water problems through participatory action, empowerment of women, linking indigenous know-how with modern scientific and technical approaches and upending traditional patterns of development, resource use, and social norms.”

“In a world where demand for freshwater is booming, where we will face a severe water crisis within decades if we do not learn how to better take care of our water, Mr Singh is a beacon of hope,” says Torgny Holmgren, SIWI’s Executive Director. “He has literally brought villages back to life. We need to take Mr Singh’s lessons and actions to heart if we are to achieve sustainable water use in our lifetime.”

Rajendra Singh’s work reveals a true humanitarian and firm believerImage result for ayurvedic medicine symbol in empowerment. After studying Ayurvedic medicine and surgery, he
went into the countryside in the largely impoverished state of Rajasthan in the mid-1980’s with the aim to set up health clinics. Instead, he was told by villagers that the greatest need was not health care, but water. As wells dried up, crops wilted, and rivers and forests disappeared, many able-bodied villagers left in search for work in the cities. Women, children and the elderly were left behind, without hope, as their villages were being overrun by sand and dust.

Rajendra Singh did not insist with the clinics. Instead, and with the help of the villagers, he set out to build johads, or traditional earthen dams. Two decades after Rajendra Singh arrived in Rajasthan, 8,600 johads and other structures to collect water had been built. Water had been brought back to a 1,000 villages across the state. Mr Singh, his co-workers in Tarun Bharat Sangh (India Youth Association) had gotten water to flow again in several rivers of Rajasthan. The forest cover has increased, and antelope and leopard started returning.

The methods used by Mr Singh are modernization of traditional Indian ways of collecting and storing rainwater, dating back thousands of years. The methods fell out of use during British colonial rule, but have now brought water back to the driest state in one of the world’s most populous nations, thanks to the “Water man of India” and his colleagues.

“When we started our work, we were only looking at the drinking water crisis and how to solve that. Today our aim is higher. This is the 21st century. This is the century of exploitation, pollution and encroachment. To stop all this, to convert the war on water into peace, that is my life’s goal”, says Mr Singh.

Climate change is changing weather patterns around the world, leading to more frequent and intense droughts and floods. Learning how to harvest rainwater, cutting the peaks of water to fill the troughs, will be a key skill in most parts of the world. Some of the world’s finest scientists are currently focusing their attention on the management of rain and how to best develop the knowledge.

“We need to learn more about managing and harvesting rain in order to reduce our exposure to droughts as well as floods”, says SIWI’s Torgny Holmgren.

“Due to the harvesting of rain and recharging groundwater, there is no scope for drought or floods in our area. This work of ours is a way to solve both floods and droughts globally. Therefore we believe the impact of this work is on the local level, national level, the international level and above all at the village level,” says Rajendra Singh.

KING CARLH.M. King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden, Patron of the Stockholm Water Prize, will present the prize to Rajendra Singh at a Royal Award Ceremony during 2015 World Water Week in Stockholm on 26 August.

About Stockholm Water Prize
The Stockholm Water Prize is a global award founded in 1991 and presented annually by the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) to an individual, organisation or institution for outstanding water-related achievements. The Stockholm Water Prize Laureate receives USD 150,000 and a specially designed sculpture. H.M. King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden is patron of the prize.

Initially founded by the Stockholm Water Foundation to encourage research and development of the world’s water environment, the Image result for royal swedish academy of sciencesStockholm Water Prize is additionally supported by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, International Water Image result for international water association logoAssociation, Water Environment Federation and the City of Stockholm. The Founders of the Stockholm Water Prize are companies united in their strong conviction to drive sustainability in the water sector. They are: Bacardi, Borealis & Borouge, DuPont, Europeiska ERV, Fujitsu, HP, Kemira, KPMG Sweden, Ragn-Sells, Scandinavian Airlines (SAS), SJ (Swedish Railways), Snecma/Safran, Xylem and Ålandsbanken.

Image result for Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI)Stockholm International Water Institute is a policy institute that generates knowledge and informs decision-makers towards water wise policy and sustainable development. SIWI performs research, builds institutional capacity and provides advisory services in five thematic areas: water governance, transboundary water management, water and climate change, the water-energy-food nexus, and water economics. SIWI organizes the World Water Week in Stockholm – the leading annual global meeting place on water and development issues – and hosts the Stockholm Water Prize, the Stockholm Junior Water Prize and the Stockholm Industry Water Award.

Adorable Movie Star! ~ Sea Otter 501

1-OTTER 501Saving Otter 501 aired Wednesday, October 16, 2012 .  A baby sea otter abandoned on the beach was brought in to the Monterey Bay Aquarium. This is the aquarium’s 501st attempt to save an orphan otter. Against all odds, will she be able to return to her home in the wild?

Meet Otter 501 | Saving Otter 501 | PBS, published on Oct 14, 2013 – This little sea creature is the star of the documentary film Otter 501, which tells the story of a sea otter who was rescued after she lost her mom as a young pup in Monterey Bay. As she is being dried off, she gets a bit sneezy! There must be something in the air.

Baby otter squeaks when introduced to water

Sea Otter Orphan Gets Adopted | Nature | PBS – published on Oct 11, 2013 – Can an orphan sea otter pup be accepted by a surrogate mother to learn how to survive and thrive back in the wild?

After about 3 months, Otter 501 begins to master otter lessons, but there are plenty of other challenges to face in the wild. 

Toola Feeds 501 – Toola shows lil’ 501 how to use tools to open shells containing delicious food, a crucial skill for sea otter survival in the wild

Otter 501 Tries Solid Food – About this video: Are we wrong to think that she’s not impressed? After being bottle fed, Otter 501 was offered solid food in the form of shellfish. Monterey Bay Aquarium caretakers beat shells together to mimic the sound a mother otter makes when she breaks open prey.

Otter 501 Eats Crab on Her Own – After months of help from caretakers and her surrogate mother, Otter 501 has finally developed the skills to eat a live crab all on her own! This is a critical step – once she’s returned to the wild she’ll have to find and consume foods like this all on her own.

Otter 501’s Release Back to the Wild – published on Jun 22, 2012 – About this video: June 22, 2012: Otter 501, the star of our feature-length film of the same name, has been living back in the wild for a full year. Her release was the end of an amazing story, but the beginning of her second chance.

WATER DROPLET HAPPY ICON GIMPCROPPEDUnfortunately the full length video, “Saving Otter 501” is no longer available, however you can purchase the video at:

Film Description: A storm grows, a sea otter pup is separated from her mother, and a young woman bound for adventure blows in to town. On a windswept beach these lives collide and an entire species’ survival gets personal. Katie and our playful pup, otter number 501, learn to navigate the opportunities and risks of life without anchor while we see the incredible efforts people have undertaken to return sea otters from the brink of extinction. Framed against the strikingly beautiful Monterey Bay coastline we discover just how serious this threat remains. Their adventure, unexpected as it was, illustrates what we can do to protect the southern sea otter…and ourselves.


WATER DROPLET HAPPY ICON GIMPCROPPEDI’ve enjoyed these mini videos so much that I will purchase the full length video to enjoy with my grandchildren.

Happy 1st Day of Spring! 

Have a great weekend everyone.

California Epic Drought ~ Remarkable Solution

Image result for Epic Drought Spurs California to Build  Largest Desalination PlantEpic Drought Spurs California to Build Largest
Desalination Plant in Western Hemisphere” by Cole Mellino, appeared on EcoWatch Transforming Green March 10, 2015 

Image result for The U.S. Drought Monitor shows nearly 40 percent of the state of California remains in exceptional drought“The U.S. Drought Monitor shows nearly 40 percent of the state of California remains in exceptional drought, the highest level of drought and many communities are working to come up with long-term solutions as reservoirs and rivers continue to diminish,” says Jeremy Hobson of NPR’s Here and Now.


UCOn the show yesterday, Hobson discussed desalination as a solution to the drought with David Jassby, assistant professor of chemical and environmental engineering at the University of California, Riverside and Sandy Kerl of the San Diego County Water Authority. There are currently 13 desalination projects under consideration along the California coast.

Image result for how desalination works

Jassby explains how desalination works, why in the U.S. we rely on reverse osmosis rather than thermal-based plants and the environmental impacts of the process. Image result for how desalination worksDesalination has been proposed for years in the U.S., but has always been shot down for being too expensive and requiring too much energy. Now, “the first desalination plant in Carlsbad is coming online in 2016 or maybe even sooner,” says Jassby.

The cost of desalinized water has come down significantly in recent years, making it “pretty comparable” to conventional water sources, according to Jassby. He expects that places that have “ready access to the ocean” and are water-stressed will employ desalination in the coming years. It’s already widely used in other parts of the world such as the Middle East, Australia and parts of Southern Europe.

When the Carlsbad Desalination Project is completed this fall, it will be the largest desalination plant in the Western Hemisphere. Kerl of the San Diego County Water Authority, which is partnering with POSEIDONPoseidon Water on the project, explains why she believes the desalination plant is environmentally
sound and also necessary for the state of California. The state’s recent snowpack survey reveals that the snowpack, a major source of drinking water for residents, is currently five percent of average, according to Kerl.

Crazy Hair Freezing Contest! ~ Northern Canada


Takhini Hot Springs

Image result for takhini hot springs whitehorseTakhini Hot Springs (t
ɑːkiːniː) is a natural hot springs located just outside the border of Whitehorse, Yukon (28 km from city centre). It is a locally run business which incorporates two pools at different temperatures and has a campground with over 80 sites. It is a historic site and a very popular destination for tourists and locals.

The hot springs flows from the earth to the surface at a rate of 385 litres (86 gallons) per minute. The temperature from the source is 46.5º Celsius (118º Fahrenheit). The pool is divided into two sections: the hot side and the cool side. As the water flows from the source to the hot pool the water cools to 42º Celsius (107.6º Fahrenheit), the cool side is an average of 36º Celsius (96.8º Fahrenheit). Takhini Hot Springs is fortunate to contain no sulphurous odour as is common to most hot springs.

IMAGE5Brave Participants of the International Hair Freezing contest bathe in air temperatures of -30C to achieve their crazy hairstyles, and this bunch were crowned the winners.

IMAGE7Competitors at the Takhini Hot Springs in Whitehorse, Yukon, northern Canada, bathe in hot springs in 40C temperature water and the sub zero temperatures in the air create this stunning effect.

Image result for Takhini Hot SpringsBased on geothermal research, the hot springs water comes from intersecting faults in the earth. Rain water and snow from the mountains go deep into the earth, where the water is heated and the minerals dissolve. The water then returns to the surface and out of the ground in a small crater (the source). The source is currently located near the pool facilities.
According to tests, it has taken a minimum of 60 years for the water in the pools to come from the ground into the source. During its underground journey to the surface, the water reaches a maximum temperature of 95º Celsius (203º Fahrenheit) and then cools down as it rises to the surface and into the source.
Takhini Hot Springs has a long history in the Yukon. Used by the First Nations People for centuries, the site was known for natural hot water flowing from the ground. In 1907 it was commercially promoted Image result for liard hot springs mapfor its therapeutic value. The first pool was made of wood and canvas and was built in the 1940s for the use of the United States Army while they constructed the Alaska Highway. In 1950 a concrete pool was built and that was later replaced by the existing pool and building in the 1970s. In 2008, many renovations were undertaken to improve the pool’s facilities. Renovations are still made to this day.

WATER DROPLET HAPPY ICON GIMPCROPPEDDefinitely not my cup of tea but sure is a lot of fun for all those hardy souls!
Have a great weekend everyone.
See you back here next week.