The Birds and the Bees; It’s Not What You Think, Tale of Our Grim Lesson

Who knew that chickens and bees would have one very tragic similarity?

 

Certainly not us.

 

You see, chickens and bees can both easily drown.


We discovered this quite traumatically this past Wednesday; at 5:30 P.M., all three of our daughter’s chickens were hanging out on the back deck, sunning themselves. Less than two hours later, when our daughter went to put the chickens in their coop for the night, one of them was nowhere to be found. We frantically searched our backyard, and then the immediate neighborhood. Out of desperation, we traversed the backyard again. To our great horror, we found Lily in the pond. The poor thing had drowned.

We didn’t know that chickens aren’t the best swimmers, and they cannot fly out of the water like water birds. They can float, and even swim a bit, but once their feathers get wet, the weight of their soaked feathers causes them to sink like a rock. This means that even if they do manage to swim for awhile, the chicken still is in danger of drowning.

 

So, ponds are a very real hazard for chickens. Same with buckets, kiddie pools, and even deep puddles. A chicken is very likely to drown in the event their feathers become drenched and begin to weigh them down.

Unlike bees, you cannot just throw a few rocks and/or floats in the water, and assume that the chicken will be able to get itself out of danger.

If they cannot get out by themselves chickens are in danger. They will swim until they become exhausted and then drown, become waterlogged then drown, or they can become soaked and succumb to hypothermia if it is too cool outside. If the chicken panics and flails when it hits the water they will saturate themselves and possibly breath in water, making them even more likely to have trouble in the water.

 

Providing  a walk-out pool or pond does not ensure that the chickens will be safe. It turns out, when thinking chicken and water, think 1-year old human baby and water. If you would worry about your infant or toddler drowning in a given situation, it is a concern for your chickens too.

 

So; If there are chickens in your lives, make sure that you are aware of this danger.

 

If you let your chickens near water, keep a vigilant eye on them, and help them out, if they find themselves in the water. Even if they are in a walk-out pool or pond, if they get soaked and are in water that is too deep, get them out of the water before it is too late. Dry them off it is cool, since they can get hypothermia easily when soaked. Finally, consider chicken-proofing water features and emptying other sources of water that pose hazards to you chickens.

 

Chicken are land fowls that depend on foraging and roost in low sitting branches. Case in point, they aren’t like ducks, they don’t do well with water. So; if you have chickens as a pet and want them to live long and happy, keep an eye on their surroundings. If there is remotely deep water, consider putting up your chickens up for the time as rain passes and puddles dry. If you have ponds, try out some netting to keep your chickens out to prevent unnecessary tragedy.

Our post tonight is in loving Memory of Lily the Chicken.

She will be dearly missed by her chicken sisters,

as well as her human friends and family.

Informative Link discussing how chickens are different than waterfowl with respect to swimming.

Plant Poppies For Our Fallen

Poppies for the Fallen

Imagine the breeze making brilliant scarlet flowers swing and sway. Buds of lush red bouncing against stems of green in a field of stark and stunning beauty. Small and sedulous bees visiting each bud, collecting and pollinating. All is peaceful as nature unfolds before you, the blue sky is deep and expansive as it stretches passed rolling hills and looming, majestic mountains along the horizon.

 

How beautiful, ethereal, and captivating right? But to those who know; those who understand, it is a constant reminder of battles fought and life lost. A memento of struggle, conflict, and loss; whether a brother, a parent, a child, these lovely flowers are also a reminder of those lost to war.

The remembrance poppy is an artificial flower made to represent a common red field poppy. It was promoted by Moina Michael after the WWI poem “in Flanders Fields” was written by Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae.

The American Legion adopted it as a symbol to commemorate fallen soldiers in 1921. Today it is still used as a symbol in America. It was also adopted by the UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, where it is still used extensively in those countries.

 

Poppies for the Fallen

This Memorial Day, why not take the time to remember those who have fallen by planting poppies. Every time you see the bright red blooms, it will be a reminder to remember all that was beautiful about those we have lost.

For those of you planting for the bees, not only are the poppies a beautiful reminder of those you’ve loved, and an honor to those who have lost their lives serving, it is also a plant that the bees love.

Check out this link for an in depth discussion of poppies and memorial day.

 

Queen Bee for a Day

5 ways to leave mom feeling like the queen of the hive

 

Mom’s are loving, selfless, fierce cornerstones of support at their best, and crazed, tyrannical  groughes at their worst moments. But most of them rarely feel like a queen. They’re too busy alternating between working to support their families, and cleaning up messes, kissing owies, breaking up fights, cooking, cleaning, and doing all the other things mothers do.

 

So basically, they’re too busy taking care of the needs of others.

 

 

For Mother’s day this year, why not make your special mom feel like a queen? Try one of these ideas for a day that will leave her feeling like royalty:

 

  • Clean up without being asked. Pick up all the laundry and wash it. Tidy the flat surfaces. Dump the garbage. Do the dishes and wipe down the counters. Vacuum. Talk to your kids, if they are big enough to participate. Let them know what you are doing, and why. Then, do it all with a smile. Do it all without expecting praise. Do it as a gift. Make it about that special mom, and not you.

 

  • Detail mom’s car. Wash and wax it. Clean the windows. Armorall the tires and Dash. Vacuum the carpets. Add an air freshener for good measure. You could even go all out and hang a charm to her rearview mirror.  It will remind her of your thoughtful act every time she drives anywhere.

 

  • Plan a small family outing, and make it something she has been wanting to do. Watch and listen. Mothers drop hints and clues all the time about their wants and dreams. Make one come true. It doesn’t have to be big, it just has to be genuine. Maybe it’s a new garden store she wants to visit, a movie she really wants to see, or a hiking trail she wants to try. Coach the kids in advance, so they know that they shouldn’t complain. Explain that being selfless is something people sometimes do for those they care about, and remind them that mom usually picks activities that need to get done, or that others want to do, not what she really wants to do. If that doesn’t work, explain that the activity is a present. Remind them that mothers are selfless all the time.

  • Call a friend or relative of hers, and send them to lunch or dinner on you.  Sometimes, moms are so busy taking care of others, they don’t always get the chance to really connect with their friends or family. Remember to make sure that the kids get fed, and the mess from it is cleaned up before mom gets back.

  • Pamper her like a queen for the day. Have her sit down and relax. Let her have total control of the TV remote, or offer up a few of her favorite books. Make sure the kids know you are the go-to person if they need anything. Bring her drinks and food so that she doesn’t have to get them for herself. Finally, make sure you clean up any messes you make, so your special mother isn’t faced with a disaster after she gets up from her time spent relaxing.

 

Remember, you don’t have to wait for mothers day to come around to make the mothers in your life to feel truly royal. And your gestures don’t have to be grand or expensive.They just have to be thoughtful and genuine. So what will you do this Mother’s for your mom?

Goodwill Toward Trees (and Bees)

The 27th of this month will mark the passing of a day that is often ignored,

National Arbor day.

 

You’ve likely heard of it when you were a kid in grade school. They probably told you that trees were important. You probably did a craft project. You may have even helped plant a tree at your school.

Odds are, many of you haven’t given Arbor Day much thought since then.  So, I’m really glad you’re taking a look at this post.

 

For those of you who don’t remember, Arbor Day is a day to reflect, and act…by considering the importance of trees, and by planting them. Arbor Day in America has its roots in 1872 Nebraska, where a million trees were planted in the largely treeless prairie state in a single day, April 10th. The founder of Arbor Day was Julius Sterling Morton, a Nebraska newspaper editor. It was globalized largely through the efforts of a Connecticut man named Birdsey Northrop, and the newly formed American Forestry Association. Today, Arbor Day is celebrated in many countries around the world. The name varies, but the ideas are the same and, the actual date of celebration varies, just as the climates and growing seasons varies in each country. Click on this link to see when and how other countries celebrate.

So why are trees so important? It’s more than just because of their aesthetic value. They also pack a very big environmental punch. From acting as carbon sinks and producing oxygen, providing habitat, and stabilizing land, to moderating ground temperature, and storing water, trees are immensely important to the world as we know it. They can even be more than that. they can, and do provide, building materials, fuel, food, and even medicines and with proper management, they can do so indefinitely.

We’ll be planting a Bee Bee tree in our yard this year for Arbor Day. We ordered it from Bowman Farm and Nursery out of Hillsboro, OR. Do you plan on celebrating Arbor Day this year by planting a tree in your yard? Or will you participate in an organized celebration &/or tree planting through your town, scouting troop, or gardening club? Many cities and organizations sponsor Arbor Day activities. The City of Portland has a fabulous Arbor Day celebration scheduled for April 21st. It will be held in Mt. Scott Park from 10am-3pm. Check out this link for more information.

 

The bees will absolutely love the Bee Bee tree. It will feed lots of them, and they will in turn help feed the world. Some people probably think that one tree, cut down or planted, will make little difference in this world, but each tree matters. Taken together, they mark the movement towards a world that is a little better or a little worse, depending on which is greater, the rate of cutting or the rate of planting. The benefits and resources they will provide can either be plentiful or scarce, so we definitely need to be weary of what we do with this wonderful gift of nature. So plant a tree for a better life and a better future for yourself, your family, your world.

 

Additional stuff:

 

Would you like to receive 10 free trees to plant in your yard? By signing up with the National Arbor Day Foundation, you can receive 10 free trees. They even offer different options for the type of trees.  10 Free trees from Arbor Day Foundation

 

Time article on the history of Arbor Day in America

Thank the Bees for Pysanky

When I was a small child, my class went to visit a museum devoted to many different cultures. It was made up of a cluster of small cottages, with each dedicated to a different culture; such as Denmark, China, and Hungary. Yet, the House of Ukraine stuck out to me the most when I looked upon a basket of ornate and fantastically decorated eggs on display. I was so ecstatic about these pretty little eggs throughout the rest of the day and until we all went home. I remember when I tried to tell my mom about these eggs with unique lines and brilliant colors that my younger self couldn’t properly explain, and there was no computer to look up proof of these Easter wonders as the internet did not exist – it was the early 1970’s. So, that fantastical image of the decorated eggs sat in the back of my mind for years and years, until one day when I was home from college.

It was spring break; as I recall, I had left college and returned home to visit my family. My high school friends came over to hang out and ended up taking me to some sort of bazaar or fair that I can’t quite recall the name or proper title of. Several booths of artisans, crafters, and self established little businesses filled the gym of this local college where I encountered a wonderful ghost from my past. This lady there was decorating eggs, just like the  ones from when I was a kid.I was so happy to see them took it upon myself to learn of these neat little wonders. One of the coolest things I remember she was using beeswax to write designs on an egg. “It has to be beeswax. No other wax will work.” She told those of us watching. What I know now is that other waxes paraffin or soy do not have the properties that beeswax has and they won’t seal the egg or come off the egg cleanly at the end. Beeswax has very unique properties that are gentle enough to not harm the egg shell.

My bored friends drug me away before I could learn more. It was the late 1980’s and information still was’t at your fingertips like it is now. When I went back to school, I was so busy with classes and work, that I quickly forgot about the eggs again.

Later on in life, I popped into the bookstore, looking for a recommended title on parenting, and saw a book on decorated eggs. From the sublimely simple to the gloriously intricate, the book was dedicated to Eastern European egg art. Ukrainian pysanky, Polish pisanki, Croatian pisanici, Sorbian pisaci. The book called to me, but my time and funds were limited, so I put it back, and got the book I had come looking for. With three small children and a full time job there was not time for such a luxury. I was so busy keeping up with day to day life, and my thoughts of eggs were put aside again.

Since then, computers have brought the world to our fingertips. I’ve learned that most countries in Eastern and Central Europe have egg decorating traditions, and these traditions have a few things in common. The eggs are prized possessions, and often given as gifts, meant to bring luck or protection to the owner. Many of the motifs, patterns, and colors have traditional meanings; such as green meaning spring, hope, and growth and purple meaning fasting, faith, patience, and trust., ect. Many of the cultures that make the Pysanky eggs happen to keep similar traditions. The craft is passed from one generation to the next, with many families having their own recognizable style. Almost all of them are made using a wax-resist method, and all of the wax-resist methods rely upon beeswax.

Beeswax is necessary for the wax-resist methods because it adheres well to to egg shells; doesn’t crack, rub, or scrape off; and fills in even the fine pores of the egg shell. Other waxes either don’t stick well or don’t fill the pores of the eggshell. This means that only beeswax keeps the colored dyes used in the wax-resist method exactly where you want them to be. Only beeswax can give fine crisp lines and; when done, the beeswax melts off, without causing discoloration to the egg.

The kids are much older now, but life isn’t any simpler. Now, we keep bees and make and sell beeswax and honey body products. There still isn’t much spare time. But I do get to make my own colorful creations using beeswax. They are not eggs they are our soaps and without it, our products just wouldn’t be the same.

Neither would the decorated eggs of Central and Eastern Europe.

 

So, You Wanna Be A Beekeeper?

Every market season, all the way into the fall, people tell us how they are going to get bees.  Many think that they can just go out at any time and buy some. Many people don’t realize that by the time they see us in the markets, it may just be too late to get bees for the year. You see; most of the sales of bees occur in spring, and orders often have to be made in March or April. So, by the time you see us in a farmers’ market in June or July, it’s likely too late for you to go buy bees for the year. So, if you are going to have bees this year, now is the time to get the ball rolling

 

What should you do and when should you do it? Before anything; you should get your money together to start keeping bees can cost as little as $400 and up to $2000 depending on what equipment you get.

 

First, you need to see what your local laws and regulations, zoning codes, and CC&R’s have to say about it. Bees may or may not be in your future.So take a few moments to find out if you are allowed to own bees where you live, and if there are any restrictions

For example, most Oregon cities in the Portland Metro have regulations covering the owning of bees, Clark county doesn’t.

 

Second, get online and see when bees will be available for your area, and when orders can be placed. Keep in mind that demand outpaces availability in some area, and make your order as soon as you are sure you are ready. Ready means you have figured out what you want, and you have bought and set up a hive so it is ready to house the bees (or will be buying an assembled hive with your bees). See links below for some suppliers.

 

Before ordering your bees, jump online, go to the library, or go to a bee supply store, and research, research, research. Find a mentor and check out local resources: clubs, associations, and the likes. Because there are lots of things to consider when making your choices.

What will be your main goal in keeping bees? Providing local pollinators, creating survivor stock, or harvesting honey? Each goal can affect the type of bees you buy and the type of hive you house them in.

 

What kind of bees should you buy? Russian, Italian, or Carniolan? What is the difference between each type? What are their pros and cons? Which is best suited to your goals? And what is the availability of each? All of these questions should be considered when making your choice. Here’s a great discussion about bee types that covers some of these questions.

 

How should you get your bees? Should you order a package, which is a wire mesh box full of bees with a mated queen included, but no frames? The packages are sold by the pound usually, and a pound of bees is usually between 3,000 – 4,000 bees or should you buy a nuc (nucleus colony), which is a mini hive (usually 3-5 frames of drawn wax with honey, worker bees, and a mated queen bee). So which is better? Nucs cost a bit more, but because they contain frames of drawn wax, they are ready to go. Package bees need to expend time and resources to draw out wax but the bees will feel like they are a swarm and will draw out wax more quickly then the queen can start laying eggs bees can start storing honey and pollen. Because of this, it can take a little longer for a package to take off, and you will likely have to supplement feed a package if it is early in the season, and there aren’t sufficient resources available yet in terms of open flowers in your area.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next, consider What kind of hive you should get. Where will you get it? How much will it cost? Will you buy it pre-assembled, will you buy one you need to assemble yourself, or will you look up plans and make your own? You might even decide to buy a kit that includes a basic hive along with some tools &/or bees. This article has a nice discussion of the three main types of hives you are likely to encounter: the Langstroth, the Warre, and the Top-Bar Hive.

Langsworth
Warre
Top-bar

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you go with Langswroth you will need to pick if you are going with 10 frame or 8 frame. I recommenced you go with 8 frame,  a box full of honey can weigh a lot and the two extra frames push the weight further from your body pulling on your more. It is what commercial beekeepers use and it is lighter than the 10 frame boxes. The other choice is to deeps or mediums boxes for you hives. I suggest mediums because they are lighter, a box full of honey can weigh a lot and the the shorter boxes will cut the weight down. An eight frame medium box full of honey will weigh about ½ what a 10 frame deep box will weight.

 

You also need some basic tools, A hive tool, frame grip, smoker (something you should try to use infrequently), Vail, protective clothing, marking tools, queen catcher, feeders, and queen excluders. There is a big list of options for the beekeeper..

 

What to do if you miss this year’s bee boat? You make sure you have thoroughly considered all the questions above, and you get everything ready for early next spring to place your order. Continue to educate yourself. Cultivate your new friendship with mentor(s), neighbors with bees, and local bee club and association members. Take a class or see if you can spend time this spring, summer, and fall shadowing a few established beekeeper, to learn the ropes.

 

By the way, that last paragraph applies to those of you who have already gotten bees. Further your knowledge. Help others further theirs. Remember, knowledge is power. And if the bees are going to flourish under our hands, we need to educate ourselves.

Here are some links to explore.

Examples of regulations covering the ownership of bees. This is not an exhaustive list. Please look for laws for your specific housing community (if it has CC&R’s), city, county, and state.

City of Portland, Oregon

Hillsboro, Oregon

State of Oregon – Oregon Bee Law

Clark County, WA

 

Local places to buy bees and bee supplies:

Ruhl Bee/Brushy Mountain Bee Supply

TSC

 

Local bee resources:

Beeline (Portland Area)

Clark County Beekeepers Association

WSU Extension

Seattle/Puget Sound

 

Been There, Done That- Portlanders, Why Not Liven Up Your St. Paddy’s Day?

Parades, festivals, corned beef and cabbage, green beer, pinches for those who don’t wear green, and don’t for get the parties. These can all be great fun!

But what if you feel like ‘Been there, done all that.’

Are you tired of the Same old, same old on St. Paddy’s Day?

 

How about something new this year.

 

Imagine a place where you can go that has fun and excitement all day long on St. Paddy’s day.  We’re talking samples galore, including food and drink, ‘How to’ demos, activities that you can participate in, lots of goodies that you can peruse, and take home with you- if the fancy strikes you. There will even be St. Paddy’s Day prizes.

 

What am I talking about, you ask?

 

Why; it’s The Woman’s Expo -right here in Portland- at the Oregon Convention Center, Saturday, March 17th – AKA St. Patrick’s Day.

Don’t let the name fool you- it’s isn’t just for those of the female persuasion. Fun can be had here by everyone -even kids! So, why not try something new? We’re going to; maybe we’ll see you there.

 

Still not sure? Check out their Facebook page, Groupon page, and website for more info. If you were wondering, The Woman’s Expo is one of two yearly fundraisers for The Portland Women’s Resource Initiative, which is an Oregon 501C3 organization.

 

Oh!  And before I forget – Mentioning this blog post at our booth will get you a free gift.

So; throw on some green this Saturday, and come check out the Woman’s Expo!

The Nose Knows

Who’s heard of patchouli? If you lived through the 60’s and 70’s, you probably recognize the smell of patchouli, even if you aren’t sure what it’s called. That’s because many Hippies were very liberal in the use of patchouli oil. Some people say that the Hippies liked it because patchouli covered the scent of body odor. Others said it was so popular because it covered the scent of weed. Either way, they used lots of it.And its use seems to be making a resurgence, not just with Hippies, but with people from a large cross-section of society.

By now, if you’ve never smelled it, you are probably wondering just what patchouli smells like.  To me, it has a very noticeable, pungent, loamy smell. But, that may not be how it smell to you. I say this, because in selling our body products over the last several years, we have noticed that some people really like the smell of patchouli. Others absolutely despise it. And believe it or not, there is even a small percentage of people who say they really can’t smell it at all.

 

How can that be? Why do some people like some smells, while others don’t? Turns out there are some really good, scientific reasons.

The first reason has to do with genetics. There are about 400 genes for olfactory receptors in the human nose. The genes vary from person to person. With 400 genes, there are about 900,000 different combinations of genes a person can have for their scent receptors. different combination of genes ‘smells’ a scent differently. That means that there are many different smells for each and every scent. The smell you experience when you smell a rose is different then the smell the next person experiences when sniffing the exact same rose. Some people have a pleasant experience when they sniff the rose, but some find the scent offensive.

The second reason has to do with our brains and how they are wired to receive sensory information. Smell information is the only sensory information transmitted to the hippocampus and amygdala, in the brain’s limbic system. The limbic system is associated with emotions and memory, which in turn, influences how we react to the scent. The first time you smell a particular smell, the memory of the scent gets intertwined with emotions and memories of behavior and feelings of nostalgia. Because these neural connections are formed at the same time, they are intertwined.This makes scent the most powerful sense for triggering emotions and memories, and evoking feelings of nostalgia, or even deja vu.

 

I know about that first hand. I can remember being a kid in Billings, Montana. The neighbor down the street had a lilac bush that was as big as the side of their house. During the summer, whenever it was breezy, you could smell that lilac bush for blocks.

 

Now, 40 years later, whenever I smell lilacs, I get a contented, carefree feeling, just like I did when I was a kid, playing with my friends.

What about you? Do you smell things differently than your friends and family? Why not give it a try and see if you have any unique little quirks to your smell registry? Then; if you learned something cool, share it with us either here on the website, on facebook, or even instagram with #MoreBees. We would love to hear about it either way you all want to share it.

Seize the Magic

Depending on whether you go by the  meteorological definition or astronomical definition, you have anywhere from one week to three weeks, but either way, the official end to winter is in sight.  Right now, you’re probably sick of it if you live in an area still in the grips of winter. But in a few month, you may just miss it. So, take some time over the next week or two to get all those winter activities out of your system.

And no, I’m not talking about shoveling the driveway.  

 

I’m not even talking about the big, fun stuff. Things like skiing up on Mt Hood, which can actually be done well into the spring most years. (Downhill skiing goes into April or even May, and cross country goes into March). Even tubing/sledding can be done on Mount Hood well into March or April. Then there is ice skating, which can be done at several area rinks year around. These are fun, but they’re not the things I’m talking about.

 

I’m talking about the fun stuff you do at home, or in your neighborhood. The fun stuff that takes very little money to enjoy. What that fun stuff is, depends on who you are. It’s different for different people, but most of us have things we love to do that they can only be done in the winter. Like making a snowman, having a snowball fight, or building a snow fort with your kids or friends. And, yes, adults CAN do these things. We’re ALLOWED to, and they’re FUN.

Yet, there are more subtle things you could miss like an invigorating walk amidst the cool air and crisp snow. Perhaps even a stroll through the hushed falling snow, the soft sound enveloping you as the world around you seems frozen and peaceful.  Maybe looking out a window or staring up from a the field of snow around you to enjoying the bright yet  delicate blue that can only be found in a clear winter sky.

One of our favorites is taking outdoor winter pictures. Snow and ice can turn even the most mundane things magical. They can transform the ordinary into the extraordinary. And with smart phones, we can all take part in this activity.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lest forget all those things that can be done year round, but seem to be best when done in the cold of the winter. Like having a steaming hot mug of spiced cider, or rich hot chocolate stirred with the last of the candy canes. Snuggling deep down in the blankets on the couch while watching a movie with that special someone. We especially can’t leave out  basking in front of the fireplace, while you read your favorite book. All these things seem to be even better with the pervasive chill that goes while winter is still in the air.

Remember; there is less than a month -either way you look at it- to enjoy the wonders of winter and the chance it has to make memories with those you love. Time ticks away and the snow is melting; so what are you waiting for. Carpe diem, carpe vitam. Seize the day, seize life. Go out there and explore the magic of winter before the dawn of spring comes.

The Lights of Nature

As we near the 4th of July, many of us eagerly await the spectacular firework shows we have come to associate with Independence Day.

But did you know that the Earth (and our universe) puts on amazing light shows for us each and every day?

From the skies to the seas, by plants or animals, it is all truly awe-inspiring.

Lights in the Sky:

Aurora Borealis:

The sun is giving off more than just light. It also emits electrically charged particles. When the particles collide with our atmosphere above the magnetic poles of the northern and southern hemispheres, the bright dancing lights of the aurora borealis can be seen. They can be blue, purple, green, yellow, and even red, depending on the altitude of the particles in our atmosphere. Here is an informative link about the aurora borealis.

Northern lights, blue, green, purple, black, water, trees, aurora borealis

Shooting Stars and Meteor Showers:

When we look into the night sky and see a shooting star, what we are seeing is a speck of dust or a bit of debris that has entered our atmosphere. The small bits of matter heat up and glow as gravity pulls them towards the earth’s surface. When the earth passes through the debris trail left by a comet, we gets lots of shooting stars over a very short period of time. We call that a meteor shower.

 

Mt. Rainier, Washington,, pacific nortwest, meteor shower, shooting stars, blue, teal, lights, mountain, snow, trees, building

Many of the showers are predictable annual events. Perseids (PER) is the next big meteor shower and it takes place from July 17th through August 24th. It has an expected ZHR of 100 (meaning a person should be able to see 100 shooting stars per hour) at the height of the event, which takes place on August 12th this year.  Viewing is best after midnight, in a sky free from urban lights, so if you live in the city, consider going an hour out of town to view the event. More information about meteor showers and other astrological phenomena can be found at the American Meteor Society website.

Lightning:

Lightning is a sudden electrostatic discharge that occurs during a thunderstorm. This discharge can occur between electrically charged regions of a cloud, between two clouds, or between a cloud and the ground. It can be fascinating to watch. If you do decide to watch, play it safe.

Never go outside to watch lightning. Stay inside (building or vehicle) with the window’s closed to substantially reduces the chances of being struck. If you find yourself outdoors when a thunderstorm starts, go indoors, or get into a car. Resist the urge to pop open your umbrella, or duck under a tree.  Both increase your chances of being struck by lightning.

Bioluminescence:

Some living organisms produce their own light through chemical reactions that take place within themselves. This is called bioluminescence.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From magical yellow fireflies, to green glowing mushrooms, to neon blue glow-in-the dark algae, to deep sea animals that make their own light, there are dozens and dozens of examples of organisms that bioluminesce.


 

 

 

 

Wikipedia has a list of organisms that use bioluminescence, and a specific list of bioluminescent fungi, if you want to check out other organisms.

If you don’t like the big man made show with the loud pops and bangs. You can still enjoy one of mother natures amazing shows for free. All of us at MoreBees will be enjoying a toned down local show on the 4th and then some of us will be catching the meteor shower that starts July 17th. I hope you have a safe and patriotic 4th of July. Remember, we fought a war against the most powerful nation on this planet to start a country where ordinary people can choose their leaders and openly express their beliefs. This is truly a day to celebrate our independence and freedom.