June 11, 2019


Well, here I go again! 😬 Mosquitos do not like me but those chiggers do. I can stand in 1 inch grass and they seem to find me. With all the rain we have been having it seems to have made it worse. I have had chiggers two times since may and now June. I even spray my shoes to prevent it. Crazy!!! I think I need to climb into one of those big plastic clear balls. Run around like a hamster.😳

Posted on June 11, 2019 21:46 by walkingstick2 walkingstick2 | 0 comments | Leave a comment

May 31, 2019

Newborn Hawaii beach is already polluted with microplastic

By Sarah Gibbens Published May 30, 2019
“There's this romantic idea of the remote tropical beach, clean and pristine….that kind of beach doesn't exist anymore.”
Only a year ago, streams of lava gurgled from Hawaii's Kilauea volcano, blocking roads and inching across fields. It eventually reached the ocean where the intensely hot lava hit cold seawater and burst into tiny shards of glass and rubble: brand new sand.
Eventually, new beaches formed, like Pohoiki, a black sand beach that stretches for 1,000 feet on Hawaii's Big Island. Scientists based in the area aren't sure if the beach formed quickly after the volcano began erupting in May 2018 or slowly as the lava began to simmer down in August, but based on samples taken from the newborn beach, they know it's already polluted—covered with hundreds of tiny pieces of plastic. Pohoiki adds to the growing body of evidence that plastic is most likely ubiquitous on beaches: even ones that look virgin.
Pohoiki adds to the growing body of evidence that plastic is most likely ubiquitous on beaches: even ones that look virgin.
Testing the waters
Microplastic is smaller than five milimeters and rarely larger than a grain of sand. To the naked eye, Pohoiki looks pristine.
“It's gorgeous,” says Nic Vanderzyl, the University of Hawaii at Hilo student who discovered the beach's plastic.
Vanderzyl saw the new beach as an opportunity to study new sediment that was perhaps untouched by human influence. He collected 12 samples from various beach spots. Using a solution of zinc chloride, which is more dense than plastic but less dense than sand, he was able to separate the two by forcing plastic to float to the top while the latter sank. The separation method was published in the journal Environmental Pollution in 2017.
On average, Vanderzyl found 21 plastic bits per every 50 grams of sand. Most of them, he says, were microfibers, the hair-thin fibers that shed from commonly used synthetic textiles like polyester or nylon. They enter the water via wastewater flushed from washing machines or simply from swimmers plunging into the sea.
Steven Colbert, a marine ecologist and Vanderzyl's academic mentor, says the plastic would have likely washed up with waves and been left on the beach as tiny grains of sand comb through it. Compared with samples taken from two other neighboring beaches that were not formed by volcanoes, Pohoiki has about 30 to 50 percent of the plastic they have.
Vanderzyl and Colbert plan ongoing monitoring of Pohoiki to measure whether the amount of plastic increases or stays the same.
-An end to pristine beaches
“I didn't want to find it,” Colbert says of the microplastic in Vanderzyl's samples, “but I really wasn't surprised.”
“There's this romantic idea of the remote tropical beach, clean and pristine like the beach Tom Hanks washed up on [in the movie Castaway],” says Colbert. “That kind of beach doesn't exist anymore.”
Plastic, including microplastics, has washed ashore on some of the world’s most remote beaches, uninhabited by humans.
Scientists have often likened the current state of the ocean to a plastic soup. Microplastics are so prolific that they rain down from the sky in remote mountain locations and turn up in most of our table salt.
It's still unclear how this excess of plastic will affect marine ecosystems, but scientists suspect it may have dangerous consequences for wildlife and human health. Numerous times, large marine mammals like whales have washed ashore with guts full of plastic, but scientists have recently found that even larval fish are eating microplastic in their first days of life.
And unlike larger plastic items like bags and straws that might be grabbed and tossed in the trash, microplastics are is simultaneously abundant and invisible. One study published earlier this month found that beach clean-ups often leave behind millions of pieces of plastic.
Conservation groups like the Hawaii Wildlife Fund have teamed up with universities to
develop beach cleaning contraptions that essentially act like a vacuum, sucking up sand and separating out the microplastics. But the machines’ bulk, cost, and the tendency to scoop up microscopic life as well all mean they can be used to clean only the worst polluted beaches.
Though already filled with plastic, Pohoiki has a long way to go before it can rival places like Hawaii's famous “trash beach.”
Vanderzyl hopes to return to Pohoiki in the coming year to see if or how the beach changes, but already, Colbert says, his early research shows that beach pollution is now instantaneous.

Posted on May 31, 2019 19:06 by walkingstick2 walkingstick2 | 0 comments | Leave a comment

Scientists Splice Spider Gene Into Fungus to Kill Mosquitoes

By James Gallagher - Health and science correspondent, BBC News
Spider Gains
If we want to stop malaria from killing more than 400,000 people every year, we’ll need to stop mosquitoes — the irksome insects are the primary transmitter of the deadly disease.
To that end, researchers from the University of Maryland (UMD) genetically modified a fungus to produce a spider toxin that quickly kills mosquitoes. And in an out-of-lab trial, the fungus reduced a mosquito population by more than 99 percent, according to NPR — though the team’s controversial use of genetic engineering has some worried the method is too dangerous for the real world.
Killer Fungus
According to a paper published Thursday in the journal Science, the fungus the UMD researchers modified kills mosquitoes in the wild — but it isn’t particularly fast, meaning the insects might have time to infect someone with malaria before meeting their demise.
To give the fungus a boost, the team engineered it to produce a toxin derived from the venom of the Australian Blue Mountains funnel-web spider, which kills mosquitoes far more quickly. The team then tested the fungus in a “MosquitoSphere,” a screen-enclosed setting in West Africa designed to mimic a village.
“Simply applying the transgenic fungus to a sheet that we hung on a wall in our study area caused the mosquito populations to crash within 45 days,” researcher Brian Lovett said in a news release. “And it is as effective at killing insecticide-resistant mosquitoes as non-resistant ones.”
Calculated Risk
This was the first time anyone has tested a transgenic method for combating malaria outside of a lab setting, according to the news release. But while the fungus may have been effective, some worry that releasing a genetically engineered organism into the wild could cause unforeseen problems.
“This study raises several urgent concerns,” Dana Perls of the environmental group Friends of the Earth told NPR. “Genetic engineering of fungus could have problematic negative public health impacts and unpredictable ripple effects on ecosystems, affecting pollinators, bats, and bees. Like with all genetic engineering, this needs to be addressed with great caution.”
READ MORE: Scientists Genetically Modify Fungus To Kill Mosquitoes That Spread Malaria [_NPR_]
More on malaria: Scientists Wiped out a Mosquito Population by Hacking Their DNA With CRISPR

Posted on May 31, 2019 18:56 by walkingstick2 walkingstick2 | 0 comments | Leave a comment

May 22, 2019


This is not a creature of our planet. But I think it will be a great start to save the beautiful creatures Of our planet!
If you have to use a straw for you or your children or grandchildren, here is a great solution and also teaching your littles ones about protecting mother earth, for their future.
A stainless steal collapsible straw with a pipe cleaner to clean it and it comes in a hard pouch to keep it handy and clean.
( I am not sure if steal leaches chromium, iron or nickel into what you are drinking/eating if you are using other beverages, other than water as in alkaline or acidic beverages with the straw) I just like the fact it is not plastic in the environment..
You can also purchase Stainless Steal Straws cheap on line, that do not collapse.
We all need to start somewhere if we want to help preserve our environment.
No, I am not a saleswoman! I am someone who loves all life on this planet big and small, always looking and reading to help better myself and my planet.
Also to keep in mind, when purchasing a water bottle, make sure the stainless steal is real. Some are coated with a plastic inside the bottle. Though it says, "STAINLESS STEAL".
Glass water bottles are another great option! I use glass when out hiking, camping, and photographing nature. At home as well.
- - Website: finalstraw.com
- Also, Amazon sells some similar, but cheaper.
My son bought me some with silicone colored tips you can put on the tips to distinguish who's straw it is. I told him about these straws that I was going to order on-line.

Posted on May 22, 2019 01:18 by walkingstick2 walkingstick2 | 0 comments | Leave a comment

May 10, 2019

$2.5 trillion 'Holy Grail' found? Breakthrough discovery could lead to 100 percent recyclable plastics, scientists say

Clearly, this is a great news! So, long as there are no downfalls to this recyclable type plastic, long term.

Posted on May 10, 2019 22:56 by walkingstick2 walkingstick2 | 0 comments | Leave a comment

This bird went Extinct and then evolved into existence again Becky Ferreira | MAY 09 2019 | 3:44 PM

This is a pretty cool story. Cool looking, flightless bird.

Posted on May 10, 2019 22:47 by walkingstick2 walkingstick2 | 0 comments | Leave a comment

May 08, 2019

May 06, 2019

Padre Island and Plastic

My Son recently went to Padre for vacation and he was excited to tell me that the Island has baned single-use plastic bags. I have not been to Padre in a few years so I looked it up. They started this in 2012.
A group of surfers championed for this along with Alita Bagley the city councilwoman . The ordinance allows for compostable plastic bags or recyclable paper bags, though the hope is shoppers will get used to carrying reusable cloth bags. I am so glad to hear about this. At least there will not be many bags coming from this Island, but a few may still wash up from other places. It is a good start!
Brownsville ,TX has banned plastic bags as well .👍🏻 ✌🏻

Posted on May 06, 2019 00:52 by walkingstick2 walkingstick2 | 0 comments | Leave a comment

April 25, 2019

In the beginning?

I looked at the Arcadia Trail Project map and saw that I had marked quite a few things for Arcadia, when I was not in Arcadia. I went back and started removing them from the Arcadia Trail Park project..
I am so use to being in Arcadia I think it is just a habit to hit that project.
I am going to try getting to the others as best I can.

Posted on April 25, 2019 20:31 by walkingstick2 walkingstick2 | 0 comments | Leave a comment

April 01, 2019

Pregnant whale found dead with 49 pounds of plastic in its stomach

By Gianluca Mezzofiore, CNN
Updated 1 hr ago | Posted on Apr 1, 2019
The carcass of a pregnant sperm whale that washed up in Sardinia, Italy, last week had 22 kilograms (49 pounds) of plastic in its stomach, and was carrying a dead fetus, the country's environment minister and a marine life non-profit organization said.
Luca Bittau, president of the SeaMe group, told CNN the beached mammal's remains contained "garbage bags ... fishing nets, lines, tubes, the bag of a washing machine liquid still identifiable, with brand and barcode ... and other objects no longer identifiable."
"She was pregnant and had almost certainly aborted before (she) beached," he said. "The fetus was in an advanced state of composition."
The dead animal, which was eight meters (26 feet) long, washed up on a beach in the Sardinian tourist hotspot of Porto Cervo.
Bittau said the cause of death would be known after histological and toxicological examinations carried out by veterinarians in Padua, northern Italy.
Sergio Costa, Italy's environment minister, said in a Facebook post: "Are there still people who say these are not important problems? For me they are, and they are priorities."
"We've used the 'comfort' of disposable objects in a lighthearted way in the past years and now we are paying the consequences. Indeed the animals, above all, are the ones paying them," he continued.
Costa also referred to the recent approval by the European Parliament of a law banning a wide-range of single-use plastic items, such as straws, cotton buds and cutlery, by 2021.
"Italy will be one of the first countries to implement it," he promised. "The war on disposable plastic has begun. And we won't stop here."
Last month, a young whale was found dead in the Philippines with 40 kilograms (88 pounds) of plastic bags in its stomach.
This article is disheartening! I have read many articles just like this one over the last couple of years.
I use a refillable glass containers. I crocheted a same size water bottle holder with a long strap to carry on my shoulder. I avoid plastic water bottles as much as possible. I also am a huge believer of recycling. I sometimes wish we could go back to glass bottles, like when I was younger and beverages were from glass bottles. I remember my Dad drinking PBR beer from a case of bottles. He put the bottles back in the flip top box they came in and took them back to the liquor store when he was done with them. Recycling them and probably getting a little less off his next purchase. Glass is safer to drink beverages out of. Plastic when warm leaches back into the water and food that we drink and eat from.
There may be a problem with this method also, but growing up camping, I never really saw glass bottles thrown in the woods. Not like you see plastic water bottles today and plastic bags in those places. After the rains, you find so much plastic washed up on land and in the water. I see it after it rains every single time just in Arcadia Trail Park, alone. I see it with aluminum cans as well. I know glass weighs more and they are not fun to lug around like the lighter stuff now a days. These methods also use more gas and energy for deliveries and probably for making them.
With plastic grocery bags, we end up with a car full of bags with one or two items in each one or they are doubled bagged. I use the tote cloth bags. I get more in them and I don t have to worry about losing my groceries when carrying them to and from my car. If we are going to remain a "disposable generation", we have to care and pick up after ourselves to keep all this from reaching creeks, lakes and oceans and many more places. I have been cleaning Arcadia Park for years. I know sooner clean along the disc golf course and when walking back through, I find plastic bottles and beer cans in the spot I just cleaned. Adults are littering! It is not just the kids. . They probably think to themselves, one water bottle or beer can won t hurt. Well, if just a few more people think the same thing, we end up with a park full of litter. I have always preached this to our sons while they were growing up. I still do and they are adults.

We need to be more accountable for the trash that even ends up in front our homes and yards. Though it may not be our trash, pick it up anyway. Don t let it go down the street or have a chance to blow away, becoming someone else's problem. ✌🏻

Posted on April 01, 2019 16:03 by walkingstick2 walkingstick2 | 0 comments | Leave a comment