A great many plants have evolved sticky leaves, stems and seeds, including some you likely know – such as petunias and tobacco.
Most people generally think that cats do nothing, are lazy and all they do is eat and sleep. Not so! Did you know that cats have a specific job to perform in your life? Did you ever wonder why so many people have cats nowadays, more so than dogs? Here's an unknown tip inside the secret life of cats...
For many people, the pandemic has been a lonely experience. Because of this, it might be tempting to go on the internet and look for a new animal companion.
The Scent of Sickness: 5 Questions Answered About Using Dogs -- and Mice and Ferrets --to Detect Disease
Some animals have highly developed senses of smell. They include rodents; dogs and their wild relatives, like wolves and coyotes; and mustelids – carnivorous mammals such as weasels, otters and ferrets.
The success of a long-term dog-owner relationship depends on building a good foundation. Here are six things every owner needs to know about looking after a puppy and developing a long-lasting relationship with their new best friend.
Our pets are constantly interacting on the subtle level, directing data at you while picking up messages from you. Most likely, you’ve been relatively unaware of exactly how much intuitive communicating is already occurring between you and your pet. Understanding...
For decades, humans have been selectively breeding cats and dogs to exhibit exaggerated features – particularly in their faces. When it comes to cats, the very flat, round faces of the modern Persian and Exotic Shorthair are classic examples. While it might be cute for humans to look at, there are various downsides for the animals when it comes to looking this way.
One of the consequences of the current coronavirus pandemic is that it has brought us face-to-face with our own mortality. Not only are we vulnerable to disease, but we can also share diseases with other animals.
When one of my co-workers found out about a tiny, orphaned kitten that needed a home a few months ago, he didn’t hesitate to adopt it. He says his new companion helped make the months of COVID-19 isolation at home much less stressful.
Anthropologist Pat Shipman, in an issue of American Scientist, suggests dogs gave our human ancestors an advantage over Neanderthals when they arrived in Europe.
I recently saw a culinary invention — “tourtine” — that left me thinking. The dish, as its name suggests, is a hybrid of tourtière and poutine.
To curb climate change, many experts have called for a massive shift from fossil fuels to electricity. The goal is to electrify processes like heating homes and powering cars, and then generate the increased electrical power needs using low- or zero-carbon sources like wind, solar and hydropower.
They are cute. They are fluffy (mostly). They are great fun and make perfect family pets. Right? Well, not entirely. With Christmas fast approaching, and despite ...
The things you see your cat doing are probably what it enjoys. As long as it gets the chance to do these things then your cat is probably happy. Providing lots of toys to play with is a great way to keep your cat happy, especially if it’s a kitten.
Most pet owners know chocolate and dogs don’t mix. Despite this, chocolate poisoning in dogs remains a problem, particularly at Christmas, as a new study in the journal Vet Record shows.
Home energy use accounts for 14% of all the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions, and much of that comes from gas boilers.
This week, Lassie returned to the screens, with a remake of the 1943 film coming 80 years since Eric Mowbray Knight’s classic novel was first published
Historically, suburbs have been considered as places which are less diverse than cities, particularly with regard to their racial and social class composition.
In the words of Perry Como’s classic, “it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas”. The pandemic has got many yearning for a little festive joy earlier than usual and, for some, it started looking like Christmas in early November.
Historians know that turkey and corn were part of the first Thanksgiving, when Wampanoag peoples shared a harvest meal with the pilgrims of Plymouth plantation in Massachusetts.
There is growing evidence that being in natural spaces – whether while gardening or listening to bird song – has a positive effect on mental health.
The idea of moving to the country has gained momentum through the COVID-19 pandemic. Many workplaces have introduced new policies on working from home that give employees the flexibility needed to make the switch.
The vast majority of SARS-CoV-2 transmission occurs indoors, mostly from the inhalation of airborne particles that contain the coronavirus.
That animals touch us in a deep, central place is not a modern-day phenomenon, but one that pervades the history of the human-animal relationship. We sense that we can benefit spiritually in our relationship with animals, and we are right. They offer us something fundamental: a direct and immediate sense of both the joy and wonder of creation.
If you want to deal with your demons, it's appropriate to make a pit stop at a place as hot as hell -- Tucson, Arizona, in the summertime. It's 100-plus degrees right now -- with dark, ominous clouds erasing the Santa Catalina mountaintops in the distance...
To be ready to migrate in the fall, geese start preparing in midsummer. Babies born in the spring are mostly grown up by then. Adult geese grow a new set of plumage after shedding their old feathers...
I am a plant microbiologist interested in how plants and microbes interact with each other. Although our research in the past has centered on molecular details of pathogenic infections, this work led my lab into the fascinating world of plant microbiome.
A growing number of people are redefining what “home” looks like. For many of them, it looks like a van.
Tourism in the South Pacific has been hit hard by COVID-19 border closures with thousands of people out of work.
Mask-wearing has divided the country, but hand-washing – one might think – is something virtually everyone would agree on.
I have discovered one positive amid the pandemic: I love working with two dogs at my feet. As someone who studies dog cognition, I often wonder: What is Cleo thinking when she stares at me while I write? Are my dogs happy?
House Plants Were Our Link With Nature In Lockdown – Now They Could Change How We Relate To The Natural World
They’re not the first generation to keep house plants, but millennials seem to have earned a reputation for gratuitous indoor foliage.
During the first pandemic lockdowns at the start of 2020, social media was flooded with pictures of homemade banana bread as people turned to baking in lieu of socialising.
The holiday season is already a booming time for online shopping. The COVID-19 pandemic increases the likelihood that when people shop this holiday season, they will choose online shopping over brick-and-mortar stores.
Hanako, a female Asian elephant, lived in a tiny concrete enclosure at Japan’s Inokashira Park Zoo for more than 60 years, often in chains, with no stimulation.
Can anything be as joyous as a dog? Bounding ahead, crashing into the bushes while out on a walk, happy, happy, happy. Conversely, can anything be as disappointed as a dog when you say, "No, we are not going for a walk"? Pure joy, pure disappointment.
The vast majority of SARS-CoV-2 transmission occurs indoors, most of it from the inhalation of airborne particles that contain the coronavirus.
The internet is filled with blogs and articles offering advice for parents who are trying to coax children into eating greens.
The sausages are sizzling, the burgers browned, and the beer is cold. You’re all set for the perfect end-of-summer BBQ. Alfresco dining, drinks in a garden of a country pub, ice-creams... And then an unwanted visitor arrives.
Since lockdown, public interest in growing fruit and vegetables at home has soared. Seed packets are flying off shelves and allotment waiting lists are swelling, with one council receiving a 300% increase in applications.
SARS-CoV-2 almost certainly originated in an animal. But ever since the virus infected humans the outbreak has been driven by efficient human-to-human transmission, resulting in the current pandemic.
As many states and cities across the U.S. struggle to control COVID-19 transmission, one challenge is curbing the spread among people living in close quarters.
As the coronavirus pandemic spreads around the world, it’s a good time to understand how cleaning can help prevent the spread of disease and what you can do to cut the risk of infection in your home.
Over 200 scientists, including myself, signed a letter that was published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases on July 6 2020 saying that COVID is not only spread by touch and droplets sprayed from the mouth and nose but, importantly, via a third route too.
A number of conservationists claim cats are a zombie apocalypse for biodiversity that need to be removed from the outdoors by “any means necessary” – coded language for shooting, trapping and poisoning.
Domestication, for an animal, means not being completely free to roam or to even eat as they please. Pets therefore align with their humans for only one of two reasons: either by their own choice or from a place of surrender. When they do, they have a powerful impact on our lives.
In this post, I share a few of the communications and transmissions from some of the non-human wisdom teachers I’ve connected with about our global situation, and in particular, the crucible of the novel corona virus in our human experience.
By the standards set by modern medicine, healing shouldn’t work. However, we know that it does. We don’t quite understand how or why, but when we witness the miraculous results of simply the laying-on of hands, of herbal remedies or of...
Home gardening is having a boom year across the U.S. Whether they’re growing their own food in response to pandemic shortages or just looking for a diversion, numerous aspiring gardeners have constructed their first raised beds, and seeds are flying off suppliers’ shelves.
While most people see a full spectrum of colors from red to violet, dogs lack some of the light receptors in their eyes that allow human beings to see certain colors, particularly in the red and green range.
Many of us have been spending more time at home than ever before, and chances are unless you live by yourself in the middle of nowhere, at some point unwanted noise will have infiltrated your lockdown.
Summer is a great time to get out and about with your dog. But dogs don’t tolerate the heat as well as their owners. When people get hot they start to sweat, but dogs are only able to do this through the pads on their paws.
As temperatures begin to warm up, it might be tempting to take your dog for a long walk or run to soak up the weather while it lasts. But it’s important to exercise caution, as dogs can easily develop heatstroke in hot temperatures.
The more neurotic and anxious cat owners are, the more trust and affection they have for their cat, researchers say.
Some of the fruits and vegetables you buy have seeds in them. Can you plant those? It depends.
Rapid acceleration of coronavirus-related infections and fatalities in countries like Italy, Spain and the United States has led to widespread bans on communal activities, global restrictions on travel and an increasing reliance on virtual interactions.
Many Americans are now experiencing an erratic food supply for the first time. Among COVID-19’s disruptions are bare supermarket shelves and items available yesterday but nowhere to be found today.
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, our homes have been serving as makeshift workplaces, schools, gyms and pubs.
To protect our native wildlife, who never evolved with such an efficient predator, it’s imperative we keep our cats contained – all day, every day.
Your pet can tell you a great deal about yourself because the animal takes its cue from you when interpreting life. Yes, whether you have a dog, a cat, or a canary, their disposition will mirror your own. If you're fearful, hostile, or aggressive, the animal will accordingly reflect timidity, anger, or will attack you.
You've heard of watchdogs who let people know when danger is near, but our yellow Labrador retriever, Taylor, lets us know when love is lurking. Linda began to notice that when Allen was away and called home, Taylor often knew about it in advance. About a second before the telephone rang...
When you settle down for bed, after the birds and bees have hushed, moths are just starting their work.
We know feral cats are an enormous problem for wildlife – across Australia, feral cats collectively kill more than three billion animals per year.
My niece is sheltering at home during the COVID-19 pandemic. She’s making sourdough starter for the first time because she couldn’t find any dry yeast.
With the arrival of spring, many people have been starting to think about how COVID-19 will impact the affordability and availability of fruits and vegetables in coming months, as shortages of both honeybees and migrant workers threaten crop pollination and the food that comes with it.
Speak to many dog owners and they will tell you that their once perfectly behaved puppy started to become “difficult” at around six to 12 months of age.
A lot of people are facing ethical decisions about their daily life as a result of the coronavirus.
Insects, which include more than a million known species, represent roughly two-thirds of the described biodiversity on Earth.
Many people are trying to grow their own food during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Hands are sketching plans onto paper.
The first days of spring – brighter and warmer – are a biological trigger for female bees to wake up from hibernation and begin to build future colonies.
In Hong Kong the majority of businesses and families with economic clout consult Feng Shui experts before buying land or beginning construction on their homes or buildings. A real estate advertisement mentions of the quality of Feng Shui present in the design and the shape of the building...
Tiny houses have been heralded as a radical and creative way to address a lack of affordable housing, as well as reducing living costs and shrinking our carbon footprint.
During coronavirus lockdowns, gardens have served as an escape from feelings of alienation. Richard Bord/Getty Images
The coronavirus pandemic has set off a global gardening boom.
In the early days of lockdown, seed suppliers were depleted of inventory and reported “unprecedented” demand. Within the U.S., the trend has been compared to World War II victory gardening, when Americans grew food at home to support the war effort and feed their families.
The analogy is surely convenient. But it reveals only one piece in a much bigger story about why people garden in hard times. Americans have long turned to the soil in moments of upheaval to manage anxieties and imagine alternatives. My research has even led me to see gardening as a hidden landscape of desire for belonging and connection; for contact with nature; and for creative expression and improved health.
These motives have varied across time as growers respond to different historical circumstances. Today, what drives people to garden may not be the fear of hunger so much as hunger for physical contact, hope for nature’s resilience and a longing to engage in work that is real.
Why Americans garden
Prior to industrialization, most Americans were farmers and would have considered it odd to grow food as a leisure activity. But as they moved into cities and suburbs to take factory and office jobs, coming home to putter around in one’s potato beds took on a kind of novelty. Gardening also appealed to nostalgia for the passing of traditional farm life.
For black Americans denied the opportunity to abandon subsistence work, Jim Crow-era gardening reflected a different set of desires.
In her essay “In Search of Our Mothers’ Gardens,” Alice Walker recalls her mother tending an extravagant flower garden late at night after finishing brutal days of field labor. As a child, she wondered why anyone would voluntarily add one more task to such a difficult life. Later, Walker understood that gardening wasn’t just another form of labor; it was an act of artistic expression.
Particularly for black women relegated to society’s least desirable jobs, gardening offered the chance to reshape a small piece of the world in, as Walker put it, one’s “personal image of Beauty.”
This isn’t to say that food is always a secondary factor in gardening passions. Convenience cuisine in the 1950s spawned its own generation of home-growers and back-to-the-land movements rebelling against a mid-century diet now infamous for Jell-O mold salads, canned-food casseroles, TV dinner and Tang.
For millennial-era growers, gardens have responded to longings for community and inclusion, especially among marginalized groups. Immigrants and inner-city residents lacking access to green space and fresh produce have taken up “guerrilla gardening” in vacant lots to revitalize their communities.
In 2011, Ron Finley – a resident of South Central L.A. and self-identified “gangsta gardener” – was even threatened with arrest for installing vegetable plots along sidewalks.
Such appropriations of public space for community use are often seen as threats to existing power structures. Moreover, many people can’t wrap their heads around the idea that someone would spend time cultivating a garden but not reap all of the rewards.
When reporters asked Finley if he were concerned that people would steal the food, he replied, “Hell no I ain’t afraid they’re gonna steal it, that’s why it’s on the street!”
Gardening in the age of screens
Since the lockdown began, I’ve watched my sister Amanda Fritzsche transform her neglected backyard in Cayucos, California, into a blooming sanctuary. She has also gotten into Zoom workouts, binged on Netflix and joined online happy hours. But as the weeks stretch into months, she seems to have less energy for those virtual encounters.
Gardening, on the other hand, has overtaken her life. Plantings that started out back have expanded around the side of the house, and gardening sessions have stretched later into the evening, when she sometimes works by headlamp.
When I asked about her new obsession, Amanda kept returning to her unease with screen time. She told me that virtual sessions gave a momentary boost, but “there’s always something missing … an empty feeling when you log off.”
Many can probably sense what’s missing. It’s the physical presence of others, and the opportunity to use our bodies in ways that matter. It’s the same longing for community that fills coffee shops with fellow gig workers and yoga studios with the heat of other bodies. It’s the electricity of the crowd at a concert, the students whispering behind you in class.
And so if the novel coronavirus underscores an age of distancing, gardening arises as an antidote, extending the promise of contact with something real. My sister talked about this, too: how gardening appealed to the whole body, naming sensory pleasures like “hearing song birds and insects, tasting herbs, the smell of dirt and flowers, the warm sun and satisfying ache.” While the virtual world may have its own ability to absorb attention, it is not immersive in the way gardening can be.
But this season, gardening is about more than physical activity for the sake of activity. Robin Wallace, owner of a photo production business in Camarillo, California, noted how the lockdown made her professional identity “suddenly irrelevant” as a “non-essential” worker. She went on to point out a key benefit of her garden: “The gardener is never without a purpose, a schedule, a mission.”
As automation and better algorithms make more forms of work obsolete, that longing for purpose gains special urgency. Gardens are a reminder that there are limits to what can be done without physical presence. As with handshakes and hugs, one cannot garden through a screen.
You might pick up skills from YouTube, but, as gardening icon Russell Page once wrote, real expertise comes from directly handling plants, “getting to know their likes and dislikes by smell and touch. ‘Book learning’ gave me information,” he explained, “but only physical contact can give any real … understanding of a live organism.”
Filling the void
Page’s observation suggests a final reason why the coronavirus pandemic has ignited such a flurry of gardening. Our era is one of profound loneliness, and the proliferation of digital devices is only one of the causes. That emptiness also proceeds from the staggering retreat of nature, a process underway well before screen addiction. The people coming of age during the COVID-19 pandemic have already witnessed oceans die and glaciers disappear, watched Australia and the Amazon burn and mourned the astonishing loss of global wildlife.
Perhaps this explains why stories of nature’s “comeback” are continually popping up alongside those gardening headlines. We cheer at images of animals reclaiming abandoned spaces and birds filling skies cleared of pollution. Some of these accounts are credible, others dubious. What matters, I think, is that they offer a glimpse of the world as we wish it could be: In a time of immense suffering and climate breakdown, we are desperate for signs of life’s resilience.
My final conversation with Wallace offered a clue as to how this desire is also fueling today’s gardening craze. She marveled at how life in the garden continues to “spring forth in our absence, or even because of our absence.” Then she closed with an insight at once “liberating” and “humiliating” that touches on hopes reaching far beyond the nation’s backyards: “No matter what we do, or how the conference call goes, the garden will carry on, with or without us.”
About The Author
Jennifer Atkinson, Senior Lecturer, Environmental Studies, University of Washington
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, many of us are working from home in close proximity to our human children or fur babies.
Our Western habitats present us with a very different scenario than that of the original Feng Shui practitioners. Many structures are located on land that the ancient practitioners would never have chosen, and often the structure’s shape and detailing break every classic Feng Shui rule.
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For years, Toni Genberg assumed a healthy garden was a healthy habitat. That’s how she approached the landscaping around her home in northern Virginia.
Trees and vegetation in urban heat islands turn green earlier in the year but are less sensitive to temperature change than vegetation in surrounding rural regions, according to a new study.
This summer’s bushfires and heatwaves may have led you to wonder how climate change will shape our lives. But have you given any thought to how it might affect your pets?
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