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 Post subject: Ideas from the Front Page
PostPosted: June 7th, 2010, 11:16 pm 
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Nature described in LK main page articles is sometimes familiar, sometimes intriguingly different even for those who are quite near Estonia geographically: Even in the same country experiences differ. But there didn't seem to be any one place for those discussions.

Well, now there is.

Have you ever tasted Barberry leaves? (berberis). Barberry bushes were actually rooted up by law to protect cereals in some countries.

Do you know Labrador tea? dare to use it as tea?

Maybe you have some hints on how to use some of the things mentioned on the Looduskalender front page. Or more information, or different views.


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 Post subject: Re: Ideas from the Front Page
PostPosted: June 8th, 2010, 7:11 am 
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So about Labrador tea: quite common in Estonia and most of northern Europe.
(distribution map HERE).
For some reason or other it seems to be quite rare in Britain and in Norway. True? British / Irish / Scots / Norwegian members?
When I was small I was warned against it, that the scent was "dangerous". It looks almost exotic when it flowers in boglands - about now - but never seen in a vase.
"Labrador tea" was an unexpected name too: with that reputation, not exactly a plant to enjoy for a cup of tea. Has anyone tried?


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 Post subject: Re: Ideas from the Front Page
PostPosted: June 8th, 2010, 9:29 am 
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I just made an awful mess of that second post - I wanted to copy it but clicked on another button and it went wrong. I deleted it. So sorry, Liis.


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 Post subject: Re: Ideas from the Front Page
PostPosted: June 8th, 2010, 1:32 pm 
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Perfectly OK! :wave:
If any excuses are needed, you might tell what you know of Labrador tea ... :innocent: Ever seen it in UK?


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 Post subject: Re: Ideas from the Front Page
PostPosted: June 8th, 2010, 1:52 pm 
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I confess I had never heard of it before the LK post. But I see it is a type of rhododendron - there are more than enough of those here.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Labrador_tea
Poisonous. Medicinal. Attractive to bees!


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 Post subject: Re: Ideas from the Front Page
PostPosted: June 9th, 2010, 9:01 am 
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Labrador tea
It has a very curious Swedish name, skvattram. According to one etymological source (a real book, actually), it is an imitation of the splashing and splattering sound you make when you get around where they grow ...
:puzzled: Might be; the ones I come across seem to like a watery view but rather dry feet, like people.

Bird life (LK main page today, http://www.looduskalender.ee/node/7605)
A few days ago an Estonian newspaper had a notice about aggressive crows and gulls attacking people in Haapsalu (Estonian west coast).
Yesterday I passed a school in Stockholm, all very nice and peaceful, just a few people around. Suddenly a gull swooped down from nowhere, a lady barely managed to get in through a door. Gull stayed triumphantly walking along the roof edge, shaking its wings.
Hmm, gull & crow helmets?


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 Post subject: Re: Ideas from the Front Page
PostPosted: June 9th, 2010, 10:21 am 
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A jay once attacked my headphones -- the kind with a strap over your head.


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 Post subject: Re: Ideas from the Front Page
PostPosted: June 9th, 2010, 2:52 pm 
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alice44 wrote:
A jay once attacked my headphones -- the kind with a strap over your head.

Why, do you think? The headphone itself, or the phone as part of you?
Remembering the discussion (last year?) about birds remembering - particuarly crows and ravens: I am not sure I would dare help a young crow or raven or gull.
Some years ago a very young magpie trundled around in the car park at work. I only approached it, to get it out of the way of the cars, when one parent bird swooped down. And chattered and screamed. I left. Next day - attack straight off. It lasted for a week, whenever I showed up around the parking space.
That front-page gull has a magnificent roof-top appartment though. Seems even to have its own rock garden. The yellow stuff - lichen?


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 Post subject: Re: Ideas from the Front Page
PostPosted: June 10th, 2010, 6:29 am 
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I guess I think it was the headphone strap because it was such a directed attack and only one attack (maybe I wanted to feel safe when not wearing it).

The jays definitely dive at my cats during this season -- and with good reason. So it may have been more of a personal attack rather than simply a dive for food.


This weekend I saw a bunch of Redwing Black birds attack a Cow Bird -- they pulled tail feathers off of the male. However, while they were busy ganging up on the male the female might have been quietly laying her eggs -- we did not see her.


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 Post subject: Re: Ideas from the Front Page
PostPosted: June 11th, 2010, 6:28 pm 
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It seems that birds are a bit more aggressive than usula this year in Stockholm. But it might jsut be that after the article in LK, I note it.

Yesterday's news, the lingonberries or cowberries: Richard Mabey's book Flora Britannica says that a cross between lingonberry and bilberry has been found in Britan. With fruits :shock: :shock:
(Pohla ja mustika hübriid?!)
Can't be. That would be comparable to Nellie the Loch Ness monster. Anyone else heard of it? Tasted it?

EDIT: The Loch Ness lady is Nessie, of course :blush:


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 Post subject: Re: Ideas from the Front Page
PostPosted: June 11th, 2010, 7:08 pm 
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Careful, Liis!!
There is a big tourist industry based on Nessie!


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 Post subject: Re: Ideas from the Front Page
PostPosted: June 11th, 2010, 10:05 pm 
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Sorry, Jo, and of course Nessie, never have been good at names.:blush:
Seriously, lingonberries and bilberries have always been important for picking in the Nordic countries. Cooking recipes are endless, but the berries never get mixed. Not even in these days when everything can go on a menu, like garlic ice cream.
So a botanical hybrid really feels strange and upsetting, hard to imagine what it would look or taste like.

EDIT: Bilberries are said to be too boring to pick (rather small). But they - real European bilberries - actually figure in one brief scene in the TV crime series about Dalziel & Pascoe. A lady tells that she always goes to a certain spot to get big ones for bilberry pie.


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 Post subject: Re: Ideas from the Front Page
PostPosted: June 14th, 2010, 10:26 am 
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Swedish flora site says yes, there may be a hybrid between bilberry and lingonberry, but it is rare. There is even a photo of flower http://linnaeus.nrm.se/flora/di/erica/vacci/vaccxhy1.jpg.

Distribution map for bilberry in northern hemisphere HERE. Bears are said to love the berries.

:blush: Can someone please tell the name of the map projection type used?
(Even better, an image with that projection with country names in it ... :help: )


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 Post subject: Re: Ideas from the Front Page
PostPosted: June 17th, 2010, 4:08 pm 
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Another distribution map then.
Who - outside Estonia - are familiar with the bird's-eye primrose, Primula farinosa?
I have never seen more than maybe ten at once, and none at all for a long time now.
It grew at our summerhouse near Stockholm, but despite all attempts to keep it happy it disappeared, and so it has in the other areas nearby.
Curious that it grows in Japan too.


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 Post subject: Re: Ideas from the Front Page
PostPosted: June 18th, 2010, 10:22 am 
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Liis wrote:
It seems that birds are a bit more aggressive than usula this year in Stockholm. But it might jsut be that after the article in LK, I note it.

Yesterday's news, the lingonberries or cowberries: Richard Mabey's book Flora Britannica says that a cross between lingonberry and bilberry has been found in Britan. With fruits :shock: :shock:
(Pohla ja mustika hübriid?!)
Can't be. That would be comparable to Nellie the Loch Ness monster. Anyone else heard of it? Tasted it?

EDIT: The Loch Ness lady is Nessie, of course :blush:

After I read about the gulls here a friend sent me an article from the east coast of the US about a peregrine attacking people -- shortly after her chicks had fledged and my friend said her local Winnipeg news had an article about birds attacking. I wonder if there was just a big increase in reporting or if more birds are getting defensive.


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 Post subject: Re: Ideas from the Front Page
PostPosted: June 18th, 2010, 7:11 pm 
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Liis wrote:
Swedish flora site says yes, there may be a hybrid between bilberry and lingonberry, but it is rare. There is even a photo of flower http://linnaeus.nrm.se/flora/di/erica/vacci/vaccxhy1.jpg.

Distribution map for bilberry in northern hemisphere HERE. Bears are said to love the berries.

Here in Alsace we have the Myrtille also a member of the Vaccillium family genre Ericaceae.
Very poular for jams,tarts etc;
They grow on the hills of the Vosges mountains. (with (supposedly) very strict picking laws. i.e. dont use 'combs or other utensils for picking and only the quantity that a family can use. :D
They are delicious but need a lot of sugar,rather tart to taste. They leave your mouth purple. :laugh:

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 Post subject: Re: Ideas from the Front Page
PostPosted: June 18th, 2010, 7:51 pm 
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macdoum wrote:
Here in Alsace we have the Myrtille also a member of the Vaccillium family genre Ericaceae.
Very poular for jams,tarts etc;
They grow on the hills of the Vosges mountains. (with (supposedly) very strict picking laws. i.e. dont use 'combs or other utensils for picking and only the quantity that a family can use. :D
They are delicious but need a lot of sugar,rather tart to taste. They leave your mouth purple. :laugh:

No comb picking: how nice! - at least half the pleasure is picking beautiful berries on healthy, nice plants in a beautiful spot. Not a crushed, combed-over, trampled patch that looks like tanks had rolled over it.
Bears are excused - they can't help grabbing leaves and all.
Leaves are said to be good for your eyesight, by the way.
Tart ? try cranberries! or sea buckthorn (astelpaju, Hippophae rhamnoides; tart with all the vitamin C in it - but what a glorious colour)


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 Post subject: Re: Ideas from the Front Page
PostPosted: June 20th, 2010, 11:30 am 
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Liis, very many thanks and congratulations on that lengthy translation you have done of an excellent article about the rights and wrongs of the Nabala limestone deposit project.

http://www.looduskalender.ee/en/node/7680

It is very important to have this in English so that the wider world cn understand the issues.
There were more than 60,000 signatures on that petition. I am glad that I signed it, too.


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 Post subject: Re: Ideas from the Front Page
PostPosted: June 23rd, 2010, 9:26 am 
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Nabala: to risk destroying the Witch's well and other unique geology only for excavating construction material in a country with limestone as a major rock deposit does seem incomprehensible.
Swedish Hallandsåsen should be a healthy reminder about innovative new technology and the difficulties of predicting the behaviour of rocks and waterflows:
8 km of railway tunnel, mainly to be blasted/drilled through rock, major project with much preplanning and investigations; work start 1992, planned finish date 1997, now maybe 2015. Cost 10,5 billiard SwCr (2008 estimate), 11 times original budget; construction history lined with technical problems, dried-up wells in surrounding areas, changed landscapes (groundwater level down), humans and cattle poisoned from tunnel sealing material.
True, there are many successful projects too. But generally still at a very high cost to environment and landscape


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 Post subject: Re: Ideas from the Front Page
PostPosted: June 23rd, 2010, 10:34 am 
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It would be very interesting to know of similar experiences in other countries. Do the developers always win? How is it managed, around the world? What results? What costs in human and animal disturbance?

Can members contribute to this topic, to help us understand the processes involved, good or bad?


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