Z is for Zebra #atozchallenge

800px-Zebra_running_Ngorongoro

A to Z April 2017  Challenge – Animals Birds & Insects Pantoum Poetry

Photo Credit

30 April 2017 – Z is for Zebra

Zebras are a species of African equids united by distinctive black and white stripes.
Unlike their closest relatives, horses, zebras have never been domesticated
Grevy’s Zebra and the Mountain Zebra are considered to be endangered species
They are generally social animals that live in small harems to large herds

Unlike their closest relatives, horses, zebras have never been domesticated
Zebras have excellent eyesight. It is believed that they can see in color
They are generally social animals that live in small harems to large herds
Like most ungulates, zebra’s eyes are on the sides of its head, giving a wide field of view

Zebras have excellent eyesight. It is believed that they can see in color
Zebras also have night vision, although not as advanced as that of most of their predators Like most ungulates, zebra’s eyes are on the sides of its head, giving a wide field of view
Zebras have excellent hearing and have larger, rounder ears than horses

Zebras also have night vision, although not as advanced as that of most of their predators
Like other ungulates, zebras can turn their ears in almost any direction
Zebras have excellent hearing and have larger, rounder ears than horses
In addition to superb eyesight and hearing, zebras have acute senses of smell and taste.

Like other ungulates, zebras can turn their ears in almost any direction
Like horses, zebras sleep standing up, only when others are around to warn off predators
In addition to superb eyesight and hearing, zebras have acute senses of smell and taste
Zebras feed almost entirely on grasses but occasionally eat shrubs, twigs, leaves and bark.

Like horses, zebras sleep standing up, only when others are around to warn off predators
Female zebras mature earlier than males, a mare may have her first foal by the age of three
Zebras feed almost entirely on grasses but occasionally eat shrubs, twigs, leaves and bark
Males (Stallion) are not able to breed until the age of five or six years old

Female zebras mature earlier than males, a mare may have her first foal by the age of three
Mares may give birth to one foal every twelve months. She nurses the foal for up to a year
Males (Stallion) are not able to breed until the age of five or six years old
Like horses, zebras are able to stand, walk and suckle shortly after they are born.

Mares may give birth to one foal every twelve months. She nurses the foal for up to a year
Grevy’s Zebra and the Mountain Zebra are considered to be endangered species
Like horses, zebras are able to stand, walk and suckle shortly after they are born
Zebras are a species of African equids united by distinctive black and white stripes.

Z

Interesting theory about the Zebra StripesThe black and white stripes may have one or several functions.

1.The vertical striping may help the zebra hide in the grass by disrupting its outline.

2. The stripes may help to confuse predators by motion dazzle—a group of zebras standing or moving close together may appear as one large mass of flickering stripes, making it more difficult for the lion to pick out a target.

3. The stripes may serve as visual cues and identification. Although the striping pattern is unique to each individual.

4. Experiments by different researchers indicate that the stripes are effective in attracting fewer flies, including blood-sucking tsetse flies and tabanid horseflies

5. Stripes may be used to cool the zebra. Air may move more quickly over black light-absorbing stripes while moving more slowly over white stripes.

Zebras have four gaits: walk, trot, canter, and gallop.

How to write Pantoum Poetry

http://shadowpoetry.com/resources/wip/pantoum.html

Y is for Yak #atozchallenge

800px-Bos_grunniens_at_Letdar_on_Annapurna_Circuit

A to Z April 2017  Challenge – Animals Birds & Insects Pantoum Poetry

Photo Credit A yak in the Nepalese Himalayas.

29 April 2017 – Y is for Yak

The domestic yak is a long-haired domesticated bovid descended from the wild yak
The yak is a herd animal found in the mountainous region of Central Asia
They tend to gather in herds from ten to a hundred yaks, most are females
There is a large domestic population of yaks, only a few wild yaks remaining.

The yak is a herd animal found in the mountainous region of Central Asia
Yaks are still used for transporting large loads through the mountain passes
There is a large domestic population of yaks, only a few wild yaks remaining.
Yaks are heavily built animals with a bulky frame, sturdy legs, and rounded cloven hooves

Yaks are still used for transporting large loads through the mountain passes
Extremely dense, long fur that hangs down lower than the belly to keep them warm
Yaks are heavily built animals with a bulky frame, sturdy legs, and rounded cloven hooves
They have small ears and a wide forehead, with smooth horns generally dark in color.

Extremely dense, long fur that hangs down lower than the belly to keep them warm
The tail is long and horselike rather than tufted like the tails of cattle or bison.
They have small ears and a wide forehead, with smooth horns generally dark in color.
The udder in females, scrotum in males, are small and hairy, protection against the cold.

The tail is long and horselike rather than tufted like the tails of cattle or bison.
The yak breeds in the warmer months, gestation lasts between 257 and 270 days
The >udder in females, scrotum in males, are small and hairy, protection against the cold.
The female finds a secluded spot to give birth, calf is able to walk within ten minutes of birth

The yak breeds in the warmer months, gestation lasts between 257 and 270 days
Females of both the wild and domestic forms typically give birth only once every other year
The female finds a secluded spot to give birth, calf is able to walk within ten minutes of birth
Yaks may live for more than twenty years in domestication, somewhat shorter in the wild.

Females of both the wild and domestic forms typically give birth only once every other year
They tend to gather in herds from ten to a hundred yaks, most are females
Yaks may live for more than twenty years in domestication, somewhat shorter in the wild.
The domestic yak is a long-haired domesticated bovid descended from the wild yak.

Y

How to write Pantoum Poetry http://shadowpoetry.com/resources/wip/pantoum.html

X is for X-ray Tetra #atozchallenge

600px-Pristella_maxillaris

A to Z April 2017  Challenge – Animals Birds Insects & Fish Pantoum Poetry

Photo Credit

28 April 2017 – X is for X-ray Tetra a fish

Pristella maxillaries, (Xray Tetra) only known species in its genus, backbones are seen clearly
Commonly known as X-ray fish or X-ray tetra because of its highly transparent body.
Scales are silvery-yellowish color that’s very faint looking almost golden in some lights
Widely distributed and adaptable fish, found in the Amazon and Orinoco basins

Commonly known as X-ray fish or X-ray tetra because of its highly transparent body.
Also found in coastal rivers in the Guianas in both acidic and alkaline waters
Widely distributed and adaptable fish, found in the Amazon and Orinoco basins
It is small (up to around 5 cm or 2.0 in, in length) and lives in large groups

Also found in coastal rivers in the Guianas in both acidic and alkaline waters
Males can be distinguished from females by being smaller and thinner than the females. It is small (up to around 5 cm or 2.0 in, in length) and lives in large groups
Like most other tetras, it feeds primarily on small insects and planktonic animals.

Males can be distinguished from females by being smaller and thinner than the females.
During the rainy season, the x-ray tetra return to the flood-lands to spawn
Like most other tetras, it feeds primarily on small insects and planktonic animals.
They do not give birth to live young, the female lays between three to four hundred eggs

During the rainy season, the x-ray tetra return to the flood-lands to spawn
Their eggs (fry) begin to hatch as early as 24 hours later, become free swimming within days
They do not give birth to live young, the female lays between three to four hundred eggs
They usually live for three or four years in the wild but can get to older ages in captivity

Their eggs (fry) begin to hatch as early as 24 hours later, become free swimming within days
Once swimming the small dull white young find better food sources, soon develop adult markings
They usually live for three or four years in the wild but can get to older ages in captivity
They are a small, adaptable fish that is often kept in a home aquarium and will eat most fish foods.

Once swimming the small dull white young find better food sources, soon develop adult markings
Scales are silvery-yellowish color that’s very faint looking almost golden in some lights
They are a small, adaptable fish that is often kept in a home aquarium and will eat most fish foods
Pristella maxillaries, (Xray Tetra)only known species in its genus, backbones are seen clearly.

X

How to write Pantoum Poetry http://shadowpoetry.com/resources/wip/pantoum.html

W is for Weasel. #atozchallenge

702px-Mustela_nivalis_-British_Wildlife_Centre-4

A to Z April 2017  Challenge – Animals Birds & Insects Pantoum Poetry

Photo Credit Least Weasel at the British Wildlife Centre, Surrey, England.

27 April 2017 – W is for Weasel

A weasel is a mammal of the genus Mustela of the family Mustelidae
The genus Mustela includes the least weasels, polecats, stoats ferrets, and minks
Members of this genus are small, active predators, with long and slender bodies and short legs.
Weasels vary in length from 173 to 217 mm (6.8 to 8.5 in) females being smaller than the males.

The genus Mustela includes the least weasels, polecats, stoats, ferrets, and minks
They have long, slender bodies, which enable them to follow their prey into burrows
Weasels vary in length from 173 to 217 mm (6.8 to 8.5 in) females being smaller than the males.
Weasels feed on small mammals and have from time to time been considered a vermin

They have long, slender bodies, which enable them to follow their prey into burrows
They do on the other hand eat large numbers of rodents, they are also known to eat eggs
Weasels feed on small mammals and have from time to time been considered a vermin
The least weasels use pre-existing holes to sleep, store food and raise their young.

They do on the other hand eat large numbers of rodents, they are also known to eat eggs
Weasels eat around a third of their body weight every day to survive making them prolific hunters
The least weasels use pre-existing holes to sleep, store food and raise their young.
The only time weasels will tolerate one another is when male ad female meet to mate

Weasels eat around a third of their body weight every day to survive making them prolific hunters
There is a 34- to 37-day gestation period, single litter of about six kits reared by the female
The only time weasels will tolerate one another is when male ad female meet to mate
Newborn kits are born pink, naked, blind and deaf, gain a white coat of downy fur at the age of 4 days.

There is a 34- to 37-day gestation period, single litter of about six kits reared by the female
Ten days old the margin between the dark upper parts and light underparts becomes visible.
Newborn kits are born pink, naked, blind and deaf, gain a white coat of downy fur at the age of 4 days.
Milk teeth erupt at 2 to 3 weeks of age, then they start to eat solid food, lactation last for 12 weeks.

Ten days old the margin between the dark upper parts and light underparts becomes visible.
Their eyes and ears open at 3 to 4 weeks of age, and by 8 weeks, killing behavior is developed.
Milk teeth erupt at 2 to 3 weeks of age, then they start to eat solid food, lactation last for 12 weeks.
They reach sexual maturity in 3 to 4 months, least weasels can live for 7 or 8 years

Their eyes and ears open at 3 to 4 weeks of age, and by 8 weeks, killing behavior is developed.
Members of this genus are small, active predators, with long and slender bodies and short legs.
They reach sexual maturity in 3 to 4 months, least weasels can live for 7 or 8 years
A weasel is a mammal of the genus Mustela of the family Mustelidae.

W

How to write Pantoum Poetry http://shadowpoetry.com/resources/wip/pantoum.html

Weekly Tanka Prompt Challenge – Week 42 – War & Peace

800px-Bataille_Waterloo_1815_reconstitution_2011_3

Weekly Tanka Prompt Challenge – Week 42 – War & Peace

Photo Credit

#weeklytankachallenge -42

Simple Guidelines.

Take the words “war & peace” and write a tanka poem.

English tanka poetry consists of five units, usually with the following pattern of    5-7-5-7-7 which is syllables.

  1. You can use the picture above, your own or no picture at all.

Copy and paste the link of your finished tanka in the comments below, I will acknowledge them the following week, also share on social networks.

My tanka poem  – using the words “war & peace”.

no war worldwide please
sort the problems within peace
we are all equal
in love with the universe
children have the rights to live

Bloggers that entered “Weekly Tanka Challenge – Week 41- “weather & life”. Thank you.

Dracofluvia

The Bag Lady

Pancake Bunnykins

Sarah

Mick E Talbot

Storyteller

Sangbad

Marie

Susmita

Magarisa

V is for Vulture #atozchallenge

Vulture11

A to Z April 2017  Challenge – Animals Birds & Insects Pantoum Poetry

Photo Credit. – Vulture getting ready to strike a dying prey, Kenya

26 April 2017 – V is for Vulture

Vulture is a large, carnivorous bird that is well known for its scavenging nature
There are thought to be nearly thirty different species of vultures worldwide
Vultures, found in Asia, Europe, and Africa, thought to be closely related to eagles and hawks
A particular characteristic of many vultures is a bald head, devoid of normal feathers.

There are thought to be nearly thirty different species of vultures worldwide
The new world vultures tend to be slightly smaller than the old world vultures
A particular characteristic of many vultures is a bald head, devoid of normal feathers.
Vultures have been observed to hunch their bodies and tuck in their heads in the cold

The new world vultures tend to be slightly smaller than the old world vultures
Now it is believed that the bare skin may play an important role in thermoregulation
Vultures have been observed to hunch their bodies and tuck in their heads in the cold
The vultures have now been seen to open their wings and stretch their necks in the heat.

Now it is believed that the bare skin may play an important role in thermoregulation
All vultures scavenge for their food whenever possible rather than killing it themselves
The vultures have now been seen to open their wings and stretch their necks in the heat.
A group of vultures is called a wake, committee, kettle, venue, or volt.

All vultures scavenge for their food whenever possible rather than killing it themselves
Vultures generally fairly solitary animals, but groups are often seen circling prey from the sky
A group of vultures is called a wake, committee, kettle, venue, or volt.
Wake is reserved for a group of vultures that are feeding.

Vultures generally fairly solitary animals, but groups are often seen circling prey from the sky
The term kettle refers to vultures in flight, while committee refers to vultures resting in trees.
Wake is reserved for a group of vultures that are feeding.
The Ruppell vulture is considered to be monogamous, forming lifelong breeding pairs.

The term kettle refers to vultures in flight, while committee refers to vultures resting in trees.
After courtship, the pair will work together to build a nest using sticks, grass, and leaves
The Ruppell vulture is considered to be monogamous, forming lifelong breeding pairs.
Both parents share in incubation of their egg over a period of 55 days.

After courtship, the pair will work together to build a nest using sticks, grass, and leaves
Once the chick hatches, both parents will feed and tend to it for about 150 days when it fledges
Both parents share in incubation of their egg over a period of 55 days.
Young remain dependent on their parents after fledging until the next breeding season.

Once the chick hatches, both parents will feed and tend to it for about 150 days when it fledges
Vultures, found in Asia, Europe, and Africa, thought to be closely related to eagles and hawks
Young remain dependent on their parents after fledging, until the next breeding season.
Vulture is a large, carnivorous bird that is well known for its scavenging nature.

What thermoregulation means? – It is the ability of an organism to keep its body temperature within certain boundaries, even when the surrounding temperature is very different.

V

How to write Pantoum Poetry

ANZAC Day – 25 APRIL 2016

Anzac Day now promotes a sense of unity, perhaps more effectively than any other day on the national calendar.
It’s now 2017, Dad my thought’s are always with you, I miss you so.
You were one of the lucky ones to return, but the sight’s you endured as a 22-year-old, was never forgotten, as we remember the stories you told.

Ramblings of a Writer

Anzac_Day_1

Photo CreditEach year on ANZAC Day in Te Awamutu, New Zealand the graves of War Veterans are decorated.

In Remembrance Of those Special Soldiers – Never to be Forgotten.

25 April is ANZAC DAY where we remember all who fell and fought saving our future.

Anzac Day is a national day of remembrance in Australia and New Zealand and is commemorated by both countries on 25 April every year to honor members of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) who fought at Gallipoli in Turkey during World War I.

It now more broadly commemorates all those who died and served in military operations for their countries.

I had uncles that never return from the war, in fact, it was the end of the Corbishley line in New Zealand as Charles was the only son, killed in action.

My Father-in-law fought in World War One, he was one…

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U is for Uguisu – Japanese Bush Warbler #atozchallenge

685px-Cettia_diphone_crying

A to Z April 2017  Challenge – Animals Birds & Insects Pantoum Poetry

Photo Credit

25 April 2017 – U is for Uguisu – Japanese Bush Warbler – a Bird

The Uguisu is a small species of bird that is natively found throughout Japan China and Taiwan
Also commonly known as the Japanese Bush-Warbler, named for its beautiful distinctive song
The Japanese bush warbler is olive brown above and tending toward dusky colors below
The Uguisu has thin legs with long, clawed toes to help them grip onto branches more easily

Also commonly known as the Japanese Bush-Warbler, named for its beautiful distinctive song
Uguisu has small dark eyes and pale stripes above each one, straight, tan colored beak
The Uguisu has thin legs with long, clawed toes to help them grip onto branches more easily
The tail is relatively long in relation to its body size and is comprised of straight feathers

Uguisu has small dark eyes and pale stripes above each one, straight, tan colored beak
It is a relatively solitary bird with individuals only really coming together during breeding season
The tail is relatively long in relation to its body size and is comprised of straight feathers
Its distinctive breeding call can be heard throughout much of Japan from the start of spring.

It is a relatively solitary bird with individuals only really coming together during breeding season
The female constructs a cup-shaped nest in dense thicket of twigs, leaves, and moss
Its distinctive breeding call can be heard throughout much of Japan from the start of spring.
She lays up to five small eggs, sits on them herself, takes two to three weeks to hatch

The female constructs a cup-shaped nest in dense thicket of twigs, leaves, and moss
In summer it ranges from low hills to high mountains, preferring bamboo thickets and black pine trees.
She lays up to five small eggs, sits on them herself, takes two to three weeks to hatch
The chicks are fed and cared for by their mother until they fledge at around two weeks old

In summer it ranges from low hills to high mountains, preferring bamboo thickets and black pine trees.
The Japanese bush warbler is olive brown above and tending toward dusky colors below
The chicks are fed and cared for by their mother until they fledge at around two weeks old
The Uguisu is a small species of bird that is natively found throughout Japan China and Taiwan.

U

How to write Pantoum Poetry http://shadowpoetry.com/resources/wip/pantoum.html

T is for Tuatara #atozchallenge

Sphenodon_punctatus_in_Waikanae,_New_Zealand

A to Z April 2017  Challenge – Animals Birds & Insects Pantoum Poetry

Photo Credit

24 April 2017 – T is for Tuatara

Tuatara is a small to medium sized reptiles endemic to New Zealand, can live well over 100 years
Although resembling most lizards, they are part of a distinct lineage, the order Rhynchocephalia
Tuatara are greenish brown and gray, and measure up to 80 cm (31 in) from head to tail-tip
Today the tuatara is nearly extinct on the mainland of New Zealand, only living on small island around NZ

Although resembling most lizards, they are part of a distinct lineage, the order Rhynchocephalia
Their dentition, in which two rows of teeth in the upper jaw overlap one row on the lower jaw
Today the tuatara is nearly extinct on the mainland of New Zealand, only living on small island around NZ
They are even more unusual in having a pronounced photoreceptive eye, the “third eye”

Their dentition, in which two rows of teeth in the upper jaw overlap one row on the lower jaw
The tuatara also has a spiny crest along the back, especially pronounced in males.
They are even more unusual in having a pronounced photoreceptive eye, the “third eye”
They are able to hear, although no external ear is present, also have excellent vision

The tuatara also has a spiny crest along the back, especially pronounced in males.
Have a number of unique features in their skeleton, apparently evolutionarily retained from fish.
They are able to hear, although no external ear is present, also have excellent vision
Their diet consists of frogs, lizards, and bird’s eggs, chicks, beetles, crickets, and spiders.

Have a number of unique features in their skeleton, apparently evolutionarily retained from fish.
Tuatara reproduces is very slowly, taking 10 to 20 years to reach sexual maturity.
Their diet consists of frogs, lizards, and bird’s eggs, chicks, beetles, crickets, and spiders
Mating occurs in midsummer; females mate and lay eggs once every four years.

Tuatara reproduces is very slowly, taking 10 to 20 years to reach sexual maturity.
Males don’t have a penis, reproducing by the male lifting the female tail and placing his vent over hers.
Mating occurs in midsummer; females mate and lay eggs once every four years
Tuatara eggs have a soft, parchment-like shell which she digs and lays into the ground

Males don’t have a penis, reproducing by the male lifting the female tail and placing his vent over hers.
Females take between 1 and 3 years to provide eggs with yolk, up to seven months to form the shell.
Tuatara eggs have a soft, parchment-like shell which she digs and lays into the ground
It then takes between 12 and 15 months from copulation to hatching.

Females take between 1 and 3 years to provide eggs with yolk, up to seven months to form the shell.
Wild tuatara are known to be still reproducing at about 60 years of age
It then takes between 12 and 15 months from copulation to hatching.
This means reproduction occurs at two- to five-year intervals, the slowest in any reptile

Wild tuatara are known to be still reproducing at about 60 years of age
Tuatara are greenish brown and gray, and measure up to 80 cm (31 in) from head to tail-tip
This means reproduction occurs at two- to five-year intervals, the slowest in any reptile
Tuatara is a small to medium sized reptiles endemic to New Zealand, can live well over 100 years.

Interesting facts:

“Henry”, a male tuatara at Southland Museum in Invercargill, New Zealand, became a father (possibly for the first time) on 23 January 2009, at the age of 111.

Tuatara probably has the slowest growth rates of any reptile, continuing to grow larger for the first 35 years of their lives.

The average lifespan is about 60 years, but they can live to be well over 100 years old. Some experts believe that captive tuatara could live as long as 200 years.

During routine maintenance work at Karori Sanctuary in late 2008, a tuatara nest was uncovered, with a hatchling found the following autumn.

This is thought to be the first case of tuatara successfully breeding on the New Zealand mainland in over 200 years, outside of captive rearing facilities.

T

How to write Pantoum Poetryhttp://shadowpoetry.com/resources/wip/pantoum.html

Usnea Lichen Growing on Trees

Usnea Licken on Plum Trees

There has been a problem with the trees in the garden for some time now.

So I decided to do some study about this lichen, which I did not know the name of when I started researching.

Having researched this subject thoroughly, I still believe it does kill trees that it host on, as I have the proof of dying trees for the last ten or more years.

Of all the sites I have visited they all say that lichen should be viewed positively, their presence tells us that we live in a healthy environment and they give any garden an established look.

It is said that “lichens prefer areas with clean air, so are more common in rural districts” that may be true as we live in the high country with bush growing all around us and very little traffic, so if Usnea is very sensitive to air pollution, especially sulfur dioxide, the air is clear of that.

There is a lot of lichen growing in the bush reserve which surrounds our farm, also which I consider isn’t good, the possums are coming from the bush into the garden, if it is spread by spores they will be carrying it on their feet, therefore, that will be settling the spores on the trees.

If not then how does it start growing?

It is said that its spread by the wind.

I have found out that this gray-green fuzzy stuff covering many of my trees is one of the gentlest yet strongest immune tonics in the herb world.

But that does not make me feel happy about this lichen as it is unsightly in the garden.

The growth of algae, lichens, and moss may be more common on plants lacking vigor, so their presence could indicate that attention is needed, particularly on old fruit trees, in saying that this, the photo below was a very health plum tree until the lichen start taking over and it died.

Dead Plum Tree

Dead Plum Tree

Three Questions I have researched about Old Mans Beard – Usnea

  • What is Usnea?

Usnea is a lichen which is an organism that has characteristics of a Fungus and Algae.

  • How to tell if it is Usnea Lichen?

Elastic Thread in Usnea Lichen

Break the stalk of Usnea (thallus). If there is an elastic, white cord running down the center, then it is Usnea.

  • Does Usnea grow from spores?

By searching this question I have made the conclusion that it must be spores that nest onto the bark and germinate to start the beginning of the Usnea growth.

Lichen on Maple Tree

Lichen on  Maple Tree

By my study, everything is pointing against Usnea killing trees.

I do not agree.

My guess is lichen growing on trees is harmful to the trees, even though they are saying that the lichen does not extract nourishment from the trees when entering the inner bark and clinging to the tree branches where food is available from the tree.

My garden looks unsightly and I’m slowly removing the trees, but more seem to have lichen growing on them every month, I have tried pulling it off of them on the young trees but it continues on growing.

You can see by the photo below that Usnea does not need trees as a host as it is growing from an old basketball ring and surviving very well, it has the sun on it all day when the sun shines.

Lichen growing on Metal

Lichen growing on Metal.

The Cherry tree below is only about five years old and the lichen has already started growing on the trunk.

Cherry Tree

What are your thought’s about Usnea Lichen?

Have you seen it before, or do you have it growing where you live?

It hard to believe that it grows on sick or dying trees due to the pre-existing loss of canopy leaves.

If that is true it won’t be long before I have no trees.

Appreciate any comments.