My latest Environmental Graffiti article is "5 Ibises Facing Different Levels of Threat". Of the 26 species in the Ibis family, some are endangered species but others are thriving successfully. This sample of 5 ibises includes the endangered Northern Bald Ibis and the successful Sacred Ibis.

"Eudocimus ruber or Scarlet Ibis" by OpenCage

I had written and submitted this article on April 24, but it took the editors until today to begin publishing the weekend's articles. That is why my Suite 101 article described in "The Sacred Ibis is a Pilgrim", below, was publicized first despite being submitted on the 26th.

Today my article, "The Sacred Ibis is an Unwelcome Pilgrim", was published in Suite 101.
"Sacred Ibis or Threskiornis aethiopica" by OpenCage

The Sacred Ibis was worshipped in ancient Egypt. A native of Africa, this successful wading bird still lives there but also thrives in Florida and Europe after escaping from captivity. But do its hosts welcome this pilgrim when it visits?

When I publicized this in my Xanga blog post, titled "A Suite for the Sacred Ibis", I realized that I could post an image on that site also. To do so, I had to "check" a check box to actually insert the image that I had uploaded.

Today Environmental Graffiti published my "The Endangered Macaws of Central America and South America". These rainforest inhabitants are quite lovely birds, but some species are in danger.

The trigger for writing  this article was that I saw two advertisements for the upcoming movie "Rio". This cartoon deals with the last pair of blue macaws, apparently.

In truth, "blue macaw" is a family that includes the hyacinth macaw. So, does the movie present any scientific truth? Will people find my article when looking for a movie review? The passage of time may reveal more than it currently conceals. I would certainly appreciate knowing whether anyone found this blog entry while pursuing a cinematic experience...or when following up after seeing the film.
'Hyacinth Macaw in Foreground' by .
The firestick cactus is known by many names: the Indian tree spurge, the milk bush, the naked lady and the pencil tree.

This succulent cactus has a corrosive, dangerous, irritating, or downright toxic sap. The word "succulent" simply means that this plant is juicy with these fluids.

Part of the danger is that the firestick cactus is easily bruised, so the milky sap can easily be liberated from the plant.

In the summer of 2010, Pastor Rick Warren received hospital treatment after getting some firestick cactus sap in his eyes. The author of "The Purpose-Driven Life" had apparently been gardening.

Firestick Cactus by Atamari

The Best Growing Conditions for the Firestick Cactus

Gardeners talk about "cactus-friendly" potting soil; that's the "right stuff" here.

Firestick cactus likes sunshine and dry warmth. The thick leaves hoard moisture, although it appreciates a little rain or watering if the ground becomes bone dry.

Southern California and similar climate zones are good for this naked lady cactus. She dislikes frost or cold rainy winters.

Firestick Cactus by H. Zell

Pastor Warren may have been pruning his Indian tree spurge, which does have a tendency to grow tall and top-heavy. He probably took the sensible precaution of wearing gloves before dealing with his firestick cactus, but likely rubbed his forehead and put a few drops of its dangerous sap onto his forehead.

Its intense colours make the firestick cactus a strikingly beautiful, if dangerous, addition to a hot arid garden.

[Mike has written two other articles on this subject.
Firestick Cactus: The Plant with Acid Sap! told much the same story, while The Firestick Cactus: Garden With Care provides more of a slant towards science and gardening].

    Mike DeHaan

    Mike DeHaan began writing professionally in 2010 as the sole proprietor of DeHaan Services.To see this information with the best background image, please refer to "About.Me",  befriend me at Facebook, or circle me at Google+.


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