Wednesday, February 20, 2008

It began one year ago..Guildwood Gardens..

One Year ago..on Wednesday, February 21, 2007
I wrote..New Blog for my Garden..
Guildwood Gardens - Gardening with Love..
I wrote about 300 posts and received over 20.000 visits from around the world.
Thank you to all my visitors for your comments, friendship and generosity.
While visiting other garden Blogs I admired many beautiful gardens, flowers and wildlife as well.
2008 spring is around the corner, last year was fun, let's continue blogging...

A garden should be in a constant state of fluid change, expansion, experiment, adventure; above all it should be an inquisitive, loving, but self-critical journey on the part of its owner.

2007 finally spring has arrived..
Blessed be the Lord for the beauty of summer and spring,
for the air, the water, the verdure, and the song of birds. - Carl von Linnaeus

2007 summer ..the beautiful season has arrived with glorious flowers, colours and sunshine.

2007 Fall arrived...
In the garden, Autumn is, indeed the crowning glory of the year,
bringing us the fruition of months of thought and care and toil.
And at no season, safe perhaps in Daffodil time,
do we get such superb colour effects as from August to November.-
Rose G. Kingsley, The Autumn Garden, 1905

2007 Winterstorms and Christmas cheers
In the bleak mid-winter Frosty wind made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron, Water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow, Snow on snow,
In the bleak mid-winter,
Long ago.-
Christmas Carol

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Tuesday, February 19, 2008

DNA 'barcode' revealed in plants - Globaler Barcode für Pflanzen entdeckt

A "barcode" gene that can be used to distinguish between the majority of plant species has been identified, say scientists.
This gene can be used to catalogue plant life as it has a slightly different code between species but is nearly identical within a species.
Species that look the same to the human eye can be told apart with a small leaf sample.
DNA barcoding is already a well-established technique in animals.
The work is reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal.
Co-author Dr Vincent Savolainen, from Imperial College London and the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew told the BBC News website: "It was our dream to find the gene in plants that could identify species.
"We found that a small gene, gene matK located in the chloroplast of the plant, has enough variation to identify between species but is nearly identical in plants of the same species."
Work over the last few years has shown the chloroplast, the area involved in photosynthesis, is a good place to look for a barcode gene.

by Anna-Marie Lever, Science and Nature reporter, BBC News
from Wednesday, 6 February 2008

Globaler Barcode für Pflanzen entdeckt
Decoder könnte illegal importierte geschützte Pflanzen sofort identifizieren
Eine einfache Sequenz von DNA-Bausteinen reicht möglicherweise aus, um den Großteil der Pflanzen weltweit zu identifizieren und einzuordnen.
Der neu entdeckte „Barcode“ könnte zukünftig über ein mobiles Gerät bestimmt werden und so auch bei zerkleinerten Pflanzenteilen schnell verraten, ob es sich beispielsweise um eine geschützte Art handelt.
Reispflanze© USDA
Die Bestimmung von Pflanzen ist nicht immer einfach – vor allem dann, wenn zwei nahe verwandte Arten äußerlich fast gleich aussehen.
Bisher war es kaum möglich, auf die Schnelle und durch Laien festzustellen, ob es sich beispielsweise bei einer beim Zoll landenden Lieferung um eine geschützte oder ungeschützte Variante handelt. Nahezu unmöglich aber wird es, wenn es um pulverisierte Pflanzenbestandteile geht, wie häufig in der chinesischen Medizin.
Ohne aufwändige Analysen lässt sich kaum mehr rekonstruieren, aus welcher Pflanze das Pulver stammt.
Ein Gen als Identitäts-MarkerDoch jetzt haben Wissenschaftler des Imperial College London Department und des Königlich-Botanischen Garten in Kew unter Leitung von Vincent Savolainen eine elegante und überraschend einfache Lösung für dieses Problem gefunden, wie sie in der Fachzeitschrift „Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences” berichten.
Sie stießen darauf, als sie zwei große genetische Feldstudien durchführten, eine an diversen Orchideenarten im Regenwald von Costa Rica, eine an Bäumen und Büschen des Krüger-Nationalparks in Südafrika.
Artikel von Scinexx..das Wissensmagazin

Monday, February 18, 2008

Major winter storm hits Toronto again...

The powerful storm brought ice pellets, freezing rain and snow to most of southern Ontario,
causing more than 100 flight cancellations at Pearson International in Toronto, Canada's busiest airport.
On February 6, 2008 after a long delay our Air Canada flight finally left and landed safely in New York.
The cruise ship NCL GEM was waiting and we enjoyed the view from our balkony and
took some pictures. (see pictures 2nd row)
We returned to New York on February 16, 2008
and admired the Verrazano Narrows Bridge , Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.
During our trip to the Virgin Islands Toronto received more snow and we where surprised to see the high snowbanks along the road as we drove home from the airport. In Guildwood the streets hadn't been cleared from the past snowfalls. On Saturday warmer weather and rain caused icy conditions on our streets. We are home again, the cat is happy to see us and we have the wonderful pictures from our trip the south. Let's do it again..

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last pictures from BVI

....the last pictures from the British Virgin Islands
time to head home...
to enlarge all pictures... please click...

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Tortola......the British Virgin Islands are truly an "island paradise".

This tiny Caribbean nation is located east of the USVI
and about 60 miles east of Puerto Rico.

....the British Virgin Islands are truly an "island paradise".

The BVI's consist of more than 60 islands and cays,
which are part of a Caribbean archipelago known as the British West Indies.
The verdant green hills of Tortola, Virgin Gorda, Jost Van Dyke and other islands feature dozens of exquisite,
white sand beaches, and are a stark contrast to Anegada,
having an elevation of only 28' and which might be described as a very big beach!
Sailing, boating, scuba diving, snorkelling, beach combing and sun bathing come as naturally as breathing.
The constant trade winds, hundreds of coves, bays, breathtaking beaches and anchorages lend themselves to sailing, water sports and Caribbean yacht charters.

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visiting the island of St.-Martin/St. Maarten

St.-Martin/St. Maarten

St.-Martin/St. Maarten
Saint Martin is a tropical island in the northeast Caribbean, approximately 300 km east of Puerto Rico. The 87 km² island is divided roughly in half between France and the Netherlands; it is the smallest inhabited sea island divided between two nations. The southern Dutch half comprises the Eilandgebied Sint Maarten (Island area of St. Martin) and is part of the Netherlands Antilles. The northern French half comprises the Collectivité de Saint-Martin (Collectivity of St. Martin) and is an overseas collectivity of France. Collectively, the two territories are known as "St.-Martin/St. Maarten".

The French side has more land, the Dutch side more people.
The Dutch side has more beaches and shops – but the French side has the two greatest selling points of the island – Orient Beach and Grand Case.
The former draws visitors from all over the world for it's shining natural beauty,
and the latter is equally famous for its remarkable food.
You may come for the beaches, but some of the most treasured memories of a
St. Maarten/St. Martin acation can be of nothing more than the endless string of
famous restaurants that dot the resort town of Grand Case

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Sunday, February 17, 2008

Barbados is the eastern-most Caribbean island.

Barbados is the eastern-most Caribbean island.
It is located at 13.4N, 54.4W.
The island, which is less than one million years old,
was created by the collision of the Atlantic crustal and Caribbean plates,
along with a volcanic eruption.
Later coral formed, accumulating to approximately 300 feet. It
is geologically unique, being actually two land masses that merged together over the years.

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Orchid World in Barbados

Orchid WorldOrchid World is set amongst the sugar cane fields of the parish of St. George and it is a fantastic stop.
I admired thousands of orchids in bloom as I walked my way along the paths.
The vivid colors are truly unbelievable and photos never do this garden justice.

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Barbados Sunbury Plantation House

Sunbury Plantation House & Museum
This gracious home, dating back to the 1660s, is crafted of flint and other stones imported from England.
Renovated twice and burnt down once, it is the only Great House on the island with all rooms open for viewing.

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Visiting Antigua BVI

Antigua (pronounced An-tee'ga) and Barbuda are located in the middle of the Leeward Islands in the Eastern Caribbean, roughly 17 degrees north of the equator.
To the south are the islands of Montserrat and Guadaloupe,
and to the north and west are Nevis, St. Kitts, St. Barts, and St. Martin.
Antigua, the largest of the English-speaking Leeward Islands, is about 14 miles long and 11 miles wide, encompassing 108 square miles.
Its highest point is Boggy Peak (1319 ft.), located in the southwestern corner of the island. Barbuda, a flat coral island with an area of only 68 square miles, lies approximately 30 miles due north. The nation also includes the tiny (0.6 square mile) uninhabited island of Redonda, now a nature preserve.
The current population for the nation is approximately 68,000 and its capital is St. John's on Antigua.
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Butterfly Garden in St. Thomas USVI

includes Owl and Blue Morpho butterflies,
Tree Nymph and Scarlett Swallowtail
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Butterfly Garden in St. Thomas USVI

... more flower pictures from the Butterfly Garden in St. Thomas

Thank you for the name ofthis plant..
Ruellia brittoniana
Common Names: Mexican petunia
Family: Acanthaceae (acanthus Family)

Tropical flowers from the US Virgin Island St. Thomas

The United States Virgin Islands are a group of islands in the Caribbean that are an insular area of the United States.

The islands are geographically part of the Virgin Islands archipelago and are located in the Leeward Islands of the Lesser Antilles.
The U.S. Virgin Islands consist of the main islands of Saint Croix, Saint John and Saint Thomas, along with the much smaller but historically distinct Water Island, and many other surrounding minor islands.

The total land area of the territory is 346.36 km² (133.73 sq mi). As of the 2000 census the population was 108,612.
Three of the main islands have nicknames often used by locals:
"Rock City" (St. Thomas), "Love City" (St. John), and "Twin City" (St. Croix).

Flower pictures are taken at the Butterfly Garden in St. Thomas

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