Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Papyrus reeds

This tall leafless aquatic plant can grow 4-5m. if forms a grass-like dump of triangular green stem that rise up from thick woody plant greenish brown flower clusters eventually appears at the end of the rays giving ways to brown nut like fruits. The feather duster flowering heads make ideal nesting site for many social of birds. As in most sedge pollination is wind, not insects and the mature fruits after release are distributed by water. Papyrus ranges from subtropical to tropical desert to wet forest tolerating annual temperatures of 20o c and a ph of 6.0 to 8.5. Papyrus flowers in late summer and project full sun to partly shady conditions.
Papyrus reeds is being used for many purpose must famously for making papyrus paper mats, baskets and decoration as it is nearly extinct in their native habitat where in ancient time it was widely cultivated. The pith of the young shoot was eaten both cooked and raw. Its woody root made bowls and other utensils and was burned for fuel. Men acting papyrus to build simple boats in some country to sail cloth and sandals. The harvesting of papyrus reeds is not of the easy it is the matter of risking life because of the swamp it is the natural habitat for any life organism such as birds, fish, crocodiles, snakes frogs, mosquitoes and many others. Due to this however this work does may be danger himself and at long last losses life.

How to harvest
First it requires sharp tools such as Panga and Knives for cutting. The swamp can be at shallow or deep. If deep someone has to dive into the water to cut the papyrus plant just close to the roots or uproot it out if possible. After getting from the swamp they are placed in a dry sun between two to three day so as to facilitate better. They are split into several pieces depending on its use.

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Tuesday, August 27, 2013


The Moringa tree is grown mainly in semi-arid tropical and subtropical areas, corresponding in dry, sandy soil; it tolerates poor soil, including coastal areas. It is a fast growing drought resistant tree. Moringa is grown in home gardens and as living fences and where it is commonly sold in local markets. It is commonly grown for its leaves which are used in soup. 
Moringa is propagated by planting 1-2m long limbs cutting. The plant starts bearing pods 6-8 months after planting but regular bearing cornimence after the second year. Continuing for several years. It can also be propagated by seed which are planted on below the surface and can be germinated year round in well draining soil.
As with all plant optimum cultivation depends on producing the right environment for the plant and thus they do not tolerate freeze or frost. Morning is particularly suitable for dry regions as it can be grown using rain water without expensive irrigation techniques. 
The roots are shredded and used as a condiment and potentially having paralyzing properties. Many parts of the moringa are edible. Regional uses of moringa as food vary widely and includes;
-          the immature seed pods called drumsticks
-          nature seeds
-          the leaves
-          oil pressed from the mature seeds.
-          Roots

In some region, the seed pods are commonly eaten while in others, the leaves are the most commonly used part of the plant. The flowers are edible when cooked and are said to taste like mushrooms. The bark, sap roots seed oil and flowers are used in traditional medicine in several places.
The leaves are the most nutritious part of the plant being a significant source of B vitamins, vitamin C provitamin as beta carotene, vitamin k and protein among others essential nutrients.
The leaves are cooked and used like spinach. In addition to being used fresh as a substitute for spinach its leaves are commonly dried and crushed into a powder used in soups and sources.

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Wednesday, August 21, 2013


Fish use a variety of low poached sound to convey message each other. They moan gnash their teeth. However, fish do not have vocal chords. They use other parts of their bodies to make noises, such as vibrating muscles against their bladder.
Fish can form schools containing millions of fish. They use hold their place in the school. The lateral line is a raw of pores running along the fish sides from head to tail. Special hairs in the pores sense changes in water pressure from the movement of other fish or predators. Since a fish jaw, is not attached to its skull, many fishes can shoot their mouths forward like a spring to catch stared prey.
Fish have sleep like periods where they have lowered response to stimuli, slowed physical activity and reduced metabolism but they do not share the same changes in brain waves as human being do when they sleep.
Some fish such as herbivore often lack jaw teeth but have tooth like grinding mills in their throat called pharyngeal teeth most fish have taste buds all over their body. Most fish can in color and use colors to camouflage themselves or defend themselves and their territory. Most fish have the best possible eyesight for their habitat and can most certainly see you peering in a fish pond.
A fish does not add new scales as it grows, but the scale it has increase in size. In this way, growth ring are formed and the ring reveal the age of a fish.
Fish that have thin fins with a split tail indicate that they move very quickly or many need them to cover great distances. On the other hand fish that live among rocks and reefs near the ocean floor have broad lateral fin and large tails.
A fish can draw in water like human, fish need oxygen so if there isn’t enough oxygen in the water they will suffocate . the fish in the middle of a school, controls the school. The fish on the outside are guided by those in the middle. Only bony fish can swim in highly coordinated groups.
Fish would suffocate if they try to chew because chewing would interfere with water passing over their gills. 

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Sunday, August 18, 2013

Tale of African Snakes - affirm the traditional dilemmas

Many people are scared of snakes and to many, a snake is a snake, all are dangerous and deserve death. However, most snake species are completely harmless! In fact, about 80% of all snakes’ species in the world are non-venomous and perform important ecological functions as controllers of rodent- pest populations. Thus knowing how to identify snakes is a vital part of of our lives and conservation education
The wilds of Africa are often associated with snakes and rightly so, but, unfortunately, usually for the wrong reasons. Africa is well known amongst herpetologists and snake lovers for the interesting variety of species of which some are unfortunately highly priced in the pet trade.
Although many of the African snakes’ species are completely harmless to humans, this region also hold some of the worlds most deadly snakes. The Black and Green Mamba, Puff Adder, Cobra, Boomsland, and Saw-scaled Vipers are some of the worlds most deadly snakes and deserve a great deal of respect.
In east Africa, there are close to 200 species of snakes. Of these 200, 47 are considered dangerous to humans, 45 are venomous and two are large constrictors (two species of pythons very similar in appearance).  Of the 47 dangerous species mentioned, 18 species are known to have killed people.
Kenya is home to several of the most dangerous species for example, the Puff Adder (Bitis arietans), Black-necked Spitting cobra (Naja nigricollis) and Black Mamba (Dendroaspis polylepis). However, Kenya is also home to many harmless species that feed on rats and mice that consume maize, millet and rice, the stable diet of the people of Kenya.

The simplest way of describing snakes is whether a snake is Harmless, Mildly Venomous or Dangerous. Some snakes have no venom and are completely harmless like the Brown House Snake. Others like large pythons may be non-venomous but are still considered dangerous.

Sand snakes (genus Psammphis) are considered mildly venomous. This means that the venom is strong enough to subdue or kill its prey, like a small lizard, but not strong enough to kill an adult human. However, one should still be careful around these fast moving serpents. Young children or adults that have allergic reactions could suffer severe symptoms from the bite of a sand snake!
In general, African is home to an abundance of different snake species. From its deserts to savannahs, the African landscape is home to an enormous variety of extremely beautiful and potentially dangerous snakes. Below are some of the most popular snake classification; 

Colubridae / Colubrids – A Colubrid is a snake that is a member of the Colubridae family. It is a broad classification of snakes that includes well over half of all snake species on earth. While most colubrids are non-venomous (or have venom that isn't known to be harmful to humans) and are normally harmless, a few groups, such as genus Boiga, Coluber and Rhabdophis, can produce medically significant bites. In addition, the Boomslang and African Twig Snake have both caused human fatalities.The venom-injecting fangs associated with venomous colubrids are almost always in the back of the mouth, compared to vipers and elapids. In North America, all snake species in the colubridae family are generally harmless to humans. Please note: This list does not currently include sub-species.

Elapidae/ Elapids (Venomous) – The cobra family is thought to have evolved from Colubrid snakes and many appear very similar in appearance with long, slender bodies and large scales (plates) on the head. They differ in having more advanced venom delivery systems than the venomous Colubrids. Elapids have fangs that are "effectively tubular" in that the fangs contain grooves that are enclosed by an infolding of the edges. The fangs are in the front of the mouth rather than the rear as is seen in venomous Colubrids. The Elapidae contains some of the world's most dangerous snakes including cobras (Naja), mambas (Dendroaspis) and sea snakes (Hydophinae and Laticaudinae). Elapids are found worldwide and in Ausralia is the predominant family. In North America, three species of elapids are found, two species of coral snakes and one sea snake. The coral snakes are relatively small snakes that spend most of their time underground. Their primary food is other snakes. Despite their small size and small fangs, their venom is extremely toxic.

Viperidae / Vipers (Venomous) – The vipers are generally considered to be the most advanced family of snakes since they possess a very sophisticated venom delivery system. Large tubular fangs are placed in the front of the mouth and they are hinged, allowing them to be folded back when not in use. Their heads are covered with numerous small scales and their eyes have vertically eliptical pupils.
What to do when you meet a snake? 

First of all, except for the slow-snakes like puff adders, you will generally see a snake swiftly pass by you, not even enough time to take a photo. That being a general rule, always leave snakes alone, don’t touch them unless you are a professional snake handler. Like all wildlife, they deserve their respect and distance from our interference. Except for cases where human-pet life is in danger, leave them alone, unless it is absolutely necessary to have them moved.
Have a wonderful day and enjoy these earths’ beautiful creatures.
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Monday, July 29, 2013

Balsa wood plant.

It is a member of the mallow family but is now found in many other countries. It groups extremely rapid and the speed of growth accounts for the lightness of the wood. Balsa wood has a lower density than cork. The trees generally do not live beyond 30 to 40years.
The large flowers open in the late afternoon and remain open overnight. Each may contain a pool of nectar up to 1 inch deep. It was once thought that the main pollinators were bats. The name balsa comes from the Spanish word for boat.

Balsa lumber is very soft with a course open grain. The density of dry balsa wood ranges from 40 – 300 kg/m3 with a typical of about 160 kg/m3 . The light weight of wood cells that contain water. After the water is driven off in an extended drying process for two weeks, the large surface area of the resulting holes gives strength. Unlike dry rotted wood the surface is made of the usual strong cellulose mix.

As it is low density but high in strength balsa is a very popular material to use when making light, stiff structures in model bridge tests, model buildings and for the construction of model aircraft. Balsa is used to make wooden crack baits for fishing. Sticks of balsa can be used to make crude dip pens for calligraphy and can be useful when one needs a specific nib width or structure when one does not have such mestal nibs immediately available.

Balsa wood is often used as a core material in composites for example the blade of many wind turbines are made partially of balsa. In table tennis paddles, a balsa layer of typically sandwiched between two pieces of thin plywood. Balsa is also used in laminates with glass reinforced plastics for making high quality balsa surfboards and the desks and topsides of many types of boats especially pleasures craft under 30m in length.

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Wednesday, July 17, 2013


The African fish eagle is a proficient hunter, with live fish accounting for the bulk of its diet. It typically hunts from a huge perch on water side tree, where it can watch for moving close to the water’s surface once prey is sighted low over the water and at the critical moment throws both feet forward to seize hold of its target with powerful talons.
The African fish eagles rarely spend more than ten minutes per day actively hunting. Aside from fish, this efficient raptor will also take the young of water such as lesser flamingoes in Lake Baringo.
Adult African fish eagles are normally seen in pairs but on large productive lakes nests and roosts may be only a few hundred meters apart and many birds can be found together in one area. The stick nests are usually built in a tree close by water and are used year after growing in size over time with the addition of needs papyrus reads bulrushes and sometimes weaver nest.
Calling on duet, whilst perched or soaring, is an integral part of breading display and is combined with dramatic aerial dives and falls with pairs integrals in mid air. The female normally lays one to three eggs in the nest which are incubated for around 44 days before hatching.
Although in captivity African fish eagles can live for more than 40 yrs in the wild those that are fortunate to survive the first year have an estimated life expectancy of 12 to 24 years.
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Aloe Vera is one of about 250 species of aloes. The aloes are numbers of the lily family (liliaceous) and are relatives of such common as tulips.

Aloe Vera is a leafy succulent that a rosette fashion on hot well drained soils. The leaves are spotted when young but take on a uniform light green color with age. They can reach 2 feet in length and are edged soft spines. Older plants produce an 18 inch long stalk from the centre of the rosette that is topped with nodding cylindrical yellow flower about one inch long.

It is bitter shiny and can be collected as an exudate from cut leaves or squeezed from the pulp of the leaves. Leaves from all aloes have long been credited with healing properties but the especially inculent aloe Vera is valued most. 
In the past leaves were sliced and laid on the skin to relieve itching and to heal burns, minor burns, wrinkles, insect bites, skin irritation, cuts and scratches. Consumer may be familiar with aloe Vera because extract of its sap are found in my hand lotion and other skin care products.

Aloe Vera makes a sturdy long lived house plant as it is given plenty of sunlight and is not over watered. Many home gardeners grow it on a window sill so the sap is ready available.

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