Friday, July 16, 2010


The Amazon rainforest also known as Amazonia or Amazon jungle, is a moist broadleaf forest that covers most of the Amazon Basin of South America. This basin encompasses seven million square kilometers or 1.7 billion acres. The majority of the forest is contained within Brazil, with 60% of the rainforest, followed by Peru with 13%, and with minor amounts in Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia, Guyana, Surinam and French Guyana. The Amazon represents over half of the planet´s remaining rainforests, and it comprises the largest and most species-rich tract of tropical rainforest in the world. The Amazon rainforest was short-listed in 2008 as a candidate to one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature by the New Seven Wonders of the World Foundation. As of February 2009 the Amazon was ranking first in Group E, the category for forests, national parks and nature reserves.

History. The rainforest was likely formed during the Eocene era, following the evolutionary appearance of angiosperm plants. It appeared following a global reduction of tropical temperatures when the Atlantic Ocean had widened sufficiently to provide a warm, moist climate to the Amazon basin. The rainforest has been in existence for at least 55 million years, and most of the region free of savannah-type biomes during that time period.

Following the Cretaceous-Tertiary extinction event, the extinction of the dinosaurs and the wetter climate may have allowed the tropical rainforest to spread out across the continent. There is evidence that there have been significant changes in Amazon rainforest vegetation over the last 21,000 years through the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) and subsequent deglaciation. Analyses of sediment deposits from Amazon basin paleolakes and from the Amazon Fan indicate that rainfall in the basin during the LGM was lower than for the present, and this was almost certainly associated with reduced moist tropical vegetation cover the basin.

Based on archaeological evidence from an excavation at Caverna da Pedra Pintada, human inhabitants first settled in the Amazon region at least 11,200 years ago. The first European to travel the length of the Amazon River was Francisco de Orellana in 1542. The rainforest has been predicted to destroy itself and become a savannah sometime before 5,000,000 CE. While all the current animals (including present-day birds, insects, mammals, and reptiles) that inhabit the Amazon rainforest will be extinct by this date, new animals will evolve to take over the new savannah.

Biodiversity. Wet tropical forests are the most species-rich biome, and tropical forests in the Americas are consistently more species rich than the wet forests in Africa and Asia. As the largest tract of tropical rainforest in the Americas, the Amazonian rainforests have unparalleled biodiversity. One in ten known species in the world live in the Amazon Rainforest. This constitutes the largest collection of living plants and animal species in the world.

The diversity of plant species is the highest on Earth with some experts estimating that one square kilometer may contain over 75,000 types of trees and 150,000 species of higher plants. One square kilometer of Amazon rainforest can contain about 90,790 tonnes of living plants. The green leaf area of plants and trees in the rainforest varies by about 25% as a result of seasonal changes. Leaves expand during the dry season when sunlight is at a maximum, then undergo abscission in the cloudy wet season. These changes provide a balance of carbon between photosynthesis and respiration.

The rainforest contains several species that can pose a hazard. Among the largest predatory creatures are the Black Caiman, Jaguar and Anaconda. In the river, electric eels can produce an electric shock that can stun or kill, while Piranha are known to bite and injure humans. Various species of poison dart frogs secrete lipophilic alkaloid toxins through their flesh. There are also numerous parasites and disease vectors. Vampire bats dwell in the rainforest and can spread the rabies virus. Malaria, yellow fever and Dengue fever can also be contracted in the Amazon region. They could be deadly...Be careful!! Thank you for reading!! STARRY.

Sunday, July 4, 2010



If you wish to visit an inspirational and patriotic Christian American Website with outstanding Video-Poems and wonderful messages, I´ll give you the link. Don´t miss the Patriotic Gallery!!

Saturday, July 3, 2010


There is nothing more beautiful to watch these wild horses and ponies roaming freely on the beach by the sea. There is a wonderful history about them...
I shall soon return to tell the story.
Spanish and Arabian/Barb horses were brought to the "New World" from the 1519 to mid-century. Horses were carried on the decks of Spanish ships and pushed overboard to swim ashore when the ships got near the shore. In a hostile environment, the Spanish settlers became ill and weakened, unable to care adequately for their livestock. North Carolina´s Outer Banks remained isolated for centuries and have been the last area of the State to be populated to saturation. This means there was little opportunity for adulteration of the Spanish blood line. The shallow sounds and marshes of the Outer Banks, while isolating and separating them from the mainland, were not impassible for young stallions traveling from island to island, gathering satellite herds and setting up new pasturage. Examinations by Veterinarians and horsemen, who are familiar with the Spanish-type horses, reveal too many similarities to ignore.
Our ongoing study of the Corolla herds provides DNA and data on behavioral and temperamental characteristics, which are common to them and to Spanish Barb/Arabian horses. The Corolla Wild Horses carry the distinguishing features of Spanish type horses. Their even temperament, endurance, size, and the startling beauty which crops up frequently in the Banker Horses all point strongly to their dramatic history.
These beautiful wild horses are the remnants of once numerous herds of Spanish stock which ran and roamed free along the pristine sandy islands of our coast of North Carolina. The Spanish Mustang Registry is satisfied that the Banker Horses, in particular the Corolla strain, are as lineally pure to the 16th Century Spanish importations as can be found in North America today.

"Hurricanes and Tropical Storms."

"Hurricanes and Tropical Storms."

A hurricane is a very powerful, sometimes violent storm with strong winds and heavy rains.
A hurricane is a powerful, spiraling storm that begins over a warm sea, near the equator. When a hurricane hits land, it can do great damage through its fierce winds, torrential rains, inland flooding, and huge waves crashing ashore. A powerful hurricane can kill more people and destroy more property than any other natural disaster.
Hurricanes are given a different label, depending on where they occur. If they begin over the North Atlantic Ocean, the Caribbean Sea, the Gulf of Mexico, or the Northeast Pacific Ocean, they are called hurricanes. Like storms that occur in the Northwest Pacific Ocean west of the imaginary International Date Line are called typhoons. Near Australia and in the Indian Ocean, they are referred to as tropical cyclones or tropical storms.
Hurricanes are severe tropical storms that form in the southern Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea, Gulf of Mexico, and in the eastern Pacific Ocean. Hurricanes gather heat and energy through contact with warm ocean waters. Evaporation from the seawater increases their power.
Hurricanes rotate in a counter-clockwise direction around an "eye". Hurricanes have winds at least 74 miles per hour. When they come onto land, the heavy rain, strong winds and heavy waves can damage buildings, trees and cars. The heavy waves are called a storm surge. Storm surges are very dangerous and a major reason why you must stay away from the ocean during a hurricane warning or hurricane.
Scientists have only been studying hurricanes for about 100 years. But there is evidence of hurricanes occurring long in the past. For example, geologists (scientists who study the earth) believe that layers of sediment in a lake in Alabama was brought there by a hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico as long as 3,000 years ago. There is also evidence in Florida of hurricanes more than 1,000 years ago. One of the first human records of hurricanes appears in Mayan hieroglyphics.
Hurricane Classification:
Hurricanes are classified into five categories, based on their wind speeds and potential to cause damage.
Category One: Winds 74-95 miles per hour.
Category Two: Winds 96-110 miles per hour.
Category Three: Winds 111-130 miles per hour.
Category Four: Winds 131-155 miles per hour.
Category Five: Winds greater than 155 miles per hour.
In the U.S., the official hurricane season is from June 1 to November 30, but hurricanes can happen any time of the year. Hurricanes are named by the National Weather Service.
Important terms to know:
Hurricane Watch: A hurricane is possible within 36 hours. Stay tuned to the radio and television for more information. The hurricane center is tracking the storm and trying to predict where it may come ashore.
Hurricane Warning: A hurricane is expected withing 24 hours. You may be told to evacuate. You and your family should begin making preparations to evacuate. If your area is having an evacuation, remember to take your Disaster Supply Kit. Do not forget to make plans for your pets if you must evacuate!!
A History of Big Hurricanes.
Hurricane Andrew: This hurricane hit on August 24, 1993 in southern Florida. It then turned and hit Louisiana. More than a million people had to leave the area due to the storm. Heavy rains and tornadoes were part of the hurricane´s destructive power. Until Katrina, Andrew was the most expensive hurricane in the history of the U.S.
Hurricane Floyd: This hurricane, which struck in September 1999, brought so much rain that 13 states were issued federal disaster declarations, more declarations for a single event than ever before. More than $500 million of federal money was spent on helping states recover. North Carolina was hit the hardest of any state.
Hurricane Katrina: This August 2005 storm was the most destructive and costly natural disaster in U.S. history. It produced damage estimated at $75 billion in the New Orleans area and along the Mississippi coast. Katrina was responsible for approximately 1,200 reported deaths, including about 1,000 in Louisiana, 200 in Mississippi, and seven in southern Florida.
Hurricane Rita: The third Category 5 hurricane of the 2005 season, this destructive and deadly storm devastated portions of southeastern Texas and southwestern Louisiana and significantly impacted the Florida Keys.
A tropical storm or tropical cyclone is a storm system characterized by a large low-pressure center and numerous thunderstorms that produce strong winds and heavy rain.
Tropical cyclones feed on heat released when moist air rises, resulting in condensation of water vapor contained in the moist air. They are fueled by a different heat mechanism than other cyclonic windstorms such as northeasters, European windstorms, and polar lows, leading to their classification as a "warm core" storm systems.
The term "tropical" refers to both the geographic origin of these systems, which form almost exclusively in tropical regions of the globe, and their formation in maritime tropical air masses. The term "cyclone" refers to such storms´cyclonic nature, with counterclockwise rotation in the Northern Hemisphere and clockwise rotation in the Southern Hemisphere. Depending on its location and strength, a tropical cyclone is referred to by names such as hurricane, typhoon, tropical storm, cyclonic storm, tropical depression, and simply cyclone.
While tropical cyclones or tropical storms can produce extremely powerful winds and torrential rain, they are also able to produce high waves and damaging storm surge as well as spawning tornadoes. They develop over large bodies of warm water, and lose their strength if they move over land. This is why coastal regions can receive significant damage from a tropical cyclone, while inland regions are relatively safe from receiving strong winds. Heavy rains, however, can produce significant flooding inland, and storm surges can produce extensive coastal flooding up to 40 kilometres (25 miles) from the coastline.
Although their effects on human populations can be devastating, tropical cyclones can also relieve drought conditions. They also carry heat and energy away from the tropics and transport it toward temperate latitudes, which makes them an important part of the global atmospheric circulation mechanism. As a result, tropical cyclones or tropical storms help to maintain equilibrium in the Earth´s troposphere, and to maintain a relatively stable and warm temperature worlwide.
Many tropical cyclones or tropical storms develop when the atmospheric conditions around a weak disturbance in the atmosphere are favorable. The background environment is modulated by climatological cycles and patterns such as El NiƱo-Southern Oscillation. Others form when other types of cyclones acquire tropical characteristics. Tropical systems are then moved by steering winds in the troposphere; if the conditions remain favorable, the tropical disturbance intensifies, and can even develop an "eye". On the other end of the spectrum, if the conditions around the system deteriorate or the tropical cyclone makes landfall, the system weakens and eventually dissipates. It is not possible to artificially induce the dissipation of these systems with current technology.