THE BOTANICAL JOURNAL RSS



Seminole Canyon Rock Art

In South Texas along the Pecos river, mighty canyons slice apart the desert floor. Since the time of dinosaurs, the erosive force of rains and floods have shaped the limestone canyons. Archaeological records date the earliest inhabitants...

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Cenotes, Extinction & The Maya Underworld

  What do the crystal tourmaline waters of a Mexican cenote and extinction have in common? Well, everything.   Approximately 66 million years ago, a large asteroid crashed into the Earth along the northern coastline of the Yucatán peninsula and into the Gulf of Mexico. The Chicxulub crater, named after the Yucatán town near the center of the crater, is 93 miles (150 km) in diameter reaching a depth of 12 miles (20 km) down into the continental crust. This massive impact caused earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, megatsunamis, and the sky filled with debris and dust for years. There are over 6000 cenotes in the Yucatán forming a ring around the impact zone. It is believed that water from the Gulf entered the limestone...

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3 Easy Ways to Enjoy Nature

How many news reports have emphasized the numerous benefits of nature on our mental health and physical wellbeing? Too many to count and more than enough to cause anxiety for all the hours spent indoors. It's funny how we humans can shut down and turn away from our simplest natural actions when we have a constant barrage of information telling us why something is good for us.  Then, via social media and television, we are inundated with fabulous photos of adventure climbers, yoga experts, and top athletes experiencing nature in monumental ways. These images are meant to inspire but only make us feel inferior as we take the dog for a walk down the same trail again. Not to worry, here...

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How to Make Natural Flavoring Extracts

In the late 1800s, one of the first synthetic food items reproduced was vanillin, the compound that gives natural vanilla its signature flavor. This cheap fake flavoring replaced the high cost of the precious Vanilla orchid bean. Today, much of our food has been stripped of nutrients that are now replaced with synthetic flavors. Learn how to make your own natural flavoring extracts. All you will need is alcohol, the raw ingredients, and a little patience.  Natural flavoring extracts make a great gift for cooks, bakers, and craft cocktail makers. Fruit, nuts, herbs, spices, and edible flowers can be used for flavoring extracts. I have made some unique flavors from the abundance growing in my garden including rose, lavender, fennel, pomegranate,...

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Lucky Bamboo & Why is It Lucky?

If something as simple as a plant could bring health and fortune into your home or business, would you procure the magical talisman?  The Most Popular House Plant Dracena sanderiana or Lucky Bamboo is one of the most popular house plants in the world because of its fortuitous symbolism. It is used as a luck symbol in Asia due to its rapid growth and easy propagation. The tall columnar growth habit of D. sanderiana is often mistaken for bamboo but is, in fact, more closely related to garden asparagus. Dracena species are classified in the Asparagaceae family due to having fleshy stems, rather than hollow, like bamboo. Bamboo is one of the fastest-growing plants and is classified in the family of...

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