The Night Sky – There is so Much to Discover

The Night Sky – There is so Much to Discover

The Night Sky – There is so Much to Discover

The night sky is our very own library in the stars. The stars and planets, galaxies, and cosmic dust are our ancestors, mythically and realistically. You see, we are truthfully made from the dust of stars.

We first learned how to live in harmony with the earth by reading from the stars. The stars and the constellations that stayed fixed in the sky from the dawn of time were and are the keeper of records, time, history, and memories.

our people, before the written word, or even language, lived a life governed by the forces of nature and the cosmic maps. By reading the planetary guide we learned how to farm, how to read time, to navigate the world, and learn our place in it. The cosmos and our starry guides are what initiated the greatest of all human endeavors, our journey back to them is still our most triumphant. 

 All we have learned since the beginning of human existence until now – started in the stars. 

Orions Belt – The warrior in the night sky.

Orions Belt – is a very easy constellation to be viewed almost anywhere in the world. For us Down Under the best place to look is 45 ° North West – best seen on a summer night.

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None of our content, including information provided by external resources is meant to replace professional medical advice or intervention.

The views and opinions of third party resources included in our posts are not necessarily the views and opinions upheld by Horatio's Jar.

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Natures Hidden Worlds – The Shy Spiders’ Garden

Natures Hidden Worlds – The Shy Spiders’ Garden

Natures Hidden Worlds – The Shy Spiders’ Garden

There are worlds of incredible beauty, colour and wonder hidden all around us, it just takes a curious mind to discover them. Miniature worlds full of living beings, that go unnoticed because we humans are too busy or have forgotten how and where to find them.

These little worlds are often found in the quietest of places, secretly tucked away from the busy world, loud noises and prowling predators like domestic cats and dogs.

Hidden in a hillside in a thin strip of native bush, I discovered one such world by accident.

The Shy Spiders’ Garden – A Short Story

There lives beneath a bloom of orange horseshoes, tucked away into the hillside, a trapdoor spider; The guardian to a miniature bush garden, filled with wild rocket and tiny, tiny bulbs of garlic and bush onions.
Every day that I visit, the once minute buds of orange grow bigger and brighter as the season of May moves forward. And the doorway to one shy spiders’ realm changes, weather depending. Sometimes the door is closed, sometimes not. When the rain comes, the door is woven shut with silk. Today it’s closed; rain is on the way.

First published in May 2021

What started as an expedition to discover what local spiders inhabited the Yarra Trail, has become a daily ritual of exploration, patience, imagination and learning.

This is the Shy Spiders’ Garden, a secret world that perhaps only I know about?
A world of miniature proportions that could and is – easily unnoticed by the usual passer-by.

 

 

Disclaimer

None of our content, including information provided by external resources is meant to replace professional medical advice or intervention.

The views and opinions of third party resources included in our posts are not necessarily the views and opinions upheld by Horatio's Jar.

If you happen across something on our platform that may have been disproven by a reputable resource, please let us know.

Copyright Horatio's Jar, 2021, All Rights Reserved

Facts on Frogs – Fun Kids Poster

Facts on Frogs – Fun Kids Poster

Facts on Frogs – Fun Kids Poster

Frogs are our distant relatives. Having lived on the earth for 250 million years, these adaptive vertebrates were the first to bridge land and lake and marked the beginning of animal evolution on land.

Frogs are an important emblem of nature; they represent the finite balance and health of the planet. Sensitive to toxins, climate change, habitat destruction, pollution and predation, the decline or extinction of frogs species indicates disease in all other areas of the biosphere.

The natural world and its abundance of rare and gorgeous creatures are fast becoming natural history. We are hurriedly trying to capitalise on the last remaining sanctuaries of rare creatures, plants, microbes, fungi, insects, reefs and wilderness  – documenting and synthesizing natures wonder market, where compounds and chemical used in pharmacy – are only now coming to attention as we lose time.

 

Will Frogs Outlive Us All?

Frogs have lived and thrived on mother earth for 250 million years, dwarfing the timeline of nearly everything else living in today’s biosphere – excluding dragonflies, sharks (450 million years), and cockroaches. With such a robust history of survival and the tenacity to thrive through millennia of changes, frogs everywhere are now going extinct.

A species of incredible endurance and mythological status, amphibians such as frogs, salamanders and lizards and crocodiles, outlived the dinosaurs, meteors and the ice ages to greet humanity onto the earth’s stage some short time ago.

Frogs and toads are incredible little creatures, their diversity and habitats just as broad. Frogs live on every continent except Antarctica and live in almost all environments, including arid deserts with no water and in places that turn to ice in the winter.

Disclaimer

The views and opinions of third party resources included in our posts are not necessarily the views and opinions held by us.

The information provided is not intended to replace medical advice. Always seek professional medical intervention from a licensed health practitioner, doctor or therapist if you feel unwell.

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Vitamin D – the benefits of a daily dose of sunshine

Vitamin D – the benefits of a daily dose of sunshine

Vitamin D – the benefits of a daily dose of sunshine

We all know sunlight is good for us, and we all know that it gives us Vitamin D, and even the idea of a day spent outdoors in bright warm weather is enough to make us feel good.

We are a continent wrapped in a blanket of searingly high UVA and UVB rays, and health experts heavily caution us never to bake in the sun, for the risk of skin cancer is very real.

But is our effort to avoid premature ageing and skin cancer making us sick in other ways?

Australia is a sunbaked continent.

We have grown up being trained by mass media campaigns and schooling to be conscientious of our time in the sun. Our country is well known for a sun that bites, and to avoid the sting and agony of a summer sunburn, we vigilantly follow the advice of years and years of social conditioning to; “slip, slop slap”. 

Australian schools adopt a policy of – ‘no hat, no play! As the primary intervention for teaching a ‘Sun Safe’ attitude in a country with summers that can reach the high forties is imperative. The risks are high for many with fair skin as well as the elderly – but we need the sun to stay healthy and mentally balanced. 

In our effort to protect our appearance and save lives combined now with a dramatic shift in the way we live, socialise and work, Australians young and old are increasingly at risk of a Vitamin D deficiency

 

It is estimated that at least 1 billion people don’t get enough Vitamin D. Could the spike in depression, auto-immune diseases, and ADHD be related?

It’s Winter in Melbourne

It is now winter in Melbourne, and the sun is hidden in a perpetual blanket of grey.
It is a difficult time for many, as winter can trigger depression in those with lower levels of happy chemicals in their brain. A natural booster to the missing sunlight therapy we all need to feel well and maintain mental equilibrium is Vitamin D.

Doctors and pharmacists recommend soothing winter blues with extra Vitamin D during the winter months, but how much exactly should we take, and which of us really need it?

Your Headaches Might Be a Vitamin Deficiency?

Vitamin D deficiency can cause depression, fatigue, body aches, headaches, insomnia, back pain, bone fractures and osteoporosis. Vitamin D is essential for healthy brain function, cellular renewal and memory and getting enough time outside can improve concentration and focus in kids with ADHD.

Because Vitamin D is essential for a healthy immune system, without enough of it, you will get sick all the time and wounds on your body will take longer to heal. Lower Vitamin D makes you more susceptible to colds and flu, so it’s a good idea to get your Vitamin D checked by a doctor, especially if you live in a place like Melbourne, which has long grey winters and is further from the equator.

How Much is Enough?

To get enough Vitamin D, we need at least 10 – 30min direct sun exposure daily (it depends where you live in the world). To gather Vitamin d from the sun, you need UVB, and to get that, you need to be outside; light filtered through glass only delivers UVA, which is only going to burn your skin.

Other ways of introducing Vitamin D into the body are through a dietary supplement or eating foods like oily fish, beef liver and eggs.

Watch the film to learn more.

Disclaimer

The views and opinions of third party resources included in our posts are not necessarily the views and opinions held by us.

The information provided is not intended to replace medical advice. Always seek professional medical intervention from a licensed health practitioner, doctor or therapist if you feel unwell.

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The Worlds only Flying Mammals – Bat Facts for Kids

The Worlds only Flying Mammals – Bat Facts for Kids

The Worlds only Flying Mammals – Bat Facts for Kids

Bats live almost everywhere on earth, except the Arctic and Antarctica.

There are 1300 species of bats, and only three of the species are Vampire Bats. So yes, Vampire Bats are real, but they are also tiny and not interested in drinking human blood.

Australians, we have an incredible catalogue of bat species, and many of them adorable and curious to look at. My favourite could be the ‘Eastern Tube-nosed Bat from Queensland. They have gorgeous yellowish specs of colour on their bodies – check out the link to learn more on Australian Bats.

https://australian.museum/learn/animals/bats/eastern-tube-nosed-bat/

 

Bats are significant to the health and balance of all-natural ecosystems. For example, bats are pollinators, and we rely on them for many of the fruits we eat. A single bat can eat up to 3000 small flying insects in an hour. Bats keep our flying insect populations in check; imagine if there were no bats?

Bats do carry diseases, so be very careful not to handle a wild bat without supervision.
Although very rare – bats can give you Rabies, it is important to be careful not to be scratched or bitten by a wild bat.

 

Disclaimer

The views and opinions of third party resources included in our posts are not necessarily the views and opinions held by us.

The information provided is not intended to replace medical advice. Always seek professional medical intervention from a licensed health practitioner, doctor or therapist if you feel unwell.

.................................

If you happen across something on our platform that may have been disproven by a reputable resource, please let us know.

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Natural History: The Short – beaked echidna

Natural History: The Short – beaked echidna

Natural History – The Short-beaked Echidna

Scientific name: Tachyglossidae
Order: Montremata
Higher classification: Monotreme
Family: Tachyglossidae; Gill, 1872

At the end of a year spent isolated, a little emblem of hope has emerged. A symbol of conservation, community, natural wisdom and curiosity, the echidna is the final of the 5 environmental ambassadors for our Natural History project.

Introduction

 

We are blessed to live on a continent abundant with native animals and plant species. Creatures live here that are found nowhere else. The earth here, stained red with rich mineral ochres, our coastlines immersed in marine national parks and our country inhabited by the oldest living culture on earth.   

Australia is not just, ‘the land down under’, it’s a rich and wondrous treasure trove of rare and beautiful creatures, that are sadly going extinct and the reality of this is unnoticed. With our minds taken hold by the uncertainty of our personal health, global economy, and relative future in the wake of the 2020 COVID-19 global pandemic, the natural world and the present global environmental crisis, has taken a back step in the media.  

It’s my hope this project, with its final ambassador ignites curiosity and passion for the natural world we are living in. It’s been a tough year for human beings, but an even harsher one for all the other life forms who are subject to the realities of climate change, habitat loss and human behaviour. 

We watched 17 million hectares of forest in Australia burned to nothing during the 2019, 2020 wildfires, and with the forest went billions of wild animals and insects. Koala, almost totally extinct, and habitat is gone for any animal that might have survived. 

As a nation we are known to rally in tough times when it concerns the human family, but not so much for the rest of our people, and by that, I mean all other living beings. Now is the time to put our curious and creative minds together and figure out a way to make life better for all living things before we all become – natural history.

By Emily Rack

 

Echidna’s are sweet, sensitive, curious, and loveable. Shaped like a fuzzy spiked four legged ball, with a long thin leathery nose, and big clawed feet. 

Soft and wonderful on the inside and very sharp and pointy on the outside. Living up to 50 years in captivity, the echidna is more than just a thorny curiosity. The echidna has an incredible memory, the ability to solve complex problems and they love to swim and play for fun, just like we do.

So why this little guy? 

Well, truthfully it was a dream I had rescuing animals from dehydration inside a large forest log that was the catalyst.
The dream was an inspiration to start a very satisfying, and very invested illustration – that as I write this is still in process.  

I knew from past knowledge that the Echidna is special, not only because it is a monotreme, ( half reptile and half mammal ), and that it has survived for 15 million years on the planet relatively unchanged, but that it has a unique ability that it, its cousin the platypus and sharks possess; the ability to sense the electromagnetic field of all living things through its beak.

Echidna’s, (also called a spiny ant-eater), live a really long time, some as long as 50 years in captivity. They are smart, curious, shy and slow moving, and often hide in a half dug hole with their spines sticking out in the daytime. Trust me, you wouldn’t want to step on their spikes, ouch!. 

Their spikes are what protect them from predators like wild dogs, eagles, domestic cats, foxes, and people. They aren’t all spiny though, Echidna have fur in amongst those spines too, and the colder the climate, the more fluff they have. Underneath all that savage armour is a very soft and squishy little fellow, and they really are super cute and cuddly, well I wouldn’t exactly cuddle one.  

Echidna are natural conservationists, like a lot of other wild animals they contribute to the health and wellbeing of the planet. They behave in ways much like a mini dump-truck as they turn over the soil all day foraging for food and building homes. This helps to improve the soil quality and keeps the earth healthy. They also have amazing hearing, and are sensitive enough to pick up the vibrations of termites and ants working underground 

Echidnas preferred diet are termites and ants but they will sometimes eat grubs and other insects too. They use their long sticky tongues to lap up their food, and have a beak to mash it with; they don’t have any teeth or a stomach like we do, they digest their food inside a weird sac. 

They lay eggs like reptiles, but feed their young milk like we do, have fur just like all other warm blooded mammals, except their body temperature is much lower than ours or any other warm-blooded, and they can thrive in the freezing temperatures of the Australian alps, and the intense heat of the Australian desert. Echidna are hardy, resilient and clever and for an animal so old in the evolutionary scale, incredibly well adapted . 

The stories and dreamtime from our indigenous landowners characterise the echidna as a symbol of community, sustainability, conservation, and wisdom. To me they represent home, comfort, self-care, taking your time and doing things slowly, self-awareness, intuition and fun.

 

What to do if you see an echidna

  • If you ever see an echidna, please leave it alone.

  • Never ever use a shovel to pick up an echidna, dig around it in the earth or move it.

  • If you find an echidna that is sick or injured call WIRES on +61 1300094737

  • If you have to pick up an echidna wear leather gloves or use a very thick blanket or towel.

  • Wild echidnas are not pets.

  • If you see someone harming animals of any sort call the RSPCA via their website, it’s a crime to injure or abuse animals.

The Hawaiian Bobtail Squid

A full moon illuminates the surface of the warm waters off the Hawaiian coastline. Bobbing just beneath the silvery light spray is a dumpling shaped squid that can hide itself in the light of the moon.

Glowing from the inside, The Hawaiian Bobtail Squid, (Euprymna scolopes), is a cephalopod with super-powers. Cute and sparkly with big eyes, a plump body, a skirt of fins and a fist of tentacles exploding from its face, this little squid not much bigger than a lime, is like no other.

Links and Resources

 

Nat Geo WILD

What gives birth to a puggle? Covered in spines, Australia’s echidna is one of the rarest animals in the world: It’s one of only two known mammals that lay eggs. Subscribe: http://bit.ly/NatGeoWILDSubscribe

Platypus and Echidna

Echidnas and platypuses are unique, the only mammals in the world to share some traits with reptiles, such as laying eggs. Aaron Pedersen explains how they are highly-tuned to their environment.

https://iview.abc.net.au/show/australia-remastered-wild

https://iview.abc.net.au/show/australia-remastered-wild-australians/series/0/video/DO1847H006S00

https://iview.abc.net.au/show/australia-remastered-wild-australians

Disclaimer

This article is as a general guide to better health and wellbeing.
It is not intended to replace medical advice. If you are suffering from anxiety, depression or poor health, we strongly advise you to seek medical attention.

We provide resources that are selected on their relevance and believed authenticity but we do not hold responsibility for their accuracy. Although we do our very best to make sure we use top-notch resources, unfortunately, mistakes can be made.

We are not responsible for fraudulent or inauthentic claims made by external resources or for mistakenly including information sourced externally, that may prove inaccurate.

The views and opinions of third party resources included in our posts are not necessarily the views and opinions held by us.

A huge effort goes into creating each article, blog, activity, artwork and video, and the desire is to make sure the information included in our content is useful, meaningful and honest. If you happen across something on our platform that may have been disproven by a reputable resource, please let us know.

Copyright Horatio's Jar, 2021
All Rights Reserved