800 y.o. Lime Tree found in Lipka, Czech Republic.

An 800-year-old small-leaved lime tree found in Lipka in the Czech Republic.
The tree is one of the entries in the European Tree of the Year competition 2017.
Image Credit: Photograph by: Nada Gutzerova/Environmental Partnership Association
Source: The week in wildlife – in pictures | Environment | The Guardian

Invincible Ants by Thomas Endlein.

Runner up, Ecology and Environmental Science category
Invincible ants by Thomas Endlein.
Pitcher plants are carnivorous, drawing nutrients from trapped and digested insects.
The species shown here (Nepenthes bicalcarata) secretes sweet nectar on the rim and fang-like structures, which are very slippery for most insects except for one specialised ant (Camponotus schmitzii).
The ants live in the curled hollow tendrils of the plant and manage to climb in and out of the pitcher without any difficulties to steal a bit of nectar, as shown here
Image Credit: Photograph by Thomas Endlein/PA
via Royal Society Publishing Photography competition 2017 – in pictures | Art and design | The Guardian

In Search of the Great American Beer.

When Todd Bates moved to a patch of land near Taos, New Mexico, in 1991, he had no grand visions of changing the American beer industry.
After pursuing a degree in applied math and biology in Ohio, followed by stints as a designer and builder, Bates, then a 28 year-old man with more background in woodworking than beer-brewing, had accepted a job running a quiet guest ranch in the New Mexico wilderness.
Tucked in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, and settled by Pueblo people over a millennium ago, Taos is a place of older sensibilities, where Pueblo and Spanish culture mix and endure, so when Bates mentioned to a friend from an old Spanish family that he was suffering from digestive problems, his friend’s mother didn’t mince words.
“My friend’s mom looked at me and went, ‘Ah, you people! You move here and you don’t know how to take care of yourselves! Our grandparents and tíos and tías would go to the mountains and collect herbs and we’d never get sick. The only reason you go to a doctor is so that they can help you fit in a box.'”
So for the next summer, Bates learned how to collect medicinal herbs from the area residents—an array of more than a dozen different herbs used by Native Americans and descendants of Spanish settlers for medicinal purposes.
Throughout the summer, one of the crops that kept coming up again and again was something called lúpulo—the Spanish word for hop and an echo of “lupulin,” the plant’s active ingredient. But the hops they were collecting weren’t used for brewing beer.
But Bates, now 50 years old with a carefree lilt to his voice, was never fearful of venturing into new territories.

So he started brewing beer, crudely at first, with the wild hops he was harvesting. He had some previous experience with brewing beer—he’d been known to home brew a little during high school and college—so he was capable of making a simple, no-frills brew.
Even from his bare-bones recipes, Bates discovered that the beer he was brewing with the wild hops ended up being more flavorful and enjoyable than any commercially available beer he could find.
And that gave Todd Bates an idea.
Follow on reading via In Search of the Great American Beer | Arts & Culture | Smithsonian.

Rare Desert Super Bloom in California.

The normally parched landscapes of southern and eastern California have been transformed into a colourful oasis in the past week as swathes of wild flowers have burst into life across the region’s deserts.
Unexpected heavy autumn rains and cold winter conditions have caused a rare “super bloom” that last occurred in the El Niño years of 1998 and 2005.
These purple sand verbena and desert sunflowers can be seen around the Amboy Crater in the Mojave Trails national monument off Route 66.
Image Credit: Photograph by Planetpix/Alamy Live News
Source: Travel photo of the week: Rare desert super bloom in California | Travel | The Guardian

Dark Smoldering Roses, Warsaw.

burnt-1As part of a reference photoshoot for an illustration project by Warsaw-based creative studio Ars Thanea, a bouquet of roses was set on fire and photographed as they smoldered in the dark.
burnt-2The glow of the dying embers is strangely evocative, it would be amazing to see an entire series of different flowers photographed like this.
You can see the final illustration and how they caught the images over on Behance. (via Boing Boing)
via A Smoldering Bouquet of Roses Photographed by Ars Thanea | Colossal.

Onions and Garlic used as Toxic Cleaners.

Onions and garlic can absorb toxic leftovers from factories. – varbenov/Shutterstock
Onions and garlic can turn around a bland dish, but Indian biotechnologists have found another use for these roots: filtering heavy metals from toxic brews.
Scientists looking for new cleaning compounds mixed onion and garlic leftovers from canning factories with various industrial wastes.
The two Allium roots absorbed about 70 percent of toxins — including arsenic, cadmium, mercury and lead — and they could be reused to clean again.
[This article originally appeared in print as “A Recipe for Toxic Cleanup.”]
Read on via Onions as Toxic Cleanup Sponges | DiscoverMagazine.com.