Science & Nature Themed Submissions

We are now accepting Haiku, Tanka, Science, and Nature Poetry submissions to our site. It seems there’s a shortage of websites, and literary journals for that matter, that accept and encourage these types of poetry, which saddens us deeply.

We’re also on the lookout for any similarly themed art. This includes photography, drawings, recordings, and anything else in-between. So if you have material that doesn’t quite ‘fit’ into a category, that’s OK.

Articles and essays related to nature, wildlife, or science are welcome too.

Unfortunately, we cannot pay you anything at present, and we do not guarantee publication. However, we will consider all submissions carefully.

Traditional (5-7-5 Haiku, 5-7-5-7-7 Tanka) and free-form styles are both fine. We try to keep an open mind.

What we want:

  1. Any Haiku, Tanka, or other form of micro-poetry.
  2. Any length Nature/Environmental themed poetry.
  3. Any Science or Technology themed poetry.
  4. Art, video, or photographs.
  5. Articles and essays about any aspect of nature, science, or the environment.

 

As the author, you keep all rights to your work, and can request its removal at anytime. We reserve the right to promote it via social media, email etc.

So, if you have any Haiku sitting around without a home…

Send them to: save.the.tierra@gmail.com

  1. Paste poem(s) or other written material in the body of the email, along with the name you wish it credited to. Send images as attachments.
  2. Please include ‘Submission’ in the subject line.
  3. Expect an ‘accepted’ or ‘declined’ email within about a month.

You can direct any questions to the same address.

Kate Alsbury | Editor

@land_alliance

The first in a series of poems entitled “Stories From My Grasslands” by Akka Ballenger Constantin, exploring the beautiful and occasionally melancholy side of nature. Each poem is presented with a stunning photograph by Akka. Visit her website planetakka.blogspot.com and follow her on Twitter @PlanetAkka – Instagram @drommeren.

Check back for more in the coming months.

 

The Rain

‘The Rain’ By Akka Ballenger Constantin

Seaweed Ant Bait: A Biodegradable Alternative

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Credit: Choe Laboratory, UC Riverside

Could this be a safer insecticide?

Some of us eat it, some of us can’t stand it, but seaweed could be a key ingredient in safer farming techniques.

After finding out that ants were killing off a wasp species researches needed to kill the Asian citrus psyllid, they developed Hydrogel.

It’s an inexpensive seaweed-based ant bait that’s biodegradable, and is proving effective in controlling Argentinean ants.

University of California researchers have found that these jello-like liquid spheres can reduce ant populations drastically.

“A 70 percent reduction is really successful, especially considering we are not spraying an insecticide but instead using a very targeted method that is better for the environment.”

– Dong-Hwan Choe, assistant professor of entomology

Hydrogels are similar to other liquid ant baits, but they are absorbent and can retain water over long periods of time.

They’re made of sugar water laced with .0001 percent thiamethoxam, which is about 100 times less than what is in standard gel traps, and 1,000 times less than typical spray insecticides.

It probably won’t be available on the market for awhile. In need of insect repellents now?  Visit this page for organic ways you can keep pests away from your home and garden.

Seaweeds are rich in minerals and fast growing – some can grow up to 3 feet a day. Hopefully this means an easy, sustainable supply.

It’s also becoming a popular non-chemical fertilizer for farming and gardening.

You can read more about seaweed fertilizer at dengarden.com/gardeningno-dig-vegetablegarden.com, and growgreatvegetables.com.

Poems For Summer Vol. 1

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Kate Alsbury

ITINERANT BEE
DUTIFULLY PROCURING
SCENT OF A THOUSAND FLOWERS.
                -Kate Alsbury 


BUZ, BUZ, BUZ
BUZ, BUZ, BUZ--SAYS THE GREAT BUZZING BEE.
GO AWAY BUTTERFLY--THIS FLOWER IS FOR ME.
WHY? WHY? WHY? SAYS THE LITTLE BUTTERFLY,
IF YOU MAY SIT ON THIS FLOWER, WHY MAY'NT I?
                        -Clara Doty Bates 


SURROUNDED BY HEAT
THE BATTLE WON AT SUNDOWN
SLOW DAYS IN THE SHADE.
               -Kate Alsbury


THE TREES SHIVER

GOLDEN SHAFTS 

BURN THE LAST FROST

FROM WILLOWED BLADES.
                -Kate Alsbury


WILD GEESE WRITE A LINE

FLAP-FLAPPING ACROSS THE SKY ...

COMICAL DUTCH SCRIPT
                       -Soin


IN THESE DARK WATERS

DRAWN UP FROM MY FROZEN WELL ...

GLITTERING OF SPRING
                       -Ringai


PUFFY GRAY BLANKET

BRINGS A MORNING RAINSHOWER

WE ALL HAVE A BATH
                       -Kate Alsbury

3 Ways Big Business Can Green Up

When we think about recycling, most of the pressure falls on the consumer. Not the manufacturers or industry leaders who force us into certain packaging choices, or more often than not, no choice at all.

This is especially true of the food industry, but recycling goods in any industry can reduce waste and preserve resources.

Wouldn’t it be great if more of the responsibility for sustainability started at the beginning, rather than the end of the chain?

Here are a few ways businesses could make being ‘environmentally friendly’ a lot easier.

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Credit: UGRdivulga

1. Water Filtered With Fruit Peels

Mexican researchers have developed a way to filter heavy metals, and other pollutants from water using an absorbent material made almost entirely from discarded citrus peels, like oranges and grapefruits.

This is great because there isn’t any shortage of those. It’s estimated that the food industry produces about 38.2 million tons of fruit peel waste worldwide every year, so this is a great opportunity to put what is usually considered garbage to work.

The material is made using a new treatment called Instant Controlled Pressure Drop, then packing it into fixed bed columns.

“The results show a great potential for the use of said materials as adsorbents capable of competing with commercial activated carbon for the adsorption and recovery of metals present in wastewater in a way that it could be possible to carry out sustainable processes in which products with a great commercial value could be obtained from food industry residues.”

                                                             – Researcher Luis Alberto Romero Cano
          


UGRdivulga

Credit: UGRdivulga

2. Biodegradable Packaging That Keeps Food Fresher, Longer

Food packaging made from cellulose composites, or plant-based material, then coated with ‘active components’ that have anti-oxidizing and antimicrobial properties,
could be an alternative to traditional plastic polymers (AKA those disposable containers everything comes in).

Research has found clove ethereal oil to be best at tying free radicals and fighting oxidization, but it isn’t antimicrobial.

That’s where silver comes in. Adding iconic silver particles not only gives the material long-lasting antimicrobial properties but also makes it stronger and elastic.

These non-toxic materials take about two years to degrade.

The biggest challenge: making ready to use packaging from natural materials that are heat tolerant.

There are still difficulties in creating something that can hold up to an oven or microwave, yet decompose naturally after a certain length of time. Cellulose can’t be used in this way.

Similar products are already on the market. Compostable or edible water bottles seem to be gaining some traction. They range from somewhat appealing, to not at all.

One company has developed a bottle from Ooho, a gelatin-like substance made from seaweed and other plants. It can be flavored, is cheaper than plastic, and decomposes in 4-6 weeks. Another company, Biota, offers products that are corn based. Designer Ari Jónsson has created a bottle using red algae powder. Crystal Mountain and redleaf Water offer some slightly more traditional options.

Other entirely edible self-packaged foods, like Wikipearls, are becoming popular in Europe, and are sold in some parts of the US. They have plant and nut based skins, with yogurt, ice cream, or liquid centers.

It would be useful for our containers to dissolve naturally instead of clogging landfills and waterways forever. But how many of us actually want to take the next step and eat our water bottle, remains to be seen. Sometimes you just aren’t hungry.

3.  Recycling Rare Metals

New ways to recycle special and rare metals in batteries are on the horizon. Mining these metals is expensive and can take its toll on the environment.

The CoLaBats Initiative is working to make recycling metals like Cobalt, Lanthanides, Nickel, and Lithium easier and cost-efficient.

Task-Specific Ionic Liquids (TSIL), or ‘designer solvents’ as they are sometimes called, are used to break down Li-ion (Lithium-Ion Batteries) and NiMH (Nickel-Metal Hydride Batteries).

These batteries are used in many of our rechargeable goods, like phones, laptops, and increasingly in electric and hybrid cars. These liquids are non-toxic, cheap, and don’t require much processing to be reused.

Task-specific Ionic Liquid is essentially salt in a liquid state, that has been given special properties in order to perform a certain task. In some cases they can be used with traditional ionic liquids to reduce cost.

Another group of researchers at the University of Pennsylvania are working on new ways to separate rare metals from batteries too.

The main method that is currently used for separating these metals is resource consuming. Hundreds of chambers of fluid are hooked up, and two fluids begin flowing past one another. One is acidic and water based, the other, organic. The metals then dissolve, and are extracted. This chemical process must be repeated thousands of times.

Due to expense, only about one percent of these types of metals are recycled.

“Everybody’s heard of blood diamonds, but maybe people haven’t heard of blood cobalt or tantalum or lithium for that matter. We shouldn’t just be throwing so much material away. There’s still a lot of value to them. I think that as part of a sustainable approach to manufacturing and developing a ‘circular’ economy, we should think about the impact and value of materials at every point along their life cycle. And how we can efficiently and effectively bring them back to useful raw materials once they’re at the end of their product life.”  

                                                           – Eric Schelter, Department of Chemistry, Penn’s School of Arts & Sciences

But that’s the old way.

A newer method reduces the amount of time and energy needed, while also decreasing waste generated during the process.

They’ve done this by bonding ions in mixtures. This mixture contains two types of elements. One is soluble in organics, the other isn’t. The solution acts as a filter, removing one metal from the others.

Benzene, the solvent used in most of these experiments is a natural part of crude oil, but it’s also carcinogenic. Because of this, researchers are still exploring other solvents friendlier to the environment.

Investing in such projects could help reduce landfill waste and metal consumption.

Across The Pale Horizon

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 Across The Pale Horizon – Jonathan Turnick

Witness the finale of Apollo's charge,
  the soft landing of sun blown kiss,
  on the lips of a waiting world.

Watch her lips sparkle,
  in flecks of orange and ombré,
  of sunburnt reds, electric yellows.

Swim with vigor across the pale horizon,
  kick with glee at star tossed skies,
  cease to clasp the origin of scars.

Mourn the fade of evenings adieu,
  breathe and be embraced,
  in the flickering, starlit smile.

Taste sweet waters of evening air,
  dive deep in the well of light
  and emerge clean.

For More About Jonathan Turnick, Visit turnick.com

New Fossil Discovered, Named for Sir David Attenborough

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From left to right – David Siveter, Sir David Attenborough, and Derek Siveter.

 

 “The biggest compliment that a biologist or palaeontologist can pay to another one is to name a fossil in his honour and I take this as a very great compliment.”           – Sir David Attenborough

 

A 430 million-year-old fossil has been discovered by a team of scientists led by the University of Leicester.

The previously unknown crustacean is related to shrimp, crabs, crayfish and lobster. It was found in volcanic ash deposits in Herefordshire.

Only nine millimeters long, the well preserved ancient animal, eyes, antennae and all, has been named after Sir David Attenborough – in part to honor is 90th birthday. He spent some of his early days at University College Leicester, when his father was principal there.

 

Cascolus ravitis, here’s a breakdown of its meaning:

Cascolus, – from castrum, meaning stronghold.

colus – dwelling in, which has Old English connections to the name Attenborough.

ravitas – a combo of Ratae, a Roman name of Leicester and vita, life.

 

It has been reconstructed using 3D modeling.

Siveter et al

Credit: Siveter et al

 

This isn’t the first time Sir David Attenborough has had something named after him. A polar research ship,  the RRS Sir David Attenborough (after the popular vote “Boaty McBoatface was discarded) a wildflower, Attenborough Hawkweed, and a butterfly, Euptychia attenboroughi, to name three.

A few other notable people with plants or animals named after them:

Mick JaggerAegrotocatellus jaggeri, Trilobite fossil  

Kate Winslet –  Agra katewinsletae, a beetle

Lady Gaga –

  1. Gaga, animal
  2. Gagadon minimonstrum. prehistoric animal

 

Jon Stewart Aleiodes stewarti, wasp

 

Stephen Colbert –

 1. Aptostichus stephencolberti, California trapdoor spider 

2.  Agaporomorphus colberti, Venezuelan diving beetle 

3.  Diamphipnoa colberti, Chilean stonefly

4. Aleiodes colberti, Wasp from Ecuador

5. Sonoma colberti, Rove beetle 

Tanka By M. Kei – Vol. 2

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Watery Edge

the easy way
of a tall ship
on a summer’s day
the shore falling away
in the distance

lighthouses
on the Delaware Bay
caissons
whitewashed
by gulls

well down
the Delaware Bay
I abandon shoes
and breathe
the sea’s free air

the gentle rocking
of the ship
as she glides
down the diamond waters
of the Delaware Bay

sunset
off the starboard bow
cormorants
winging their way
into memory

the arch
of a dolphin’s back
disappearing
and reappearing
in the diamond sea

great blue herons
dark wings
the only shadows
shimmering
on a summer bay

View more poetry by M. Kei  here.

M. Kei is a tall ship sailor and award-winning poet who lives on Maryland’s Eastern shore. He is the editor of Atlas Poetica : A Journal of World Tanka. His most recent collection of poetry is January, A Tanka Diary. He is also the author of the award-winning gay Age of Sail adventure novels, Pirates of the Narrow Seas (blogspot.narrowseas.com). He can be followed on Twitter @kujakupoet, or visit AtlasPoetica.org.