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Posts Tagged ‘environment’

postheadericon My Husband is a Dung Beetle

*This post about my husband being a self-proclaimed dung beetle was first published in April 2010. Because it is just as relevant today as it was then, I’ve decided to share it with all of you again. For those of you newer to Red Barn Blue Skies, don’t be alarmed – we’re relatively normal. Enjoy!*

I am married to a dung beetle.

My Husband is a Dung Beetle at Red Barn Blue Skies

First off, let me state for the record that I did not call my beloved hubby this. At breakfast this morning, he announced to Mom and I, “I am the dung beetle of the family.”

While this is not a normal conversation in the majority of homes, it is really not a super surprising one for this group. We obviously aren’t the Cleavers anyway, so let me try to explain this bold statement.

The Dung Beetle

Hubby and I were camping last summer when we came across a funny sight while hiking. I had to stop when I saw something rather strange: it looked like a little turd cruising along the path in front of me.

Upon further investigation, we found that it was a dung beetle with a rolled up ball of poop. He was rolling it uphill and in a very straight path – over pebbles, twigs, whatever. He was a persistent little guy as the ball was about three times his size and it was very unwieldy.

We must have spent about fifteen minutes just watching as this amazing little creature kept to his task. He was the epitome of the saying that “the impossible is possible if you keep at it”. The manure ball would slip and roll back a few inches and he’d just start again on his uphill trek.

Fast Forward to Today

Now, the reason this morning’s breakfast table conversation turned to dung beetles is because we were talking about how ants can carry many times their own weight. We told mom about seeing the little dung beetle at work and Mr. MoonCat Red Barn mentioned that he had done some reading on these fascinating little bugs after our trip.

Hubby’s ENTIRE basis for saying that HE is the dung beetle of OUR family is the fact that the males are the ones who do all the work in dung beetle couples. They usually roll up the ball of poop and move it to wherever the female designates while she directs or even HITCHES A RIDE while he’s working!

If this hadn’t hit me as so funny and of course, inappropriate, I might have decided to be offended. But I chose to laugh my butt off at him. (It’s especially significant today as I “requested” that he move around a bunch of furniture yesterday.)

I did some reading myself on dung beetles and was really amazed to learn how beneficial they are to agriculture.  They can be found on every continent except for Antartica! I had already known (from my dad) not to kill any that we found out in the manure pile at the ranch but really didn’t know why.

I’ve since learned that they help keep down the fly population and thus the spread of disease in livestock. They make the manure inhospitable to the fly larvae and maggots. They are a very beneficial part of managing, rejuvenating, and sustaining pastureland. Learn more about them here. You can even find out how to start your own dung beetle farm!

I hope you enjoyed yet another insight into the not so ordinary happenings (and conversations) here at MoonCat Farms/Red Barn Blue Skies.

And just for the record, I did NOT hitch a ride on his back while he was moving furniture – I directed. 

Dung Beetle Toy

 

And here is one of the reasons I decided to bring this post back – LOOK WHAT I FOUND!

Hello Father’s Day present Mr MoonCat/RedBarn/DungBeetle!

And one for the loving wife (ME):

So ladies, do you have your own dung beetle guy in the family?

postheadericon Celebrate Earth Day with Thoughtful Acts of Green

Learn what you can do to celebrate Earth Day 2017 on April 22nd by creating your own Thoughtful Acts of Green.

 

redbarnblueskies.com Earth Day 2017

 

Earth Day was first celebrated in 1970 by about 20 million Americans. Those numbers have reached into the billions now with several hundred countries participating in the annual celebration of our planet.

 

We try to do something positive for Earth Day around here every year. My first time posting about it was for my 2009 Earth Day Pledge. One of our projects this year involves turning all of our feed bags into shopping totes. It’s a true recycle/reuse/repurpose task that benefits us and our family and friends. (I’m hoping to do a tutorial with pictures soon.)

 

What are Thoughtful Acts of Green?

Thoughtful Acts of Green are those actions you can take to help improve our planet. Recycling, replacing plastic bags with reusable shopping totes, conserving water and resources, and many other conservation methods are all considered green actions.

 

From the smallest thing such as planting a few bee-friendly flowers to larger actions like cleaning up your local streams and rivers – everything you do can have a positive impact.

 

Some of the things you might consider to help your world be a better place:

  • Educate yourself and others about the environment
  • Plant a tree or twelve..
  • Plant wildflowers for yourself and future generations – check out these Earth Day seed bomb bags
  • Join local conservation efforts
  • Learn about bees and beekeeping
  • Recycle/Reuse/Repurpose – whatever you can
  • Teach children the importance of recycling
  • Volunteer to help turn your city green
  • Learn what you can do to help endangered species
  • Take THIS QUIZ to learn how to reduce your carbon footprint

 

Get outside this Earth Day and create your own Thoughtful Acts of Green to make this a better world for us all.

postheadericon My Earth Day 2009 Pledge

I want to share my Earth Day 2009 pledge with all of you. It’s important to put it out there and hold one’s self accountable.

On this Earth Day, let’s think about how we can make a difference in our environment. I am talking about our own “personal” environments. Many people immediately visualize the great outdoors and wilderness when the word “environment” is used. Here are a few of the relevant definitions from Wikipedia’s dictionary: (#1 is what I am referring to here)

    1. The surroundings of & influences on a particular item of interest (or particular person?)
    2. The natural world or ecosystem
    3. A particular political or social setting, arena or condition

 

I feel that each person or family can make a huge difference just by taking small steps. There is a wealth of information out there to help us make our “personal environment” a much better place to be in. Imagine if all of us start improving our individual spaces, it can & will domino into improving the health and well-being of the #2 definition above: The natural world & ecosystem!

 

My Earth Day 2009 Pledge

I found a great site from the EPA, Environmental Protection Agency that has a list of items that you can pledge to do in your own life that can have a big impact. My pledge is listed below:

To help protect the environment, I pledge to:

    • Use less water! Take showers instead of baths, fix leaks, and turn off the tap when brushing your teeth. And buy efficient fixtures by looking for the WaterSense label.

 

 

    • Reduce, reuse, recycle! Try to find products with less packaging, take reusable bags on shopping trips, creatively reuse other products, and recycle what’s left. The new shopping totes that fit into the cart are a great way to cut down on bags while making your trip easier.

 

    • Use chemicals safely! Read pesticide labels carefully. Lock up pesticides, paints, and cleaners where kids can’t reach them.

 

  • Spread the word! Teach others where you work or go to school. Share online by commenting on our blog, or sharing your photos and videos. Encourage people to Pick 5 for the Environment!

Pledged Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009.
Make your own pledge by visiting http://www.epa.gov/pick5/

I encourage everyone to do what they can on this Earth Day to make our “environments” better places to grow & thrive in!

My Earth Day 2009 Pledge at Red Barn Blue Skies