I’m 171 cm tall, for size reference: so that’s well over 3 metres of water reed! What’s more amazing is that in better conditions, these reeds can grow to twice that height.

With different parts of this plant, I could make flour, paper, baskets, flutes, fishing poles, spears, rope, pen nibs, and a marshmallow-like confection. [x, x]

These huge marsh grasses dominate the local biome, providing a habitat for birds (who nest among them) and insects (who nest inside them). [x]

A reed bed: behind is an out-of-focus is a heron eating a rodent, sheltered from my prying lens.

Drinker moth caterpillar (Euthrix potatoria), which eats phragmites.

Phragmites in my insect hotels

They spread rhizomatically, with a clonal patch being able to persist for over 1000 years.

Phragmites have some unique ecological properties that make them a keystone species in Eurasian marsh biomes:

Here in Eurasia at least, the only habitats to which they are disruptive are those that have been traditionally grazed, but are no longer: they are one of many plants that can be effectively suppressed through conservation grazing.

These grasses have traditionally been used here in Scandinavia for making thatch roofs; however, their use is giving way to farmed Japanese Miscanthus species, but either kind of grass will make a roof that lasts several decades. [x]

Thatch-roofed house in Mölle, Sweden.

In essence, they are valuable plants that have fallen out of vogue in favour of machine-harvestable crops, but they have both historical and potential uses in sustainable building, locavore eating, and conserving habitat.

Ideas for the next Animal Crossing!

1. Public works projects on the beach.

2. Take away the balloon furniture! And let there be random furniture in balloons like it used to be.

3. More space for patterns.

4. More pocket space.

5. More inventory space.

6. Villagers can not move out without notifying you!

7. Choosing where villagers put their house plots.

8. Less Sea Bass and Horse Mackerel!

9. The villagers need to request PWP’s more often!

10. Instead of the villagers just having their fishing poles in the water let them actually catch the fish!  

11. Let the villagers use some of the PWP’s like the water pump and water fountain!

There is so much more stuff I would add but I think this is the most important stuff they really need to add. What do you guys think they should add and what stuff needs to remain the same?

As more ships from oil and gas companies make their way into Arctic waters, they are increasingly crossing paths with Arctic whales.

An article published last week in the journal ‘Marine Policy’ shows where oil, gas and shipping interests overlap important habitat for Arctic whales. The research was sponsored by WWF and includes several WWF authors, along with many of the world’s experts on Arctic whale research and conservation.

It collects the latest information on where bowhead whales, beluga and narwhals spend their time, especially during the Arctic summer, and how industry interests overlap places important to the future survival of the whales.

“These ice-adapted Arctic whales are already stressed by rapid climate change,” said Pete Ewins, an author of the research and Arctic whale specialist for WWF. “Killer whales are moving into their territory and preying on them, their food sources are moving, and now on top of that, industry is on their doorstep.”

Slowing down could help
The research identifies and maps areas of potential conflict and suggests how such conflicts can be reduced. The risks of oil spills in Arctic waters are singled out the biggest and most difficult risks to manage or avoid.

The Arctic (e.g., the north pole) is the world’s newest shipping lane. Thousands of ships hauling oil and and other products will soon begin to sail across the northern seas. The Arctic has very little regulation, and the eight nations that border the Arctic are currently negotiating new regulations to protect themselves for being liable for polluting the area.