Grapevine: Rain Life, Drought Soil, Species Origin, Planet Wreckers, Magnificent Trees, Firefly Facts, Ceanothus Victoria, Wild Bergamot, Amorphophallus Video

Though it seems impossible in most of the continental U.S. this summer, there are still places in the world where the weather is nice and cool. Goren Strand took this photo of an aurora display on July 3, 2012, in Ostersund, Sweden. Click photo to link to Spaceweather’s aurora gallery.

– Does Rain Come From Life in the Clouds?
Scientists are making their first forays into the mysterious world of biology miles up in the air. Their startling conclusion: That ecosystem in the sky might influence tomorrow’s weather and next year’s harvest.      Discover

– Food and Extreme Weather: It’s the Soil, Stupid
As the climate warms up and “extreme” events like heat waves and droughts become more common, what will become of food production?      Mother Jones

– Rare Glimpse Into the Origin of Species
A new species of monkey flower, created by the union of two foreign plant species, has been discovered on the bank of a stream in Scotland. Genetic changes in this attractive yellow-flowered hybrid have allowed it to overcome infertility and made it a rare example of a brand new species that has originated in the wild in the last 150 years.      Science Daily

– The Planet Wreckers
First came the giant billboard with Unabomber Ted Kacynzki’s face plastered across it: “I Still Believe in Global Warming. Do You?” Sponsored by the Heartland Institute, the nerve-center of climate-change denial, it was supposed to draw attention to the fact that “the most prominent advocates of global warming aren’t scientists. They are murderers, tyrants, and madmen.”     Utne Reader

– The 12 Most Magnificent Trees in the World
Inspired by a similar blog post about 10 Magnificent trees that has been widely propagated around the blogsphere I decided to put together my own list of great trees of renown that I believe is more accurate than the above mentioned post.      Ten Thousand Trees

– 14 Fun Facts About Fireflies
What’s more magical than a firefly light show on a warm summer night? Just remember that if you catch fireflies, you can keep them in a jar (with a lid punched to let in air and a moistened paper towel on the bottom) for only a day or two before you need to set them free.     Smithsonian

Plant: Ceanothus impressus “Victoria”
When it’s blooming, people and bees swarm around this plant.  The delightful bright flowers are the bluest of blue. Native to California, this plant has many forms and varieties.  Rainyleaf

Plant: Monarda fistulosa
Wild bergamot is a common Missouri native perennial which occurs statewide in dryish soils on prairies, dry rocky woods and glade margins, unplanted fields and along roads and railroads.     Mobot

– Plant: Amorphophallus titanum – Video     26 secs.
Timelapse blooming at The Huntington in 1999.     Huntington News

Drought conditions in Great Bend, Kansas, July 13, 2012. Photo by Nathan Sullivan, USGS. Click photo to link.

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