Employ passive solar energy and start saving electricity today.

Written by Anita van Wyk


Here are 7 basic fundamentals that will cost you nothing or very little and save you cash for many years to come!

1. Orientation, layout and positioning of your house onrepparttar land

Orientate your living areas torepparttar 150138 south side ofrepparttar 150139 house, which receives most ofrepparttar 150140 sun throughoutrepparttar 150141 day (north if you live inrepparttar 150142 southern hemisphere).

2. Insulation and draught proofing

Make sure your walls, roof and floors are insulated and fill any gaps where draughts might come through.

3. Ventilation

Position doors and windows opposite each other to allow for a cooling breeze to flow throughrepparttar 150143 house whenrepparttar 150144 air cool down inrepparttar 150145 evening of a hot summers day.

4. Windows

Windows onrepparttar 150146 south side ofrepparttar 150147 house should be bigger to allow more sun to penetraterepparttar 150148 house duringrepparttar 150149 day and windows onrepparttar 150150 north side smaller to prevent heat lost at night.

5. Landscaping

Position trees and plants to direct a cooling breeze into your house, whiles shading it during summer. Plant trees that shed their leave in winter.

6. Shading

Make sure external shading structures are wide enough to block outrepparttar 150151 sun in summer, whiles still allowingrepparttar 150152 low winter sun to enter.

7. Thermal mass

Polished concrete, tile or slate floors and brick walls will absorbrepparttar 150153 heat throughoutrepparttar 150154 day and release it slowly at night, reducingrepparttar 150155 need to run expensive heaters. Carpet acts as an insulator and will not retainrepparttar 150156 heat.

Although itís far easier to achieve passive solar energy for homes duringrepparttar 150157 planning stage, you can incorporate many of these elements into an established house without spending a great deal of money or time.

It might be as easy as filling in a few gaps, installing an additional window or moving your living area fromrepparttar 150158 chilly north side ofrepparttar 150159 house torepparttar 150160 sunny south side...

Experience the Thrill of Eagle Watching

Written by Jeannette Balleza


"Above all other birds it isrepparttar soaring eagle, with its size and weight, that givesrepparttar 149871 most abiding impression of power and purpose inrepparttar 149872 air," declared Edwin Way Teale in Atlantic Monthly in 1957. Unique to North America and revered for its majestic appearance, legendary strength and longevity,repparttar 149873 bald eagle becamerepparttar 149874 national emblem ofrepparttar 149875 United States in 1782 and continues to be an easily recognized symbol of patriotism.

Once endangered in all ofrepparttar 149876 lower 48 states, bald eagles came dangerously close to extinction. However, due to increased awareness, protective legislation and widespread conservation efforts overrepparttar 149877 past fifty years,repparttar 149878 bald eagle population is making a remarkable comeback, and eagle watching is becoming a popular pastime for nature lovers acrossrepparttar 149879 country, especially in Arkansas as well as parts of Missouri.

Kelly Farrell, Park Interpreter for DeGray Lake Resort State Park in Bismarck, Arkansas, has seen hundreds of bald eagles during her numerous jaunts as an eagle-watching tour guide. "It never gets old," she remarked. "They are amazing and captivating each and every time I get a glimpse."

Park Interpreter Sarah Keating of Lake Dardanelle State Park concurred. "The feeling of seeing this majestic bird soaring acrossrepparttar 149880 lake forrepparttar 149881 first time is still awe-inspiring even to me. Therefore, any time you can help a visitor experience a 'first' like this is truly gratifying."

Bald eagles follow seasonal food supplies, so they travel south alongrepparttar 149882 Mississippi Flyway from around Canada, Minnesota, Michigan, Wisconsin and Illinois whenrepparttar 149883 northern waters begin to freeze. Migratory patterns vary according to John Morrow, Park Interpreter at Petit Jean State Park. "Some eagles are here year-round, and some are coming in from Canada andrepparttar 149884 far northern states. Some donít migrate at allólike in Alaska, where they are almost as common as dirt."

Eagles begin to arrive in Arkansas as early as mid-October and stay all winter long, departing around February and as late as mid-March. Over 1,700 eagles may winter in The Natural State, depending on weather conditions. Wintering eagles favorrepparttar 149885 Ouachitas and Ozarks forrepparttar 149886 excellent habitat replete with open waters, food and shelter. "The locations they choose are usually remote with little disturbance, and good winter roosting areas are available," commented Park Naturalist Merle Rogers of Roaring River State Park in Cassville, Missouri.

Mainly fish eaters, bald eagles are attracted torepparttar 149887 areaís abundant lakes, undeveloped shorelines, countless streams and wild rivers. "Whenrepparttar 149888 lakeís surface water temperature falls to 41-42ļ F, there is a mass die-off of shad, a small fish that is a favorite among eagles," revealed guide Jay Viator of Belle ofrepparttar 149889 Ozarks in Eureka Springs. "Young, immature bald eagles, not yet skilled at catching fish, frequent chicken barns inrepparttar 149890 area to eat dead chickens thrown out by farmers," he continued.

In addition to fish and carrion, eagles feed on turtles, waterfowl and small mammals, which they hunt themselves or pirate from smaller raptors. "They are lazy birds!" exclaimed Park Interpreter Lori Anderson of Petit Jean State Park. "They want to find food without much work. Beingrepparttar 149891 largest bird around,repparttar 149892 eagle will steal food that other birds catch."

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