Arbor Day — A Time for Celebration and Action

Wanderlust 2017 wall calendar

Image from our Wanderlust 2017 wall calendar featuring photography by Chris Burkard.

Today I have grown taller from walking with the trees. — Karle Wilson Baker

On April 28, communities across the country will to come together to plant, nurture, and celebrate trees. What is the origin of this celebration for this natural wonder?

Julius Sterling Morton (1832-1902), one of the earliest American conservationists, settled on the treeless plains of Nebraska in 1855, where he edited the Nebraska City News and developed a lifelong interest in new agricultural methods. Believing that the prairie needed more trees to serve as windbreaks, to hold moisture in the soil, and to provide lumber for housing, Morton began planting trees and urged his neighbors to do the same. On April 10, 1872, when he first proposed that a specific day be set aside for the planting of trees, the response was overwhelming: a million trees were planted in Nebraska on that day alone.

All 50 states now observe Arbor Day—usually on the last Friday in April—and the idea has spread to other countries as well. Most observances take place in the public schools, where the value of trees is discussed and trees and shrubs are planted. But it is in Nebraska City, Nebraska, that Morton is best remembered as the originator of Arbor Day, with celebrations taking place on or near his birthday, April 22. A special ceremony is held at Arbor Lodge, Morton’s homestead and one of the earliest known attempts at conservation and beautification in America.

From the Arbor Day Foundation website, here are just some of the benefits of trees:

Trees do so much for us. In our yards, they provide shade, reduce energy costs and increase property values. Along our streets, they reduce stormwater runoff that can carry pollutants to our waterways. Throughout our communities, they improve the mental and respiratory health, reduce crime, break up heat islands, create jobs and boost the economy. In our forests, they restore critical wildlife habitat, provide opportunities for recreation and maintain healthy watersheds to protect drinking water resources for millions of Americans. And no matter where they’re planted, trees are working hard to filter pollutants out of our air and water, sequester carbon, release oxygen and provide immeasurable beauty and serenity that feed the human soul.

Find more information about celebrations and events in your area.
And be sure to hug at least one tree 🌳 ❤️


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New Coloring Book from Amber Lotus Publishing — Desert Dreams: Coloring a Land of Enchantment by Geninne D Zlatkis

Desert Dreams coloring book

Free sample coloring pageDownload a sample page from Desert Dreams: Coloring a Land of Enchantment by Geninne D Zlatkis and share your work with us on Facebook!

It just arrived in our office! Wooohoooooo! We’re absolutely thrilled with this new coloring book. Embark on a desert adventure with illustrator Geninne D Zlatkis. Crafted as a love letter to the desert, Zlatkis’s collection of charming illustrations feature some of her favorite crafty creatures and natural treasures — all found in her desert home. Her passion for this magnificent and wild place will inspire you to explore your own color palette and bring the illustrations to vivid life.

Geninne invites you to share the journey:

A burst of rain can ignite a blaze of small vibrant blooms that last for only a few hours. The shifting sunlight can transform a seemingly simple landscape to stunning shades of orange and red in a heartbeat. The pure blue sky goes on as far as the eye can see in every direction, making all worries seem small. So many things shift and change and bring me joy.

And then there are all the beings that call the desert home — they steal my heart. I love seeing the wee creatures that scurry from one shady spot to another, the silly bunnies that slyly maneuver danger, the birds that make elaborate homes in impossible places, and the frolicking coyotes that play and prowl over the landscape.

I love the desert. It is my home. It is a source of endless inspiration. I can’t imagine any place on earth that could speak to my heart in the same way.

By bringing these illustrations to vivid life with your own color palette, you too will experience the beauty of the desert. I hope you fall in love, as I have, with this expansive and ever-changing place of beauty.

 ❤️ Geninne


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Midweek Mindfulness with Joseph M. Marshall and Jim Yellowhawk — April 12, 2017

Lakota Way 2017 wall calendar by Amber Lotus Publishing

Image by Jim Yellowhawk from our Lakota Way 2017 wall calendar. Click image for more info.

HONOR
For any person, any society, any nation to remain strong, honor must be one of the values to live by. Strength is not only a physical trait but it can also be woven into the spiritual and philosophical threads that bind a person’s character and that of any society or nation as well. There is no true strength without honor. Without honor, there is only force without reason or compassion. Without honor, strength is only a brute weapon, and the consequence is that “might makes right.” Furthermore, honor must be applied to all the many aspects of life, be it friendship or politics, words or deeds, peace or war. Without honor, a warrior is defined only by the weapons in his hand and not by what is truly in his heart as a human being. Without honor, a warrior acts only with the weapons in his hand and not by the values that make him a person first.
— Joseph M. Marshall


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Create Magic Coloring Book Giveaway

Create Magic by Katie Daisy

We’re giving away 3 copies of the Create Magic coloring book by Katie Daisy. You can enter to win by liking or commenting on this post on our Facebook page. We’ll randomly select 3 winners (US address entries only) on April 14, 2017, at 12:00 pm PT.
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Desktop Wallpaper Calendar — April 2017 — Free to Download

April is the fourth month of the year in the Gregorian calendar, the fifth in the early Julian and the first month to have the length of 30 days. April is also National Poetry Month.
Flower: Daisy or the Sweet Pea
Birthstone: Diamond

Here are a few of the special days during this month:
1 – April Fools’ Day
9 – Palm Sunday (Christian/Orthodox)
11 – Passover Begins (Jewish)
14 – Good Friday (Christian)
16 – Easter (Christian)
16 – Pascha (Orthodox Christian)
17 – Easter Monday (Canada)
18 – Tax Day
22 – Earth Day
24 – Isra/Mi’raj (Islamic)
24 – Yom HaShoah (Jewish)
25 – ANZAC Day (AU, NZ)
27 – Freedom Day (South Africa)
28 – Arbor Day

Free Desktop Wallpaper April 2017

See download tips and system instructions below: Continue reading

Bee Happy: Bees’ Favorite Plant Families

Image from The Organic Kitchen Garden 2017 wall calendar. Beehive in a cottage garden © Mark Bolton Photography.

From The Organic Kitchen Garden 2017 wall calendar by Ann Lovejoy — Planning to grow your own food may start with crop lists and bedding plans, but to ensure successful yields, it’s best to include a plan to nurture bees. It’s said that bees pollinate about one-third of human foods, but in fact, many important crops, from alfalfa and cotton to almonds and onions, are largely dependent on bee pollination. Creating edible gardens that attract and nourish bees and other pollinators will boost your fruit and veggie production and support these helpful creatures.

Perhaps the most important thing we can do to help is not hinder them. Solving garden issues with natural care techniques and using certified organic products to control pests and diseases help us keep our land free of harmful chemicals. It’s important to be aware that many nursery plants with labels that suggest that the plants are “protected” from pests are actually treated with systemic toxins. Continue reading

Happy Pi Day

Pi Day Pie by Jo Harrington

Photo by Jo Harrington | @jojoromancer on Instagram

March 14 is a celebration of pi. Not pie 🙂 Although many make and enjoy pie to celebrate the number pi. Yum.

Here’s some fun tidbits from CNN:

• Pi is the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter. It’s not equal to the ratio of any two whole numbers, so an approximation – 22/7 – is used in many calculations.

• Pi is essential in architecture and construction and was used frequently by early astronomers.

• Pi has been known for about 4,000 years, but it started to be called by the Greek letter only in the 1700s.

• There are no occurrences of the sequence 123456 in the first million digits of pi.

• The true “randomness” of pi’s digits – 3.14 and so on – has never been proven.

• Pi Day started 28 years ago at San Francisco’s Exploratorium. Physicist Larry Shaw, who worked in the electronics group at the museum, started celebrating pi on March 14, 1988, primarily with museum staffers. The tradition has grown to embrace math enthusiasts from all walks of life. For more about Pi Day, visit www.piday.org.

• To 31 decimal places, the celebrated irrational number that never ends is 3.1415926535897932384626433832795. If you want to appreciate what it looks like to 10 thousand digits, click here.

• March 14 also happens to be Albert Einstein’s birthday.


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Women’s History Month — International Women’s Day

Women of Myth and Magic

Image from our Women of Myth & Magic 2017 wall calendar featuring artwork by Kinuko Y. Craft.

In 1987 Congress declared March National Women’s History Month in perpetuity. A special presidential proclamation is issued every year to honor the extraordinary achievements of American women.

International Women’s Day (IWD) is (March 8). Not only is this commemorative day one of the most widely observed holidays of recent origin, but it is unusual in that it began in the United States and was adopted by many other countries, including the former U.S.S.R. and the People’s Republic of China. This holiday has its roots in the March 8, 1857, revolt of American women in New York City, protesting conditions in the textile and garment industries, although it wasn’t proclaimed a holiday until 1910. Continue reading