‘Gardening Leave’ Helping Veterans Heal

Teal Plant by Linda Compton McDonald

Tea Plant by Linda Compton McDonald

An inspiring video about the ability of plants to support the healing of veterans.

Since 2007, the charity Gardening Leave has championed the healing power of plants to bring relief to veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and anxiety.

But the tie between plants and the military goes back much further than that and is now being explored in a new art exhibition.

My friend Linda McDonald contributed her painting of a Tea Plant to this project. Linda is an amazing person who does an incredible amount for charity. You can see more of her work here:


Watch the video here.


Polar bear habitat – more Arctic sea ice in Canada this week than in early 1970s

I am going to categorise this good news under “climate change” and “inspiring”!


This week, Arctic sea ice in Canada, where 2/3 of the world’s polar bears live, had more sea ice than was present in the early 1970s. Globally, the ice is spitting-distance close to the 1981-2010 average calculated by the NSIDC for this date – which means lots of winter/spring hunting habitat for polar bears.

Canada sea ice freeze-up_same week_Dec 25 1971_2014 standard average

This is the peak of the polar bear birthing season (both in the wild and in zoos.) Newborns will be snug in maternity dens built by their mothers onshore or on the sea ice; the rest of the population will be out on the ice.

Sea ice extent 2014 Dec 25 NSIDC

Regional ice charts going back to the late 1960s and early 1970s for this week show even more surprises — have a look.

First, here’s today’s ice map (26 December 2014) published by the Canadian Ice Service. Click on any of the maps or charts below to enlarge.

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