Saturday, September 28, 2013

Cote D'Azur France - The French Riviera

C�te d'Azur is one of the most popular holiday regions in the south of France. The region covers a large area from the Mediterranean Sea up to the French Alps. Its identity as a geographical region is a hold over from the days of the Roman Empire. Its western border is the Rh�ne River and its eastern border is Italy. The Provence includes the French Riviera and is famous for its sunny weather, colourful countryside, tradition, wine, food, and language (Proven�al). Its main attractions include the city of Avignon and the wide variety of villages which can be easily explored by car or bicycle on the networkcountry roads and highways. Van Gogh spent a respectable amount of time in Arles painting the countryside.source

Cenote - Yucatan, Mexico

Cenotes of the Yucat�n is a route through the Yucat�n Peninsula of Mexico. It follows a network of secondary roads through the interior of the peninsula which the Mexican government has dubbed La Ruta de los Cenotes (The Route of the Cenotes).

The underground river systems of the Yucatan flow beneath the entire peninsula. During the ice ages when the ocean levels were much lower than they are today, what was once a giant coral reef became exposed to the atmosphere and eventually became the Yucatan Peninsula. Massive cave systems were formed by gradual dissolving of the highly porous coral limestone. These caves are called "solution caves" because they were formed by the slightly acidic rainfall dissolving the alkaline limestone. Inside the caves the geological formations such as stalactites and stalagmites are a spectacular sight to see. 

Many of the caverns eventually collapsed and the sea levels rose partially or completely flooding the cave systems. The water table of the entire peninsula is filled with consists of seawater at sea level and freshwater 'floating' on top at varying depth depending on the distance from the sea. For instance, Cenote Zaci inValladolid in the central Yucatan area is about 35 metres from ground level to the surface of the freshwater and probably another 30 metres below that would be the top of the saltwater layer.

Monday, September 2, 2013

The Beagle Dog

The Beagle is a breed of small to medium-sized dog. A member of the Hound Group, it is similar in appearance to the Foxhound, but smaller with shorter legs and longer, softer ears. Beagles are scent hounds, developed primarily for tracking hare, rabbit, and other small game. They have a great sense of smell and tracking instinct that sees them employed as detection dogs for prohibited agricultural imports and foodstuffs in quarantine around the world. Beagles are intelligent, and popular pets because of their size, even temper, and lack of inherited health problems.

 Beagles come in two sizes: 13-inch and 15-inch. The smaller variety includes Beagles who are no taller than 13 inches at the shoulder and weigh 22 to 30 pounds, while the larger variety includes Beagles who are taller than 13 inches but not more than 15 inches and weigh up to 35 pounds.

All Beagles sport a short, clean coat that�s usually some combination of black, white and tan. Their small to medium size is a plus for families � they�re the perfect shape for a child to hug � but the Beagle has no idea that he�s anything but a full-sized hound, and he has the loud bay of a full-sized hound to prove it!

Although beagle-type dogs have existed for over 2,000 years, the modern breed was developed in Great Britain around the 1830s from several breeds, including the Talbot Hound, the North Country Beagle, the Southern Hound, and possibly the Harrier.