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You Definitely Need Good Binoculars for Butterfly Watching

One thing bird watchers and butterfly watchers have in common is binoculars. Of course, the butterflies can be harder to see if you want to see something as small or smaller as a hummingbird.


Binoculars, unfortunately, may be a challenge to choose. Every person will need a set that is best for that individual. If you wear glasses, if your face is wider, if your hands tire easily, or if you live in a humid climate, you will have to choose a set of binoculars that will suit each unique need.


You Definitely Need Good Binoculars for Bird Watching

If only humans could zoom in on an image like the eagle, we wouldn’t need to bring a pair of binoculars for bird watching around. But since we don’t, we need something to help us out.

Red-Chested Cuckoo

Remember, you don’t always have to buy the most expensive one around because patience and skill are essential when you are out there trying to spot them amongst the trees.


Should you get Auto Focus Binoculars? Auto focus binoculars really shouldn't be called that; even “self-focusing binoculars” isn't a name that does the product justice. The thing is, when you hear that name, you think of something like a modern autofocus camera – something with a system of motorized lenses, sensors and so on. With auto focus binoculars, you get a product that's not even as versatile as regular binoculars that come with a focus wheel. What you get is something akin to the disposable box camera you had as a child – a system where everything is fixed and always in focus, near or far. The more accurate term for this product therefore would be “fixed focus binoculars”. Buy a pair of these auto focus binoculars, and you find that it acts like a kind of magnifying glass – everything that's about 30 feet and beyond is magnified for your viewing pleasure and your entire depth of field is always in focus. So should you buy them? Will they serve your needs? The good thing with these binoculars is that since there are no moving parts involved and no set of lenses to move with precision, they are less prone to failing. These are also much easier to make waterproof or dustproof. If you have an adventure trek in mind – up the mountains or in other harsh places – autofocus binoculars would be an excellent choice. These are what the military usually uses. These are also extremely convenient when you're trying to follow fast-moving things. If you're out bird watching for instance, a darting animal or bird is something you would want to look at in an instant. You would hardly have time to fiddle with a focus wheel to get the thing in question into focus. You just want to grab something for a quick look. Fixed focus binoculars would be perfect for this. It could also be extremely liberating to just be able to grab something and go with no adjustments to make. So if you are convinced that this is the product for you, what brand would you go for? Auto focus binoculars were first made for the mass market about 65 years ago by an American company called Jason. The name Jason even became a generic name for all such cameras. But then, Bushnell bought them out. You could probably not go wrong buying Bushnell 7x50 Marine Binoculars today. These don't get called Marine for no reason. They are so waterproof, they'll actually float. You could also not go wrong with similar products by Steiner.

Is it Okay if you get Artificial Aquarium Plants Why are aquarium owners so crazy about all the plants that they put in there? Well, if you do a good-enough job of finding the right kinds of plants and the right way to arrange them, you’ll end up with a waterscape that makes the viewer think he’s looking at a real, natural underwater environment. The effect can be truly convincing if you do it right. But there's a little problem there – natural aquarium plants can be expensive and are high maintenance. What do you do if you just want the beauty and none of the hard work? Well, how about considering artificial aquarium plants? Let's get this completely straight right away – artificial plants that are made of silk or plastic aren't as beautiful or natural-looking as the real thing. But they can be good-looking enough and it can be easy to suspend disbelief. Especially so, when you save some money over what it costs to raise natural plants. For instance, real plants require a good bit of sunlight or artificial light or else they just wilt. Arranging for good lighting can be quite a hassle. When you're starting out for the first time with your own aquarium, you often want to not cut any corners. That's part of the touching sincerity that takes over when we start something. What happens though is that when you’re new to something and there's so much to learn and to keep up with, that to have one more thing added to the burden can really make you lose interest. As a new aquarium owner, you have to learn to manage water quality, learn about feeding all the fish, learn about looking for health problems, understand water filters, lighting and heating – it can be too much for anyone. You just don't want real aquarium plants adding to the insanity. Just get a bunch of convincing-looking fake plants and let it go at that. Do you to think that fake plants are going to be stiff and plasticky looking. Modern artificial plants are near-perfect reproductions. They are exactly the right color and shade, they are quite pliant and will wave about in the water - even your fish will be fooled half the time. You can see what they look like at your local aquarium store. If they don't have enough variety when you're ready to buy, you can try the online stores where you can get dozens of different kinds. How much should you get? The usual quantity is about one plant for every 30 square cm of space that your tank has. Once you've had your tank for long enough and you’ve more or less learned how to maintain an aquarium, you can always move to live plants. Underwater landscaping can be so popular that some aquarium enthusiasts raise fishless tanks – just for the plants.

Enhance your hunting or hiking experience with a portable GPS navigation system Adventurous hunters and hikers will often trek through forests, plains, valleys and tundra that they have never travelled through before, for the sheer joy of making their way through unknown territory. If you are an old-timer when it comes to hunting or hiking, you know that maps, a compass and the stars are indispensable to a successful and safe experience for such excursions. Learning to use these tools competently takes time, and unless you master their usage, you're taking your own life into your hands. Many people consider path finding with these tools an essential part of the hunting or hiking experience and would consider such resources as a guide, a degradation of the activity. For other hunters and hikers, it's not the primitive, frontier challenge that brings them out into unknown territory - for the hunter, the prey, and for the hiker, the scenery and challenges of the terrain. For these hunters and hikers, maps, a compass and the stars are distractions and time-consuming activities they would rather do without. The possibility of making a mistake and getting lost haunts them throughout the expedition and detracts them from their purpose. For them, modern technology answers with the portable GPS navigation system. Even the purist may find a portable GPS navigation system a handy backup when they suddenly find themselves totally disoriented in the middle of the bush, when the night sky is clouded, or the their maps are mired and unreadable after having fallen into a creek. A portable GPS navigation system (GPS stands for global positioning system) is an electronic device that communicates with a satellite. The device sends a signal to the satellite which triangulates on the signal's origin and responds with a map image that displays on a small screen of the device. An arrowhead or a circle will represent the actual signal location. Hand-held, these devices easily fit into a pocket. The map a portable GPS navigation system displays may indicate the topography, a lake, a stream, a creek, but all of them will show the roads in the signal's vicinity. The best portable GPS systems can display a straight line from the signal's current position to some destination the user specifies. A straight line implies the shortest distance between two points, but this means it will ignore such obstacles as streams, creeks and drops. You might have to change your destinations as you encounter these obstacles and take other routes to get around insurmountable obstacles. There's still some adventure in using these devices after all. Some portable GPS systems will record your route as you move along and will play it back for you. This is useful when you're trying to find your way back. In an emergency situation, you can relay this information to rescue parties and increase your chance of survival by giving them precise coordinates. Portable GPS systems vary according to the features they provide. Some provide plain maps, [...]