Archive for April 2015

Vacation Tips: Prepare Your Car Before a Road Trip

Although it is much easier to travel by air, many people prefer to travel by road using their own vehicle. One of the reasons is because they have the freedom to stop anywhere they like and observe the beauty of their surroundings, no matter how long. In addition, travelers can also plan their travelling schedule well without the worry of being left by airplane or train. If you’re planning on a road trip soon, however, you may want to check your car in order to ensure that it’s in good condition when you travel. The following tips will help you have a safe and more enjoyable road trip.

Check everything under the hood

The first and foremost thing to do is to check everything under the hood of your vehicle, including transmission fluid, air filter, engine coolant, brake fluid, windshield washer fluid, battery, engine oil, and even belts and hoses. Before the trip, make sure to get your oil changed. You may also want to take some spare oil with you during your trip. Also change your air filter if it’s already dirty. Ensure that your brake and windshield washer fluid reservoir are also full, but do not overfill. Ensure that the level of your engine coolant must be between low and full. Your battery should also be in proper condition. If you notice any cracks, or if it’s already 4 years old or more, replace it before the trip. If the belts and hoses look worn out, replace them. Check everything – from possible leaks to damage to dirt – to ensure safe driving.

vacation car

Inspect everything around the car

If you’re already sure that the items under the hood are in proper condition, the next thing to do is to inspect the items around your car, including windshield wiper blades, tires, lights, air conditioner/heater, and other car components. If your wiper blades are no longer wiping correctly or it’s been a long time since you replaced them, do so before the trip. Make sure that your lights and other electrical equipment are not damaged. If so, replace them before leaving. It’s also a good idea to bring some spare lights with you during travel. Also keep your tires inflated to recommended pressure. The recommended tire pressure is usually indicated on the manufacturer’s label; you can also find it in the car’s manual. Also check the brakes, steering, horns, and other components before leaving. If there’s damage, fix them before leaving.

Wash your car

As much as possible, you would want to use a clean car for a road trip. Not only because it feels good to drive a clean car, but honestly more because it is much safer to drive a car that is clean and in good condition. A clean car, particularly with clean windshield and mirror, provides a better view of the road. Well, there are many ways to clean a car: you can take it to a car wash to have someone else clean it for you, or manually wash it with soap and water or with the use of power washers. If you have the budget and don’t have the time to clean your car, the ideal option is to take your car to a car wash. But if you’re low on budget and have lots of spare time, you can clean your car by yourself. Of course, when it comes to manually cleaning your car, the best approach is to use a pressure washer. Power washing is much easier compared to hand washing or using a hose pipe. It also consumes less water and provides better results. If you’re not familiar with power washing, you can check Simpson power washing buyers guide online.

Have all important equipment and tools inside your car

To avoid any hassle or problem, ensure that you have everything that you think you will need in “just in case times” inside your vehicle. These things include updated map, cellular phones, spare tires, emergency kits, basic tool kit, flashlight, electric tape, some fuses, blanket, and a GPS.

Elephant Grass: An Overview

Elephant Grass has a more commonly known name which is ‘Napier grass, and ‘Uganda grass’. The genus type is called Pennistum. It is under the purpureum species. It is the leaves used for animal fodder. This grass originates from Africa way back in 1913. It is a tall grass. It can grow up to as much as 10 feet in dense clumps. In Africa, it is mostly found in savannas. It grows along the rivers and lake beds where the soil is rich. In this country, the farmers cut this grass to give their animals. They bring it home putting in big piles on carts or simply carry it in their backs.

The color of the stem is purple or yellowish. It is hairy and coarse. It measures about an inch thick near its base. Its leaf is about two to three feet long. It has pointed edges at around an inch wide. The leaf edge is as sharp as a razor. Hence, it is good to be careful in picking and handling it. This is one reason why the elephantgrass is quite impenetrable. There also many species of birds that made home in the strands of the grass.

The seed heads of the elephant grass is dense and measures at around 9 inches tufted plumes. Usually it is colored purple or tawny. It reproduces sexually yet the seeds are small and it does not sprout properly. Mainly, the reproduction of the grass is by way of the root like stems from the underground called rhizomes. It produces the roots from below and also sends the shoots up to the surface.

elephant-grass Africa

In Florida, the elephant grass is quite invasive. This is why, it has a tendency to clog the natural waterways which required periodical clearing. It was introduced in this state as a scavenge crop. The grass can live well on a tropical weather. It is killed quickly by a light frost. If the soil does not freeze, the parts in the underground can stay alive. The grass is known as napier grass in this state. The Pennisetum has over 100 species. There are some that are cultured for grain. More information can be found at http://plants.ifas.ufl.edu/node/320

Aside from Africa where the grass originates and in Florida where it can also be seen, the elephant grass is also common in India. It is specifically seen in Assam Wildlife Sanctuaries and Parks. One park where it can be located is at Kaziranga National Park. This park is in the center of Assam. It covers an area of around 430 sq kms. It is consisting of craggy reeds and dense forest. It has spike of cylindrical flower at the top of the stem and also has a couple of long bristles. Because the grass grows long, it is a good ground for the country’s one horned Rhinoceros. It is internationally called Great Indian One Horned Rhinoceros. It is the park’s main attraction for tourists. Aside from such, there are also other great attractions that can be found such as elephants, buffaloes, fishing eagle and a lot more.