• Most Topular Stories

  • Pillars of reform

    Nature - Issue - science feeds
    28 Oct 2014 | 5:00 pm
    Pillars of reform Nature 514, 7524 (2014). doi:10.1038/514535a The Chinese government’s planned overhaul of its core research-funding system is vital if the country is to achieve its potential on the global scientific stage.
  • Fungus from Asia threatens European salamanders

    NatureNews - Most recent articles - science feeds
    Emma Marris
    29 Oct 2014 | 5:00 pm
    North American salamanders and newts are safe for now, but epidemic could spread through pet trade.Nature News doi: 10.1038/nature.2014.16249
  • A Sloth Named Velcro: Citizen Sloth Patrol to the Rescue

    28 Oct 2014 | 2:17 pm
    (View full post to see video) Christy Fromel, a member of the loosely organized “Citizen Sloth Patrol”, searches for sloths on a road not far from the Panama Canal. The concerned citizens who make up the patrol rescue sloths crossing dangerous roads in search of a new home.
  • New frog discovered inhabiting I-95 corridor from Connecticut to North Carolina

    Nature News -- ScienceDaily
    29 Oct 2014 | 11:54 am
    More than a half century after claims that a new frog species existed in New York and New Jersey were dismissed, a team of scientists has proven that the frog is living in wetlands from Connecticut to North Carolina and are naming it after the ecologist who first noticed it.
  • Is pharmaceutical contamination to blame for amphibian population declining 75% in 40 years?
    29 Oct 2014 | 11:00 pm
    (NaturalNews) It seems that the world is finally waking up to the consequences of pharmaceutical pollution, a phenomenon that's single-handedly shaping our planet into an unnatural environment with grotesque repercussions.Low-level yet active concentrations of pharmaceuticals...
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    Nature - Issue - science feeds

  • Pillars of reform

    28 Oct 2014 | 5:00 pm
    Pillars of reform Nature 514, 7524 (2014). doi:10.1038/514535a The Chinese government’s planned overhaul of its core research-funding system is vital if the country is to achieve its potential on the global scientific stage.
  • Call to action

    28 Oct 2014 | 5:00 pm
    Call to action Nature 514, 7524 (2014). doi:10.1038/514535b Time to ramp up science’s contribution to controlling the Ebola outbreak.
  • Code share

    28 Oct 2014 | 5:00 pm
    Code share Nature 514, 7524 (2014). doi:10.1038/514536a Papers in Nature journals should make computer code accessible where possible.
  • Developed nations must not fear sending Ebola help

    Tim Inglis
    28 Oct 2014 | 5:00 pm
    Developed nations must not fear sending Ebola help Nature 514, 7524 (2014). Author: Tim Inglis The anxiety and stigma associated with Ebola are hampering Australia's willingness and ability to help with the control efforts in Africa, argues Tim Inglis.
  • Evolution: Lizards adapt quickly to invaders

    28 Oct 2014 | 5:00 pm
    Evolution: Lizards adapt quickly to invaders Nature 514, 7524 (2014). doi:10.1038/514538a Lizards in Florida have rapidly evolved traits that make them better tree-climbers, probably in response to an invasive competitor.Cuban brown anole lizards (Anolis sagrei) have spread over the past few decades across the southeastern United States, where they compete for territory and
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  • A Sloth Named Velcro: Citizen Sloth Patrol to the Rescue

    28 Oct 2014 | 2:17 pm
    (View full post to see video) Christy Fromel, a member of the loosely organized “Citizen Sloth Patrol”, searches for sloths on a road not far from the Panama Canal. The concerned citizens who make up the patrol rescue sloths crossing dangerous roads in search of a new home.
  • A Sloth Named Velcro: About

    24 Oct 2014 | 9:55 am
    (View full post to see video) In 2000 in the jungles of Panama, a young journalist, named Ana, has a chance encounter with a tiny orphaned sloth, which she names Velcro. For nearly two years, the pair is inseparable until finally Ana travels up a remote river to reintroduce Velcro back to the wild. This is the story Ana’s return to Central and South America to see how much has changed since Velcro came into her life. Sloths, once largely ignored, have become a hot topic of scientific researchers. New studies are showing that they’re not so sloth-like after all, that they have…
  • A Sloth Named Velcro: Baby Pygmy Sloth Clings to Mom

    20 Oct 2014 | 1:44 pm
    (View full post to see video) Journalist Ana Salceda searches for pygmy three-toed sloths (Bradypus pygmaeus) on Isla Escudo de Veraguas, a small island off the coast of Panama. What she finds exceeds her expectations–a sloth mother with a baby in tow. “A Sloth Named Velcro” premieres Wednesday, November 5, 2014 at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT on PBS. Check your local listings.
  • Animal Misfits: Animal Misfit Yearbook Photos

    16 Oct 2014 | 9:56 am
    Have you ever felt awkward? Like you just didn’t fit in with the group? You’re not alone. There are certain species of animals that seem like oddballs compared to the rest of the family. For example, the giant panda is the only bear that subsists solely on plants. The stalk-eyed fly has eyes spaced impossibly far apart. Many lizards eat ants, but the minute leaf chameleon isn’t much bigger than one. In the images below, we reimagine these unlikely creatures as students in a school of “normal” animals. In reality, these animal oddballs are exquisitely adapted to…
  • Animal Misfits: Full Episode

    16 Oct 2014 | 7:38 am
    (View full post to see video) Life on earth is incredibly diverse, but it’s not always what you might expect. Alongside the fastest, strongest, smartest animals are nature’s misfits. These odd, bizarre and unlikely creatures at first glance seem-ill equipped for survival. Left at the starting line in the race for life, these are the apparent losers in the story of evolution, yet somehow they still manage to cling to life and in some cases even thrive. Animal Misfits reveals some surprising details about how evolution really works, demonstrating that all animals are remarkably well-adapted…
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    Nature News -- ScienceDaily

  • New frog discovered inhabiting I-95 corridor from Connecticut to North Carolina

    29 Oct 2014 | 11:54 am
    More than a half century after claims that a new frog species existed in New York and New Jersey were dismissed, a team of scientists has proven that the frog is living in wetlands from Connecticut to North Carolina and are naming it after the ecologist who first noticed it.
  • Giant tortoises gain a foothold on a Galapagos island

    28 Oct 2014 | 11:54 am
    A population of endangered giant tortoises has recovered on the Galapagos island of Española, a finding described as “a true story of success and hope in conservation.”
  • DNA sequences used to look back in time at key events in plant evolution

    28 Oct 2014 | 9:26 am
    Scientists have revealed important details about key transitions in the evolution of plant life on our planet. From strange and exotic algae, mosses, ferns, trees and flowers growing deep in steamy rainforests to the grains and vegetables we eat and the ornamental plants adorning our homes, all plant life on Earth shares over a billion years of history.
  • Rare bush frog breeds in bamboo, researchers discover

    28 Oct 2014 | 7:12 am
    Researchers have discovered a new reproductive mode in frogs and toads -- breeding and laying direct developing eggs in live bamboo with narrow openings -- which was observed in the white spotted bush frog (Raorchestes chalazodes). This critically endangered frog is currently only one of two species known to adopt this novel reproductive strategy.
  • Variation in antibiotic bacteria in tropical forest soils may play a role in diversity

    28 Oct 2014 | 5:26 am
    Variation in antibiotic-producing microbes in tropical forest soils has been discovered by scientists, who not that this research represents a step toward better understanding of the role they play in diversity.
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  • Works In Progress

    Susan Albert
    5 Oct 2014 | 8:30 am
    My current needlepoint work-in-progress: I'm starting on the borders now. I like it when I get to this stage, because...
  • A Wilder Rose Ebook

    Susan Albert
    30 Sep 2014 | 5:32 am
    If you don't have your copy of the original ebook edition of A Wilder Rose yet, now's the time to...
  • "Light of My Life": ER to Hick

    Susan Albert
    19 Sep 2014 | 9:08 am
    I was delighted last night to see that Ken Burns paid attention to Lorena Hickok in the fifth episode of...
  • Rose Wilder Lane in Texas

    Susan Albert
    7 Sep 2014 | 6:20 am
    In the autumn of 1940, Rose Wilder Lane and her young friends, Norma Lee Browning and Norma Lee’s husband, Russell...
  • A Wilder Rose Gets a Do-Over

    Susan Albert
    24 Aug 2014 | 7:54 am
    As I reported last week, Lake Union Publishing will be bringing out my novel, A Wilder Rose, in February 2015....
  • add this feed to my.Alltop - Nature changes along with us

  • Robot Cheetah Now Runs Free

    Alessia Andreotti
    30 Oct 2014 | 7:45 am
    After the bionic kangaroo, penguin and seagull, the last mechanical invention inspired by nature is the robot cheetah. Researchers at MIT created a robo-feline able to run and bound while completely untethered. A further step towards natural movement in robotics. “Our robot can be silent and as efficient as animals. The only things you hear are the feet hitting the ground” says MIT’s researcher Sangbae Kim. This particular model, which weighs just as much as a real cheetah, can reach speeds of up to 16 kilometers per hour in the lab. The MIT researchers estimate that their current…
  • Domestication as a Last Refuge
    29 Oct 2014 | 7:38 am
    Domestication of flora and fauna is a concept that humans have been using to control nature in our advantage already since 33000 BC. A nowadays example are ‘house plants’ which have gone through generations of selective breeding to eventually give the best flowers, in extraordinary colours and unexpected shapes. A usual by-product of domestication is the creation of a dependency in the domesticated organisms, so that they lose their ability to live in the wild. From an animal and plants perspective this could be considered as a deprivation of their right to freedom. Human interventions in…
  • Waves Are Everywhere

    Van Mensvoort
    28 Oct 2014 | 7:40 am
    Waveforms are found in the biosphere and the technosphere alike. Peculiar image of the week via toneden.
  • Professions Of The Future

    Francesca Barchiesi
    27 Oct 2014 | 8:00 am
    As technology evolves, what today seems science fiction may become the job market of tomorrow. Experts predict that 60% of employments in the next 10 years haven’t even been invented yet. Based on social, technological, economic, and environmental changes occurring today, companies such as Canadian Scholarship Trust Plan (CST) and Sparks & Honey recently conceptualized a series of jobs they think are going to be created or become common in the future. Rewilder, nostalgist, digital death manager, shown below a selection of 11 new professions that you may practice one day. 1.
  • Growing the Future of Meat

    Christina Agapakis
    26 Oct 2014 | 2:54 am
    Biology grows. In petri dishes or bodies, cells grow and multiply, self-regulating and self-repairing. By taking advantage of the power of biological growth, a single stem cell can theoretically be nurtured to grow indefinitely. Outside of the limits imposed by the edges of an animal’s body, the cells can reproduce and multiply until they exhaust the nutrients and space provided, filling petri dishes and vats to grow the future of meat. By CHRISTINA AGAPAKIS - From The In Vitro Meat Cookbook Today’s industry focuses on controlling rather than accommodating growth Food grows in…
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    Birding Dude

  • Macro Monday

    27 Oct 2014 | 8:43 am
    Today's candidate for Macro Monday is one of the toughest yet that I have encountered, as I could not determine if this was a flower fly of the Syrphus sp. or Eupeodes. I am going with "possible" Syrphus which has several species in North America. They are not only pollinators although not as good as bees since they are almost hairless to carry pollen but they are a Gardner's friend since they feed on aphids when in larvae form. Tags: Macro Monday
  • Worldless Wednesday

    22 Oct 2014 | 8:24 am
    Tags: Wordless Wednesday
  • Macro Monday

    13 Oct 2014 | 7:30 pm
    Another Hover Fly species, Eristalis dimidiata a male, photographed at Idlewild Preserve Queens, NY on October 6, 2014.Tags: Macro Monday
  • The Big Sit Backyard Style

    12 Oct 2014 | 7:21 pm
    Circumstances, forced me to stay local today but instead of bemoaning my misfortune at not being able to bird wherever I wanted to, I turned it into a "Big Sit" day, right in my backyard. It was perfect timing since this weekend was slotted for Big Sit events across the country. I had thought about doing one but it did not cross my mind to do it from my yard. As it happened, I quite enjoyed myself.Adult Bald Eagle is not your everyday backyard sight. How many other good birds do I miss?For those of you who are not familiar with the term "The Big Sit", it is an annual, international,…
  • A Cooperative Connecticut in Queens

    10 Oct 2014 | 9:33 pm
    Warbler that is and some cooperative bird it was giving all who were lucky to be there, unbelievable views. With a reputation as a skulker and a most sought after bird in our area it was quite the treat for a few of us with some people even claiming it as a life bird after 20 + years of birding.Nashville WarblerIt unfolded sometime mid morning on October 3rd. I was not in the field when I picked up a message from Danny Melore who could not contain his excitement in relaying that it was "birdy" at Strack Pond in Forest Park Queens, NY. I was intrigued because I had heard from Danny just a few…
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    Jim Brandenburg

  • Pic of the Week (October 24, 2014): Frosty Sedge Meadow, Day 40 "Chased By The Light"

    24 Oct 2014 | 4:30 am
    "The elegantly frosted sedge meadow takes center stage here, but waiting in the background are the golden tamaracks. Tamaracks are deciduous conifers. After their soft green feathery needles emerge in the spring, they spend the summer blending with the rest of the forest. It's only after the maples, birch and aspen have put on their show that the tamaracks take their turn to shine, gracing us with their glorious golden needles. They are the last hurrah of autumn."~ DianeRavenwood StudiosBrandenburg GalleryPic of the Week (October 24, 2014): Frosty Sedge Meadow, Day 40 "Chased By The…
  • Pic of the Week (October 17, 2014): NW685, Autumn Impressionism

    17 Oct 2014 | 6:18 am
    "Impressionism is related to daydreaming, and even a camera with an eye lapsing to slur vision. Daydreamers see the world this way, restful somehow, while still taking in motion. This golden time of autumn, melancholy for the last color on its way, rustles the mind."~ MilliRavenwood StudiosBrandenburg GalleryPic of the Week (October 17, 2014): NW685, Autumn ImpressionismPic of the Week features the images of Jim Brandenburg, as selected weekly by his staff. With each selection, we hope to highlight the depth, breadth, and splendor of his work. Pic of the Week Special PricingPurchase…
  • Pic of the Week: AK140, Denali Broad Valley

    10 Oct 2014 | 12:23 pm
    I had not really noticed this photograph until we were selecting some to be framed on canvas for display in the gallery. I randomly pulled this up and I thought "My heavens…why did I not see this before." It is in the gallery now, on canvas, and it is stunning. ~ MarciaRavenwood StudiosBrandenburg GalleryPic of the Week (October 10, 2014): AK140, Denali Broad ValleyPic of the Week features the images of Jim Brandenburg, as selected weekly by his staff. With each selection, we hope to highlight the depth, breadth, and splendor of his work. Pic of the Week Special…
  • Pic of the Week (October 3, 2014): IM20 Sheep at Lake Ocheda

    3 Oct 2014 | 9:38 am
    The LikenessWhen I came forth this morn I sawQuite twenty cloudlets in the air;And then I saw a flock of sheep,Which told me how these clouds came there.That flock of sheep, on that green grass,Well might it lie so still and proud!Its likeness had been drawn in heaven,On a blue sky, in silvery cloud.I gazed me up, I gazed me down,And swore, though good the likeness was,’Twas a long way from justice doneTo such white wool, such sparkling grass.W. H. Davies~ DianeRavenwood StudiosBrandenburg GalleryPic of the Week (October 3, 2014): IM20 Sheep at Lake OchedaPic of the Week features the images…
  • Pic of the Week: Sunlit Prairie Meadow - France

    26 Sep 2014 | 11:29 am
    "The calming effect of nature is always the best antidote. Here are subtle variations on a theme of light, shifting and swaying with the grasses, beneath an ocean of sky."~ MilliRavenwood StudiosBrandenburg GalleryPic of the Week (September 26, 2014): FR181 Sunlit Prairie Meadow - FrancePic of the Week features the images of Jim Brandenburg, as selected weekly by his staff. With each selection, we hope to highlight the depth, breadth, and splendor of his work. Pic of the Week Special PricingPurchase this week's Pic (print, matted, or framed - 8x12" or larger) and receive 30% off during…
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    The Ohio Nature Blog

  • Natural Play Area - Highbanks Metropark

    26 Oct 2014 | 5:53 pm
    We had fun!  Thank you Columbus Metroparks for creating fun and free places for families to explore.-Tom
  • The Crooked River, Maine

    19 Oct 2014 | 12:29 pm
    Not only does Otisfield Maine have Little Pond, which is the place where I spend most of my photographic time in Maine, but the Crooked River also traverses the town.  At just about a mile down the road, it's a fairly short trip from our typical base of operations there.  This past July, I spent my last few hours wading in the river, which eventually empties into Sebago Lake.  This river even supports a population of the landlocked salmon.After tromping around here for a few hours, including the undergrowth along the edges, I jumped in a car and headed to the airport.
  • Morning at Little Pond Comes Early

    14 Sep 2014 | 5:43 pm
    Let me stress that it's just not early, it's REALLY early.  Sunrise in June occurs as early as 4:58 a.m. To get up to capture the pre-sunrise light, I had to set an alarm for 4:30.  That's pretty darn early for a vacation, but I did wake one morning that early.  Unfortunately, it was cloudy, and the light was flat and gray.  After looking through all my photographs I have taken at Little Pond, I noticed a gaping hole- I had hardly any photos taken in the morning on the pond.  I remedied that with this photo, one of my favorites from this summer.
  • New Series- Summer at Little Pond

    13 Sep 2014 | 6:11 pm
    This summer, we had the opportunity to travel to Little Pond Maine, Megan's parents' home in the woods, twice.  The first trip happened in early June, in time to catch the pink lady slippers in full bloom.  We went back about five weeks later to celebrate Megan's birthday with her three brothers. We also had the opportunity to meet nephew and cousin Duncan for the first time, who traveled with his parents from Denver.I had plenty of time to explore the pond and the woods surrounding it.  Over the next two weeks or so I'll share some of my favorite images from this summer. One…
  • Brody and his Pumpkin

    8 Sep 2014 | 5:11 pm
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    Farmgirl Fare

  • Green Tomato Salsa Relish Recipe: No Sugar, Super Simple, Totally Delicious!

    Farmgirl Susan
    27 Oct 2014 | 8:30 am
    Wondering what to do with green tomatoes? Try my no sugar, super simple, salsa-like green tomato relish. No blanching, peeling, or canning (unless you want to) required.We've already had a couple of light frosts this year, but from the hot and humid weather we've been having lately you'd never guess it was the end of October in Missouri. By the end of the week they're saying it'll dip back down to 30 degrees F, though, and I think I'm ready to focus on the kale and other cool weather greens and finally call an end to tomato season in my kitchen garden.It's become…
  • Recipe: Italian Countryside Raw Tomato Pasta Sauce and a Tomato Growing Report

    Farmgirl Susan
    23 Sep 2014 | 2:45 pm
    This simple and flavorful fresh tomato pasta sauce with basil, capers, and olives lets you escape to the Italian countryside for an end of tomato season celebration (recipe here).Autumn already? Yes, please. The leaves have started to turn here in Missouri, and the oppressive heat and energy-sucking humidity of summer are history (I think). But just because we've already had a few nights down in the low 40s doesn't mean I'm giving up on the heirloom tomatoes and basil in my kitchen garden just yet.As usual, I was late getting most of my tomato plants into the ground this spring, although I…
  • Recipe: Easy Homemade Vegetable Tomato Juice (like V8 Juice, but better)

    Farmgirl Susan
    23 Aug 2014 | 1:31 pm
    Bye bye, V8 juice! This healthy, homemade V4 version will blow you away (recipe here).Wow, it's hot out there. Two weeks in the 90s, blazing sun, and not a drop of rain. I think today it's supposed to hit 99 degrees (Joe won't let me look at the forecast) and stay there into next week. Despite twice daily watering, pretty much everything in my kitchen garden is looking haggard and unhappy. I'm drenched in sweat, and the fields are crunchy and parched. How can it be so dry and humid at the same time?The sheep spend their days camped out in the shade, and the chickens are laying around…
  • Summer Recipe: Savory Tomato, Mozzarella, and Basil Pesto Pie with an Easy Cheesy Biscuit Crust

    Farmgirl Susan
    8 Aug 2014 | 9:35 am
    Scared of pie dough? This easy biscuit crust is perfect for beginners (recipe here).It's become an annual tradition to give this longtime favorite recipe from the Farmgirl Fare recipe archives a little summer shout out. My San Marzano tomatoes are finally starting to ripen and the basil plants are growing like mad; I can't wait to make one of these scrumptious pies. Enjoy!Do tomatoes and basil say summer to you? Do you love pesto and savory pies and melted mozzarella cheese? Then you'll want to celebrate the bounty of summer with this Savory Tomato and Basil Pesto Pie.This is one…
  • Recipe: Make Ahead Antipasto Baguette Sandwiches

    Farmgirl Susan
    1 Jul 2014 | 2:42 pm
    These scrumptious sandwiches, piled high with salami, mozzarella, marinated artichoke hearts, and an easy homemade green olivada, combine the flavors of an Italian antipasto platter in a handy, portable form (recipe here).As we head toward the 4th of July weekend, I thought I'd highlight a few favorites from the Farmgirl Fare recipe archives that are perfect for summer picnics, parties, and backyard get togethers. Enjoy!The only thing better than a big homemade sandwich? One that actually improves in flavor if allowed to sit for a while. Convenient and better tasting? That's my kind of…
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    10,000 Birds

  • Where Are You Birding This First Weekend of November 2014?

    30 Oct 2014 | 12:30 pm
    Keep your eyes to the skies for vultures circling for fresh meat. Do you think vultures find zombies confusing? This Friday brings a macabre parade of little monsters to those parts of the world that celebrate Halloween. The following day comes El Dia de los Muertos. Both holidays can be fun, but neither are particularly birdy unless you count sexy Halloween birds. Since I’ve been working weekends, I haven’t had much luck hustling up interesting bird sightings. With hope, this weekend will be different. Corey always uncovers exciting avifauna in Queens, which is where…
  • The Ruddy Shelduck Twitch

    30 Oct 2014 | 4:00 am
    One of those mornings that somehow let the light in, but without a trace of sun. I leave tarmac behind, entering a dirt track with my low clearance hatchback, carefully avoiding the trenches deeply rooted by combine harvesters. Going over the side corrugations, I wonder if they have used the snow groomer to flatten this section of the track? Some 40 km north of Belgrade, Serbia, I am driving to the very end of an oxbow lake with the intention of looking for the Ruddy Shelducks (Tadorna ferruginea) that were found here the day before. I already have a history of searches for this species.
  • Are You Going to the 2015 Space Coast Birding and Wildlife Festival?

    29 Oct 2014 | 12:04 pm
    I certainly can’t wait for 21 January 2015! That will be the opening day of the 18th Annual Space Coast Birding and Wildlife Festival in Titusville, Florida. I had a great time back in 2012 and even more fun in 2014. Who knows what great birds 2015 will bring? Florida is a great place to bird in January because in addition to the year-round species there are a host of birds that winter in the relatively balmy climate that Florida has in winter. That means grassy fields are loaded with sparrows, hummocks are filled with wood-warblers, and wetlands teem with waterfowl. Add to the avifauna…
  • Book Review: Spillover – Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic

    29 Oct 2014 | 4:00 am
    It’s six weeks to the day till I go to Africa, and of late conversations about the subject have taken a reliable and predictable detour. “Aren’t I worried about Ebola?” To which I reply “No, not personally.” I’ll sometimes add “It’s in West Africa, I’ll be in South Africa. My parents are in England, should I be worried about the conflict on the other side of Europe  in the Ukraine?” Ebola is in the news a lot at the moment. It’s become regrettably political in the US right, which is the absolute worst response to a…
  • Sora! Sora! Sora!

    28 Oct 2014 | 10:00 am
    I realize that no one wants to hear about other people’s lists. It can be boring, for sure, but my own birding lately has been pretty much exclusively in service of my home county list, that of Guilford County, North Carolina. As I’ll mention to anyone who cares to listen (and many who don’t), county birding is particularly great for keeping motivated when other aspects of life manage to get in the way of going farther afield. My home county is mostly developed, with various parks, lakes, and fields scattered throughout. The diversity is good, though, and many of the…
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    Restoring The Landscape With Native Plants

  • Beneficial Insect Profile - Lacewings

    24 Oct 2014 | 8:29 am
    Brown lacewing larvaAs the last remaining leaves fall from the trees, I start to think about all the beneficial insects that are seeking shelter under the leaf litter or attached to plant stems for the winter. With leaf blowers dominating the suburban landscape, many gardeners are perhaps not aware that they are eliminating next season's predators and parasitoids when they clean-up their garden in the fall. Eggs, larvae, pupae and adults of beneficial insects are blown or raked up, bagged with the leaves and set out at the curb.In perennial gardens we don't need to be this fastidious. Leaves,…
  • Ground-Nesting Bee Profile ~ Unequal Cellophane Bee, Colletes inaequalis

    22 May 2014 | 9:16 am
    The Unequal Cellophane Bee is typically the earliest Colletes species to emerge in the spring in our area. This spring, I found several aggregations of nests on south-facing slopes at a local park.Females began excavating nests as early as the third week of April (unseasonably cool spring). Other nests not on the exposed slopes were easy to find due to the prairie burn performed the previous fall. Ant nests clustered around the clumps of little bluestem grass, Schizachyrium scoparium in this prairie were dug/sought out by northern flickers in early April. The flickers did not show any…
  • Native Bee Spotlight: Cuckoo Bees ~ Coelioxys spp.

    3 Feb 2014 | 1:35 pm
    Cuckoo Bees ~ Coelioxys spp.A female cuckoo bee, Coelioxys sp. nectars onhairy false goldenaster, Heterotheca villosa in late fallThere are many types of cuckoo bees in North America. In the Coelioxys genus, there are approximately 46 speces. The common name "cuckoo bee" is typically used for any bee species that lays its eggs in the nests of other bees. These bees are known as cleptoparasites, where the cuckoo bee larvae kill the host larvae and feed on the provisions (pollen and nectar) provided by the host bee.Coelioxys cuckoo bees are common in the summer months; in central Minnesota I…
  • Book Release: Pollinators of Native Plants

    10 Jan 2014 | 6:54 am
    Available March 2014Book Website: www.pollinatorsnativeplants.comAttract and Support Pollinators with Native Plants•  Over 65 perennial native plants of the Midwest, Great Lakes region, Northeast and southern Canada profiled•  Pollinators, beneficial insects and flower visitors featured that the native plants attract•  1600+ photos of native plants, pollinators and beneficial insects•  Attract, observe and identify pollinators on native plants•  Informational chapters on pollination, types of pollinators and beneficial insects, pollinator habitat and…
  • Predator Profile ~ Grass Carrying Wasps, Isodontia spp.

    12 Dec 2013 | 8:15 am
    Grass-Carrying Wasps ~ Isodontia spp. There are a number of ways to attract beneficial insects to your landscape. Planting a diversity of native plants is an easy, win-win solution. Not only do the plants attract many types of beneficial insects including solitary wasps, but they help support a functioning, complex ecosystem.One of the most interesting solitary wasps in my landscape is the grass carrying wasp. Several years ago I purchased a bell-shaped wire frame. I filled the openings with hollow stems from native perennials in my yard to see what types of solitary bees would use…
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    Steve Creek Outdoors

  • Listening To Katydids

    Steve Creek
    20 Oct 2014 | 5:42 am
    As most of my followers know by now, I have a cabin near the Ouachita National Forest and I am spending all my time at this place. It will take me a long time to explore this area and it has been amazing so far. One of the first amazing things I have encountered is that all I hear are the sounds of wildlife like the Katydids. I will be a little slow at updating this blog and responding to emails for a little while longer. I have plans to get internet at my cabin but I can’t quit exploring long enough to get it setup. A Katydid The post Listening To Katydids appeared first on Steve Creek…
  • Lots Of Acorns And Persimmons

    Steve Creek
    2 Oct 2014 | 1:36 am
    I am seeing lots of acorns and persimmons this year in Arkansas. I have an acorn tree in my yard that has produced acorns for the first time. As I hike through the forest, I am seeing acorns on the ground and I am hearing them falling. The persimmons seem to also be doing good. The wildlife should be enjoying this. A Few Acorns A couple of Persimmons Wildlife which eat acorns as an important part of their diets include birds, such as jays, pigeons, some ducks, and several species of woodpeckers. Small mammals that feed on acorns include mice, squirrels and several other rodents. Large mammals…
  • Lots Of Walking Stick Insects

    Steve Creek
    1 Oct 2014 | 7:47 am
    I have been seeing lots of Walking Sticks around my new place here in Arkansas and they are very large. I didn’t realize that they are considered injurious to forest and shade trees until I started researching them. The walking stick is a significant problem in parks and recreation sites where it consumes the foliage of oaks and other hardwoods. Severe outbreaks of the walkingstick, Diapheromera femorata, have occurred in the Ouachita Mountains of Arkansas and Oklahoma. The insects eat the entire leaf blade. In the event of heavy outbreaks, entire stands of trees can be completely…
  • Arkansas Quartz Crystals

    Steve Creek
    30 Sep 2014 | 3:23 am
    The area of the Ouachita National Forest that I have been exploring is known for having the best quality quartz in the world. These crystals of the Ouachita were believed to have sacred and spiritual significance. In 1967, the General Assembly adopted the quartz crystal as the Arkansas State Mineral. (Arkansas) The Ouachita National Forest is also open to miners who have permission from the Forest Service to mine commercially using hand tools, as well as “rockhounds” who pick up small amounts of quartz from the surface of the land for personal use. Approximately 5,000 people visit this…
  • One Eyed Green Heron Catching Fish

    Steve Creek
    23 Sep 2014 | 3:04 am
    I was walking the shores of North Fork Lake in the Ouachita National Forest here in Arkansas when I spotted this Green Heron catching fish. The Heron was so well hidden that I was close to it before I saw it. I was surprise that it allowed me to get that close until I noticed that it had a bad eye and couldn’t see me. It didn’t seem to be having any problems catching fish and it caught several while I photographed it. A Green Heron With Bad Eye A Green Heron With A Fish The post One Eyed Green Heron Catching Fish appeared first on Steve Creek Outdoors.
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    Conservation Jobs

  • Vulture Recovery

    Alex Taylor
    29 Oct 2014 | 7:51 am
    As recently as the 1980s, vulture populations across Asia were abundant. The Oriental white-backed vulture was so common in India it was probably the most abundant bird of prey in the world. But then vultures began dying all across India and in neighbouring Pakistan and Nepal. Three species of South Asian vultures faced extinction, and […]
  • Aliens in the Med

    Alex Taylor
    22 Oct 2014 | 2:23 am
    The Mediterranean is a tourist hotspot, with millions of people visiting every year. It is also a hotspot for marine biodiversity and home to over 17,000 species – 20% of which occur nowhere else. But in recent years, aliens have invaded the Mediterranean, and are disrupting the ecosystem’s delicate balance. A multinational team researchers from […]
  • Corncrakes Rising

    Alex Taylor
    20 Oct 2014 | 1:06 am
    One of Scotland’s most elusive and endangered breeding birds has had its best breeding season for at least 45 years. The corncrake winters in Africa but breeds in Scotland, hidden in tall vegetation where they can safely raise their chicks. They are so well hidden that a recent RSPB survey counted them not by sight, […]
  • World Wildlife Populations Fallen by Half

    Alex Taylor
    9 Oct 2014 | 1:43 am
    A new report by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) has produced results that it says are “not for the faint-hearted.” It revealed that wildlife species all around the world are continuing to decline rapidly. The Living Planet Report 2014 examined 10,000 different populations of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians […]
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    Quality Parks Master Naturalists News

  • Long Island Pine Barrens & Surrounds Confront Destructive Southern Pine Beetles

    29 Oct 2014 | 4:03 am
    Doesn't the photograph below look familiar to all you hikers? Is there a look alike out there, or are we mistaken? But recent finding suggest Sept 2014 invasion into the Long Island Pine Barrens and surrounds. See Oct 28, 2014 NY Times article.  Also check out at the NYSDEC page - Southern Pine Beetle. Several agencies will be working on a Response Plan. Stay tuned for an update.We've  also found an early Jan, 2014 article from which we credit the photograph to: Southern Pine Beetle and early Jan, 2014 article: Rising Temperatures Permit Expansion of Southern Pine Beetle into…
  • What is a Naturalist Anyway? What is the Master Naturalist Program about?

    27 Oct 2014 | 6:36 pm
     A naturalist is a person who studies both the things and processes that occur in the environment.  As a graduate (and continuing student) I can tell you that the Quality Parks Master Naturalist Program is about that ... and FUN!Just take a look...We go out in the field and learn about what we find, like mushrooms!  Spore printing is one way to identify types of mushrooms (and can be viewed as art too).We go on fun trips, like canoeing...This is photo is of a canoe trip on the Carmans River.  We learned that a fish ladder has been installed there and…
  • Transmission Corridors Benefit Wildlife: NYPA receives Right of Way Certification

    26 Oct 2014 | 9:20 am
    As Quality Parks President, one of Mindy's Home Parks is Brookhaven State Park. With a major utility right of way running through Brookhaven State Park, she spotted this article and wanted to share it with you all. She also learned that the New York Power Authority (NYPA) is partnering with a conservation organization to be greener in their management of their right of ways.Latest News"... wildlife biologists proposing that properly managed transmission lines, and even natural gas and oil pipeline rights-of-way, could be the last best hope for many birds, pollinators, and other species that…
  • Connetquot State Park - Fish Hatchery - Reopens

    23 Oct 2014 | 1:54 pm
    October 2014Since the posting of this story we just learned that the Hatchery will be reopened. - "Albany, NY - Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that the Connetquot River State Park Preserve hatchery will reopen next year, helping to reinvigorate the rich trout fishing tradition on Long Island’s Connetquot River. The Environmental Protection Fund will pay for $150,000 in upgrades to the historic hatchery, which will begin this winter."}August 2013The Connetquot River fish hatchery opened in 1884 and in the recent past it supplied fish to the Connetquot and Nissequogue rivers,…
  • Informational Slide Presentation

    23 Oct 2014 | 4:29 am
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    Birding Pictures

  • Forster’s Tern

    Lauren Shaffer
    29 Oct 2014 | 7:00 pm
    The Forster’s Tern is a beauty, unique among the terns in winter with its black eye patch rather than a cap or crown. It’s also the only tern which lives almost entirely in North America. On a recent visit to Cape May, NJ, we came upon these beautiful birds vying for a spot on the railing of a dock. Forester’s Terns feed on fish, small crustaceans, frogs, and mollusks. They often hover before plunge-diving into the water after prey. In the East they prefer salt water marshes, and in the West they inhabit mainly fresh water marshes. Winter is spent along the coast south of…
  • Lincoln’s Sparrow

    Lauren Shaffer
    16 Oct 2014 | 6:43 pm
    Lincoln’s sparrows are always a treat to see in fall migration in Pennsylvania.  Their finely streaked sides and breast, along with their buffy malar stripe and upper breast, an eye ring, and white throat and belly all combine to make for one handsome bird. s This fall I discovered some wonderful habitat for migrating sparrows and warblers.  At the bottom of a private lane of a neighbor, where field, prairie (shrubby grassland), and deep woods converge; dozens, if not hundreds of mostly sparrows are often found in the grasses, multiflora rose, and autumn olive. Towhees, Mockingbirds,…
  • Great Blue Heron Juvenile

    Lauren Shaffer
    8 Oct 2014 | 11:24 am
    All About Birds states: Whether poised at a river bend or cruising the coastline with slow, deep wingbeats, the Great Blue Heron is a majestic sight. This stately heron with its subtle blue-gray plumage often stands motionless as it scans for prey or wades belly deep with long, deliberate steps. They may move slowly, but Great Blue Herons can strike like lightning to grab a fish or snap up a gopher. In flight, look for this widespread heron’s tucked-in neck and long legs trailing out behind. Juvenile Great Blue Herons are medium-gray like the adult, but have two-toned bills and a streaked…
  • Great Egret, Bathing Beauty

    Lauren Shaffer
    29 Sep 2014 | 6:41 pm
    All birds bathe in order to maintain their plumage, but when a Great Egret takes a bath, it makes a big splash!  While kayaking this week at Montour Preserve, I noticed a Great Egret at the far end of the lake.  Keeping the sun behind me, I paddled up to a respectable distance from the bird and let the boat slowly drift towards the shore.  He deftly plucked one small fish after another from the shallows, and after downing at least 8 fish, he began to bathe. Down went his head and up went the waves of water! Vigorously he submerged himself and raised his wings till the water rolled off his…
  • Olive-sided Flycatcher

    Lauren Shaffer
    29 Aug 2014 | 9:54 am
    The Olive-sided Flycatcher is a very conspicuous bird when it makes its appearance during migration, choosing the top of a snag, or in this case, a telephone pole wire on which to perch.  Except for the Great Crested Flycatcher it’s the largest flycatcher in our region, and is identified by its dark vest, white throat, large thick bill, and sometimes-visible white spots on either side of the rump. These white tufts stood out to me as I slowly drove down the road looking for warblers.  There is only one bird like that!  I quickly pulled over and watched it catch its breakfast for…
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    28 Oct 2014 | 4:18 am
    The word Annelida was first coined by Lamarck. This phylum includes elongated worm like earthworms, nereis leeches etc. They show segmented body.The annelids are distributed all over the world. Nearly 7,000 species are known today. The smallest annelid is Chetogasfer which measures 1 mm in length while the largest annelid is Megascolides australis which measures about 1l feet in length. Many of the annelids are marine but some are terrestrial. 1. The body is elongated and bilaterally symmetrical. Cephaiization is seen. They show metameric segmentation. 2. The body shows segments or metameres,…

    27 Oct 2014 | 9:13 pm
    REPRODUCTIVE SYSTEM Hirudinaria is a bisexual annelid. The same animal includes both male and female reproductive systems. a) Male reproductive system: Male reproductive system con­tains the following parts. 1) Testis sacs '11' pairs of testis sacs are present in 12 to 22 segments, One pair in each segment of leech. They are present on either side of ventral nerve cord below the alimentary canal. These are coelomic cavities filled with coelomic fluid. This fluid contains amoeboid cells. From the walls of testis sac sperm-mother cells are formed. Vas efferens : From each testis a small vas…

    15 Oct 2014 | 12:42 am
    The nervous system of Leech is basically annelidan but it shows advancement over the other annelids. It shows central, peripheral and autonomic nervous systems. 1. Central nervous system: It is enclosed in the venteral haemocoebmic canal. It shows. i) Cerebral ganglia and nerve ring ii)Nerve cord iii) Terminal ganglionic mass The ganglia are made by nerve cells. i) Cerebral ganglia and nerve ring: On the pharynx in the fifth segment a pair of cerebral of supra' pharyngeal ganglia are present. They are fused. It is called brain. Below the pharynx in the fifth segment sub-pharyngeal ganglionic…

    4 Oct 2014 | 10:26 pm
    The Haemocoelomic system con­tains. 1) Four longitudinal haemocoelomic channels. 2) Segmental branches. 3) Capillaries. 4) Haemocoelomic fluid. 1. Longitudinal Haemocoelomic Channels : Out of four one is dorsal, one is ventral and two are lateral in position. i) Dorsal canal: It lies above the alimentary canal and extends the entire length. ' a) It is a distributing channel. In each segment it gives two pairs of dorso laterals from its ventral side. They break into capillaries in the dorsal body wall. b) It gives dorso-intestinals to the alimentary canal all along its length. c) In the…

    1 Oct 2014 | 4:44 pm
     In HIRUDINARIA the excretory system includes 17 pairs of Nephridia. They are arranged in 6th to 22nd segments, one pair in each segment. In these 17 pairs the first six pairs will not show contact with testis. They are called pre-testicular nephridia. The next 11 pairs of nephridia will show contact with testis, hence they are called testicular nephridia. Structure of Testicular Nephridium: Each nephridium contains six regions. 1) Main lobe 2) Vesicle 3) Apical lobe 4) Inner lobe 5) Initial lobe 6) Ciliated organ.   1) Main lobe: It is the bigger part of the nephridium. It is…
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