Nature

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  • Seven days: 11–17 April 2014

    Nature - Issue - nature.com science feeds
    15 Apr 2014 | 5:00 pm
    Seven days: 11–17 April 2014 Nature 508, 7496 (2014). http://www.nature.com/doifinder/10.1038/508292a The week in science: Japan reapproves use of nuclear power, second sighting of an exotic tetraquark, and biotech stocks plunge.
  • Mechanism behind mega-heatwaves pinpointed

    NatureNews - Most recent articles - nature.com science feeds
    Hannah Hoag
    19 Apr 2014 | 5:00 pm
    Two recent record hot spells traced to feedback loop between dry soils and trapped air.Nature News doi: 10.1038/nature.2014.15078
  • Snow Monkeys: Behind The Scenes: Making of Snow Monkeys

    Nature
    chie witt
    18 Apr 2014 | 2:28 pm
    “Snow Monkeys” producer and cinematographer Joe Pontecorvo sought to capture the life of Japanese Macaques deep within the snow-covered mountains of Northern Japan, in a valley named Jigokudani, meaning “Hell Valley.” Pontecorvo and his wife Nimmida Pontecorvo followed an individual snow monkey troop of over 160 members for over a year to truly get to know these fascinating creatures. Go behind the scenes with Nature on PBS to discover how these incredible moments were captured and presented. Snow Monkeys airs Wednesday, April 23 at 8 p.m. (ET) on PBS (check local listings).
  • Kayaking In Elkhorn Slough: Harbor Seal Pupping Season

    [BWV] Blue Water News
    bluewaterkim
    11 Apr 2014 | 8:20 am
            http://www.bluewaterventures.org Harbor Seal pupping season is in full swing at Elkhorn Slough and at other locations along the Central California Coast. When observing harbor seals, please keep your distance and use a telephoto lens. Make every effort to avoid separating moms from pups and never disturb a pup that is alone onshore. The mother harbor seal may be close by and will hopefully reunite with the pup once humans depart the area.   This young pup was actively making a distress cry to locate its mother sounding something like Maaaaaa. Vocalization and…
  • Researchers rethink 'natural' habitat for wildlife

    Nature News -- ScienceDaily
    18 Apr 2014 | 1:14 pm
    Protecting wildlife while feeding a world population predicted to reach nine billion by 2050 will require a holistic approach to conservation that considers human-altered landscapes such as farmland, according to researchers. A new study finds that a long-accepted theory used to estimate extinction rates, predict ecological risk and make conservation policy recommendations is overly pessimistic. The researchers point to an alternative framework that promises a more effective way of accounting for human-altered landscapes and assessing ecological risks.
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    Nature - Issue - nature.com science feeds

  • Seven days: 11–17 April 2014

    15 Apr 2014 | 5:00 pm
    Seven days: 11–17 April 2014 Nature 508, 7496 (2014). http://www.nature.com/doifinder/10.1038/508292a The week in science: Japan reapproves use of nuclear power, second sighting of an exotic tetraquark, and biotech stocks plunge.
  • Materials: Printer squirts out nanotubes

    15 Apr 2014 | 5:00 pm
    Materials: Printer squirts out nanotubes Nature 508, 7496 (2014). doi:10.1038/508291c Inkjet printers can produce thin films of carbon nanotubes for use as electrodes in stretchy electronic circuits.Yongtaek Hong and his colleagues at Seoul National University printed layers of single-walled carbon nanotubes onto a stretchable silicon-based material. The authors found that the electrical properties of
  • Cancer crossroads

    15 Apr 2014 | 5:00 pm
    Cancer crossroads Nature 508, 7496 (2014). doi:10.1038/508287b Efforts to understand cancer genomes should take on a fresh focus.
  • Civil engineering: Seismic 'shield' stops quake shake

    15 Apr 2014 | 5:00 pm
    Civil engineering: Seismic 'shield' stops quake shake Nature 508, 7496 (2014). doi:10.1038/508291a An array of deep holes in the ground seems to lessen shaking in certain locations during a simulated earthquake.Stéphane Brûlé of soil-engineering company Ménard in Nozay, France, and his colleagues drilled a grid of boreholes 5 metres deep into the soil near Grenoble. A
  • Practical nonsense

    15 Apr 2014 | 5:00 pm
    Practical nonsense Nature 508, 7496 (2014). doi:10.1038/508288a Downgrading practical science will impede UK students in the global workplace
 
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    Nature

  • Snow Monkeys: Behind The Scenes: Making of Snow Monkeys

    chie witt
    18 Apr 2014 | 2:28 pm
    “Snow Monkeys” producer and cinematographer Joe Pontecorvo sought to capture the life of Japanese Macaques deep within the snow-covered mountains of Northern Japan, in a valley named Jigokudani, meaning “Hell Valley.” Pontecorvo and his wife Nimmida Pontecorvo followed an individual snow monkey troop of over 160 members for over a year to truly get to know these fascinating creatures. Go behind the scenes with Nature on PBS to discover how these incredible moments were captured and presented. Snow Monkeys airs Wednesday, April 23 at 8 p.m. (ET) on PBS (check local listings).
  • Snow Monkeys: Video: Monkey Babies Start to Explore

    chie witt
    18 Apr 2014 | 12:36 pm
    As winter months fade away, the forest becomes a nursery for this troop of snow monkeys: The newborns are full of energy and curiosity, and are blissfully unaware of dangers or troop politics. Snow Monkeys airs Wednesday, April 23 at 8 p.m. (ET) on PBS (check local listings).
  • Snow Monkeys: Video: Snow Monkeys Grooming

    chie witt
    17 Apr 2014 | 12:22 pm
    The troop that grooms together, stays together: Get to know the social ins and outs of individuals within a 160-member snow monkey troop led by Kuro-san, a young male still new to the job and something of a solitary grouch. Snow Monkeys airs Wednesday, April 23 at 8 p.m. (ET) on PBS (check local listings).
  • Snow Monkeys: Video: Japanese Snow Monkeys Soak in Hot Springs

    chie witt
    16 Apr 2014 | 12:15 pm
    Japan’s Jigokudani became a sensation when hot springs were constructed for the Hell Valley snow monkey troops. The monkeys get important help from the hot springs in the valley, fed by warm volcanic waters, but their survival is a communal effort in a complex society of rank and privilege where each knows their place. Snow Monkeys airs Wednesday, April 23 at 8 p.m. (ET) on PBS (check local listings).
  • Snow Monkeys: Snow Monkeys

    chie witt
    15 Apr 2014 | 3:04 pm
    Follow a troop of snow monkeys in Japan to see how they prepare to face the world. Premieres Wednesday, April 23, on PBS. In the frigid valleys of Japan’s Shiga Highlands, a troop of snow monkeys make their way and raise their families in a complex society of rank and privilege where each knows their place. Their leader is still new to the job and something of a solitary grouch. But one little monkey, innocently unaware of his own lowly social rank, reaches out to this lonely leader, forming a bond with him that manages over time to warm his less than sunny disposition. It is a rare and…
 
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    [BWV] Blue Water News

  • Kayaking In Elkhorn Slough: Harbor Seal Pupping Season

    bluewaterkim
    11 Apr 2014 | 8:20 am
            http://www.bluewaterventures.org Harbor Seal pupping season is in full swing at Elkhorn Slough and at other locations along the Central California Coast. When observing harbor seals, please keep your distance and use a telephoto lens. Make every effort to avoid separating moms from pups and never disturb a pup that is alone onshore. The mother harbor seal may be close by and will hopefully reunite with the pup once humans depart the area.   This young pup was actively making a distress cry to locate its mother sounding something like Maaaaaa. Vocalization and…
  • Tidepooling the California Coast: Sea Anemones

    bluewaterkim
    31 Mar 2014 | 8:26 am
    http://www.bluewaterventures.org Imagine a jellied filled sac, a simple life form that saw the Dinosaurs come and go, flourishing on earth for over 300 million years. You have no brain nor heart or even a proper anus. You have just consumed the soft juicy tissues of a California mussel, dislodged from the grasps of its stringy cementing agent by a powerful wave. The calcareous mussel shell pops out of your mouth that serves as both the beginning and end of your digestive tract. Sea anemones, though a mere bundle of jelly, are formidable predators. They are armored with 1000′s of…
  • Kayaking In Elkhorn Slough: Sea Hare Discovery

    bluewaterkim
    25 Mar 2014 | 5:19 pm
    http://www.bluewaterventures.org Fantastic discovery today while kayaking in the Elkhorn Slough. We found an  enormous  California brown sea hare, Aplysia californica, a type of marine  slug in the phylum mollusca. Enjoying a hermaphroditic life style, this fascinating guy or girl as the case may be emitted a mildly toxic purple dye as I scooped it up and placed  it on  my spray skirt.     Using their raspy tongue or file like structure known as a radula, sea hares scrap into their algae diet which later  aids in the pigmentation of their ink. Why do sea hares as well as their…
  • Mating Manatees of Crystal River

    bluewaterkim
    12 Mar 2014 | 12:28 am
    ) www.bluewaterventures.org Over 25 years ago I saw my first manatee mating event. I was leading a program for the Smithsonian Institute and I will never forget it. Since then, I have snorkeled among an esterous herd, a rambunctious gathering of amorous males in pursuit of a receptive female.  Rarely have I witnessed  the  actual attempt to impregnate  the female. While female manatees reach sexual maturity at 5 years of age, male manatees are later bloomers. Typically they are sexually mature by 8 or 9 years of age though sometimes earlier. This young male who we have named Romeo…
  • Mating Ritual of the Great Blue Heron

    bluewaterkim
    9 Mar 2014 | 8:49 am
    II have spent decades walking this gulf coast beach and have never seen a great blue heron in such a peculiar stance. Well spring has sprung in the southlands and this male great blue is exhibiting a courtship ritual known as a stretch. As it reaches it’s head to the sky, the showy plumage of the neck is displayed revealing its rich red coloration. Throw in an eccentric dance and the females find it hard to resist! Life on the Florida gulf coast! have spent decades walking the gulf coast beaches and have never seen a great blue heron in such a peculiar stance. Well spring has sprung in…
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    Nature News -- ScienceDaily

  • Researchers rethink 'natural' habitat for wildlife

    18 Apr 2014 | 1:14 pm
    Protecting wildlife while feeding a world population predicted to reach nine billion by 2050 will require a holistic approach to conservation that considers human-altered landscapes such as farmland, according to researchers. A new study finds that a long-accepted theory used to estimate extinction rates, predict ecological risk and make conservation policy recommendations is overly pessimistic. The researchers point to an alternative framework that promises a more effective way of accounting for human-altered landscapes and assessing ecological risks.
  • Plants with dormant seeds give rise to more species

    18 Apr 2014 | 11:12 am
    Seeds that sprout as soon as they're planted may be good news for a garden. But in the wild, a plant whose seeds sprouted at the first warm spell or rainy day would risk disaster. More than just an insurance policy against late frosts or unexpected dry spells, it turns out that seed dormancy has long-term advantages too: plants whose seeds put off sprouting until conditions are more certain give rise to more species.
  • Impact glass from asteroids and comets stores biodata for millions of years

    18 Apr 2014 | 11:11 am
    Bits of plant life encapsulated in molten glass by asteroid and comet impacts millions of years ago give geologists information about climate and life forms on the ancient Earth. Scientists exploring large fields of impact glass in Argentina suggest that what happened on Earth might well have happened on Mars millions of years ago. Martian impact glass could hold traces of organic compounds.
  • Five anthropogenic factors that will radically alter northern forests in 50 years

    17 Apr 2014 | 4:17 pm
    Five anthropogenic factors that will radically alter forest conditions and management needs in the Northern United States have been outlined in a new report. "The northern quadrant of the United States includes 172 million acres of forest land and 124 million people," said one researcher. This report "is helping identify the individual and collective steps needed to ensure healthy and resilient futures for trees and people alike."
  • Alternative identification methods for threatened species urged

    17 Apr 2014 | 11:19 am
    With global climate change and rapidly disappearing habitat critical to the survival of endangered species, there is a sense of urgency to confirm the return of animals thought to be extinct, or to confirm the presence of newly discovered species. Researchers want to change how biologists think about collecting 'voucher' specimens for species identification, suggesting current specimen collection practices pose a risk to vulnerable animal populations nearing extinction.
 
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    Mon@rch's Nature Blog

  • A Few More Birds from Dunkirk Harbor

    patacoate
    9 Apr 2014 | 7:31 pm
    White-winged Scoter By: Pat Coate The pictures in this post were taken at Dunkirk Harbor this past winter. In our area, the white-winged scoter winters on Lakes Ontario and Erie. It is becoming a bit more common due to the invasion of the zebra mussels, as mussels (and clams) seem to be one of its favorite foods. Iceland Gull, first winter Another winter visitor. Iceland Gull with Ring-billed Gull (right) and Herring Gull, winter adult (left) This photo provides a nice size comparison of the Iceland Gull to the more common ring-billed and herring gulls. Per the field guides, the herring is…
  • Dunkirk Harbor

    patacoate
    1 Apr 2014 | 9:27 pm
    Gulls By: Pat Coate During our unusually harsh winter in Western New York open water for ducks and gulls was hard to come by. Dunkirk Harbor on Lake Erie usually has a good bit of open water due to warm water discharge from the nearby power plant. But with the prolonged cold spell even the harbor had very limited open water this year, making competition for food fierce. Assorted Ducks Dead Greater Scaup Due to limited food sources, a large number of ducks were not able to survive the winter. Numerous birders reported emaciated, weakened ducks along roadways and near frozen water sources; and…
  • Brecon Beacons, Wales

    patacoate
    27 Mar 2014 | 12:19 am
    Brecon Beacons By: Pat Coate Brecon Beacons is a national park on the border of South Wales and Mid Wales. Its highest peak, Pen Y Fan (2907′), is also the highest mountain in southern Britain. Red Kite Red Kite Red kites are birds of prey that were nearly hunted to extinction in Wales due to them being considered vermin. There are now over 600 breeding pairs in Wales. Their diet consists mainly of small mammals, earthworms and carrion. Hedge Accentor Hedge Accentor Seems this shy bird has many aliases including dunnock (means “little brown one”), hedge sparrow and hedge…
  • Long-eared Owl

    patacoate
    19 Mar 2014 | 11:01 pm
    Long-eared Owl By: Pat Coate This long-eared owl was another life bird added to my list with grateful assistance from Jim Adams (http://ayearinoatka.blogspot.com/). The owl was seen at Oatka Creek Park, Monroe County, NY. The prominent ear-tufts give the long-eared owl a similar appearance to the great horned owl, though its tufts are more towards the center of the head than the great horned owl. Also the long-eared owl is much smaller (15 v. 22 inches) and has a more slender build. We observed the owl from a respectful distance and, as the zoomed in pictures show, it seemed quite unfazed by…
  • Virginia Rail

    patacoate
    12 Mar 2014 | 10:46 pm
    Virginia Rail By: Pat Coate Many thanks to Jim Adams (http://ayearinoatka.blogspot.com/) for recently helping me add a couple life birds to my list. One was this Virginia Rail, seen at Mendon Ponds Park near Rochester, NY. Normally a secretive bird, this one was easier to find than usual due to a shortage of open water this winter. Virginia Rails feed by probing shallow water and mud for insects, fish, frogs and other aquatic animals. The small area of open water where it was forced to feed is near a hiking/cross country skiing trail in the park which allowed for unusually good views.
 
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    Coyote Crossing

  • Because who can resist a crowd-pleasing animated GIF? by Chris Clarke

    Chris Clarke
    19 Apr 2014 | 12:58 am
    Not unlike some jaguar action Annette and I saw at the Living Desert recently
  • Ed Abbey on Cliven Bundy by Chris Clarke

    Chris Clarke
    11 Apr 2014 | 10:44 am
    Cliven Bundy’s cattle illegally grazing at Gold Butte. Photo courtesy Rob Mrowka. “Overgrazing is much too weak a term. Most of the public lands in the West, and especially in the Southwest, are what you might call “cowburnt.” Almost anywhere and everywhere you go in the American West you find hordes of these ugly, clumsy, stupid, bawling, stinking, fly-covered, shit-smeared, disease-spreading brutes. They are a pest and a plague. They pollute our springs and streams and rivers. They infest our canyons, valleys, meadows, and forests. They graze off the native bluestem…
  • Oh, and speaking of the fun we used to have at Terrain by Chris Clarke

    Chris Clarke
    22 Feb 2014 | 10:52 am
    I’m amazed I never got us sued. From the January 1997 issue, back cover.
  • Revisiting Old Terrain by Chris Clarke

    Chris Clarke
    21 Feb 2014 | 8:17 pm
      The Berkeley Ecology Center killed Terrain a couple years ago. I visited the office a year ago and the one remaining staff person that remembered me apologized profusely, as if I’d be offended that they axed the journal I’d walked away from 16 years earlier. Honestly, I think it was inevitable. I’m surprised it didn’t happen a whole lot sooner. The center never really knew what to make of the publication, at least while I was editing the thing. They didn’t kill the publication while I was working there, so I win. Terrain was the monthly publication of the…
  • Beacon project is up and running by Chris Clarke

    Chris Clarke
    9 Feb 2014 | 1:46 pm
    Here’s my inaugural effort: Imagine that someone you love is dying needlessly. You make one plea for help after another, but to no avail. Instead, the health care providers you consult tell you that your loved one’s completely curable illness doesn’t exist. Or that her health is a lower priority than the other things they’re working on. Or even that she needs to be allowed to die so that her illness doesn’t spread to other, more important people. That’s what it’s like these days for environmentally concerned people who love the desert. Subscribers can read more here. You can…
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    NextNature.net - Nature changes along with us

  • Robotic Easter Egg Decorator

    Alessia Andreotti
    20 Apr 2014 | 7:00 am
    This year take your Easter egg decorating to the next level! Egg-Bot is a machine that applies computer controlled motion to precisely decorate your eggs for you with gorgeous designs. Robots, is there anything they won’t do? Happy Easter!
  • BAT Flies High in the Sky to Make Energy

    Francesca Barchiesi
    19 Apr 2014 | 7:00 am
    BAT floats high in the sky to generate power from the wind and bring energy to the ground. Buoyant Airborne Turbine is an enormous, inflatable circular balloon, filled with helium and able to float up to 600 meters. “In high altitude winds there is enough energy to power civilization 100 times over.” That’s why the American company Altaeros Energies thought to put a turbine in the sky, where winds are strong and constant, so that it could produce twice the energy of similarly ground wind turbines. The technology is able to bring low cost energy to remote areas,…
  • Retro Robot Band

    Alessia Andreotti
    18 Apr 2014 | 7:00 am
    Back in the 1950s three robots, free from any human influence, were playing music for an amused audience. Le Trio Fantastique — guitarist Wink, drummer Blink and saxophonist Nod — was the creation of a Belgian engineer with the nickname of Zenon Specht. The robot band was a feature of Antwerp’s Robot Club, but also appeared in fairs and made a tour of department stores in France between 1954 and 1959. The trio’s repertoire included not only bebop, but also jazz, tango and classical tunes, for only a nickel a song. “These eccentrics don’t need pot of LSD to go on a blast.
  • Get Infrared Sight with a Vitamine Diet

    Julia Weber
    17 Apr 2014 | 7:00 am
    In the field of transhumanism there are a lot of pioneers that want to improve their own bodies with electronic hardware to extend the human capacities – the so called grinders. We already reported about Tim Cannon, who self-implanted a small computer inside his arm and the invisible headphone implants by Rich Lee. There is also the online community Biohack.me, that discuss body-hack purposes. Now there comes a daring group of 4 bio-hackers from various backgrounds, with a crowdfunded project: they developed a protocol to augment human sight to see into the near infrared range…
  • What Is This Strange Device?

    Alessia Andreotti
    16 Apr 2014 | 7:00 am
    Click here to view the embedded video. In this YouTube video, from The Fine Brothers channel, young kids try to figure out the purpose of the 1980s Sony Walkman. Like archaeologists looking at mysterious ancient stone tools, the next generation of gadget lovers wonders at that “prehistoric” technology known as cassette tape. When the children finally understand how the Walkman works, thanks to the help of an adult, they all have one question: “Why would anybody use this instead of an iPhone?” With an emblematic sentence that you would expect to hear from a grownup, a girl concludes:…
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    Birding Dude

  • Wordless Wednesday...

    9 Apr 2014 | 3:30 am
  • Today's Photo - Banded Ring-billed Gull...

    1 Apr 2014 | 6:18 am
    Tags: Ring-billed Gull, Queens
  • Field Notes as March Winds Down...

    28 Mar 2014 | 2:18 pm
    The following are some highlights from the field covering a numbers of sites that I birded over the past few weeks in March. This Peregrine Falcon put on quite a show (looks like a male), while taking a bath in a freshwater puddle. Although not a year bird, this Piping Plover was my earliest PIPL migrant in Queens on March 12th. For the curious, my year PIPL was in January when I saw an overwintering bird at Point Lookout, Long Island NY, with Doug Futuyma and later with Tom Burke and Gail Benson. Female ducks don’t often get the recognition they deserve and I recommend spending some time…
  • Wordless Wednesday...

    26 Mar 2014 | 3:46 pm
  • Hybrid "Presumably" Brant X Cackling Goose in New York City...

    21 Mar 2014 | 2:36 pm
    A hybrid goose was reported at Randall’s Island by Anya Auerbach, on March 16th. Apparently it was not a first time visitor, but rather a repeat one with the first documented sighting in 2003 by Angus Wilson. Subsequent to Angus' report, it showed up intermittently in the New York City area with all previous observations at Corona Park Queens. In 2008, it was observed, and photographed by birder/photographer Pete Chen and in 2011, by Steve Walter. Shai Mitra, one of our state’s foremost expert on all things with feathers, did some analysis on the photos from Pete Chen back in 2008 and…
 
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    Jim Brandenburg

  • Bog Beauties

    16 Apr 2014 | 9:19 am
    If you haven't received a copy of the March-April issue of the Minnesota Conservation Volunteer, here's a view of our "Bog Beauties" feature.  It's hard to imagine, after this long winter in northern Minnesota, that several of these orchid gems could be blooming within 6 weeks.  In Jim’s public speaking, he often makes an analogy between this photograph of him blowing the seeds from the orchid seed pod and his photographs and writings.  Out of his thousands of words and images that have been published (or the 10,000 orchid seeds contained in the seed pod), he knows full…
  • 27 Mar 2014 | 2:30 pm

    27 Mar 2014 | 2:30 pm
    Jim Brandenburg- Brandenburg Gallery is NOT advertising for an office assistant position on Craigslist.  We are not opening an office in Sacramento CA.    If you see any advertisement pertaining to either, please do not respond.  This ad is NOT associated with our company in any way.   Thank you.
  • Winter's End

    20 Mar 2014 | 12:13 pm
    Winter's EndLate afternoon dusting on weathered moose skullLynx wanders through the courtyard at Jim's north woods home called Ravenwood;  photo was shot through the window.  It has been an exceptionally long cold winter with many record breaking low temperatures and snow depths here in the Northwoods.  But we live in Minnesota and we, as most northern states, claim the saying, "if you don't like the weather just wait a minute."A week ago, I made the two-hour drive down to Stoney Point on the north shore of Lake Superior.  This time of the year, during our last…
  • Medicine of the Wolf live on Kickstarter Today!

    11 Feb 2014 | 10:15 am
    Medicine of the Wolf, A Los Angeles based film about Minnesota's wolf hunt,featuring Jim Brandenburg, is live on Kickstarter starting today!View entire press release here."I am indeed proud to contribute my years of experiences, feelings and photography to Julia Huffman's inspired documentary Medicine of the Wolf. I have not spoken out publicly about this misguided and unfortunate wolf hunt here in Minnesota and our neighboring states; mainly because of disbelief that our legislature could be so irresponsible with continuing a hunt under the umbrella of science. It's not about science or wolf…
  • Peace on Earth

    24 Dec 2013 | 5:14 pm
    May the beauty of the season bring you peace.
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    The Ohio Nature Blog

  • Easter 2014

    20 Apr 2014 | 5:33 pm
    -Tom
  • Slate Run Historical Farm

    13 Apr 2014 | 4:36 am
    The Columbus Metroparks' Slate Run Historical Farm is a gem of the Columbus area.  It's close enough to the city to not be too far away, but distant enough that you feel like you're in another world.  An 1880's world. It's one of our favorite places to visit.  If you go now, you'll see a bunch of baby lambs- they were certainly the highlight of this trip.-Tom
  • Let's Reset

    27 Feb 2014 | 4:40 pm
    This is the kind of stuff we do on a cold winter evening!When I started writing here, I was dating Megan.  We've now been married for 7.5 years.  Brody, our youngest, just turned 3 and Weston will be 5 on Sunday.  I had my 35 birthday on February 16.  How's that for numbers?As I wrote about here, in 2010, I accepted a position with our state's wildlife agency after seven years with the Ohio Natural Heritage Program.  Although this move was not a move that I chose to make, I set out to make the best of it. Ultimately, my body could not hold up to repeated 2 a.m.
  • Piping Plover - Litchfield Beach - South Carolina

    1 Jan 2014 | 8:28 am
    This past August during our vacation to coastal South Carolina, I awoke early one morning to walk the mile and a half or so to an inlet where a great amount of birds hang out.  I didn't come back with great pictures for my effort that morning, but as I was reviewing my work last week, I stumbled across this banded shorebird.  It was mixed in with a bunch of other things, including many semi-palmated plovers, but this bird looked different.I'm not up on piping plovers all that much, but I do know they are listed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service under the endangered species act.
  • A Wider View - Purple Pitcher Plant

    28 Nov 2013 | 11:59 am
    July 2013Looking down into a purple pitcher plant growing in a sphagnum hummock.  Otisfield Maine.-Tom
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    Farmgirl Fare

  • Friday Dose of Cute: Have an Off Duty Weekend.

    Farmgirl Susan
    28 Mar 2014 | 3:00 pm
    More Daisy? Here and here.More farm dog photos? Here.© FarmgirlFare.com, well guarded around the clock.
  • Monday Dose of Cute: Kit Kat Capers

    Farmgirl Susan
    24 Mar 2014 | 9:12 am
    What is she thinking? We'd all like to know.[Scene: the kitchen of a quiet farmhouse in the middle of nowhere at dawn, where two cats and two dogs are sleeping peacefully and a third cat is about to jump onto the windowsill.]Mrrroooowwwww.Raaaaaarrrrrrrrrrrooowwwwww!Woof. Ruff. Ruff!Grrrrrrrrrr.WOOF. WOOF. WOOF.Hisssssssssssssssss!HOOOOWWWWOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!Welcome to my mornings, courtesy of Kit Kat Kate.More below...Click here for the rest of this post »
  • Friday Dose of Cute: Have a Laid Back Weekend.

    Farmgirl Susan
    7 Mar 2014 | 5:20 pm
    More photos below. . .Click here for the rest of this post »
  • Sunday Dose of Oh Snow Cute

    Farmgirl Susan
    2 Mar 2014 | 3:21 pm
    First time mother Ida and her three-day-old baby boy.I snapped these photos nearly a month (!) ago, but the barnyard looks just like this now—except these lambs are a lot bigger and there are a lot more of them bouncing around.Until a few years ago, we didn't start lambing until March or April, so seeing lambs on snow was a rarity. This year our first lambs arrived on January 26th, and this winter we've had more days with snow on the ground than we probably have in the last 19 years.It's white out there again today (though it's actually ice or ice pellets or whatever they…
  • Tuesday Dose of Cute: Two Thumbs and Six Paws Up for SHEBA® Food for Cats

    Farmgirl Susan
    18 Feb 2014 | 8:58 am
    Sarah Kate, Molly Doodlebug, and Mr. MidnightI’ve always been a cat lover, and when I moved from urban California to rural Missouri 19 years ago, I brought four cats along with me. Then the remote farm I bought came with seven resident felines. Did I mention they were semi-feral?By the time I was able to get everyone—including a couple more tomcats who showed up and decided to stay—spayed and neutered, the cat count was up to, well, a really high number.Our current farm cat count is now a much more manageable six (Molly Doodlebug, Mr. Midnight, Sarah Kit Kat Kate, Jasper, George, and…
 
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    10,000 Birds

  • Birding the Great Vly, Saugerties, New York

    Corey
    21 Apr 2014 | 4:35 am
    The Great Vly is wonderful wetland that straddles the border of Ulster and Green Counties in New York State’s Hudson Valley. My last blog post about the Great Vly is nearly a year old and involves a lifer, a King Rail that I twitched last June. I spent this past weekend in Saugerties at my folks’ house in order to look for Easter eggs, let Desi enjoy time with his cousins, and generally have a good ol’ time with family. Seeing as Saugerties is the northernmost town in Ulster County and the home of the southern half of the Great Vly, I couldn’t resist getting there on…
  • Best Bird of the Weekend (Third of April 2014)

    Mike
    20 Apr 2014 | 11:22 pm
    I wonder how many of you enjoyed this weekend as much as I did. Was the joy a natural result of a delicious Easter brunch or the welcome warmth of a dilatory spring? Perhaps the weekend’s pleasure proceeded from the arrival of birds not seen here for months. All this surely contributed to my great satisfaction, but I suspect the smile on my face results, in no small part, from the fact that my kids are going back to school after a long spring break! Who else is feeling good today? The Best Bird of my weekend was a real find. While I was on a call with Corey, what should fly into the…
  • The five most unique birds in the world

    David
    20 Apr 2014 | 11:16 am
    What are the world’s most distinctive birds? That question could be answered in several ways, but a new paper released this month — Global Distribution and Conservation of Evolutionary Distinctness in Birds (Jetz et al. 2014) — attempts to answer it by ranking species according to their “evolutionary distinctiveness,” or how distantly related they are to all other living birds. The ranking was done for the purpose of conservation triage, and it’s gotten quite a bit of media attention, for example, Brandon Keim’s Wired story. While the ranking is…
  • Broome’s easterly winds

    Clare M
    20 Apr 2014 | 4:00 am
    On Monday the weather changed. It is that time of year when everything changes. Our migratory shorebirds have mostly departed for their northern hemisphere breeding grounds and our sky is suddenly completely cloud free. The sea is clear and blue and the sky is blue and the temperatures are now a pleasant 20c/68f at night instead of 29c/84f. Our daytime temperatures continue to be in the mid thirties/mid nineties and the winds are no longer westerly. As the wind swung around overnight on Sunday to become easterly it all changed. So, now we have to put up with all this blue….blue sea.
  • Where Are You Birding This Third Weekend of April 2014?

    Mike
    17 Apr 2014 | 9:37 am
    The concept of spring as a time of rebirth resonates with all of us. Who can deny the joyous thrill of watching blossoms emerge where once was snow? This coming weekend represents a sacred, symbolic celebration of renewal. Whatever your philosophy is, whether you observe Easter or revere Eostre or Ostara or simply the sheer, improbable beauty of life in this universe, be sure to get outside and experience it firsthand! I believe the weather will cooperate with my annual tradition of taking my children on an Easter morning hike; whether my kids cooperate or not remains to be seen! But Corey…
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  • The Philly Farm and Food Fest: Local, Organic, Sustainable Family Fun (Ticket Giveaway!)

    robin elton
    10 Apr 2014 | 8:24 pm
      I’m so excited! Something came up last year and we couldn’t make the Philly Farm & Food Fest. This year we received a pair of press passes and I can’t wait to check out the local & sustainable exhibitors, cooking demonstrations, speakers and (yay!) beers. The Philly Farm & Food Fest takes place at the Pennsylvania Convention Center Annex from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm on Sunday, April 13th. Kids under 12 get in free, and there’s plenty to do that’s just for them:  watch Watermelon Magic, a family friendly film, and then make & take a craft;…
  • Add These to Your Netflix Queue to Help Spark A Love of Math, Science, Nature

    robin elton
    30 Mar 2014 | 8:37 pm
    Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known. ― Carl Sagan   I’ve been working with Netflix as a member of the Netflix Stream Team; this month the theme was Science Fair inspiration. But to tell the truth, I couldn’t get into the idea of talking about our Science Fair ordeal this year— I tried— I’d much rather keep it upbeat Maybe I’ll tell that story once time has taken out some of the sting. BUT I do love Netflix as a prodigious resource to foster an interest in not only science, but math and nature. There are TONS of shows, movies and…
  • Stand Up for Safer Chemicals. Sign the Petition to #FightToxins

    robin elton
    28 Mar 2014 | 6:18 am
    If we are going to live so intimately with these chemicals eating and drinking them, taking them into the very marrow of our bones— we had better know something about their nature and their power. -Rachel Carson, Silent Spring   * This post is sponsored by Seventh Generation through Mom Bloggers for Social Good. All opinions are my own.* Rachel Carson was talking about pesticides, but it doesn’t stop there. There are over 80,000 chemicals on the market in the US that have never been fully tested for toxicity. We’re talking in our kids’ toys, in our furniture and…
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    Steve Creek Outdoors

  • Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge Eastern Collared Lizard

    Steve Creek
    21 Apr 2014 | 3:32 am
    I always like finding wildlife to photograph at my campsite and these Eastern Collared Lizards seem to always be around the Doris Campground where I camped a few weeks ago. In Oklahoma these Lizards are known as Mountain Boomers. The below photos are of a female that liked to sun on the same rock everyday. The Doris Campground is inside the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge so you will see or hear wildlife most of the time. While I was camped here I would hear Coyotes passing through every afternoon so I made sure my dog, Rosie was with me at all times. A Female Eastern Collared Lizard…
  • Happy Easter 2014

    Steve Creek
    20 Apr 2014 | 5:14 am
    Happy Easter! I hope everyone gets more than a tongue being stuck out at them by the Easter Bunny today. According to the legend, only good children received gifts of colored eggs in the nests that they made in their caps and bonnets before Easter. A Cottontail Rabbit Acting Like Miley Cyrus The post Happy Easter 2014 appeared first on Steve Creek Outdoors.
  • Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge Black-tailed Prairie Dog

    Steve Creek
    18 Apr 2014 | 4:02 am
    You can’t visit the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge without visiting Prairie Dog Town. A couple of years ago I timed it right and was able to see a lot of the Black-tailed Prairie Dog Pups that had been born that spring. This year I saw three but they were to shy to let me photograph them. Just a warning! If you visit this refuge, the Prairie Dogs are a lot of fun to watch and photograph and it is hard not to spend all of your time with them. A Black-tailed Prairie Dog At The Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge The post Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge Black-tailed Prairie Dog appeared…
  • Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge Texas Longhorns

    Steve Creek
    16 Apr 2014 | 3:33 am
    It seems like I see more of these wild Texas Longhorns each time I visit the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge in Oklahoma. A Texas Longhorn Feeding Her Young At The Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge A Texas Longhorn At The Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge The true longhorn began to disappear, and by 1920 it became apparent that only prompt action could save them from extinction. Through a special Congressional appropriation, funds were made available for an intensive effort to save them. Forest Service employees Will C. Barns and John Hatton, armed with descriptions of the longhorn…
  • Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge Coyote

    Steve Creek
    14 Apr 2014 | 4:27 am
    I visited the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge in Oklahoma last week and came across this Coyote while hiking. I saw this Coyote walking a game trail from a distance and it appeared to be on a mission. The game trail was on the edge of a field and I was just inside the trees. I had the wind in my favor so I was able to get setup near the trail and wait. I was lucky that I was able to spot it without it having a clue I was even in the area. The hard part with doing something like this is to be able to wait for the animal to get close before pressing the shutter button which they will hear. As…
 
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  • Shrinking Salamanders

    Anna Taylor
    7 Apr 2014 | 2:43 am
    By Anna Taylor BSc Conservation Biology, Master of Research in Ecology and Environmental Biology, and freelance journalist. @AT_Freelance, Anna’s website The Appalachian Mountains in the USA has a long evolutionary history. This, combined with the their blanket of cool, moist forests, has resulted in this area being a global hotspot for many species of salamanders. […]
  • Reintroduction Experiments Give Hope for Endangered Marsh Sandwort

    Anna Taylor
    2 Apr 2014 | 2:07 am
    By Anna Taylor BSc Conservation Biology, Master of Research in Ecology and Environmental Biology, and freelance journalist. @FreelanceAnna, Anna’s website The marsh sandwort is an herbaceous green perennial plant found in the USA, historically along the Pacific Coast from Washington State to southern California. However, it is now restricted to a boggy wetland in San […]
  • The Potential Role of Tibetan Monasteries in Snow Leopard Conservation

    Grace Dickins
    1 Apr 2014 | 2:39 am
    By Grace Dickins BSc Environmental Science, @GracePDickins, Grace’s website The snow leopard resides in the mountains of Central Asia, including those in the Tibetan Plateau. It is endangered and also a keystone species so its loss could have a big impact on the surrounding ecosystem. The recent publication of a study by Li et al. […]
  • Lizards Feel the Heat of Climate Change

    Anna Taylor
    26 Mar 2014 | 7:43 am
    By Anna Taylor BSc Conservation Biology, Master of Research in Ecology and Environmental Biology, and freelance journalist. @FreelanceAnna, Anna’s website Lizards have always been believed to be one group of species that will not suffer quite as much from the impacts of climate change. Their famous tolerance for heat and ability to escape from high […]
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    Birding Pictures

  • Canada Goose on the Attack

    Lauren Shaffer
    15 Apr 2014 | 6:58 pm
    Two lovely Canada Geese are peacefully swimming on the still waters of Lake Chillisquaque, when out of nowhere comes the Evil One who flies in, making his presence known with great squawks and tongue protruding.  He is announcing to all that this is his territory and others are not welcome here. That show of offense didn’t dislodge his intruder, so he gets in his face and squawks loudly and attempts to use force.  He drives at him this way… and that way… finally exploding off the water towards him… Continuing the chase in the air. Watch out for that beak!  …
  • Snowy Owl–The “Dark One”

    Lauren Shaffer
    9 Apr 2014 | 5:38 pm
      Snowy Owls are still in the news, with some being seen south of us in Lancaster, and other places, too.  So, I decided to add one more post (at least) with photos of the “Dark One” that I described in my last post.  It is so dark, that it is easily identified as a female.  Adult males are almost white, with juvenile males and females darker.  This bird drew a lot of attention with its white face and black hood, and very dark barred body.  It eluded capture several times, so it was never banded or fitted with a transmitter.  More about this bird appears in Snowy Owls:…
  • Snowy Owls: It’s been nice knowing you!

    Lauren Shaffer
    28 Mar 2014 | 6:25 am
      Snowy Owls have been the most exciting thing to happen to our little farming community in years; bringing together curious neighbors, bird clubs, famous ornithologists, photographers, and the Old Order Mennonite farmers with their large families who have been hosting them for more than two months.  At the peak of their appearances, at least 4 or 5 were seen in the same area of Northumberland County, PA, and often 3 different owls at a time. Carloads of people lined the roads in the early evening, scopes were set up and shared, and people were so excited to actually see a Snowy Owl,…
  • Hooded Mergansers

    Lauren Shaffer
    20 Mar 2014 | 8:02 pm
    Hooded Merganser male Hooded Mergansers: Identification Hooded Mergansers are my all-time favorite duck, and always a thrill to see during migration for ducks and geese in March.  Such a dapper little duck in a tux, and a real attitude to go with it!  Allaboutbirds.org describes them briefly as follows: “Hooded” is something of an understatement for this extravagantly crested little duck. Adult males are a sight to behold, with sharp black-and-white patterns set off by chestnut flanks. Females get their own distinctive elegance from their cinnamon crest. Hooded Mergansers are fairly…
  • Ross’s Goose and Red-throated Loon on PSO birding trip to Lancaster

    Lauren Shaffer
    17 Mar 2014 | 7:21 pm
    Red-necked Grebe Red-throated Loon, Ross’ Goose, many Red-necked Grebes, White-winged Scoters, various other ducks, as well as thousands of Snow Geese and Canada Geese were spotted by the members of a recent Pennsylvania Society of Ornithology (PSO) field trip.  Because Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area above Lancaster, PA was frozen over, the trip became a Susquehanna river trip for ducks near Harrisburg.  The group visited several places which were thawed out and had a concentration of ducks and Red-necked Grebes.  The grebes showed up this year in great numbers, sometimes…
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