Waiting for Eggs

Grey skies, but it’s stopped raining for the moment, so I thought I’d share a few photos of bird’s nests that are waiting for eggs this morning. All of these are located within about thirty seconds of our front door. The nests look a bit worse for wear, but within a couple of weeks at…

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Moon and Moss

It finally stopped snowing here. We had a single glorious clear afternoon and night last week, during which I took the picture of the full moon rising behind the budding plum tree in our garden. Depending on the culture (according to the Farmer’s Almanac), this is the: Full Worm Moon –┬áthe ground begins to thaw,…

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The Long Shark Scroll

Living on the California coast back in the 1970s, fisherman would occasionally pull in shark, which would then be butchered and sold rather cheaply at the local market. We used to grill shark steaks over bay laurel wood. Once, though, the shark that got pulled in required a flatbed truck for transport. It was a…

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Moment of Monarchs

When I was a child, we lived for a time in the U.S. Midwest. One autumn, I had the great good fortune of experiencing the migration of the monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus). I didn’t even have to go on a field trip – the migrating flock flew right through our schoolyard in suburban Milwaukee, Wisconsin.…

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Room to Explore

  According to National Geographic, current estimates put the total number of animal species at somewhere between 3-100 million, a range that leaves a lot to the imagination. The numbers in the infographic above are compiled from a variety of sources and are considered educated guesses in the categories listed. I’ve noticed that in many…

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March of Tetrapods, Elver Reluctance

A couple of updates on previous topics: March of Tetrapods That super cool fractal tool of the Tree of Life, OneZoom, has added all tetrapods to its phylogenetic work. With 70% of all currently described four-limbed creatures crawling around on the Tree, the next additions will be plant life and fish. I’m as excited as…

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What we talk about when we talk about war (II)

Some time ago, I posted some thoughts on the impact of war on the environment and creatures besides humans. Those comments focused primarily on the immediate effects of war waged on land. Today, a news piece brought to my attention another environmental impact of war: The lack of cooperation on transboundary environmental protection issues between…

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Sunday Indulgence

We spent the weekend at one of our largest spring chores, trimming back the trumpet vine that surrounds part of our house. It requires a very high ladder, various shears, and patience. Planted just after the end of WWII, the vine provides an entire ecosystem on our south-facing wall. Birds’ nests, lizards, ants, various other…

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Spokes on the Whisky Wheel

Finally, I’ve gotten around to making an attempt at assigning the 24 whiskies from our 2012 Whisky Advent Calendar to the taste spokes on the Whisky Wheel. Having 24 whiskies to compare, along with the three or four regulars we usually have around the house, proved an interesting challenge for us. We saved the drams…

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Scarcity of Choice

When I was a teenager, my family spent a couple of years living ‘off-grid’. It was called ‘getting back to the land’. To me it looked a lot like an extended camping trip, but with small houses instead of tents. My main chore was to get water. There was a well on a neighbor’s property,…

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