Blog Archives

[Video] Elise’s Sweet Potato Project

Well, I’ve just had my Wednesday morning cry and I thought I’d share it with you. The reality that children are learning so early on how we hurt the planet (and each other) and doing something about it just fills my heart up so much sometimes I can’t hold back the tears.

Elise had a simple science experiment to do, but couldn’t seem to make it work with conventional produce. You’ll be impressed by what she discovered, and how its implications may affect us all. Cross the jump to check out the 2-minute video and make the “OMG THIS KID IS SO CUTE” face that I’m making right now. Enjoy!

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[Video] Swimming Bald Eagle

Have you guys seen this yet? It’s pretty wild. I’m not really sure what exactly is bobbing in the water, to be honest, but my best guess is a dead or dying fish.

Huge pectoral muscles that allow for flight also support limited swimming ability for these awesome raptors. Their talons may lock when they grab prey, and if the prey is too heavy to lift after the talons have locked, the eagles risk being drug beneath the surface of the water. Young eagles have been known to drown after being a little too ambitious with their choice of sushi! I’m wondering if perhaps this is what’s happened here, but the eagle definitely looks like he chose to swim on the last turn. Watching him go over and over again is exhausting – imagine how much energy this bird is expending trying to go after one meal!

Word of the Week: Passerine

Today’s word is:

passerine

PronouncedPASS-er-in

Sciency Definition: A member of the order Passeriformes, the largest group of the class Aves.

Or I could have saidPerching bird.

What’s it do?  Members of the order Passeriformes are the perching birds, which include more than half of the living species of birds. They each possess feet adapted for perching or clinging. “Song birds” are all passerines but not all passerines are song birds; song birds just have the best use of the muscles used for creating vocalizations (the syrinx). Some song birds, instead of singing, create an incredible range of sounds including clicks, croaks, and mimics of sounds they hear in their environments.

Example sentence: Despite being categorized as passerines, crows and ravens do not use their syrinx muscles to produce songs.

Baby scrub jays might be passerines, but they have a song only a mother could love!

To see a video of one of the greatest passerine mimics on the planet, click here to watch a video of the Australian Lyrebird in action.

Very Merry Berry Go Round (#47)

I’m quite ecstatic to be hosting my very first blog carnival, so merry berry to ME! Thanks to the team at BGR!

It’s unseasonably warm for December here in Central Oregon, and this is one naturalist that is not complaining. (Though I have to keep my mouth shut around the skiiers, they’re a testy bunch.) To celebrate the sunshine, we’re going to look at some decidedly warm-timey articles that focus on pollination. Because, dammit, I need flowers in the winter.

Thanks for reading. Away we go!

The Old Drone (love the name!) wants you to know just how fascinating it is that tomatoes are self-pollenizing. Which is different than self-pollinating!

Bug Girl kindly gives a review of the new app for selecting plants for your region, developed with pollinators in mind.

Zen at the NeuroDojo reviews a paper that looks deeper into the idea of flower color as a necessity for pollinator attraction.

Slugyard helps us understand lupine pollination and even gives us a video to watch! Wah hoo!

The Carnivorous Plant Blog shows us a beautiful image of Darlingtonia‘s bits and a brief, simple method of pollinating the little darling. (Har!)

And finally, this post over at the Field Notebook just made me completely lose touch with reality and drift off into a daydream of spring, blooms, and the buzzing of bees and hummingbirds.. zzz.. bzzzz…

[blink] Anyway! To contribute something of my own, here’s a pic of a happy little bee getting a face full of lavender that I took two summers ago. Mmmm, summer.. flowers.. bees.. sunshine..

IS IT SPRING YET?!

Be sure to visit Berry Go Round’s main page, and, just for fun, I’ve added a few extras to get your springtime spirit bouncing around. Enjoy and happy blogging!

Web Exhibits explores the relationship between butterflies and color.

Longwood Gardens offers a fun, interactive site for you (or your children) to build their own flowers and learn about pollination.

The US Forest Service has a lot of great info, pics, and ideas on their Celebrating Wildflowers site! Check it out!

[Video] Gratitude and the Beauty of Life, Louie Schwartzberg

I found this video to be incredibly affirming and beautiful – hope you enjoy!

(Credit to TEDTV)

[Video] Dog Sings to Sad Baby

Any ideas why a pup might resort to yodeling and submissive behavior when a baby is crying? This video is super short but it fascinates me; my dog acts like this when we play-wrestle, but with more whining than singing. Precious, hope you enjoy!

[Video] Lovely Owl Gets His Wee Head Scratched

I once knew a screech owl that liked to have the top of his head scritched; he would close his eyes and lean into you while you did it. I wish, oh, how I wish, that such fantastic music accompanied those moments as they do in this video. (Especially when they focus in on Mr. Grumpy Great Horned.)

I have no idea where this was taken, but the birds sure look happy and healthy, which pleases me substantially. Enjoy!

[Video] Starling Murmuration

Wow. Wildlife synchronization at its finest.

 

[Video] Ostrich Eggs and African Predators

Holy cow. Here are some of the things I love about this clip: the jackal’s frustration (I’ve seen my dog do this with a soccer ball), the ridiculous face of the first vulture, and the way the FOUR FOOT TALL VULTURE at the end dwarfs the EAGLE.

When I lived in South Africa, I was delighted to discover that you can purchase ostrich eggs in the grocery store. There are tons of ostrich farms around, and the eggs, which weigh 3 or 4 pounds, are quite good. While on holiday, we bought one to have for breakfast. You can’t just crack them (unless you have a rock and you don’t mind half a gallon of egg everywhere), so you actually have to drill a small hole in the top of the egg and then drain it into your pan.

Our one ostrich egg, scrambled, served more than eight people.

 

[Video] Dog Tease

Ok, you guys have probably already seen this one a million times but on the OFF chance that ONE of you hasn’t.. I posted it. Classic story of a man teasing his dog with a discussion of food.. only this dog talks back.

(Also, this guy has created some wearable merch and all proceeds go to the SPCA in Nova Scotia. Pretty frakking awesome.)