Can we talk about the horrible things humans do to other animals for stupid reasons? I’m talking about ivory. Since I worked in Kenya, I’ve been made more aware of the horrendous things people do to elephants and rhinos especially. More and more elephants are born tuskless because tusked elephants are so hunted. And rhinos are on the brink of extinction…conservationists struggle to keep rhinos alive after poachers have cut the horn right out of the front of their face.
The wildlife photographer of the year illustrates this perfectly (warning: graphic): Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2017 – the winners
The genetic modification of mosquitoes makes me uncomfortable. Mostly, because we haven’t really considered the indirect effects of dramatically reducing mosquito populations. They are the base of the food chain for a lot of ecosystems. I was very annoyed by an article published a couple of years ago on mosquitoes being ecologically useless. They’re not. When Is a Mosquito Not an Insect? When It’s a Pesticide
And as a tidy illustration of the above conecpt…Can’t say it better than the title: ‘This is very alarming!’: Flying insects vanish from nature preserves
The lanternfly continues to spread across Pennsylvania (and surely soon beyond). If you live in or near an infested region, learn to recognize it so you can report it: Pa. lawmakers on spotted lanternfly: ‘We have an epidemic’
And for a little cosmic relief: Hubble’s Messier Catalog
Here are two jays I painted recently…did you ever notice that a Stellar’s Jay is like a photographic negative of a blue jay?
Blue jays are a popular favourite bird…they’ve been represented three times in my favourite bird series. Also, blue birds in general are popular. I also painted a blue grosbeak this week but didn’t have time to scan it. I got this brown card stock…I like it because it really makes the colours pop! Also, playing with acrylics instead of pencils lately. They’re not too great, but I’m learning and you can never have too many birds ;).
Currently sitting and watching the tree outside my window bow down and touch its crown to the soil. Who knows what will happen? I’ll post this in the future and we’ll already know by then 😉
It didn’t behave
like anything you had
ever imagined. The wind
tore at the trees, the rain
fell for days slant and hard.
The back of the hand
to everything. I watched
the trees bow and their leaves fall
and crawl back into the earth.
As though, that was that.
This was one hurricane
I lived through, the other one
was of a different sort, and
lasted longer. Then
I felt my own leaves giving up and
falling. The back of the hand to
everything. But listen now to what happened
to the actual trees;
toward the end of that summer they
pushed new leaves from their stubbed limbs.
It was the wrong season, yes,
but they couldn’t stop. They
looked like telephone poles and didn’t
care. And after the leaves came
blossoms. For some things
there are no wrong seasons.
Which is what I dream of for me.
– MARY OLIVER
Still watching this Dicamba disaster unfold: A Wayward Weedkiller Divides Farm Communities, Harms Wildlife
Ugh: With OK From EPA, Use Of Controversial Weedkiller Is Expected To Double
How do carnivorous plants get pollinated without eating their pollinators? An interesting question explored in this article: How insect-eating plants persuade insects to pollinate them
How can you resist a headline like this one? Bootylicious Fly Gets Named Beyoncé
Are the Nobel Prizes in science ridiculous? I never thought to question them…The Absurdity of the Nobel Prizes in Science
Removing Japanese Barberry can help control tick populations. I wonder if this also applies to multiflora rose and other invasive woody shrubs (e.g. Celastrus, Honeysuckle etc or even herbaceous plants like Garlic Mustard and Stiltgrass): The 5-Year Plan: Manage Japanese Barberry to Keep Tick Levels Low, Reduce Lyme Risk
This bee nests in horse poo! You heard it here first folks…that’s why you read this blog, for the quality information about pressing issues! 😀 Trichothurgus bolithophilus sp. n. (Hymenoptera, Megachilidae) a bee nesting in horse manure pads in Patagonia, Argentina
Beautiful snakes: Photographer Survives Deadly Snake Bite While Taking Colorful Serpent Portraits
Beautiful insects (big claim though): These are the most beautiful pictures of bugs you will ever see
Beautiful bacteria (and some fungi): From Blue Cheese To Dirt, How Beautiful Bacteria Can Be
And gorgeous moths (don’t let anyone tell you otherwise): Moths, Alive and in Color, in All Their Diversity
Last days before first frost
we stroll out hand in hand
to see yellow sulfurs lift
over the fields
flittering in ecstatic pairs
and spangle the hay
trudging winter fields
in the morning sun
we see their million
rapturous spirits have risen
through layers of drift
on the snow crust
– Paul Zimmer