Versatile Blogger Award nomination – me?! Ann Novek ROCKS

nature, Uncategorized

Of all times for me to have the post-pasta sleepies! Super genius Ann Novek, of “With the Sky as the Ceiling & the Heart Outdoors: Airborne, Sea Dwellers, & Landlubbers’ Lives”, seen here:, has very kindly listed me among her list of 10 nominees. There goes the neighbourhood…. I love her blog, in part because it gives an almost tangible sense of what has to be the marvelous woman behind it.

Here are my 10 nominees, in no particular order. Some are included for the diverse interests of the bloggers.

“With the Sky as the Ceiling & the Heart Outdoors”

“Why Evolution is True”

“A London Salmagundi: Being a Hotch-pot or Gallimaufry of Divers Things”

“Sparrows & Sandcastles”

“Musings on Nature & Other Interests”

“Nature is a Language – Can’t You Read?”

“European Scientist & Journalist”

“Hazard Hot Sheet”

“The Outdoor Journal”

“Dear Kitty. Some Blog”

Part of being nominated is having to post 10 random things about myself. Hm. I fell about 100′ about 13 years ago while rockclimbing, & it took almost a decade for me to get back onto anything with any decent elevation: the Flatirons in Colorado. I cook like a fiend. I like Werner Herzog. I’m fortunate to be happily married. I rent from a psycho slumlord. I often wish I was elsewhere. Sometimes I’m homesick for DC. I love South African wine. I love mountains. I hate hot weather.

“1. In a post on your blog, nominate 10 fellow bloggers for The Versatile Blogger Award. 2. In the same post, add the Versatile Blogger Award. 3. In the same post, thank the blogger who nominated you in a post with a link back to their blog. 4. In the same post, share 10 completely random pieces of information about yourself. 5. In the same post, include this set of rules. 6. Inform each nominated blogger of their nomination by posting a comment on each of their blog” Ok, I’m exhausted, & will post those comments/alerts tomorrow.

Good night, good people.


Thanks for the follows, likes, & comments! But, there’s some pesky glitch….

nature, Uncategorized

Just a shout out to those of you who saw fit to subscribe to my ‘blog recently. I also want to apologise for being unable to post a response to comments this evening – that function’s not working at the moment, so, I’ll try again tomorrow.

Thanks again!

Dog Days of Spring, Dogs of War


Hazard Hot Sheet

We’ve already had several days of 100-degree temperatures (38°C for you civilized countries) here this season, even though “summer” doesn’t start for a month. Yet every year I see dogs chained in yards with no shade or water, or left in cars (even if the windows are “cracked,” i.e. rolled down an inch or two, it can get lethal in there). Some cities, like Austin, Texas, have banned outdoor chaining altogether, which is great except that if you don’t have a fenced-in yard, that’s a problem. Putting up a fence is expensive, too, and dogs can dig under them unless you install them right. But I’ve heard of dogs digging holes in the yard to lay in just to try to stay cooler. St. Louis, Missouri, where I live, enacted a new ordinance last year that says that if a dog is to be tied out in the yard, the…

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Birds may be paedomorphic dinosaurs


Why Evolution Is True

In the last few decades we’ve realized that birds descended from theropod dinosaurs, and that the evolution of feathers preceded the evolution of flight. Indeed, many biologists still consider birds to be dinosaurs, since the group “dinosaurs” leaves out some of the descendents of dinosaurs—birds. Regardless of whether one adheres to this convention, we know from genetic and fossil evidence that birds are united with reptiles in one group: the Archosauria, which includes the common ancestor of crocodilians and birds, and all the descendants of that ancestor up to and including modern birds and crocodilians. That means that crocodilians are the living reptiles most closely related to birds (if, that is, you don’t consider birds to be reptiles).

Comparing birds with archosaurs, then, can tell us something about the evolutionary changes that produced our feathered comrades.  And this is what was done in a new paper in Nature by Bhart-Anjan Bhullar

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Hawk Heaven

Part of the joy of falconry is getting to know your hunting partners, the majestic birds of prey that make the sport possible, interesting and unpredictable. I trapped my first bird, Lexi, three years ago as an apprentice and while I had three successful hunting seasons with her and am now a general falconer, something in me said it was time to say goodbye.

In general parting is such sweet sorrow, and releasing a hawk you’ve cared for night and day over the last three years is no exception. She served me well. As a gesture of thanks, one that she will never understand but that I am nonetheless compelled to share with you in the hopes that it inspires in you a newfound respect for these remarkable animals and this endlessly entertaining sport, I would like to share the short story of her release with you.

My brother-in-law, Zach…

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Why Evolution Is True

Via Matthew Cobb by way of Scicurious originally from Laughing Squid, we have a video of a lonely tortoise trying to mate with a shoe (Crocs actually look like the hybrid offspring of a turtle and a sneaker).  The enamored reptile periodically emits heartbreaking squeaks.

What animal video could be funnier than that? When the same video is narrated by Sir David Attenborough, as he did on BBC One’s Graham Norton show:

Attenborough could read the phone book and I’d listen in rapture.

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Developer Faces Fine For Moving Slowly on Rare Frog Habitat


Ann Novek( Luure)--With the Sky as the Ceiling and the Heart Outdoors

Richmond Times Dispatch2012-05-26: ISLE OF WIGHT, Va. — The barking tree frog is a threatened species in Virginia, known to live and breed in just five counties, including this rural one along the James River. It is the largest frog in Virginia — and quirky, too, with platelike suckers on its fingers and a penchant for mating after heavy rains. Now, the developer of a luxury subdivision in Isle of Wight County with its fair share of trouble must pay an environmental fine for an offense as rare as the frog: The company did not build a frog conservation zone as quickly or completely as required in state permits. The unusual protection project has…                  more »

Green and black poison frogPhoto:GFDL ( Green and Black Poisonous Frog)

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Good Pakistani crane news


Dear Kitty. Some blog

This video is called Sarus Cranes – Giant Bird.

From Big News Network:

Sarus cranes seen in Pakistan after a decade

Sunday 27th May, 2012

Sarus cranes, the world’s tallest flying bird, is back in Pakistan after more than a decade, wildlife experts have said.

A pair sighted in Nagarparkar in Sindh province this year has given hope to wildlife enthusiasts that the rare bird may become part of Pakistan’s landscape once again.

At a meeting held by Pakistan’s Save Wildlife and Nature (SWAN) group, wildlife experts and government officials formed a group for the conservation of sarus cranes, Dawn News reported.

The meeting discussed the present status of the cranes’ population, the threats they were facing and the measures needed to address those problems.

Currently, there are about 15 species of cranes in the world and, of them, four species visited Pakistan during the winter — in the…

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