Archive for June, 2014

May 23, 2014 – Oak Twig Pruner time

Today’s PHOTOS and VIDEOS.

Notes for today: Oak Twig Pruners have started their yearly cycle at Post1018. First Tulip Tree flowers at Post1032. Green Heron, opposite side of Blacks Nook. Black hummingbird reported at yellow iris flowers at Blacks Nook. First Eastern Kingbird at Post0099. Many Dryad Saddle mushrooms at Post0158.

Today is World Turtle Day.

Link of the day: Oak Twig Pruner (Oak Leaf Pruner)

Book of the day: Beetles of Eastern North America

Weather: May 23, 2014

Video of the day:


May 22, 2014 – Citizen Science

Today’s PHOTOS and VIDEOS.

Notes for today: First Lupine flowers at Lusitania Meadow. First red rose at Post0082. First white rose at Post0081. Mink reported at Post1232 with small bird (or similarly sized fish) in mouth.

Post0288: squirrel tree on slight rise

Link of the day: The Weird, Wild World of Citizen Science Is Already Here

Book of the day: Citizen Science Guide for Families: Taking Part in Real Science

Weather: May 22, 2014

Video of the day:


May 21, 2014 – time flies

Today’s PHOTOS and VIDEOS.

Notes for today: First tadpole photo at Blacks Nook. A new chestnut type tree has sprouted opposite Post0032. Its near the spot where one has come up several years in a row. Previous instances were cut down. But, like Awnuld, he’s back! “If something catches my eye it will get my time”, is my response to a regular walker who remarks about me appearing to have all the time in the world. If only…

Post0191: Two Plants
Post0178: bench ants, nest debris
Post0378: FPR8
Post0348: yellow flower bush
Post0358: hummock grass

Link of the day: The Quest to Save the Whooping Crane

Book of the day: Whooping Crane (Animals in Danger)

Weather: May 21, 2014


Video of the day:


May 20, 2014 – a post about posts

Today’s PHOTOS and VIDEOS.

Notes for today: Two Painted Turtles on the right side of the Blacks Nook boardwalk. Carp foraging in the white lilypads at the north end of Little Fresh Pond, opposite Post0210. Post0178 bench with an ant nest inside (the bench is made of wood), has a debris pile right under the left end (as you face the bench, back to the path, fence, reservoir). Small patch of strawberries beside path into Blacks Nook. Large bullfrog, video, in smartweeds. Post1226 log bench has two puffball mushrooms on side opposite the reservoir.

Some important fence post numbers…

Post0309: Autumn Olive, tree/bush
Post0167: golf course opening photo series
Post0145: Two Burdock plants
Post0135: Autumn Olive tree
Post0131: No Trespassing sign
Post0124: view of 700 Huron Avenue from alternative water fountain
Post0117: Buckthorn Tree
Post0100: High Bush Blueberry
Post0101: Downy Woodpecker nest, 2014

Link of the day: Scientists Announce Top 10 New Species for 2014

Weather: May 20, 2014


Video of the day:


May 19, 2014 – closing in on Summer

Today’s PHOTOS and VIDEOS.

Notes for today: Another Downy Woodpecker nest hole at Post0331. Second Autumn Olive is blooming at Post0314.

Weather: May 19, 2014


Video of the day:


May 18, 2014 – climate change is both free and costly

Today’s PHOTOS and VIDEOS.

Notes for today: First carp feeding along the eastern edge of Little Fresh Pond, opposite Post0240. Squirrel family living in Box#2. Downy Woodpecker parent in nest at Post0101 throws out baby woodpecker diaper. Mother Canada Goose covers goslings at intersection of Blacks Nook and the boardwalk. Carpenter ants collecting pieces of green leaves.

Link of the day: New Frog Species Found In Troubled Indian Habitat

Book of the day: Climate Change: Evidence and Causes (PDF Booklet) $0.00

Weather: May 18, 2014


Video of the day:


May 17, 2014 – swan song

Today’s PHOTOS and VIDEOS.

Notes for today: First minnows, bluegills at Blacks Nook. Snapping Turtle baby reported near Post0647. First celandine yellow flowers. Autumn Olive at Post0309 smelling nicely. Trouble, a large black Lab and friend reported to have died on May 3, 2014.

Link of the day: Nature’s Classroom an environmental education organization based in Massachusetts

Book of the day: Missing Microbes: How the Overuse of Antibiotics Is Fueling Our Modern Plagues by Dr Martin Blaser

Weather: May 17, 2014


Video of the day:


May 16, 2014 – lots of JasperJumps

Today’s PHOTOS and VIDEOS.

Notes for today: First bullfrog croaking at Blacks Nook. First puffball goes to seed/spore. First dandelions.

Book of the day: The Sun Kings: The Unexpected Tragedy of Richard Carrington and the Tale of How Modern Astronomy Began

Weather: May 16, 2014


Video of the day:


May 15, 2014 – that water looks cold… I’m gonna need a coat!

Today’s PHOTOS and VIDEOS.

Notes for today: First dangling inchworm and Mayapple flower at Post1212. Male Cardinal at Post1220. Squirrel with very reddish-brown tail at Blacks Nook. First ripples at Blacks Nook vernal pool, likely from a diving frog. Mink video at Post0524, then a second video eating a fish at Post0529.

Link of the day: Ants Playing Chess Find New Solutions To Old Problem

Book of the day: The Natural History of Weasels and Stoats: Ecology, Behavior, and Management Field naturalists have observed the activities of weasels for centuries. Their descriptions were often accurate but sometimes misinterpreted the animals’ behaviors and underlying explanations for those behaviors. “Organized natural history” became one of the roots of the science of ecology in the 1920s and by the 1960s scientists had begun to study the biology of weasels with all the critical, objective advantages of modern theory and equipment. Until the first edition of this book appeared in 1989 no one had attempted to explain these results to non-specialist naturalists. Now thoroughly revised, this book will continue to be the main one-stop reference for professionals. But both kinds of knowledge are brought together here– observations for the traditional naturalist and rigorous measurements and interpretations for modern scientists, integrated into a single, readable account.

Weather: May 15, 2014


Video of the day:


May 14, 2014 – the birds and the bees

Today’s PHOTOS and VIDEOS.

Notes for today: Tebow, a male Wheaton Terrier, 10 years old, who was almost torn apart by two coyotes a couple of years ago, is really named Kibovia, from a Hemingway Mount Kilamanjaro story. Red-tailed Hawk sitting high in a tree on the golf course side of Little Fresh Pond. First Double-crested Cormorant at Blacks Nook, along with two Green Herons.

Link of the day: The Truth About Sparrows (Bluebird killers)

Book of the day: Sweetness and Light: The Mysterious History of the Honeybee “Did you know that Abraham Lincoln and Muhammad Ali both consumed bee pollen to boost energy, or that beekeepers in nineteenth-century Europe viewed their bees as part of the family? Or that after man, the honeybee, Apis mellifera, is the most studied creature on the planet? And that throughout history, honey has been highly valued by the ancient Egyptians (the first known beekeepers), the Greeks, and European monarchs, as well as Winnie the Pooh? In Sweetness and Light, Hattie Ellis leads us into the hive, revealing the fascinating story of bees and honey from the Stone Age to the present, from Nepalese honey hunters to urban hives on the rooftops of New York City. Uncovering the secrets of the honeybee one by one, Ellis shows how this small insect, with a collective significance so much greater than its individual size, can carry us through past and present to tell us more about ourselves than any other living creature.”

Weather: May 14, 2014


Video of the day:


May 13, 2014 – what’s bugging you?

Today’s PHOTOS and VIDEOS.

Notes for today: Tiny baby turtle, probably a Painted Turtle, reported on May 10, 2014. Kingfisher at the South East Cove. Second robin nest of the year at Post1064. Jasper VERY excited at something seen or smelled near Post1150. Two Green Herons at Blacks Nook, also a Painted Turtle and a jumping frog.

Book of the day: Empire of the Beetle: How Human Folly and a Tiny Bug Are Killing North America’s Great Forests “Beginning in the late 1980s, a series of improbable bark beetle outbreaks unsettled iconic forests and communities across western North America. An insect the size of a rice kernel eventually killed more than 30 billion pine and spruce trees from Alaska to New Mexico. Often appearing in masses larger than schools of killer whales, the beetles engineered one of the world’s greatest forest die-offs since the deforestation of Europe by peasants between the eleventh and thirteenth centuries. The beetle didn’t act alone. Misguided science, out-of-control logging, bad public policy, and a hundred years of fire suppression created a volatile geography that released the world’s oldest forest manager from all natural constraints. Like most human empires, the beetles exploded wildly and then crashed, leaving in their wake grieving landowners, humbled scientists, hungry animals, and altered watersheds. Although climate change triggered this complex event, human arrogance assuredly set the table. With little warning, an ancient insect pointedly exposed the frailty of seemingly stable manmade landscapes. And despite the billions of public dollars spent on control efforts, the beetles burn away like a fire that can’t be put out. Drawing on first-hand accounts from entomologists, botanists, foresters, and rural residents, award-winning journalist Andrew Nikiforuk investigates this unprecedented beetle plague, its startling implications, and the lessons it holds.”

Weather: May 13, 2014.


Video of the day:


May 12, 2014 – Beast of Burden (listening to the Rolling Stones)

Today’s PHOTOS and VIDEOS.

Notes for today: CB, a reliable source, reports possible March 2005 sighting of African Honey Badger on Athens Street, just outside Harvard Square. Then there’s my early 70’s sighting of a Cheetah running down Massachusetts Avenue, towards Harvard Square, taking a right on Linnaean Street, then a left into Potter Park, where it disappeared. Exotic pets, escaped and otherwise, explains both sightings. First Mourning Cloak Butterfly sighted, Eastern Pine Woods. Then another, and possibly a third.

Link of the day: Bugwood Blog: Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health

Book of the day: The Art of Racing in the Rain A heart-wrenching but deeply funny and ultimately uplifting story of family, love, loyalty, and hope–a captivating look at the wonders and absurdities of human life… as only a dog could tell it.

Weather: May 12, 2014.

Video of the day:


May 11, 2014 – fame and fortune will soon be mine

Today’s PHOTOS and VIDEOS.

Notes for today: An infrequently seen walker says hello, then adds, The Ansel Adams of Fresh Pond. Red-tailed Hawks reported to have a new nest at 185 Fresh Pond Parkway. First mosquito bite. Jasper trees his first raccoon. First Yellow Sulpher butterfly sighted at Kingsley Park. JAS reports a possible yellow-legged Turnstone in the South East Cove. First apple tree blossoms at Post0253. First Double-crested Cormorant perching in a tree at Post0252. Mystery bird: small, black face, gray head, yellow breast. Can you identify it?

Link of the day: The Lives of Sociable Spiders

Book of the day: National Geographic Readers: Spiders A book about spiders for kids

Weather: May 11, 2014.

Video of the day:


May 10, 2014 – take a hike!

Today’s PHOTOS and VIDEOS.

Notes for today: First yellow lilypad flowers in Little Fresh Pond. First Golden Alexander yellow flowers. First carpenter ant at the Weir Meadow. First mosquito buzzing in my ear. First catbird. Find stinkbug expert for future reference. Pebbles, a dog favorite for some years, died April 2013. Ellie, a one-year old female Labradoodle, is the new dog.

Link of the day: Grandma Gatewood’s Walk: The Woman Who Saved the Appalachian Trail

Book of the day: Appalachian Trail Thru-Hiker’s Companion 2014

Weather: May 10, 2014.

Video of the day:


May 9, 2014 – answers for global warming skeptics

Today’s PHOTOS and VIDEOS.

Notes for today: First Robin nest, at Lusitania Meadow, in a Cedar tree. Jasper has been a VERY bad boy today. For the first time in his 4+ years he has attacked another dog, a puppy chocolate Lab that he knows. Bad Dog!

Link of the day: The top ten global warming ‘skeptic’ arguments answered. Contrarian climate scientist Roy Spencer put forth the top 10 ‘skeptic’ arguments – all are easily answered.

Book of the day: Your Inner Fish by Neil Shubin covers the “missing link” between ocean dwellers and land dwellers.

Weather: May 9, 2014.

Video of the day:


May 8, 2014 – a good day for dogs

Today’s PHOTOS and VIDEOS.

Notes for today: First Cabbage White Butterfly on the golf course clubhouse hill. First red and black beetle.

Book of the day: What a Plant Knows by Daniel Chamovitz

Weather: May 8, 2014.

Video of the day:


May 7, 2014 – Backyard/Citizen Scientists

Today’s PHOTOS and VIDEOS

Notes for today: Amigo, one of my oldest dog friends at FPR, died on March 23, 2014. His companion, Carmelo, is still very much here. A walker reports seeing a mink sitting on a floating log, inside the reservoir fence, for a few moments, near Post0420. A runner, about 50 yards behind me, stopped to look at something he would later describe as a black squirrel. Jasper, just before that, but near the same spot, got so excited at the smell of something that he pushed under the Glacken Slope fence and dashed around, back and forth, tail going like crazy, sniffing furiously for… something. Perhaps the mink. Red, yellow, orange Tulip flower at Post0956.

Weather: today

Video of the day:

BACKYARD/CITIZEN SCIENTIST Projects:

The Encyclopedia of Life aims to catalog every living thing on the planet. Individuals can contribute images via the EOL Flickr group. “Imagine an electronic page for each species of organism on Earth…” – Edward O. Wilson

Ninety years of birdwatchers’ notes are now online at the North American Bird Phenology Program located in Laurel, Maryland.

Squirrel sightings: http://www.projectsquirrel.org

Bird photos: http://www.audubon.org/Bird/cbc http://ibc.lynxeds.com/users/josep-del-hoyo http://www.birds.cornell.edu/citscitoolkit [includes a big list of citizen science sites … thanks to Rick Bonney and a commenter for the link]

Internet Bird Collection: http://ibc.lynxeds.com

Ant anthologies: http://www.antweb.org/bayarea.jsp

Water quality info: http://www.worldwatermonitoringday.org

Beetle hunts: http://www.hort.cornell.edu/vlb

Firefly tracking: http://sciencecheerleader.com/2009/04/firefly_day_this_saturday

Project BudBurst, in Boulder, Colorado, has the goal of tracking amateur data about plant species as a means of tracking climate change.

Related organizations: AskNature asks how nature solves the problems of everyday life for all sorts of living things.

The Biomimicry Institute is a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to nurture and grow a global community of people who are learning from, emulating, and conserving life’s genius to create a healthier, more sustainable planet.

Toad NUTS (Noordhoek Unpaid Toad Savers) works to save Western Leopard Toads (Amietophrynus pantherinus) outside Cape Town, South Africa.


May 6, 2014 – Ban cigarette filters to save the environment

Today’s Photos and Videos

Notes for today: Fluttering moth on the ground near Post0600. First Inky Cap mushrooms near Post0160.

Link of the day: Ban cigarette filters to save environment, suggest researchers

Book of the day:

Weather: today.

Video of the day:


May 5, 2014 – Cinco de Mayo

Today’s PHOTOS and VIDEOS

Notes for today: Baby Downy Woodpecker in a dead tree nest at Post0101. AB notes first three goslings near Post1050, four adults. AB also noted Baltimore Oriole near Post1190 and a Northern Flicker loudly pecking at a large tree stump near Post1290. Late call for Horsetails around post0300. Watching honeysuckle opposite Post0317. Two types of mystery plants near Post0429. Raccoon family, three young and one adult, opposite Post0516. Happy birthday to Guinness and Nellie and Iveee and Pappu. Ask Jasper vet about Leptospirosis. Friends dog got sick from vaccination.

Book of the day: A Window on Eternity: A Biologist’s Walk Through Gorongosa National Park by Edward O Wilson and Piotr Naskrecki

Weather: May 5, 2014

Video of the day: Tumbling Spider


May 4, 2014 – the way life thinks

Today’s PHOTOS and VIDEOS

Notes for today: AB reports first goslings near Post1050, also, unusual variation on Trillium, brown flowers, near Coyote Woods and Land of the Small Bladder people.

Link of the day: How Forests Think: Toward an anthropology beyond the human

Book of the day: What is Life? by Lynn Margulis and others

Weather: today.

Video of the day:


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