317 – Finding Snow Fleas
Cable Natural History Museum
by CNHM Admin, Cable Natural History Museum
3d ago
With soggy skies above and soggy snow below, my recent hike on the North Country Trail was not inspiring a love for spring. But with my head bent to watch my footing, I noticed a sprinkling of debris coated the surface of the softening snow. Suddenly one of the little specks vanished. Crouching down for a better look, I discovered that most of the sprinkles were tiny, leaping springtails known as snow fleas. I dug out my macro camera. The post 317 – Finding Snow Fleas first appeared on Cable Natural History Museum ..read more
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316 – Protecting Birds from Your Windows
Cable Natural History Museum
by CNHM Admin, Cable Natural History Museum
1w ago
Birds can collide with windows in any season, but I’ve always noticed an increasing number of those sickening thuds in spring. As waves of migrating birds head north, we see both a huge increase in the number of individuals, and an increase in birds who are new to the neighborhood and more likely to be hoodwinked by windows. Now that warm days are turning even window washing and yardwork into attractive tasks because they give us excuses to get outside, it’s a good time to think about making your windows better for birds. The post 316 – Protecting Birds from Your Windows first appeared on Cabl ..read more
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315 – Predaceous Diving Beetle Trends
Cable Natural History Museum
by CNHM Admin, Cable Natural History Museum
2w ago
As a naturalist, I get the strangest emails. I try not to check them at home, but when my phone buzzed and the subject said “June bug on steroids?” it was worth interrupting my evening chores. “The past couple nights I’ve heard something hit our window at night when we have lights on and each time I’ve thought ‘that sounded like a June bug… but BIGGER.’” wrote a Museum member. Chuckling, I wrote her back, “Looks like a predaceous diving beetle! That’s their normal size!” The post 315 – Predaceous Diving Beetle Trends first appeared on Cable Natural History Museum ..read more
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313 – Freezer Burn
Cable Natural History Museum
by CNHM Admin, Cable Natural History Museum
1M ago
One consequence of this weird winter is that plants like mosses, ferns, and wintergreen who are usually protected by a blanket of snow are now exposed to drying winds. This can result in what is essentially freezer burn in nature. The post 313 – Freezer Burn first appeared on Cable Natural History Museum ..read more
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310 – Friends at our Feeders
Cable Natural History Museum
by CNHM Admin, Cable Natural History Museum
1M ago
I’ve been hearing a lot of complaints from people who are feeling lonely this winter. For once, they aren’t feeling cooped up by icy roads and constant blizzards. Instead, we miss our feathered friends! A suite of factors, including the nice weather, means that birds are not as abundant as usual at our backyard feeders. One exception, at least at my feeders, are pine siskins. The post 310 – Friends at our Feeders first appeared on Cable Natural History Museum ..read more
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309 – Warm Winter Worries
Cable Natural History Museum
by CNHM Admin, Cable Natural History Museum
2M ago
What a weird winter! In a region where people love to talk about the weather, the chatter has been constant. Skiers and snowmobilers (and the business they support) are particularly grumpy, but many people are trying to make the best of pleasant temperatures, despite the lack of snow. Humans are lucky. We have temperature-controlled homes and clothing that can be changed at the drop of a hat. But what about non-human beings? How are they faring as temperatures fluctuate from 50 degrees to the teens with barely a skim of snow on the ground? This week, I combed back through my many articles abou ..read more
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307 – Germinating Seeds and Excitement in Hawaii
Cable Natural History Museum
by CNHM Admin, Cable Natural History Museum
2M ago
Wings, wind, and humans are three of the most common ways that life has arrived on Hawaii since the volcanoes rose above the ocean. But besides the obvious humpback on a whale watch, I hadn’t noticed many who had arrived on the waves. As I descended the trail back to the black sand beach, a tiny white flower caught my eye. Recognizing it as Beach Naupaka, or Naupaka kahakai from my nature guide Wind, Wings, and Waves by Rick Sohren, I stopped to take photos. The post 307 – Germinating Seeds and Excitement in Hawaii first appeared on Cable Natural History Museum ..read more
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306 – Nenes and Blueberries in Hawaii
Cable Natural History Museum
by CNHM Admin, Cable Natural History Museum
2M ago
Just like the ?Apapane and ?I?iwi I wrote about last week, the ancestors of nene geese were blown off course to the Hawaiian Islands and then stayed there, although the geese only arrived about half a million years ago, vs. five million for the honeycreepers. Besides being handsome, with buff-and black diagonally striped necks and black faces, n?n? are the state bird of Hawaii, and one of the most endangered waterfowl in the world. The post 306 – Nenes and Blueberries in Hawaii first appeared on Cable Natural History Museum ..read more
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305 – Hawaiian Honeycreepers
Cable Natural History Museum
by CNHM Admin, Cable Natural History Museum
3M ago
A bright red bird with black wings hopped among the flowers, probing for the '?hi'a’s prolific nectar with a sharp black beak. While the bird looked a lot like the scarlet tanagers who nest in the Northwoods, I knew it was not. ?Apapanes’ scarlet feathers match the red of the blossoms they rely on. A little farther down the trail, we spotted more movement in the trees. Another red bird masqueraded as a flower, but while the red body and black wings looked just like an ?Apapane to me, the beak was bright orange and strongly curved. Having studied our field guides, I knew that this was an ?I?iwi ..read more
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304 – Lava in Hawaii and at Home
Cable Natural History Museum
by CNHM Admin, Cable Natural History Museum
3M ago
Whenever I visit the smooth, gray rocks on the North Shore of Lake Superior, I find myself crouching low to examine the colorful patchwork of lichens who have made their home in such a seemingly perilous place. I never expected to do the same thing on Hawaii! The post 304 – Lava in Hawaii and at Home first appeared on Cable Natural History Museum ..read more
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