Success In An Elusive F2 at The Knoxville Zoo

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Once upon a time, an interesting species of turtle became extinct. Last seen in 1908, the Arakan Forest Turtle, Heosemys depressa, disappeared and was never seen again. (This seems like a sad story, but stick with me.)About 100 years later, in 1994, a scientist visiting a food market in Asia was astounded to find a few of these animals for sale! … [Read more...]

Visitors @ My Window

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I have cats. So, when I heard a “thud” at the window, I assumed it was one of my furry kids batting at a bug or fly that had somehow gotten into the house.When both cats appeared from opposite sides of the room, running toward the window, I was a bit puzzled. I knew something had collided with the glass doors, but it didn’t sound like the typical … [Read more...]

Invisible Desert Dwellers

This is, unarguably, THE largest mountain lion print we've ever encountered. Consider that my size 13-shoe-wearing, six-foot+, large-handed hubby is the "hand model." Four of my thumb prints didn't even fill one toe pad indent!

Desert dwellers are accustomed to the monsoon season and the rain it ushers in, a glass of water raised to cracked, thirsty lips.We also know that with rain, the normally dry riverbed near our home begins to ebb and flow, its banks rising with churned-chocolate liquid. And while we understand that this sudden arrival of water attracts animals … [Read more...]

Of Mice And Women

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Back in the early 1970s when I was a young nurse at Cincinnati General Hospital I was rejected from participation in a clinical study because I was female. At that time, the Hospital had a floor dedicated to clinical research, where patients or healthy subjects who were part of a clinical trial would often spend the night, as they were being … [Read more...]

Unexpectedly, A Mighty Mite

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My goal yesterday, when I set out with my friend and hiking buddy Kathy, was to show her a secret hot spring in the middle of the desert (shared with me earlier by buddy Roxanne).The plan was to drive the quad to the site, take a peek without disturbing the natural area, then explore along the riverbed. As we were tooling along the outskirts of … [Read more...]

A Herd Of Wild Horses: Genetics And Preservation

Wild Horses of Corolla. Photo credit: Elaine RN

About a month ago I was able to see the wild horses of Corolla, North Carolina for the first time.  What a sight they are to watch in their natural habitat.Our guide told us that the wild horses came to the area about 500 years ago when the Spanish were exploring the Atlantic coastal area.  The waters around Nags Head are an atrocious place to … [Read more...]

Javelina Encounter

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This morning, as I am concluding my daily jog, I come up over a little hill – pushing myself to finish strong as I run faster on that last stretch of desert earth. My shoes are crunching away, I’m breathing heavily, the humidity is kicking my butt, and I “think” I hear something. But I can’t tell due to all the noise I’m making. So I dismiss the … [Read more...]

Remembering Lonesome George

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In 2012 the world lost something unique.  I wanted take a minute to remember Lonesome George.He was the last of his kind, the sole representative of the Pinta Island subspecies of Galapagos tortoise.  A $10,000 reward was offered to anyone who could find a female like him. None did.  His keepers tried for a few years to breed him with a … [Read more...]

A Second Mother To Nature

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Mother Nature has seen it all!  But sometimes we can't help wondering if she needs a back up too.   Please welcome new contributing writer Melissa Crytzer Fry, who experienced all the anxiety of a hovering second mom as  she watched the progress of her Hummingbird Babies being streamed in from the Hummie Cam set up in her … [Read more...]

About That Easter Bunny…

Photo credit: Chris Batchner

There are lots of things I love about Easter. It's a time of renewal of both spirit and nature as the earth comes alive again with the promise of Spring. It's the pinnacle of my family's faith, this year to culminate in a sunrise service. I adore seeing the delight on my kids' faces when they discover what wondrous treats the Easter Bunny has … [Read more...]

Thanks, Mr. Bill!

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*Welcome new contributing author -- Heather D of BECOMING CLICHE*Sometimes you only think you’re taking one for the team.It’s Spring Break. I know. Technically, it’s not even Spring. I don’t get to make these decisions.  When given an entire week of nothing, I’ve learned it’s good to plan at least a little something lest the … [Read more...]

Water, Camera, Bear…

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A celebratory video reminder on World Water Day that water means life -- and not just for humans.http://youtu.be/DWbXfkNuupM(Video: GoPro: Grizzly Eats My GoPro)We humans don't have the right to waste and pollute the water everyone and everything needs! ### … [Read more...]