Nectar Thieves In The Night

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The first few times it happened in 2008, it was a mystery. We’d awake to the hummingbird feeder completely drained each morning, nectar splashed against the window.So we set up our Cudde camera. And what we suspected was true:~~Yep. Bats (with long tongues that CAN get down into the tiny hummingbird feeder holes). Who knew that … [Read more...]

Who Doesn’t Love The Fair?

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I don’t.  There.  I said it.  I don’t like the state fair.When the family packed up to make our annual trek, I tried hiding under the couch but someone spotted me.  I tried to beg off for financial reasons.  Think of ALL the money we’d save if I didn’t go.  Sadly, it was Teacher Day, and I qualified for free admission.  It cost exactly the same … [Read more...]

Komen’s Pink Camouflaging “Bit For The Cure”

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One in eight women will develop or die from breast cancer.  Having a mission statement to end breast cancer is noble in words.  How an organization goes about achieving that mission shows whether it is noble in deed.Susan G. Komen Foundation, whose symbol is a bold pink breast cancer ribbon, is the world’s largest nonprofit source of funding for … [Read more...]

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...]

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...]

Don’t Give Up. A Better World Is Possible.

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There are days when it is just overwhelming to think about all the wrongs being done and the incredible pain being inflicted in our world -- wars, murders, shootings, rapes, suicides, cruelties, floods, droughts, pollution, disease, poverty, homelessness, hunger, lies, corruption, theft ...How does one look in to the cavernous depths of so many … [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...]

Words: “…the danger of futility…”

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"...the danger of futility:the belief there is nothing one man or one woman can do against the enormous array of the world's ills-against misery and ignorance, injustice and violence. Yet many of the world's greatest movements, of thought and action, have flowed from the work of a single man [woman]...Few will have the greatness to bend history … [Read more...]

Needing To Belong … xkcd: Spirit

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The need to belong is one of the most basic human motivations.We want to feel connected, accepted and valued.And when we don't belong, we lose spirit.Webcomic by xkcd: SpiritNo wonder not belonging is one of our biggest fears.###Related articles across the web 'xkcd' creator Randall Munroe gets asteroid named after him … [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...]