Archive for November, 2010

Friday Photo

Playing in leaves

Fall leaves. Leaves fall. Fall, fall leaves!


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Flying Polar Bears

Polar bears are in danger of going extinct. They depend on sea ice for their hunting grounds and dens. The loss of sea ice habitat is due to an increase in temperature in the polar regions. Below is a video of one event that publicized the plight of polar bears. Let’s get the word out. The Polar bears need our help. Any ideas?

For more information visit these links:

Polar Bears; Images of Polar BearsFAQs about Polar Bears

Global Warming and Polar Bears


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Friday Photo

swiss chard

We are still eating Swiss Chard out of the garden, anyone else?


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New England Cottontail
I learned something unexpected during our annual land trust meeting on Monday. New England Cottontails are being considered for protection under the Endangered Species Act. When you’re thinking of rabbits, don’t you think in terms of many, many rabbits? If there is a stereotype about rabbits, it has to do with prolific breeding. A visitor from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service gave us a new picture: A reduction in thicket habitat is the primary reason for the decline in New England Cottontail numbers. Rabbits living on small patches of thicket deplete their food supply sooner. This leaves them with two choices: eat lower quality food and compromise their health or search for food in more risky areas. Another fact that our visitor shared when talking about reasons for the Cottontail’s decline I found interesting: The eyes of a New England Cottontail are set closer to the front of the face than the Eastern Cottontail’s. Consequently the Eastern Cottontail’s peripheral vision is better. It can see an owl from 30 yards away, while the New England Cottontail will see that same owl when it is 10 yards away. So let’s get the word out, the New England Cottontail is in need of protected habitat and public awareness.

For more information and ways to help see links below:
Kids who care about New England Cottontails

Eye Help Animals

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service New England Cottontail

Rabbit at Risk

A Landowner’s Guide to New England Cottontail Habitat Management

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Take it Outside

Turn off the screens—the television, the computer, the video games. Take time from work, from chores, from the day to day tasks that keep us busy. Adults and children, take it outside. Each week I will challenge you to see and hear new things—to hunt the woods for wildflowers, to find shapes in nature, to sit by the waterside and listen for unique sounds. So much to experience out in the world.

Look for Large

Elliot finds a hugh treeThis week’s challenge: Look in nature for all things large, big, huge, enormous, gigantic. Talk about scale and size. Compare the size of a big tree to an adult and then to a child. Play with the words—what’s the difference between humongous and gigantic? Find big rocks, leaves, mushrooms, sticks, ponds, rivers, hills, etc. and then label them with large words—enormous, big, huge, gargantuan, humongous, jumbo, tremendous, large, massive, gigantic, towering. I always marvel at the bigness of the sky, particularly the bright blue skies of autumn. They always help me gain perspective.

The earth weighs about 13227735730800000000000000 pounds or about 6000000000000000000000000 kilograms. Its diameter is 7,926 miles. The circumference of the earth at the equator is 24,901.55 miles or 40,075.16 kilometers. Now that’s tremendous!elliot with big leaf

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Friday Photo

Last blooms of autumn

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Sherlock Holms Tube London

The Nature Conservancy is trying to solve a mystery: Why are native eelgrass meadows disappearing from Long Island Sound and other Atlantic coast locations? Read the “Science Sleuths Mystery Case Files” at the Nature Conservancy Website. This phenomenon involves many classic detective stories, A Fishy Tale, a Ghost Town, Lost Eelgrass Civilization and a Spirit Forest. Take a look, maybe you will see something the Nature Conservancy scientists have missed. Fresh eyes and a youthful perspective might be just what is needed to solve this mystery.

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