Flowers Unfurling

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Back in September, I enjoyed photographing some late flowers at Brookside Gardens. I found myself more interested in the flowers that were just opening. It’s sometimes hard to fathom how the buds open into the flowers.

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Other times there is a concentration of flower parts – smaller and more concentrated than the fully opened flower …like this hibiscus.

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Sometimes there are many flowers on the same plant that are in the process of opening…like these angel‘s trumpets. I photographed many of the flowers and tried to order the sequence below to show the unfurling of the flowers.

Mt Pleasant in October

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Last week, I got to Howard County Conservancy’s Mt Pleasant just as the sun was coming up over the place. There were a few fall colors even with the drought which is causing a lot of the leaves to change and fall very quickly.

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We were working with high school students --- assessing the water in the Davis Branch with abiotic and biotic sampling. The water was very low.

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We found some macroinvertebrates…but everyone was more enthusiastic than usual with other living things we found that weren’t part of the assessment. This large spider caused quite a lot of excitement!

I took a few pictures of fall plants between the early morning and late morning groups. Much of the meadow is turning brown early. Some of the gardens closer to the building may be getting a little watering and are more colorful.

A Sunrise…and Sunset

The day we took our trip to Smith Island, we were up to catch the sunrise from the balcony of our hotel…looking toward the Somers Cover Marina in Crisfield MD.

After the boat to Smith Island, we headed toward home and saw the sunset just before we got to the Chesapeake Bay Bridge in the car.

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Colorful bookends to a day on the water.

Trip to Smith Island – Part II

Continuing the post about our trip to Smith Island, MD last weekend….

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Brown Pelicans were the big bird show of the trip. I managed to get some birds in flight as herring and mackerel were thrown off the back of the boat and the birds flew in to get the fish before it sank below the water’s surface.

I took a series of pictures of a pelican flying away after getting a fish…and landing on the water…feet spread out.

There was another bird – close to the boat that took off from the water – a strong stroke of its wings as it raised the legs and then the big wings fully extended as it gained altitude over the water.

The pelicans use the man-made structures in or near the water like pilings,

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Or partially collapsed buildings,

Or jetties. Other birds like cormorants and gulls also enjoy the same structures. But the pelicans were the numerous and the biggest. There were lots of juveniles…the pelican rookery had a good year.

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Gleanings of the Week Ending October 12, 2019

The items below were ‘the cream’ of the articles and websites I found this past week. Click on the light green text to look at the article.

Climate change may cut soil's ability to absorb water -- ScienceDaily – Climate change impacts everything. The models only model pieces of the puzzle. This study was looking specifically at water and soil – not currently included in models..

The Iguana Invasion – Cool Green Science – They’re a common sight in Florida….and the state is now advising people to kill them. No talk of eating them like they do in their native range further south and the Caribbean where they are farmed.

Sigiriya, the 'Lion Fortress' of Sri Lanka – A Heritage Site that survived by being hidden by forests…and being remote enough to not be marred by modern weapons of war.

Impostor syndrome is more common than you think -- ScienceDaily – Seeking social support outside academic (or workplace) specialization seems to be the best coping strategy.

Pregnant Moms' Air Pollution Exposure May Affect Babies' Health | The Scientist Magazine® - Research is ongoing. The first correlation was between air pollution and low birthweight/preterm birth. Current research is on other health consequences in the early life of the baby and beyond…looking beyond correlation to the underlying mechanism.

Top 25 Wild Bird Photographs of the Week: October – The headline picture is of a Green Heron!

BBC - Future - The simple words that save lives – Communication in an emergency…if it goes wrong…tragedy.

Despite growing burden of diet-related disease, medical education does not equip students to provide high quality nutritional care to patients -- ScienceDaily - Researchers call for improved nutrition education to be integrated into the medical curriculum. This makes sense to me…but why hasn’t it been done long before now?

Iceland's Seabird Colonies Are Vanishing, With "Massive" Chick Deaths – Kittiwakes, puffins, murres, fulmars – Chicks die…nests with eggs abandoned. Total breeding failure for many of the birds. For the Puffins it has been happening since 2005. Lots of changes caused by climate change funneling pollution from the North America and Europe to the North Atlantic: mercury ubiquitous and rising fast in some areas, brominated flame retardant, pesticides, PCBs, chemical laced microplastics. A caption under one of the pictures: “In Iceland, levels of PCBs and other contaminants are so high in murre eggs that people shouldn’t eat them.”

Trip to Smith Island – Part I

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Last weekend, we took a day trip to Smith Island arranged by Delmarva Birding. We departed from Somers Cove Marina in Crisfeld, MD about 8 AM.

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The day was sunny a very breezy. The temperature was chilly enough that we appreciated the plastic that blocked the wind for us while we were on the boat crossing Tangier Sound toward Ewell. We past Glenn Martin National Wildlife Refuge along the way…lots of pelicans and cormorants.

Goat Island is across from Ewell…and the goat seem interested in boats coming into the marina.

We browsed the Smith Island Cultural Center then walked down Smith Island Road to look at birds in the wetlands there. There were small birds which I didn’t manage to photograph and ducks that were far enough away that they were silhouettes. A Great Egret was close to the road we were walking down.

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So was a Tricolored Heron. The bird must have been in one of its favorite spots for fishing since it ignored our group and continued its activity.

Back on the boat we headed around to Tylerton where we had lunch (island made crab cakes and Smith Island Cake) at Drum Point Market. The bathroom had black-eye-susans painted on the walls!

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We walked around afterwards seeing the stained-glass windows of the church, heron shutters, and the ‘welcome’ painted on a building.

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Several houses had pomegranates as part of their landscaping.

Then we were back on the boat…and more birding. There was a group of Double-crested Cormorants with one in the center…wings spread. I couldn’t resist taking slightly different angles of the birds clustered around that one!

 There were some Caspian and Royal Terns on a beach. I think most of the terns in my pictures are Royal Terns.

I’ve saved all the pelican pictures for part II of this blog post…coming out on Sunday!

Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge

Last weekend we made a trip to the Eastern Shore of Maryland. We stopped at Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge along the way and drove around the wild life loop.

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Blackwater was the first place I saw a Bald Eagle in the wild (back in 1990) and now they are even more numerous in the refuge. This time the eagle we saw was in the far distance. I zoomed as much as I could and got an OK picture for identification.

There were also quite a few Great Egrets. The breeze was enough to ruffle their feathers.

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But the big drama was between a turtle and juvenile Great Blue Heron. I saw the turtle first. It seemed to notice our car – which we were using as a blind. I already had the window rolled down.

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Then I noticed a heron a little to the left of the turtle….and the heron started walking toward the turtle.

The heron stepped up behind the turtle and the turtle withdrew into the shell.

Then the heron stepped on the turtle and I was holding down the button to let my camera take pictures as fast as possible…doing the best I could to hold the camera steady. Did the heron mistake the turtle for a rock? The turtle must have wobbled and the heron extended its wings for balance. The turtle plopped into the water with a splash…and the heron perched on the snag that had previously held the turtle.

Cicada from my Office Window

Back in August, I noticed a cicada on the screen of my office window. I was there for quite some time, so I went outside and zoomed to get a picture of it. Several days later, it was still there, and I decided it was probably time to collect it. I opened my office window and took off the screen…gently pulled the cicada from the screen.

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It sat on the table in my office – protected in a small box – until a few days ago when I finally got around to taking a closer look and some photographs. It’s not a periodic cicada…but otherwise I didn’t determine the exact kind it is. It’s probably a male because the end of the abdomen is not pointed enough to be a female.

I took some pictures with the macro lens clipped to the cell phone. It’s hard to get the whole insect in focus with the shallow depth-of-field. In the two pictures below the eye and head is focused in one….and the wing joint is crisp in the second.

The cicadas are already silent for this year. The eggs are laid, and the larvae will begin their long development. We’ll have more adults emerge next spring. And in 2021 we might get the emergence of a large periodic cicada brood; that will be a noisy summer.

Beautyberry as Zentangle® Prompt

When I was at Mount Vernon in December there was an American Beautyberry growing at the edge of the bowling green. I took a picture of the bush then zoomed in on a stem with berries.

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Nature is a great source of prompts for tangle patterns…and the purple clusters of the beautyberry are one of the easier examples. There is not much deconstruction required…the pattern is just some parallel dashed lines for the stem and filling the spaces between the stem lines with the tipple pattern. Easy!

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The Zentangle® Method is an easy-to-learn, relaxing, and fun way to create beautiful images by drawing structured patterns. It was created by Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas. "Zentangle" is a registered trademark of Zentangle, Inc. Learn more at zentangle.com.

Trees with Seeds

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This time a year it’s easy to spot trees with seeds. Some are very colorful like the magnolias (they remind me a little or red M&Ms)

And the dogwoods.

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Others are mostly brown like the golden rain trees

And maples (some trees shed their samaras in the spring…others, like these at Brookside Gardens, wait until the fall)

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And red buckeyes with the buckeye nut showing where the mottled brown and green husk has cracked.

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Then there are seeds that are still green…that will take more time to mature and dry…ready to be shed next spring. The tulip poplar seed pods are still closed in the fall…the seeds not yet mature. We always accumulate a lot of tulip poplar seeds in our gutters in the spring.

The sycamore seeds will get softer…the balls feeling almost ‘furry’ by the time they break apart dispersing the small seeds in the spring. Each bump on this immature seed ball will become a sycamore seed! When I show tulip poplar and sycamore seeds to preschoolers on spring field trips, they are always awestruck my how small they are compared to the trees!

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Birds through my Office Window

The leaves are starting to swirl…but there are still enough on the trees to block the view of birds there. I’ve been lucky enough to catch some coming to our deck for seed or water. There was a Blue Jay with a scruffy head; most that I see are better looking. Sometimes the birds come alone…sometimes with buddies. They seem to like investigating the contents of the gutters.

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The Carolina Chickadee was in a rush….I barely got one picture!

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My favorite this month was the White-breasted Nuthatch. The birds seemed to be coming to the feeder very frequently. Did they have a late season nestlings they were feeding? They have such distinctive postures….always seem to move with precision.

The Chipping Sparrows also enjoy the feeder. One small one sat at the feeder looking around and I wondered if it was newly fledged.

The juvenile Red-Bellied Woodpecker is still around too. I’ve seen adults but they tend to be faster moving. The juvenile sits for portraits.

Overall – September was a good month for birds through the office window!

Gleanings of the Week Ending October 5, 2019

The items below were ‘the cream’ of the articles and websites I found this past week. Click on the light green text to look at the article.

BBC - Future - The desert soil that could save lives – Bioprospecting for antibiotics and industrial biocatalysts from bacteria that survive in extreme environments like the Atacama or Antarctica

Top 25 Wild Bird Photographs of the Week: Resident Birds – National Geographic Society Newsroom – ‘Resident’ around the world….beautiful birds.

Global warming may threaten availability of essential brain-building fatty acid -- ScienceDaily – Impacts of climate change go far beyond the climate models…many probably still to be discovered.

Recovery: Restoring the Floodplain Forest – Cool Green Science – I started reading the article since I am always interested in how restoration projects are created and evolve…but the aspect I’ll remember about it was the info about a tree: American Elms. Ones resistant to Dutch Elm Disease are among the trees being planted as part of the restoration. I grew up at a time when the elms were all dying. There were several I remember at my grandparents’ house in Oklahoma and a tree beside the playhouse at the house we moved to in Dallas in the early 1970s. It was already sickly. I wonder if there will soon be enough varieties and availability of elm trees for them to become landscaping trees again.

Interview: Self-Taught Myanmar Photographer Captures People Working – Capturing images of human-made place. Now I am wondering what I would photograph in my part of the world to do something equivalent.

Crying over plant-based milk: neither science nor history favors a dairy monopoly – An article about milk….and the argument about what the word means. The dairy industry wants it to mean milk from cows…but milk has been used more broadly to mean white liquid for a very long time. We even have plants with ‘milk’ in their name (i.e. milkweed)!

Pictures of India's UNESCO World Heritage sites – Rich cultural and natural history…reflected in places selected to protect.

'Report card' on diet trends: Low-quality carbs account for 42 percent of a day's calories: Older people, those with lower income, and those with less education face greater hurdles -- ScienceDaily – With results like this, maybe we should come up with better ways of helping people learn about nutrition. Do our schools help students learn about nutrition? How many adults have logged their food intake into an app and discovered how good (or poor) their food choices are? The current outreach strategies relative to nutrition are not enough. Sometimes even doctors seem to lack any expertise other than knowing that a patient is overweight/obese or their waist is too large.

Create Wildlife Habitat Around Your House – Cool Green Science – I already have a bird bath and feeder, milkweed patch, brush pile and some native trees (maple, sycamore, tulip poplar, oak). Even a spongy compost pile is habitat (this summer I had puddling tiger swallowtails on it)!

Komodo Dragons Have Skin That Looks Like Chain Mail | Smart News | Smithsonian – Four distinct morphologies of osteoderms in the skin of adult Komodo dragons. Another example of the wonderful complexity in the natural world.

Mowing Leaves

I am trying a new strategy this fall when it comes to the leaves on our lawn. In previous years I raked and deposited the leaves in piles at the edge of the forest that is in our back yard. I always contort myself in some part of the process and end up with aches and pains. So – this year I am experimenting with mowing the leaves – mulching them into the yard. Mowing does take some effort but the motion is regular and I don’t end up with aches. Mowing must be done frequently enough that the leaves don’t get so thick on the ground that the mower isn’t effective. The yard looks great for a time after the mowing (see a before and after picture below of an area under a sycamore).

The mowing is working great for leaves like oak and sycamore that are large and brittle; the mower mulches them quite well. The smaller and more flexible types of leaves (plum, tulip poplar, and maple), which have not fallen as much in our yard yet, might be another story.

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Right now, I am just enjoying the occasional colorful leaf on the maple.

The projection for our area is that the fall will have less color because of the near drought conditions we’ve had since mid-summer. We’ll see. There are still a lot of leaves left on the trees and the leaf mowing experiment still has a month or so to go.

eBotantical Prints – September 2019

Thirty books added to the list of botanical ebooks collection this month. I am continuing to work my way through the annual volumes of Revue Horticole that I started in August; this month includes the volumes from 1865 to 1896…and there are still more to come in October! The magazine showed plants that were growing or being introduced to gardens in France at the time.

The volumes are all freely available on the Internet. The whole list of over 1,700 books can be accessed here. Sample images and links for the 30 new ones are provided below. (click on the sample image to see a larger view) Enjoy!

Revue Horticole (1865) * Librairie Agricole de la Maison Rustique * sample image * 1865

Revue Horticole (1866) * Librairie Agricole de la Maison Rustique * sample image * 1866

Revue Horticole (1867) * Librairie Agricole de la Maison Rustique * sample image * 1867

Revue Horticole (1868) * Librairie Agricole de la Maison Rustique * sample image * 1868

Revue Horticole (1870) * Librairie Agricole de la Maison Rustique * sample image * 1870

Revue Horticole (1872) * Librairie Agricole de la Maison Rustique * sample image * 1872

Revue Horticole (1873) * Librairie Agricole de la Maison Rustique * sample image * 1873

Revue Horticole (1874) * Librairie Agricole de la Maison Rustique * sample image * 1874

Revue Horticole (1875) * Librairie Agricole de la Maison Rustique * sample image * 1875

Revue Horticole (1876) * Librairie Agricole de la Maison Rustique * sample image * 1876

Revue Horticole (1877) * Librairie Agricole de la Maison Rustique * sample image * 1877

Revue Horticole (1878) * Librairie Agricole de la Maison Rustique * sample image * 1878

Revue Horticole (1879) * Librairie Agricole de la Maison Rustique * sample image * 1879

Revue Horticole (1880) * Librairie Agricole de la Maison Rustique * sample image * 1880

Revue Horticole (1881) * Librairie Agricole de la Maison Rustique * sample image * 1881

Revue Horticole (1882) * Librairie Agricole de la Maison Rustique * sample image * 1882

Revue Horticole (1883) * Librairie Agricole de la Maison Rustique * sample image * 1883

Revue Horticole (1884) * Librairie Agricole de la Maison Rustique * sample image * 1884

Revue Horticole (1885) * Librairie Agricole de la Maison Rustique * sample image * 1885

Revue Horticole (1886) * Librairie Agricole de la Maison Rustique * sample image * 1886

Revue Horticole (1887) * Librairie Agricole de la Maison Rustique * sample image * 1887

Revue Horticole (1888) * Librairie Agricole de la Maison Rustique * sample image * 1888

Revue Horticole (1889) * Librairie Agricole de la Maison Rustique * sample image * 1889

Revue Horticole (1890) * Librairie Agricole de la Maison Rustique * sample image * 1890

Revue Horticole (1891) * Librairie Agricole de la Maison Rustique * sample image * 1891

Revue Horticole (1892) * Librairie Agricole de la Maison Rustique * sample image * 1892

Revue Horticole (1893) * Librairie Agricole de la Maison Rustique * sample image * 1893

Revue Horticole (1894) * Librairie Agricole de la Maison Rustique * sample image * 1894

Revue Horticole (1895) * Librairie Agricole de la Maison Rustique * sample image * 1895

Revue Horticole (1896) * Librairie Agricole de la Maison Rustique * sample image * 1896

Birds at Brookside

The last day of the Brookside Gardens Wings of Fancy exhibit (Sunday before last) started out with some easy bird sightings. I didn’t have my best camera for getting the action…but I did get some identifying shots. The Red-Bellied Woodpecker really does have a red belly! I heard this bird before I saw it; for some reason it was being very noisy up in the trees along the stream near the conservatory parking lot gate.

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There was a scruffy looking Robin. I’m not sure if it was a juvenile or a molting adult. It seemed to be the only bird of the morning that was still.

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The Downy Woodpecker was very active…moving about in the trees so quickly I couldn’t tell if it was finding things to eat or not.

All three of the birds were seen in the same area and I heard catbirds and cardinals. It was a good day for birds if you looked quickly. Many of these birds stay around for the winter and will be easier to see after the leaves are off the trees. I continued my walk up to the fragrance garden wondering if there were any hummingbirds left in the salvia garden. I saw one within seconds of arriving…and took a picture. Most of the birds have already left…but this one still seemed to be enjoying the salvia.

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And after that…I was ready for the last day with the butterflies.

Zentangle® - September2019

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I had plenty of tiles to choose the 30 to feature in this Zentangle-a-day post for September. There were some patterns that came up again and again during the month. The dominant one was gingo. I’ve always liked the trees and was thrilled to see the pattern posted on TanglePatterns.com site in late August.  13 of the 30 tiles I picked for September were this pattern…sometimes as a mono-pattern tile and sometimes with other patterns or a background. The ones with the dark background below were made on the iPad…others were done on square heavy paper/light cardboard tiles of various sizes and colors.

The feather-like pattern that I enjoyed so much with the campers is still one of my favorites…with variations.

I did an experiment with the paradox pattern – making the ‘same’ tile on paper and with the iPad. I love the meta-pattern that paradox creates and made two different ones. I was going to pick a favorite (meta-pattern and media) but I liked all of them.

Periodically I enjoy making a tile with a crazy string and then just filling in. Both tiles below were simply filling in shapes where only a point touched the area I had just finished coloring. For the second one – I made some red dots on the tile after I drew the string but before I started filling in shapes. It is surprising how different they look….so dependent on the scribbled string!

Then there were 8 tiles that didn’t fit any of the above categories. Sometimes it’s just fun to try something different!

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The Zentangle® Method is an easy-to-learn, relaxing, and fun way to create beautiful images by drawing structured patterns. It was created by Rick Roberts and Maria Thomas. "Zentangle" is a registered trademark of Zentangle, Inc. Learn more at zentangle.com.

Zooming – September 2019

The images I selected for this month reflected the season and many of the places visited during the month. Season reminders…

  • The flowers of autumn like sunflowers and autumn crocus,

  • Hummingbirds eating to fatten up for migration,

  • Seed pods of the golden rain, maple, buckeye, and dogwood trees

Reflections of the places I visited:

  • Patuxent Research Refuge (north tract) – sunflower and hummingbird,

  • Longwood Gardens – waterlily, sunflower, tower,

  • Brookside Gardens – insects and flowers and tree seeds,

  • Mount Vernon – the greenhouse and beautyberry

Overall it was a good month for getting outdoors to capture the beauty of summer and early fall. I am anticipating a lot of leaf photography for October.

Enjoy the September 2019 slide show – hurray for cameras with good zoom lenses!

Training at Belmont

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There was a volunteer training session for the 5th grade BioBlitz field trip at Belmont led by Howard County Conservancy a week or so ago. The short hike back to the woods…to an area along the trail where water seeps out of the ground to create a small stream…gave us an opportunity to see how easy it is to find interesting organisms to document. The trees are obvious.

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Looking more closely there are things like mushrooms growing on a moss-covered log, macroinvertebrates in the water,

Crawly things (millipedes, worms, termites, insect larvae, etc.) under logs that can be rolled and sometimes frogs/toads that jump and show themselves. In our case it was a small American toad.

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Sometimes even the texture of tree bark can be interesting. This beech tree has wrinkles!

It was a ‘in a few minutes’ type of event…so much found, quickly. We could spend the whole time documenting what we found in that small area. It helps that there is water…since we haven’t had much rain recently and some longs that were mossy and full of fungi last spring are brown right now.

Gleanings of the Week Ending September 28, 2019

The items below were ‘the cream’ of the articles and websites I found this past week. Click on the light green text to look at the article.

Marriott Aims For 33% Reduction in Plastic Waste | CleanTechnica – Marriott will do this by 2020. They will do away with the tiny tubes of shampoo, conditioned and other toiletries, replacing then with larger bottles affixed to the walls. It’s a step in the right direction and we all need to be looking for these steps that are ‘easy.’ We also need vendors to do their part and transition away from plastic packaging. Remember that plastic is relatively recent; there are still people alive that remember a time without it! But we need new solutions rather than just going back to pre-plastic days….it will take focus and creativity…and a demand from all of us – to rid ourselves of the negative aspects of plastic.

Top 25 Wild Bird Photographs of the Week: Endemic Birds – National Geographic Society Newsroom – Beautiful birds.

Dam Removal Complete on Maryland's Patapasco River - News | Planetizen – Some close-to-home news. I had been tracking these dam removals over the past few years and hearing reports about preparation and results at the annual Maryland Water Monitoring Council conference.

Harmful Algal Blooms (Red Tide) – Information and maps about algal blooms. I looked at the Chesapeake Bay part of the site.

Ghost Crabs Use Teeth in Their Stomachs to Ward Off Predators | Smart News | Smithsonian – This article reminded me of the ghost crab we saw on Two Mile Beach near Cape May, New Jersey last May. We must have been far enough away to not be too threatening; the crab did not make any noise at all.

Drinking tea improves brain health, study suggests -- ScienceDaily – I like to drink tea…and it gets even better with studies like this. The opposite it true for soft drinks…even the diet ones. Those I need to reduce or stop drinking completely.

Can We Turn Down the Temperature on Urban Heat Islands? - Yale E360 – Work to gather more detailed information about the heat islands within cities. The extra details help clarify strategies of how to reduce them. Some of the ideas I had heard before…others – like varying building heights – I had not.

Topography could save sensitive saguaros as climate changes -- ScienceDaily – We haven’t been back to Tucson since my daughter finished her graduate work at University of Arizona; but I always browse articles about the place. This research was done at U of A…and I was glad that the iconic saguaros might adapt to climate change – at least on Tumamoc Hill.

A Field Guide to The Feral Parrots of the US – Cool Green Science – Wow – there are a lot more of them than I realized.

Neurotoxin lead sometimes added to turmeric for brighter color -- ScienceDaily – Very scary. Are we sure they don’t export the tainted turmeric?

Ten Little Celebrations – September 2019

September was a transition month…the end of the Wings of Fancy exhibit and the gearing up for the Howard County Conservancy’s fall field trips for county schools. That overall theme carried over to almost all the little celebrations I’m featuring in this month’s post.

Beginning yoga. I was surprised that I could do some of the poses with relative ease….and others with a little practice. It’s surprising how quickly the benefits begin to be noticeable.

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Question Mark Butterfly. I was thrilled to notice the butterfly in the mulch at Brookside Gardens when its wings were open. I would have never seen it had its wings been closed. I celebrated a second time after I got home and figured out what kind of butterfly it was.

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Mount Vernon. What a place for a volunteer appreciation day…and the weather was perfect! I celebrated the place and the people I was meeting all day long.

Longwood Gardens. The place is always special – because of what we see there during our visit and the memories of other visits.

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Toad near the stream. There are always those serendipity events that make an ordinary hike extraordinary.  During one of our training sessions at Belmont we hiked to the small stream….and were finding mushrooms and moss and macroinvertebrates….and then a small toad jumped into our midst! Being naturalists…we all celebrated.

Large monarch caterpillar. My milkweed didn’t have many caterpillars this year…but one morning when I looked there was a large one (obviously had been there eating). I celebrated that he was probably big enough to make a chrysalis.

Casemaker caddisfly. We’ve had almost no rain for the past month or so and the stream was low…but we found several casemaker caddisfly larvae! They looked like a small clump of debris at first….and then they moved. It’s good to see living things in the water even when there is not much water around.

Carrot cake. I was celebrating something but the carrot cake itself overwhelmed whatever I was celebrating. Yummy!

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Wings of Fancy. The next to the last volunteer shift in the Wings of Fancy exhibit was a light day for visitors and I celebrated some quiet time with the butterflies.

Day at Little Patuxent River. High schoolers in the river….interested and focused. The water was low but they found some macroinvertebrates and they were so organized in the chemical tests of water quality (my station for this field trip) that we finished everything with a little time to spare. Celebrating high schoolers!