Free eBooks – September 2019

Usually I feature 3 books. This time I am featuring one book…and a series of 10 books (6 of which I read in September).

Marriott, Charles. Modern Art – a collection of works in modern art. New York: Frederick A. Stokes Co. 1917. Available from Internet Archive here. A good selection of what was ‘modern’ during World War I. The illustrations are in color.

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Bushell, Stephen Wootton. Oriental Ceramic Art – illustrated examples from the collection of W.T. Walters. New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1897. Ten volumes available from Internet Archive here. This collection formed the basis of the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore that was formed by his son. Walters died in 1894; he had prepared parts of the volumes that were then edited and published after his death. I still have 4 volumes to savor…in October! I picked a sample image from each of the 6 I’ve already browsed for this post.

Baltimore Birding – part 3

We continued our Baltimore Birding experience with a walk around Fort McHenry the next morning. It was mostly sunny and warmer. Even with the better light and no rain – I saw more birds than I managed to photograph. I’m featuring the ones that say still long enough for me to get the camera in position. There were quite a few Great Crested Flycatchers (I remember seeing one in my back yard last year about time…posted about it here).

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There were American robins in the grass.

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The small birds moved around rapidly in the trees. I think this one is an orchard oriole.

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I photographed mushrooms when I saw them. The mulch was support several groupings….and a sycamore stump had a collection of small shelf fungus.

There was a grackle aggressively defending a trash can at the front of the visitor center.

There were mallards about. There was a female that looked calm for the moment…the males were being very aggressive.

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There was a ‘mixed breed’ duck…probably mallard and a domestic duck of some kind.

There were some sycamores along the path that did not look healthy. I wondered if salt water incursion was happening through the seawall around the fort….or maybe they are all the same age and getting old. I took a picture of one that already had its top gone; there was a knot with leaves sprouting at about eye level with ‘wrinkles’ on all sides – almost like skin.

We headed over to a marshy are beside the fort…and I managed to finally get a picture of a one kind of swallow we say: a tree swallow. We saw barn swallows on our walk as well.

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Overall our Baltimore Birding experience provided a different perspective on the city. I would guess that birding in just about any city would have the same results. Maybe it is something we should do more often….although the amount of trash (particularly in the water) is always depressing.

Baltimore Birding – part 1

My husband and I participated in the Baltimore Birding Weekend this past weekend. It’s a new perspective on the city for us. On Saturday morning we participated in a session that started at Swann Park and then walked several segments of the Middle Branch Trail parking convenient to trail access: in the Harbor Hospital parking lot, on Warner Street near the Horseshoe Casino, then at the boathouse at Middle Branch Park on Waterview Ave. It rained for most of the time we were out, but my husband and I stayed dry enough in boots, rain pants and windbreakers (I used an umbrella part of the time because my windbreaker was not as waterproof as I thought it was).

Because it was raining and cloudy…and I was often holding the umbrella….I didn’t get as many pictures as usual although the umbrella enabled me to get more than I would have otherwise because it kept the rain off the camera. There were a lot more birds that I saw but couldn’t photograph. The bird pictures are often good enough for id but not much else. At the first stop (Swann Park) – I managed a double-crested cormorant (way out over the water) and killdeer (on the walkway ahead of us).

The second stop (accessed from the Harbor Hospital parking lot) was cut short by the path being flooded under a bridge. We did see a mallard family (4 ducklings) head out into the water before we turned around and went back to our cars.

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We parked along Warner Street near the Casino next. Our destination was the Gwynn Falls/Middle Branch trail head, but we stopped to note the bird mural on one of the buildings.

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There were a lot of smaller birds in the woods which I didn’t manage to photograph but the rain let up slightly and we stood on a bridge over the water. The trash was depressing (it is everywhere but particularly in the water…some of it probably came from a long way down the Patuxent River). The black-crowned night heron seemed to take it in stride.

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There was a green heron nearby as well.

But the highpoint of being on the bridge was a belted kingfisher that flew toward us, under the bridge and then settled onto a branch. I took some pictures. It had a fish but made no move to swallow it….and then it flew on.

I’ll continue our adventure in Baltimore Birding in tomorrow’s post.

Gleanings of the Week Ending October 21, 2017

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.

What’s With That Dam? : The National Wildlife Federation – We got to Conowingo to see bald eagles….so I was interested in learning more about it. Evidently - the dam’s current impact on the Chesapeake Bay is not a positive one.

On Bee-ing – Cool Green Science – About the Minnesota Bee Atlas.

Stunning Video Captures Humpback Whales Catching Fish with Nets of Bubbles | Smart News | Smithsonian – I’d heard of this phenomenon but the video is still thrilling! Well work the 40 seconds!

How honeybees read the waggle dance -- ScienceDaily – The field trip the Howard County Conservancy does for 3rd graders includes a segment on the waggle dance….so I read this article to find out more about it….both the history of its discovery and the current research on the neurons responding to the dance.

Bathtub Bloodbath, 1793 | The Scientist Magazine® - A famous painting of Jean-Paul Marat murdered in his bath…what he was before his revolutionary activities.

Adaptation as Acceptance: Toward a New Normal in the Northwoods – Cool Green Science – Forests are changing – with climate change and invasive insects like emerald ash borer and woolly adelgid culling some trees that were, until recently, common in our forests. There is a grief for those lost trees that will not make a comeback. This article is about finding hope via adaptation. The forest will be different…but still forest.

Meet the Transgenic Silkworms That Are Spinning out Spider Silk | The Scientist Magazine® - Spider silk combines elasticity and strength but has been difficult to produce. Now the fiber is produced by silkworms and the increased availability makes it viable for a host of applications. It will be interesting to observe how the market develops.

Treetop Walkway Provides an Elevated Path Through Danish Forest – What an awesome way to observe a forest!

National Mall and Memorial Parks – Hope the laser ablation of the biofilm on the Jefferson Memorial works as well as the test spot. The dome has gotten a lot grayer over the years from ‘biofilm.’

Seeing Big Changes in Baltimore: The National Wildlife Federation Blog – Hurray for the schools and students in Baltimore provided wildlife habitat!