Gleanings of the Week Ending April 6, 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 - What happens when we run out of food? – Even in the US, nearly 12% of households re classed as being food insecure; more than 6.5 million children go without adequate food. And the whole food system can be disrupted very easily by war and very bad government all around the world.

Refugee women have healthier pregnancies than US women -- why? An unhealthy US culture: For African refugee women, acculturation may negatively impact health -- ScienceDaily – I was surprised that the researchers did not explore the idea that maybe the value of early pre-natal care is overrated for people that are generally healthy when they get pregnant since the refugee women tended to not start pre-natal care until their 2nd trimester.

Top 25 Wild Bird Photographs of the Week: Migration – National Geographic Society  - Birds are migrating through our area…we’re seeing more robins…and the juncos will leave soon to go further north. These pictures feature birds from around the world…that are migrating.

Hospital disinfectants should be regulated like antibiotics new study suggests – It’s not just antibiotics that drive antimicrobial resistance…it’s disinfectants (particularly in hospitals) too.

BBC - Future - The unexpected magic of mushrooms – New items made from fungus...replacing some kinds of plastics. It’s good that fungi are so plentiful on the planet – exceeding the biomass of all animals.

An Island Apart – Acadia National Park’s Isle ad Haut. A very different experience from Mount Desert Island

Beautiful cherry blossoms photos – Our cherry tree is in bloom right now. I guess cherry trees are enjoyed around the world very year about this time. There is a picture of the cherry trees around the tidal basin in Washington DC included in the pictures.

Green tea cuts obesity, health risks in mice: Follow-up study in people underway -- ScienceDaily – More research needed…. but I am enjoying green tea already (my favorite is a blend with mint).

Make A Home for Wildlife – Cool Green Science – Some ideas for creating an oasis for wildlife --- it doesn’t take much to help pollinators or birds!

Why did Flamingos flock to Mumbai in record numbers this winter? – 120,000 flamingoes…that’s a lot of birds!

Gleanings of the Week Ending September 15, 2018

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 - How China’s giant solar farms are transforming world energy – Giant solar farms that, when viewed from the air form Giant Pandas. All over the world…but in China particularly…there are more and more enormous solar farms. It’s good for the immediate future but there are still issues with what happens when the solar panels need to be recycled (i.e. in 30 or so years).

New research shows how children want their food served -- ScienceDaily – I didn’t find this a challenge…my daughter always enjoyed her food. It seems more likely to be challenging in places like school cafeterias or other institutional settings.

Photos Show the Icy Glacier Landscape of Northeast Greenland – Life lurking in the ice waters. It’s a difficult place to dive.

Landscape Plants Rated by Deer Resistance (Rutgers NJAES) – Maryland is not that far from New Jersey so this list works for us – although I wish they would mark the plants native to North America. I’d rather plant natives.

How This Popular Garden Plant May Spread Parasites That Harm Monarchs | Smart News | Smithsonian – Aargh!!!! We need to be sure we are not planting tropical milkweed in areas where it is not native….the orange butterfly weed – which is also a milkweed – is native across most of North America and a good plant to have in the garden for Monarch butterfly caterpillars.

New color-generation mechanism discovered in ‘rainbow’ weevil -- ScienceDaily – The researches from Yale propose that this mechanism might be useful for screen displays to enable the same true image from any angle and to reduce signal loss in optical fibers.

What Ötzi the Iceman’s Tattoos Reveal About Copper Age Medical Practices | Smart News | Smithsonian – There have been papers coming out about additional discoveries from the remains found in the Alps in 1991 over the years --- there was a lot we could learn and new technologies have come along to enable more than anyone thought about at first.

Night-time habits of captive flamingos -- ScienceDaily – The forage and roam! Evidently, they are more active at night in the wild as well. During the day they tend to rest and preen…that’s when courtship displays happen as well.

Muscle Clocks Play a Role in Regulating Metabolism | The Scientist Magazine® - Circadian rhythms are not just from the brain! There are timekeepers throughout the body. The peripheral clock in muscles was confirmed in 2007 and it turns out that it is important to glucose metabolism. There is still a lot to learn about all the body’s timekeepers!

BBC - Future - Are hot springs the future of farming? – Maybe there is not one strategy that is the ‘future of farming’ – but this is an interesting idea that we may see in places where it can be done effectively.

Gleanings of the Week Ending March 10, 2018

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.

Look at What the Coastal Storms Have Done to the Chesapeake Bay - AGU Blogosphere – We had high winds in our area a week ago and it was worse (even higher winds and more precipitation) north of us. Trees feel, power outages prevalent, and some rail cars fell from a bridge as they crossed the Susquehanna River. The suspended matter in the rivers around the Chesapeake Bay were dramatically high…and it moved fast (lots of difference between March 4 and March 5). Wow!

New Perspectives on Bogotá’s Architecture Thanks to Drone Photography – I liked the first picture the best: the building footprint and the rooftop gardens…the trees below.

Forecasting diseases one image at a time – National Geographic Blog – Los Alamos working on predictive models of disease outbreaks in populations suplementing traditional data sources (with lag times in data availability) with non-traditional sources that are available more quickly to enable more timely response to disease outbreaks.

Are flamingos returning to Florida? -- ScienceDaily – Florida had flamingos in the 1800s but by 1900 they had been eliminated (killed for their plumage). Since 1950 they have been increasing in numbers and this study indicates that they are not just escapees from captive flocks. Most are birds from the Caribbean or Mexico that have repopulated Florida.

Can You Ever Have Too Many Turkeys? – Cool Green Science – Turkeys in Oregon – not native to the area but thriving – and an experience with the citizen science project to count them.

The Pileated Woodpecker in Winter – Cool Green Science – We have some pileated woodpeckers that make their rounds in the forest behind our house. They are indeed easier to see in the winter time than any other time of the year.

Welcome to the Age of Climate Migration - Rolling Stone – People are already moving from areas that are flooding more frequently. This appears to be an early indicator of economic consequences for climate change denial.

The Strange and Magnificent Nudibranchs of the Cape – National Geographic Blog – Marine slugs look so different from life we are used to seeing…they could be from another planet…but they are here on earth. Enjoy the pictures in this blog post.

Low magnesium levels make vitamin D ineffective: Up to 50 percent of US population is magnesium deficient -- ScienceDaily – Yet another reason to eat those leafy greens…or take a magnesium supplement.

Recovery: Evicting Rabbits – Cool Green Science – Ridding some islands of non-native rabbits so native flora and fauna can recover (penguins, birds, lots of plants)…with the help of a Labrador retriever wearing rubber booties!

National Aviary (Pittsburgh)

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Last Friday afternoon was very cold in Pittsburgh – and a lot of people decided it was a good day for the National Aviary. Our first clue that it was going to be crowded was the full parking lot. We pulled into a parallel space across the park from the aviary and walked across the frozen, snow dusted paths to the gate in the fence around the Aviary. The priority was food instead of seeing birds since we hadn’t had time earlier for lunch. The café area was crowded but we managed to satisfy ourselves enough to last until dinner…and then headed to the Wetlands area. We walked in a few minutes before feeding time. The schedule feeding times are great for picture taking. They have several spoonbills and I got a picture of the underside of bill like I did for the white ibis on South Padre Island; the spoonbill underside is the same concave shape. I also realized that spoonbills are don not have totally bald heads like vultures, but they certainly have a receding feather-line.

The flamingos seemed to be doing their preening while standing on one leg.

As the staff (and volunteers) started feeding the birds, the birds moved about more, and I was able to get different angles of the same bird. Some of the colors change dramatically.

There are sometimes surprising patches of color that become visible only from the side or back.

The hadada ibis has wings with a sheen.

Some birds are small and fast…hard to photograph except when worms are offered on the railing and they fly down to gobble them up.

Some appear drab but have ‘personality’ when viewed via the camera’s zoom.

One of the pelicans flew up to the top of a tree in the enclosure….closer to the glass roof….alas no sun while we were there.

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Of course, there was water below the bridge walkway we were standing on…if there were fewer people around I would taken more time to photograph the variety of ducks present in the exhibit.

As I turned to leave - I noted the brilliant yellow tail feathers of a bird on one of the pipes high overhead, near the ceiling…a last hurrah for the wetlands exhibit.

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