Gleanings of the Week Ending June 30, 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.

The Mysterious Demise of Africa’s Oldest Trees - Yale E360 – Baobab trees that are over 1000 years old are dying quickly…and there is not yet a definitive explanation.

History and Seaports in Charleston : Image of the Day – I visited Charlestown a few years ago on vacation…this picture from the International Space Station brought back memories and provided a different perspective of the place.

Top 25 Birds of Europe – National Geographic Blog – Last week it was Africa…this week it’s Europe.

New study examines impacts of fracking on water supplies worldwide - GeoSpace - AGU Blogosphere – Maps make it easy to look at complex data in a visual way. My take away from these maps of water supply and shale basin areas is that Texas has a lot of shale in areas that are already under water stress….fresh water is already being consumed unsustainably.

BBC - Future - Why non-smokers are getting lung cancer – I’ve wondered about non-smokers and lung cancer. The numbers are not huge…but they are often diagnosed late and are, therefore, more deadly.

Seventeenth-Century Danish Latrines Analyzed - Archaeology Magazine – Diet and parasites from more than 300 years ago.

Move Over, Monarchs: Another Butterfly Makes a Longer One-Way Migration - Yale E360 – Painted Lady Butterflies from southern Europe migrate across the Mediterranean through the Sahara to tropical Africa!

Discover Landscape Architecture Activity Books – THE DIRT – There are activity books for younger students and then teens/adults. I am reading the adult version and then will try to apply some of the activities when I travel…encourage new appreciation of the as-built landscape architecture of the places I visit.

2018 Lotus And Water Lily Festival At Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens – My husband and I don’t go to the festival but we do go the Kenilworth several times in July…expect lotus and water lily (and dragon fly) posts soon!

Lives before and after Stonehenge: An osteobiographical study of four prehistoric burials recently excavated from the Stonehenge World Heritage Site – Lifestyle rather than ethnicity seems to determine burial practices in this instance.

Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park

The day after the Rio Grande Valley Birding Festival ended and before we headed back to San Antonio for our flight home, we visited the Bentsen Rio Grande Valley State Park. Our original plan had been to spend the morning at the National Butterfly Center in Mission, Texas but the morning was cold and wet…not conducive to butterfly activity. So we changed our plans. It was still cold and wet but some birds in the park didn’t care. This Northern Mockingbird called attention to itself with is song(s).


There was an area near the nature center with paved walkways – some of them intermittently covered. We walked around the area – everything was very wet.


We took the tram into the park and got off at the first stop. There was a small butterfly garden near the bird blind (where there was no action) and the rain held off for long enough for there to be a little activity. I spotted a Painted Lady,


A Skipper (not sure what kind),


Queens in abundance, and

We hiked a little further and came to another bird blind…and there was plenty going on there. A Golden Fronted Woodpecker enjoyed the suet.

The Plain Chachalacas were also coming in to the feeders for a snack.

Green Jays were around as well.

It started raining harder do we found a dry place to stand until the tram came bay again. There were more people on the tram for the return visit, so we got the seat on the back of tram…riding backwards. It was a good way to end our visit. I want to go back again on a day when the weather is better!