ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This is one of local-America's main events in citizen science.  The Great Backyard Bird Count invites everyone to list the birds they see.  This year it runs February 15-18.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Identifying animal tracks is fun.  I still have the habit, despite not being a hunter in this life.  I always step around them, not on them.  Over the last week or so I have observed the following tracks in our yard:

* cottontail rabbit
* fox squirrel (tracks are similar to these gray squirrel tracks)
* birds (likely including mourning dove, sparrow, dark-eyed junco, and cardinal)
* cat
* canine (dog, fox, or coyote; probably coyote from the size) 
* human
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This popped up on my Facebook feed:

Want an easy way to contribute to important bumble bee research, that anyone can do? It's not too good to be true! All you have to do is snap a photo, note your location, and submit to Bumble Bee Watch!

This is a win-win for scientists and contributors: folks can learn the identity of the species they've spotted, and the data provided by contributors helps to further our understanding of bee populations and distribution
.

https://www.bumblebeewatch.org/

Conservation tips:
http://xerces.org/bumblebees/
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Birds are swarming my hopper feeder today.  :D  There are lots of sparrows and dark-eyed juncos, along with some mourning doves.  I saw a red-bellied woodpecker.  Then I saw a pair  of downy woodpeckers!  I don't think I've ever seen a pair before.  Both sexes are deckled black-and-white, and males have a red spot on the head.  \o/
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
I fed the birds today.  I saw a red-bellied woodpecker, a downy woodpecker, and a goldfinch.  :D

I also walked around the yard.  Daffodils are sprouting in the flowerbed by the parking lot.  It's the earliest I've seen them; before this, the earliest was in January.  :/ 
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
This poem is spillover from the November 6, 2018 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] alexseanchai and[personal profile] bairnsidhe. It also fills the "No Such Thing as 'Just' Friends" square in my 11-5-18 card for the Family Ties Bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by [personal profile] fuzzyred. It belongs to the Polychrome Heroics series.

Read more... )
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
This poem is spillover from the November 6, 2018 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] siliconshaman. It also fills the "write an open letter of support" square in my 9-1-18 card for the Cottoncandy Bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by [personal profile] fuzzyred. It belongs to the series Polychrome Heroics.

Warning: This poem contains bugs and bullying.

Read more... )
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
I saw a red-bellied woodpecker at the hopper feeder today.  :D  There are a bunch of woodpecker species in Illinois. Remarks about the rise and fall of different ones in the article match my observations here.  We used to have red-headed woodpeckers but I haven't seen any in a long time.

Coywolves

Dec. 15th, 2018 12:12 am
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
 Scarily effective.  I should add, however, that coyotes do live in urban areas and are a huge nuisance in some places.

Taphonomy

Dec. 11th, 2018 02:53 am
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
I found a fun new word today:

Taphonomy is the study of how organisms decay and become fossilized. The term taphonomy (from the Greek taphos, τάφος meaning "burial", and nomos, νόμος meaning "law") was introduced to paleontology in 1949[1] by Russian scientist Ivan Efremov to describe the study of the transition of remains, parts, or products of organisms from the biosphere to the lithosphere.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
... with humans and chimpanzees. Now look at these two parts:

Killer whales display personality traits similar to those of humans and chimpanzees, such as playfulness, cheerfulness and affection, according to new research.

"This is the first study to examine the personality traits of killer whales and how they relate to us and other primates," said lead researcher Yulán Úbeda, a doctoral student in psychology at the University of Girona in Spain. "These similar personality traits may have developed because they were necessary to form complex social interactions in tightly knit groups that we see in killer whales, humans and other primates."

Look at how humans treat other humans who have any condition, mental or physical, that impairs playfulness, cheerfulness, or affection.

Yeah. "Required" is right. You're pretty much not allowed in society if you can't perform those functions on demand. :/

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