Category Archives: Nature

LISA RAINSONG: JUMPING BUSH CRICKETS

 

jumping-bush-cricket2011big3There’s more to nature than meets the ear.

And when the calls of birds, insects and amphibians are recorded and translated by noted musician, educator and naturalist Lisa Rainsong, I promise that you’ll experience the calls of the natural world in a new dimension.

Here’s the link to Lisa’s Running and Jumping in the Bushes: http://listeninginnature.blogspot.com/2013/09/running-and-jumping-in-bushes.html

Lisa is an interesting and entertaining speaker; you can contact her through her website.

LISA RAINSONG: THE GREATER ANGLEWING KATYDIDS COME CALLING

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAThere’s more to nature than meets the ear.

And when the calls of birds, insects and amphibians are recorded and translated by noted musician, educator and naturalist Lisa Rainsong, I promise that you’ll experience the calls of the natural world in a new dimension.

Here’s the link to Lisa’s Greater Anglewing Katydids:

http://listeninginnature.blogspot.com/2013/08/at-last-greater-anglewings.html

Lisa is an interesting and entertaining speaker; you can contact her through her website.

HOW HONEYBEES USE THEIR ANTENNAE

Beekeepers Report Higher Loss Rates In Bee PopulationsUntil recently, all scientists knew about honeybee antennae was that each was used for different purposes.   Today researchers are confident that the insects use their right antennae to navigate through social situations, including being swatted at by humans.

Bees’ right antennae have many more sensilla (microscopic hairs that transmit information about smell to a bees’ brains), and it is the sense of smell that informs a bee if it is meeting a friend or an enemy.

Scientists clipped off bees’ right antennae and noted that they behaved differently when encountering strange bees, becoming quite aggressive.

Bees with their left antennae clipped didn’t get upset at all and seemed confused about what to do in the situation.

Honeybees demonstrated the same behavior patterns when an antenna was damaged.  It’s possible that if a honeybee attacks you after you’ve swatted it, you may have injured its right antenna.

The asymmetry of the sensilla relates to the asymmetry of the human brain in which different sections sense different things, enabling humans to understand large, complex problems.

Source:   examiner, July 9, 2013

#SANTOLI POND: DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANTS DIVE IN FOR A SNACK

_DSC5062I was surprised and somewhat concerned to see a pair of Cormorants on the pond.

The majority of the waterfowl on the pond are dabblers, meaning that they feed on the surface by dipping their heads into the water.

Cormorants are divers that feed by diving under the water and are much less vocal than are dabblers.  Their legs are set far back on their bodies to facilitate their diving.

I was concerned about the Cormorants because of their legs.  Though an asset for diving, the placement of the legs makes it necessary for a long runway for them to gain sufficient momentum to lift off–the pond covers only 5 acres.  They’re very awkward on land, some divers to the extent that they’re nearly helpless.

The visitors were gone the next day, so evidently they’d negotiated a safe take off.

Cormorants’ feathers lack the protective oils other birds’ feathers have, so they often sit in the sun with their wings spread to dry them out.

The bird in the photo is neither landing nor taking off; he’s spreading and flapping his wings to shake off water from his recent dive.

The only other divers I’ve seen on Santoli Pond in the last 17 years were Scaups and Ring-necked Ducks

Like Great Blue Herons and Wood Ducks, Cormorants nest in trees.

Photo © Carole Clement

WHERE HAVE ALL THE #HONEY #BEES GONE?

image6In 2009, three men collaborated to study the sharp increase in bees’ deaths since 2006.  Environmental scientist Chensheng (Alex) Lu of the Department of Environmental Health, Northbridge, MA, beekeeper Ken Warchol and entrepreneur Dick Callahan worked to examine the causes of “colony collapse disorder.”

In a visit to the hives in Worcester County, Lu discovered that bees exposed to the pesticide imadacloprid were all dead.

Imadacloprid is a systemic pesticide derived from nicotine that targets insects’ nervous systems.  Seeds are treated with neonicotinoids before planting; as the plant grows, the poison grows with it and spreads to all parts of the plant tissue, including its pollen, and poisons any insects that attack the plant.

The vast majority of corn seed (as well as soybeans and canola seeds) planted in the US today is pre-treated with neonicotinoids.   While the wind rather than bees pollinates corn, the wind carries the pollen to nearby flowers and crops that bees do pollinate.

Moreover, cucumber and watermelon seeds are treated with neonicotinoids and sprout into plants pollinated by honey bees.

Lu and his team first presented the link between neonicotinoids and colony collapse in 2011 and were met with rejection of and resistance to his conclusions.

So they adjusted their protocols in 2012 and had the same results:  contact with neonicotinoids was responsible for the bees’ deaths.

“This is the replication of Silent Spring,” Lu said.

While pesticides are “a tool that we cannot afford to lose,” the scientist thinks there is a responsible way to use them.

In May of this year, the European Union banned the use of all neonicotinoids.

Sources:  Harvard Medical School, Harvard School of Public Health Update, July 19, 2013      The Boston Globe Magazine, June 22, 2013

LISA RAINSONG: SONG OF THE SWORD-BEARING CONEHEAD KATYDID

sword_bearing_conehead_daniel-300x165There’s more to nature than meets the ear.

And when the calls of birds, insects and amphibians are recorded and translated by noted musician, educator and naturalist Lisa Rainsong, I promise that you’ll experience the calls of the natural world in a new dimension.

Here’s the link to Lisa’s blog about the elusive katydid:

http://listeninginnature.blogspot.com/2013/07/its-time-for-coneheads.html

Lisa is an interesting and entertaining speaker; you can contact her through her website.

LISA RAINSONG: TOSS THE THERMOMETER—LISTEN TO THE SNOWY TREE CRICKETS

is0082_1lSnowy Tree Cricket  Photo credit Calibas

There’s more to nature than meets the ear.

And when the calls of birds, insects and amphibians are recorded and translated by noted musician, educator and naturalist Lisa Rainsong, I promise that you’ll experience the calls of the natural world in a new dimension.

Here’s the link to Lisa’s recordings of the Snowy Tree Cricket and her formula for calculating the temperature from its song:  http://listeninginnature.blogspot.com/2013/08/the-temperature-cricket.htmli

Lisa is an interesting and entertaining speaker; you can contact her through her website.