07/14/17

Spring

Some pics I took at home last year — a tree in town, wisteria & iris, ceanothus & apple blossom

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01/1/17

A New Year Visitor

Went outside this morning and found this delightful little serpent in a tree. Neighbours say it isn’t dangerous. I think it’s an Asian vine snake (Ahaetulla prasina). Mildly venomous but not considered a threat to humans.

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11/15/15

Atmosphere

Looked out the windows and everything’s pale glowing yellow, TV tuned to a channel with a beautifully wonky colour balance — one of those weird and magical tropical evenings.

02/11/15

Open air gym for small woodland creatures

Concerned that the use of running wheels by caged animals was a neurotic behaviour indicative of unhappiness, animal scientists Johanna H. Meijer and Yuri Robbers from the Leiden University Medical Centre in the Netherlands placed two running wheels outdoors, one in Professor Meijer’s backyard and one in a sandy dune area.

Turns out the wheels were popular with local small critters, not only mice, but also “a few rats, shrews, frogs, birds, snails and slugs”.

“Some animals seem to use the wheel unintentionally, but mice and some shrews, rats and frogs were seen to leave the wheel and then enter it again within minutes in order to continue wheel running”, the scientists report.

One point I find interesting, from theĀ paper published by the Royal Society (with videos in the figures & data section) is how greatly slugs outnumbered snails in their wheel-slithering. Were there simply more slugs around, or are slugs less sluggish than we thought? Having no shells to hide in, do slugs need a greater fitness edge?

12/19/14

The Leaf Sheep Nudibranch

Apparently the adorableometer goes up to 11.

Via The Featured Creature:

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The little wonder of nature above is the sea slug Costasiella kuroshimae, appropriately dubbed the “leaf sheep” by Featured Creature’s owner Carly Brooke. A few millimetres long, it grazes on algae. It was first discovered at Kuro Island in the Yaeyama islands in the Ryukyu Archipelago between Japan and Taiwan. The photo above was taken by Lynn Wu in Puri Jati, Bali, Indonesia. It was a finalist entry in the 2014 Scuba Diving Magazine Photo Contest.

Photo copyright Lynn Wu.
(Available as wallpaper here.)

 

10/15/14

Wrens

I wish I could have got a photo of this: two young fairywrens sitting on fence wire in cold weather, one with its wing around the other. Their father was hopping around, looking anxious — you could hear him saying “Get off that bloody fence and come inside where it’s warm!” — and indeed they all flew back to the nest.