Only in Saudi Arabia would you have a sand fall

Nature never ceases to amaze

Meeting of the waters

Two Powerful Forces

Mother Nature making a bubble freeze

Nature at her best

Massive 3,000-year-old Maya ceremonial complex discovered in ‘plain sight’

An enormous pyramid-topped platform, unnoticed until detected with the help of lasers, is the oldest and largest structure in the Maya region.

By Tim Vernimmen PUBLISHED June 3, 2020

A 3D image of the monumental platform at Aguada Fénix (in dark brown). The structure, built some 3,000 years ago, was detected by an airborne laser tool known as LiDAR.Photograph by Takeshi Inomata

An enormous 3,000-year-old earthen platform topped with a series of structures, including a 13-foot-high pyramid, has been identified as the oldest and largest monumental construction discovered in the Maya region, according to a paper published today in the journal Nature. It’s the latest discovery to support the emerging view that some of the earliest structures built in the Maya region were significantly larger than those built more than a millennium later during the Classic Maya period (250-900 A.D.), when the empire was at its peak.

The discovery took place in Mexico’s Tabasco State at the site of Aguada Fénix, about 850 miles east of Mexico City. It is in a region known as the Maya lowlands, from which the Maya civilization began to emerge.

In 2017, researchers conducted a LiDAR survey that detected the platform and at least nine causeways leading up to it. The groundbreaking laser technology typically is used from aircraft to “see” structures beneath dense tree canopy below, but in this case it revealed a stunning discovery sitting unnoticed in plain sight in Tabasco’s semi-forested ranch lands for centuries, if not millennia.

An aerial view of Aguada Fénix without LiDAR shows how the monument “hides” in semi-forested ranch land.Photograph by Takeshi Inomata

So why was such a big monument at Aguada Fénix not identified earlier?

“It’s fairly hard to explain, but when you walk on the site, you don’t quite realize the enormity of the structure,” says archaeologist Takeshi Inomata of the University of Arizona, the lead author of the paper. “It’s over 30 feet high, but the horizontal dimensions are so large that you don’t realize the height.”

“Rituals we can only imagine”

The initial construction of the platform is believed to have began around 1,000 B.C. based on radiocarbon dating of charcoal inside the complex.

But the absence of any known earlier buildings at Aguada Fénix suggests that at least up until that period, the people living in the region—likely the precursors of the Classic Maya—moved between temporary camps to hunt and gather food. That has researchers speculating over how and why they suddenly decided to build such a massive, permanent structure.

Inomata estimates that the total volume of the platform and the buildings on top is at least 130 million cubic feet, meaning it is bigger even than the largest Egyptian pyramid. He also calculated that it would have taken 5,000 people more than six years of full-time work to build.

“We think this was a ceremonial center,” Inomata says. “[It’s] a place of gathering, possibly involving processions and other rituals we can only imagine.”

No residential buildings have been found on or around the structure, so it is unclear how many people may have lived nearby. But the large size of the platform leads Inomata to think that the builders of Aguada Fénix gradually were leaving their hunter-gatherer lifestyle behind, likely aided by the cultivation of corn—evidence of which also has been found at the site.

“The sheer size is astonishing,” says Jon Lohse, an archaeologist with Terracon Consultants Inc.who studies the early history of the area and was not involved in the report. He does not think, however, that the structure itself is evidence of a settled lifestyle. “Monumental constructions by pre-sedentary people are not uncommon globally.”

What it does unmistakably show, Lohse adds, is an advanced ability for people to collaborate, probably in the strongly egalitarian fashion that he believes was typical of early societies in the Maya region. Inomata agrees, and thinks the platform was built by a community without a strong social hierarchy.

As potential evidence, Inomata points to the even older ceremonial site of San Lorenzo, 240 miles to the west in a region that was settled at the time by the Olmec people. Built at least 400 years earlier than Aguada Fénix, San Lorenzo features an artificial terraced hill that may have had a similar function. But it also has colossal human statues that may indicate that some people held higher status in society than others.

It may seem likely that the people who built Aguada Fénix were inspired by San Lorenzo, but archaeologist Ann Cyphers of the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, who has worked at San Lorenzo, considers the sites “quite distinct,” adding that the pottery found there is also very different from that found at Aguada Fénix.

A checkerboard of colored soil

So what might have been the purpose for undertaking such a massive communal building project? Study coauthor Verónica Vázquez López of the University of Calgary believes that it might have been a statement of intent: a formal collaboration designed to bring different groups of people together over the course of several generations.

Some features at Aguada Fénix could suggest this collaboration, such as a cache of precious jade axes that may have symbolized the end of the collaborative construction project. Archaeologists also have noted that some of the layers of soil used to build the platform were laid down in a checkerboard pattern of different soil colors, which may have symbolized the contribution of different groups.

“Even today, people who live in different quarters of some Mexican towns each clean their part of the central church plaza,” Vázquez López observes.

By 750 B.C., the monumental structure at Aguada Fénix was abandoned, and by the Classic Maya period more than 1,000 years later, people in the region were building higher pyramids that became accessible only to the elite atop much smaller platforms with less space for broader communities to gather.

“In the early period, people got very excited,” Inomata says. “Later on, they became a bit less enthusiastic.”

https://api.nationalgeographic.com/distribution/public/amp/history/2020/06/massive-ancient-maya-ceremonial-complex-discovered-hiding-plain-sight?__twitter_impression=true

The late-April snowstorm of 1928 | WTAJ – www.wearecentralpa.com

snowstorm

WTAJ – www.wearecentralpa.com

Joe Murgo 4 days ago

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Snow happens in April, we’ve even had some snowflakes in May, but there is one late-season snowstorm that ranks way above the rest. The major storm that fell from April 27-29 in 1928 with the bulk of the snowfall coming on the 28th. There was widespread snow between a 1.5 to over 3 feet of snow. This storm helped Somerset to achieve the highest April total snowfall in the state of 38.5″.

What makes this storm so special and damaging was not just because it was one of the heaviest snowfalls ever for the region, but it fell when there were leaves on the trees. This combined with the snow being heavy in weight brought down a tremendous amount of trees, limbs, roofs and entire buildings.

The storm started to form as an area of low pressure was shifting from Texas to the Gulf of Mexico. The Gulf is warm at this time of the year and there was a chilly air mass sinking from Canada into the Central United States.

The storm’s pressure was falling rapidly on the morning of the 27th as it started to turn northward over the Southeast. Thunderstorms raked south of this storm but a windswept rain and snow was spreading northward along the Appalachian Mountains.

The storm bombed (a word for rapidly dropping pressure that is now being nicknamed as bomb cyclones) as it moved to the Mid-Atlantic coastline by the morning of the 28th. This is when the heaviest snow was falling across Central Pennsylvania. A perfect track that hit us while places like Pittbsurgh and to the west got little to no snowfall.

This storm made headlines. For it’s destruction.

Roofs were collapsed and keep in mind that with the leaves on the trees, there was that much more area for the snow to cling to and bring down more debris. It was a time before snowplows and modern technology. The area was crippled but fortunately, in late April the snow does not stick around too long.

Here is a list of snowfall totals for our region: LocationSnowfall (Inches)Somerset31.5Cresson27Altoona23Ebensburg20State College17.3Lock Haven8Huntingdon6.5Clearfield3

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This storm was one that became a topic of meteorological studies. Categories: Local News, Weather, Weather Headlines, Weather Stories Loading …

WTAJ – http://www.wearecentralpa.com

“Earth Day 2020- Message from Wildlife SOS co-founder Kartick Satyanarayan”

Mother Nature

Now this is feeding the birds! 🦅

The Magic of Nature 🌈

This is familiar territory for photographer Jannicle Wiik-Nielsen. Her portraits of insects, parasites, bacteria, and other exceptionally small life… Follow the link over to National Geographic and get a up close look at creepy crawlies 🐛

Winter solstice 2019: A short day that’s long on ancient traditions

151221171513-winter-solstice-live-video

 

fox43.com
CNN Wire
8-11 minutes

For six months now, the days have grown shorter and the nights have grown longer in the Northern Hemisphere — but that’s about to reverse itself.

Winter solstice, the shortest day of 2019, will be Saturday, December 21. Or it will be Sunday, December 22. Which day is it for you? It all depends on your time zone.

CNN meteorologists Dave Hennen, Judson Jones and Brandon Miller help us understand the science and timing behind the solstice. And then we’ll discover some traditions and celebrations around the world that could inspire a travel adventure.
The science and timing behind a winter solstice

The winter solstice marks the shortest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere, when the sun appears at its most southerly position, directly overhead at the faraway Tropic of Capricorn.

It’s the reverse in the Southern Hemisphere. There, it marks the longest day of the year — and the beginning of summer in places such as Argentina, Namibia and New Zealand.

When exactly does it occur?

The solstice usually takes place on December 21. The time that the solstice occurs and the day itself shifts because the solar year (the time it takes for the sun to reappear in the same spot as seen from Earth) doesn’t exactly match up to our calendar year.

If you want to be super-precise in your observations, the exact time of the 2019 winter solstice will be 4:19 Universal Time on Sunday. Here are some examples of when that will be for local times around the world:

— Tokyo: 1:19 p.m. Sunday

— Dubai: 8:19 a.m. Sunday

— Rome: 5:19 a.m. Sunday

— Dakar, Senegal: 4:19 a.m. (same as Universal Time)

— Philadelphia: 11:19 p.m. Saturday

— Seattle: 8:19 p.m. Saturday

— Honolulu: 6:15 p.m. Saturday

If you don’t live in one of these time zones above, the website EarthSky has a handy conversion table for your time zone. You might also try the conversion tools at Timezoneconverter.com or WorldTimeServer.com.

What causes the winter solstice to even happen?

Because the Earth is tilted on its rotational axis, we experience seasons here on Earth. As the Earth moves around the sun, each hemisphere experiences winter when it’s tilted away from the sun and summer when it’s tilted toward the sun.

Wait. Why is the Earth tilted?

Scientists are not entirely sure how this occurred, but they think that billions of years ago, as the solar system was taking shape, the Earth was subject to violent collisions that caused the axis to tilt.

What other seasonal transitions do we mark?

The equinoxes, both spring and fall, occur when the sun’s rays are directly over the equator. On those two days, everyone has an equal length of day and night. The summer solstice is when the sun’s rays are farthest north over the Tropic of Cancer, giving us our longest day and summer in the Northern Hemisphere.
Winter solstice traditions and celebrations

It’s no surprise many cultures and religions celebrate a holiday — whether it be Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or pagan festivals — that coincides with the return of longer days.

Ancient peoples whose survival depended on a precise knowledge of seasonal cycles marked this first day of winter with elaborate ceremonies and celebrations. Spiritually, these celebrations symbolize the opportunity for renewal, a shedding of bad habits and negative feelings and an embracing of hope amid darkness as the days once again begin to grow longer.

Many of the ancient symbols and ceremonies of the winter solstice live on today.

Here are five extraordinary destinations where you can experience something magical during winter’s relentlessly long night:

UNITED KINGDOM: Cornwall and Stonehenge

Better known for pirates than the solstice, the town of Penzance on the southwest coast of England has revived a delightful array of Cornish solstice events leading up to winter solstice. The Montol Festival is a fun mix of pagan customs and more recent Christmas traditions that were once common throughout Cornwall.

Early in the week, join in caroling and other events. On the solstice, referred to here as Montol Eve, get your dancing card ready for the Guise, a community dance in which people dress in masks and other “topsy-turvy” disguises based on a 19th-century tradition of the rich dressing in rags while poorer citizens effected a “mock posh” look.

You can also don your finery for torchlit processions. The merrymaking only continues when the revelers disperse to pubs around town.

With some planning, it’s also possible to incorporate a trip to Stonehenge, the UK’s most famous site for solstice celebrations. On the winter solstice, visitors have the rare opportunity to enter the towering, mysterious stone circle for a sunrise ceremony run by local pagan and druid groups.

The trip from Penzance to Stonehenge takes less than four hours by car, making it entirely feasible to spend the night in Salisbury, the nearest town to Stonehenge, and rise before dawn for the ceremony among the stones.

SWEDEN: Santa Lucia, yule and aurora borealis

Sweden is rich with solstice traditions. Elements of the yule, Northern Europe’s ancient winter solstice celebration, are also incorporated into modern festivities, including gathering around bonfires, feasting, drinking and telling stories.

A great place to experience all of these traditions is at Skansen, an open-air, living history museum that represents life in Sweden before the Industrial Revolution and features characters dressed in period costumes.

You can marvel at this seasonal interplay of light and darkness by heading for the Arctic Circle to see aurora borealis, the Northern Lights, in the Swedish Lapland. The Aurora Sky Station in Abisko National Park is an ideal place to catch the show.

Another good spot is the tiny village of Jukkasjärvi, where you can stay at the Icehotel, which provides local guides to help you spot the lights. Bundle up and take a dog sled or snowmobile tour, then hibernate in front of a roaring fire with a steaming cup of glögg.

Icehotel, Marknadsvägen 63, 981 91 Jukkasjärvi, Sweden; +46 980 668 00

MEXICO: Land of the Maya

In Mexico, consider visiting Chichen Itza, the spectacular ancient city of temples, columns and pyramids that was once a great center of science and astronomy. The Temple of Kukulkan, with its 365 steps (one for every day of the year), is just one stunning example of the impressive engineering and astronomical feats of the Maya. No wonder this is a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Chichen Itza is a two-and-a-half-hour drive from Cancun. If you’re planning to take a guided tour, choose tour operators who work with local Maya communities and use expert guides.

Private tours are another option. Although pricier, they can offer a more comprehensive experience and are often led by experts. Sacred Earth Journeys is one recommended company that offers private tours to the site.

INDIA: Makar Sankranti and kite festivals

Unlike people in other places in the Northern Hemisphere that mark the solstice in December, Hindus in India celebrate Makar Sankranti, one of the most important festivals of the year, in January. In 2020, that will fall on Wednesday, January 15, in most places in India (Gujarat state will celebrate a day earlier).

Fundamentally, it is a celebration of the sun’s journey toward the Northern Hemisphere, bringing longer days and the end of winter, which will make possible a good harvest. But Makar Sankranti is also associated with many other themes, including strong family relationships and a renewed opportunity to rid oneself of negativity and embrace a better way of living.

Different regions have various names for the festival and celebrate in a diversity of ways, usually involving bonfire pyres, feasting, singing and prayer. It’s a day when pilgrims make their way to the holy river Ganges for a spiritual cleansing.

Another popular event associated with Makar Sankranti are kite festivals, now held in cities across India.

Jaipur, Mumbai and Ahmedabad host some of the most well-known kite festivals. Kite-makers sell their wares in public markets in the days leading up to the festival, and soon the sky is filled with colorful, elaborate kites flown from balconies, stadiums, parks and beaches.

CANADA: Lantern festival in Vancouver

Vancouver’s Winter Solstice Lantern Festival is a sparkling celebration of solstice traditions from around the world. The Secret Lantern Society assembles a wide array of music, dance, food and spectacular lantern-lit processions.

Staging areas for the main events include the neighborhoods of Granville Island, Yaletown and Strathcona.

Here’s one of the best parts: Before the solstice, neighborhoods throughout Vancouver host lantern-making workshops.

For a relatively small price, you can construct and decorate your own lantern to participate in one of several processions throughout the city that lead to the indoor venues for music, dance and art making.

https://fox43.com/2019/12/21/winter-solstice-2019-a-short-day-thats-long-on-ancient-traditions/amp/?__twitter_impression=true

Do Not Disturbed 🐝

🦋Hope you have a magical day ☀️ enjoying the last day of summer 🦋

The snow leopard has been hiding in plain site

 

IMG_20190510_145247

 

Mass Migration of Painted Lady Butterflies Entrances Californians

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Painted lady butterflies landing on a cherry tree as they migrated north through Encinitas, Calif.CreditCreditMike Blake/Reuters

Swarms of any other insect might provoke fears of a coming apocalypse, but clouds of butterflies migrating through Southern California are captivating onlookers who are relishing the otherworldly spectacle.

The orange butterflies, called painted ladies, are known to travel annually from the deserts of Southern California to the Pacific Northwest. This month, people are taking notice because of the sheer size of the migration: Scientists estimate the teeming painted ladies number in the millions.

Substantial rainfall in the deserts near the Mexican border, where the North American painted ladies lay their eggs, is the reason for the unusually large swarms. The rain caused plants to thrive, giving the painted lady caterpillars plenty of food to fuel their transformation, said Arthur M. Shapiro, a professor of evolution and ecology at the University of California, Davis.

To human observers, the painted ladies move with speed and intention, as if they have somewhere to be. They can fly as fast as 25 miles per hour.

“The striking thing is they’re moving very rapidly and directionally,” said Professor Shapiro, who has studied butterfly migrations in California for more than 40 years. “So it’s almost like being in a hail of bullets.”

They tend not to veer from oncoming cars, which can prove troublesome in Los Angeles traffic. When the painted ladies smash into a windshield, the result is a glob of yellow, butter-like ooze. That’s the result of the butterfly’s stored fat, used to make the long journey north, Professor Shapiro said.

Monika Moore, a butterfly enthusiast who lives in Fullerton, Calif., said she noticed that the mass moves in a strange way. The butterflies will fly low to the ground in an open field or yard, but when they encounter a tall building, they will fly over it — creating a “funky” up-and-down dipping pattern, said Ms. Moore, who has a Facebook page called California Butterfly Lady.

“They’re in a hurry, like the rabbit in ‘Alice in Wonderland,’” she said. “They have a very important date.”

This year, the painted lady migration in California appears to have veered off its customary course. Professor Shapiro said that if the painted ladies were following their annual pattern, they should have arrived in Northern California about a week ago, yet they appear to be staying in Southern California.

One possible explanation, Professor Shapiro said, is that there has been such abundant rain and plant growth in Southern California that the butterflies have settled down and reproduced there.

Professor Shapiro reported on Sunday evening that he had seen nine painted ladies near where he lives in the Northern California.

“Presumably these are the vanguard,” he wrote in an email. “We’re off and running.”

The explosion of plant growth in Southern California that has fueled this migration of butterflies is in itself a spectacle. The growth of colorful wildflowers, called a super bloom, has attracted a steady stream of tourists. In 2017, wildflower blooms in Southern California were so dense that they were visible from space.

[One of our reporters visited Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, a site of the super bloom.]

Substantial rainfall in the deserts near the Mexico border, where the North American painted ladies lay their eggs, has fueled this year’s unusually large swarms.CreditJohn Francis Peters for The New York Times

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Substantial rainfall in the deserts near the Mexico border, where the North American painted ladies lay their eggs, has fueled this year’s unusually large swarms.CreditJohn Francis Peters for The New York Times

Although this year’s butterfly migration is significant, it pales in comparison with the swarms of 2005. That year, scientists estimated more than a billion butterflies traveled across California. Cars on California highways looked as if they had been splattered with raw eggs.

As the painted ladies linger in the southern part of the state, Californians are getting a prolonged look at the clouds of flapping orange wings.

On an overcast day last week, Jessica McGhee biked to the waterfront in Redondo Beach to collect plastics to use to make art. Ms. McGhee said she saw a couple of butterflies flit by, then a few more. Soon they flew by in the dozens, and then in the hundreds.

“I felt like I was in a Disney movie”

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/17/us/migrating-painted-lady-butterflies.html#click=https://t.co/M2DBSnEFPM

Jellyfish: Scary, Squishy, Brainless, Beautiful

Moon Jellies, which are found in Shallow Bays around the world, look like small, not entirely friendly ghosts. They have translucent bells fringed with pale tentacles, and as they pulse along, it almost seems as if the water itself has come alive.

More photos…

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/magazine/2018/10/jellyfish-species-reproduction-feeding-ocean/?cmpid=org=ngp::mc=crm-email::src=ngp::cmp=editorial::add=sunstills_20181014::rid=13280708075

Watch a Sausage-Size Insect Transform From Larva to Beetle

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An atheist was walking through the woods admiring the nature around him. “What majestic trees! What powerful rivers! What beautiful animals,” he said to himself. As he was walking alongside the river,…

An atheist was walking through the woods admiring the nature around him. “What majestic trees! What powerful rivers! What beautiful animals,” he said to himself. As he was walking alongside the river, he heard a rustling in the bushes behind him. He turned to look, and suddenly saw a 7-foot grizzly bear charge towards him! He ran up the path as fast as he could. He looked over his shoulder and saw that the bear was gaining on him. He looked over his shoulder again, and now the bear was even closer. In his haste, the man tripped on a root and fell to the ground. He rolled over to pick himself up but saw that the bear was right on top of him, reaching for him with his left paw and raising his right paw to strike him. At that instant the atheist cried out, “Oh my God!” Time stopped. The bear froze. The forest was silent. As a bright light shone upon the man, a voice came out of the sky. “You deny my existence for all these years, teach others that I don’t exist and even credit creation to cosmic accident. Do you expect me to help you out of this predicament? Am I to count you as a believer?” The atheist looked directly into the light and said, “It would be hypocritical of me to suddenly ask you to treat me as a Christian now, but perhaps you could make the BEAR a Christian?” “Very well,” said the voice. The light went out. The sounds of the forest resumed. And the bear dropped his right paw, brought both paws together, bowed his head and spoke, “Lord bless this food, which I am about to receive from thy bounty through Christ our Lord, Amen.”

When to Expect Hummingbirds in Your Yard This Spring

audubon.org
When to Expect Hummingbirds in Your Yard This Spring
By Geoffrey S. LeBaron
5-6 minutes

As warmer weather approaches, multitudes of migrant birds are on track for arrival in North America. Among them are those favorite avian gems, hummingbirds. The spring arrival—or year-round presence—of hummingbirds in yards varies across the country, but current studies point out some new potential challenges to migrating hummingbirds, such as changing bloom times of nectar plants and an earlier arrival of spring on their wintering and breeding grounds. Here we’ve gathered general guidelines to current hummingbird migration patterns for various sections of the country, as well some tips on the different feeding strategies you can use to attract them to your yard. Additionally, you can also learn more about how to help hummingbirds below.
Eastern United States

Over most of the eastern two-thirds of North America, from central Canada southward, the Ruby-throated Hummingbird reigns supreme. Predominantly a neotropical migrant, it winters from southern Mexico to Costa Rica. Each spring, this species arrives in numbers along the Gulf Coast by early March, filtering northward over the next two months until arriving in northern states and southern provinces by late April or early May. Migrating males usually arrive a week or so before females at any given location. Climate change is affecting the migration of Ruby-throats, though. As conditions warm on the wintering grounds, data indicate that they leave their winter homes earlier on their way to the Gulf Coast. Interestingly, it also appears that hummingbirds then hang around in the Gulf Coast for longer than normal, perhaps to recuperate from their trip across the Gulf of Mexico.

Migrating hummingbirds start to visit flowering plants and nectar feeders in March and usually stick around through May. To have resources ready for northward migrants in regions where hummingbirds are absent in the winter, it’s best to put nectar out by early March if you live in the Southeast, and by late April if you live in the Northeast.
Southeastern United States

The Southeastern coast, from Cape Hatteras southward, in Florida, and especially around the Gulf Coast, is different from the rest of the eastern United States. Here hummingbirds are likely to be present year-round, with both higher diversity and greater numbers of birds present in winter! As such, supplying nectar sources and insect-laded gardens is appropriate year-round in these regions. In coastal Texas and Louisiana, hummingbirds may visit feeders in the late winter and early spring.
Mountainous West

In the mountainous West, a variety of hummingbirds, including Broad-tailed, Black-chinned, Rufous, and Calliope, arrive in spring as the first flowers bloom. Starting in early March, these species will appear in yards near the Mexican border, and by early to mid-May will be found in the northern Rockies. Rufous Hummingbirds winter primarily in southern Mexico and breed as far north as southeastern Alaska. These hardy little birds can survive sub-freezing temperatures on practically any night of the year, but they can’t go without nectar and small insects, none of which are available in the winter in this region. Climate change and earlier blooming times for wildflowers may be affecting all of these species, as they do not appear to be shifting their arrival times to match the early blossoming times of their favorite food sources. Nectar feeders and selected wildflower plantings in yards can help these species fuel up for their continued migration and upcoming breeding season.
Southwest and West Coast

In the Southwest and in the West to British Columbia, hummingbirds are present year-round. In southern Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas, many sought-after species, including Blue-throated, Magnificent, Broad-billed, and White-eared hummingbirds, frequent backyard nectar feeders, and even-rarer visitors can also make an appearance.

Hummingbird lovers on the West Coast from California to British are also fortunate. Large numbers of hummingbirds, especially Anna’s to the north and Allen’s to the south, are likely to be found in good numbers in hummingbird-friendly yards year-round. Migrant Rufous Hummingbirds also move northward early—as far north as Oregon by the end of February—on their way to their coastal Alaskan breeding grounds.
Two Ways to Help Hummingbirds

Grow Native Plants: Growing plants that are indigenous to your area is a great way to both attract and help the hummingbirds you love. Native plants provide shelter and food, including a healthy environment for insects, part of the hummingbird diet important during breeding season. Get a list of native plants customized for your area by visiting our handy Plants for Birds database.

Become a Community Scientist: You can protect hummingbirds by helping crowdsource invaluable data using Audubon’s free Hummingbirds at Home app or website. You just submit your observations on when hummingbirds feed on nectar-bearing plants in your yard or community. To get started, go to hummingbirdsathome.org

http://www.audubon.org/news/when-expect-hummingbirds-your-yard-spring?ms=digital-eng-email-ea-x-20180428_hummingbird_medium&utm_source=ea&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=20180428_hummingbird&utm_content=medium

Hear the Otherworldly Screams of Canada Lynx in Battle

Please do not listen with headphones on!!🙃  You’re welcome

Weird & WildVideo
Hear the Otherworldly Screams of Lynx in Battle
Male Canada lynx only have limited opportunity to mate with a female, making their rivalries especially intense.

Two Lynx Cats Scream at Each Other—Can You Stand It? WATCH: Lynx are largely solitary animals, but if two males do meet during mating season, a screaming match can result.
By Jason Bittel

PUBLISHED March 28, 2018

When it comes to courtship in the animal kingdom, frogs peep, crickets chirp, and cicadas click.

But nothing on Earth compares to the ruckus rendered by a male Canada lynx defending his mate.

Amos Wiebe, a photographer in Grande Prairie, Canada, personally experienced this otherworldly racket last week when he stumbled upon a trio of lynx while driving down a remote logging road. (Read about the lynx’s return to Canada.)

These Wild Cats Make the Weirdest Sound
Out of the Shadows, the Wildcats You’ve Never Seen
Which of These Animals is Tougher?

Wiebe was searching for northern pygmy owls to photograph when a flurry of movement caught his eye.

“All of a sudden, I saw a commotion,” he says. “These two lynx were just flying around up in the trees.”

Wiebe managed to park his truck and wade through deep snow to capture the wildcats’ effortless acrobatics on video.

“I’ve never seen a lynx do that. It’s like it was just suctioned to the tree,” says Wiebe. “They just climb up like it’s nothing.”
A Lynx Love Triangle

It may look like a fit of screaming cat chaos, but according to Shannon Crowley, a wildlife ecologist at the John Prince Research Forest in British Columbia, the scene provides a rare glimpse into the predators’ breeding behavior.

Based on the cats’ sizes and tufts of facial fur, called ruffs, Crowley says both lynx in the tree are likely males. And while he can’t be sure, the third lynx, which is not shown in the video, is likely female.

“To see that kind of aggression, there must be a female somewhere in the near vicinity,” says Crowley. (See photos of some of our favorite felines.)

New Video Reveals Lynx Mom and Kittens Frolicking in Snow Watch a lynx mother and her kittens scamper and play on a deck in Anchorage, Alaska.

Female lynx are thought to mate with just one male a year, says Crowley, so the bigger—and dominant—male had probably run the other cat up the tree to protect his breeding opportunity.

These battle cries are not the only spooky noises lynx make. During the breeding season, Crowley says he’s heard males following females through the trees while making a short, repetitive moan.
All Banshee, No Bite

Though they put on a fierce show, a fully grown, an adult male Canada lynx usually weighs no more than about 40 pounds, so it’s unlikely Wiebe was ever in any real danger, Crowley notes.

“Even when we would document litters at the den site, the female would generally run off,” he says. Though the little-seen cats are not dangerous to people, it’s important to give lynx—and any wildlife—a healthy distance. (Here are seven cats you never knew existed.)

Still, the photographer says he felt pretty vulnerable standing hip-deep in snow. At one point, Wiebe even pulled out a canister of bear spray, lest all that yowling were to attract a mountain lion.

And those unholy vocalizations didn’t help either.

“It certainly is an eerie sound to hear in the forest,” says Crowley.

https://news.nationalgeographic.com/2018/03/animals-lynx-mating-fighting-conflict/

Jason Bittel is a natural history writer and frequent contributor to National Geographic.
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Dive Into the Wildlife-Rich Waters of the Galápagos | National Geographic

Distressed Investors Are Already Buying Houston Homes for 40 Cents on the Dollar

AGR Daily News

One of Schild’s prospects is Joseph Hernandez, a disabled U.S. Army veteran married to a housekeeper. The couple are living in a hotel and saving money by eating only two meals a day. Schild has made them a painful offer. If they walk away from their two-bedroom house, worth $127,000 before Hurricane Harvey, Schild will pick up the mortgage payments, paying nothing else. Although he says he sympathizes with the Hernandezes’ plight, he thinks the offer is fair because he figures the home is now worth less than its $65,000 mortgage.
Hernandez is in a bind. He didn’t buy flood insurance because his house wasn’t in a high-risk area. He can’t afford to rebuild, and he’s been told he’s eligible for only $23,000 in federal assistance. If he turns over the deed, he’s looking at losing the entire $60,000 in equity he had before the flood. “It’s blurry, what’s coming,”…

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These Heavenly Photos of 2 Huskies Playing on a Frozen Lake Will Take Your Breath Away | One Green Planet


For Fox Grom, taking the dogs out for a walk in Kirovsk, Russia is just an everyday thing. For us, it’s a glimpse into a winter wonderland where beautiful dogs walk and play on water amidst a stunning backdrop of frozen wonder.

These ethereal photos depict not only a moment of quiet enjoyment for two dogs with their guardian, but also how life looks from the unspoiled midst of a frozen lake. Getting out into nature, no matter the season, always has something to offer in terms of wonderment. We just have to get out there and take advantage of it! These dogs clearly feel at home in what would appear to be an alien and inhospitable environment to many, showing just how adaptable they are.

Of course, you wouldn’t want to take just any dog with you on an outing like this. Siberian Huskies, like these, are suited to frigid climates and are able to tolerate longer durations of time in the elements than other, shorter haired breeds. It’s always important to exercise caution when playing out in the cold with our furry friends! For these two buddies, though, the only concern is having fun in a location where it’s tough to discern where the water ends and the sky begins.

Nothing like a stroll in the middle of the lake

Maybe if I ignore him he’ll go away…

Oh hey, there’s that ball we lost last Summer!

Now this is a refreshing drink of ice water.

Taking a moment in the stillness; a luxury enjoyed by few.


All image source: Fox Grom

Video

Disturbing video shows tiger attacking tourist at safari park; woman killed during rescue attempt | WPMT FOX43

Posted 7:46 PM, July 25, 2016, by Tribune Media Wire
BEIJING — A tourist was killed and a woman was seriously injured after being mauled by tigers at a wildlife park in Beijing on Saturday.

Editor’s note: Some viewers may find the video below disturbing. Viewer discretion is advised.

Surveillance video captured the moment when two visitors got into a verbal argument while driving through the tiger enclosure at Badaling Wildlife Park.

A woman is shown exiting the vehicle and walking to the driver’s side when she is attacked by a tiger and dragged away.

A man and a woman jump out of the vehicle and chase after the tiger. The woman was reportedly attacked by a second tiger during the attempted rescue, according to NBC News.The first woman was seriously injured but is expected to survive.

According to the park’s rules, all guests must keep their windows closed and doors locked while visiting the park.


Feel Good Sunday: This Year’s Best Animal Mothers

Straight from the Horse's Heart

By Ameena Schelling as published on The Dodo

“Today we celebrate our mom’s and the unchallenged love that they have showered upon us over the years.  But the love of a mother is not a human exclusive trait as portrayed in the article, below.  Happy Mother’s Day to all you special individuals out there, whatever your species, be safe and always know that you are loved back many, many times over.” ~ R.T.


The cow who hid her baby from rescuers

Rescued from life as a dairy cow, Clarabelle had lost countless calves to the cruel hands of the dairy farmer. When she gave birth shortly after being rescued by a farm sanctuary, she hid her newborn calf so she couldn’t be taken away.

Edgar’s Mission

The octopus mom who protected her babies — for 4 years

Like any good mom, this octopus carefully guarded her eggs until they hatched…

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Dog Vanishes During Potty Break: 3 Days Later He’s Found Buried Alive

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Dog Vanishes During Potty Break: 3 Days Later He’s Found Buried Alive

By: Laura S.February 4, 2016
About Laura
Lisa Valkenburgh thought nothing of it when she opened her back door to let her 12-year-old German Shepherd Maverick out for a bathroom break last week. It was an ordinary event, something she’d done thousands of times before, but this day would be different. This is the day that Maverick would simply vanish.

At first Lisa was calm when she didn’t immediately spot Maverick in her Platte County, Mo., backyard, but minutes quickly turned to hours. Lisa called for him and began searching as a bubble of fear swelled inside her chest. And as the midnight hours brought a stillness across the neighborhood, Lisa just knew that something horrible had happened to her beloved dog. Lisa’s family canvassed the neighborhood for days, enlisting other residents to keep a look out for any sign of Maverick. No one had seen him. No one had heard him… until there came that faint howl rising up from beneath the earth.

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Lisa and her family searched for Maverick for days.
“I didn’t give up,” Lisa said. “I had to go look one more time. I heard a faint howl five foot down and underground. There was my little old man.”

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It took three firefighters from the Southern Platte Fire Protection District about 90 minutes to carefully extract Maverick from a roadside sinkhole where he’d been buried alive. They had to work carefully to avoid allowing more earth to slide onto his body and potentially suffocate him during the rescue.

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‘They took shovels and they were actually able to get three firefighters to come from different angles and to shovel it out and keep the mud from compacting and compressing on him, to keep him from actually suffocating,’ Valkenburgh’s son Roman Alexander told Fox4kc.

The first couple of days were touch-and-go for Maverick who was severely dehydrated and unable to go to the bathroom on his own. There was significant concern that he had ingested a large amount of clay and that it might create an intestinal obstructions.

“Please keep him in your thoughts and prayers and thank you everyone for your kind words helps more than you know,” Lisa said on Facebook days ago.

But each day has brought progress for Maverick.

“Not out of the woods yet, but he’s drinking alot and he urinated on his own and pooped!” Lisa said two days ago, relieved that the fear of obstruction had passed. “Never been so excited for him to poop!”

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The latest update reveals that Maverick is stable and on his way back home.

“Great news Mavey had a great morning!” Lisa reports. “He got up walked on his own and had a big breakfast! Blood work came back all normal! So momma is picking up her boy this evening he is coming home. Thank you everyone!”

Read more: http://www.care2.com/causes/dog-vanishes-during-potty-break-3-days-later-hes-found-buried-alive.html#ixzz3zL7PJxL2

Holuhraun eruption 85 sqkm lava field, likened to AD1783 and a twist

Tallbloke's Talkshop

Image

Image: Sparkle Motion under CC

“We have not seen such levels of gas in Iceland in recent times, not since the Laki eruption in 1783,” said Evgenia Ilyinskaya, a volcanologist with the British Geological Survey studying the Holuhraun emissions.

Wonder what instruments were used 200 years ago?

AlJazeera article, raises fears.. volcanos, it’s what they do.

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