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Something New [Hatchings]

May 8, 2011

A while ago I realized my time spent reading blog posts vastly outweighs my time spent writing them.  Not a bad thing, really, there is a lot of good writing and photography going on in the blogosphere.  In fact, I regularly find pieces that entertain, teach, inspire, or call to action, I connect with pieces that reassure my attitudes or take me out of my comfort zone.  They calm me down while it picks me up — wait, that’s something else altogether, but you get what I’m saying.

And here is, as Monk would say, the thing:  I often have posts saved in my reader (Google brand, if you keep track) for months, just sitting there so I can revisit them for the information the contain, to get another laugh from a particularly funny story (especially those that hit too close to home), to ogle the stunning eye candy once again.

But why keep these to myself?  Shouldn’t I pass them along a little more formally than passing them to my Facebook friends (most of which probably never check them out anyway).  So I’m embarking on something new:  a feature that presents a few of the posts I saved during the past week, ones that I’m confident will improve your day should you decide to click through.

So, without further ado, here is the inaugural edition of . . . well, a currently unnamed feature that will have a (hopefully) clever name in the future.

For the week ending 06 May 2011, and listed in no particular order:

April Owls
Bill Schmoker, writing for the ABA blog
If for no other reason, you’ll want to visit for Bill’s consistently amazing photography. But the other reason is they’re amazing photographs of owls.

Towards the end of April I visited an old favorite Great Horned Owl nest in a neighborhood NW of Boulder.  The nest is situated in a cottonwood snag across a ditch from a popular walking trail and has two chicks this year.  It affords nice, clear views and the owls are super tolerant, as they have to be with the constant stream of humanity, dogs, strollers, bikes, etc. flowing by every day.

When It Rains Birds
Bryan Pfeiffer, writing for The Daily Wing
A lyrical account of migration along Lake Erie — find out what you’re missing by not being there.

Ah, the vernal desire, the explosion of insects, the eruption of flowers, the struggle for existence, the great rush north of migrating birds. Nowhere is it more dramatic than along the shores of Lake Erie.
Yeah, Lake Erie, not far from Detroit and Toledo. Here warblers pour from the skies like manna from Heaven. Shorebirds pile up and pound mud like sewing machines on their great journey to the Arctic. Rare birds – I mean really rare stuff – are hardly rare here; they are to be expected.

Save the Birds – With Doppler Radar
Wendee Holtcamp, writing for Miller-McCune
Wendee connects British WWII-era radar operators and a bottomland hardwood forest in Texas, and you’ll feel as though you are among the live oaks, trumpet creepers, and palmetto thickets.

During World War II, England established radar stations along its coastline, providing early warning when the fighters and bombers of the Luftwaffe were crossing the English Channel. On more than one occasion, unidentified radar signals caused widespread panic among British radar operators. When these mystery echoes appeared, which was always at night, they resembled small aircraft heading toward the coast of Britain. Sometimes masses of these echoes covered the radar screen, but they always vanished by morning, and no attack ever followed. The British military started calling the false returns “angels”. . . .

Why Public Lands Matter
Hugh Powell, writing for Round Robin
Hugh summarizes the 2011 release of The State of the Birds, highlighting the role our public lands play in conservation.

For most people who have ever visited a national park, it’s easy to come away impressed with the general idea of preserving great examples of nature. Just standing in a wild place like Yosemite, the Everglades, or Acadia can thrill us to our core. But it’s harder to put specifics to the value of the public owning chunks of land from every major biome. Is there a reason why the government should manage young pine forests in Michigan, or arid stretches of Colorado, or remote Pacific islands?

Gifts
Seabrooke Leckie, writing for The Marvelous in Nature.
I mentioned excellent writing and photography can be found in the blogosphere, creating posts that teach, inspire, challenge, and so on. This post is typical of Seabrooke’s contributions: it intertwines it all.

Like any thoughtful Significant Other would, Dan brings me gifts regularly. But unlike the usual bouquet of flowers or similar traditional items that most women probably get, my gifts are from nature, and perhaps the more thoughtful for it. I’ve had a little collection of such items on the shelf in my study, and when Dan brought me another the other day I decided I’d put them all together for a blog post.

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