Textures here textures there

On this gloomy Thursday afternoon I decided to take a break from the normal, daily homework and studying to explore all areas of our house for various textures. I took along my camera and found a few that I thought were relatively interesting… Here is my favorite:



The Bone Eating Birds

There are some amazing creatures out there.  This one  I never knew existed until my professor introduced me to them in my ornithology class last Spring. What a unique niche this carrion bird fulfills! I thought I would share with you the following video from the BBC so you might learn a little bit more on the bird of the day. Enjoy!

Blackened Skies

Photo by Harrison McClary

Photo by Harrison McClary

As I begin the morning no longer do I hear the chorus of song from the Northern Mockingbird, Carolina Chickadee and Wren. Instead I hear the racket of hundreds of European Starlings, Common Grackles and Brown-headed Cowbirds.

Every winter (of recent) it seems large aggregates of these birds steal the sky and branch of every naked tree of some urban townships. Many researchers conclude this phenomenon is due in part to erratic changes in our climate, but moreover this behavior has been an effect of urbanization. While most Neotropical migrants head South for the winter others stay due to the regularly available food sources from weekly garbage collection to those dependable suet and seed feeders most nature lovers have hanging in their backyard.

Besides food the urban environment provides safety for birds who see poorly in the dark evening hours. Sources of light  such as streetlights and outdoor security lights provide these birds protection from the ever acute-eyed owl.

Yet the racket from them is not the only problem. These birds make a large mess with their accumulated defecation. Also, because of the increased population size and perhaps lack of ample resources many die; causing disease issues for domesticated animals.

Despite what seems like an awful phenomenon, even for a bird lover, it only last a portion of the year before these aggregates disperse. Then once again I will hear the more diverse chorus of song from the Northern Mockingbird, Chickadee and Wren.


Thursday marks the 4th year of existence for Artemisia tridentata on the world-wide web! Thank you fellow readers for keeping up with my posts and (every now and then) giving a comment or two. Here’s to another year of thought-filled blogging!


Learning about fronts and radar

Sky over Pioneer Mountains, Idaho

Sky over Pioneer Mountains, Idaho

In all of the science classes I have taken over the years, I really cannot remember one that covered weather and climate very extensively. Now, as a part of the science curriculum for middle school education, I am taking a class over this said material. The first week was a bit brutal, I think I was trying to tie in more to the equation of fronts, cloud types and pressure systems. This week things made a bit more sense… The chapter reviewed familiar terminology (the various layers of the atmosphere) and introduced the various scientific theories that describe how the atmosphere was formed. I was happy to read a few familiar theories and factoids on oxygen producing cyanobacteria and the importance of plants and decaying material that help maintain the perfect balance of Oxygen, Nitrogen (and a few other gases) in the atmosphere. I am sure I will share more about this course as the semester continues, so look out to read more on what happens in the sky…