Ecology- MMG

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jacob
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Re: Ecology- MMG

Post by jacob »

theanimal wrote:
Sat Oct 14, 2023 12:00 pm
@AxelHeyst's mom showed us a cool way to view it if you don't have the glasses. Take a pair of binoculars and invert them facing the sun.
You don't even need that. Take a piece of anything (cardboard) and make a pin hole. An inverted image will be projected from the pinhole. (Camera obscura)

sodatrain
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Re: Ecology- MMG

Post by sodatrain »

jacob wrote:
Sat Oct 14, 2023 12:05 pm
You don't even need that. Take a piece of anything (cardboard) and make a pin hole. An inverted image will be projected from the pinhole. (Camera obscura)
A gringo just told me... "The Mayans use a metal bowl of water" to capture the image. Sounds like a nice alternative to peering thru a TP tube!

chenda
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Re: Ecology- MMG

Post by chenda »

mountainFrugal wrote:
Wed Jul 05, 2023 5:47 pm
@chenda - pigeons are hard to handle. You essentially have to remove the nest while they are out and replace the area where they were nesting with spikes or some other way to discourage them from rebuilding the nest.
Yes and apparently it's a criminal offence to disturb any nesting birds so for the record I definitely didn't do anything like spray then with water then destroy their nests and spend a whole morning scraping off pidgeon feces from from the balcony floor which seems to be acidic so it takes off the varnish.

This morning I woke up to find a dead pidgeon on the balcony, a sort of final 'fuck you Chenda'. I've got nowhere to bury it so I might drop it into the road tonight so the street cleaners suck it up. Or maybe I should try eating it ?

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mountainFrugal
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Re: Ecology- MMG

Post by mountainFrugal »

chenda wrote:
Sun Oct 15, 2023 1:56 pm
Or maybe I should try eating it ?
Ha! I am glad you are following the law to a T. How did the disposal go? Down the gullet or into the street?

Yesterday we had multi-species standoff in the front yard. There is a family of woodpeckers that nest in the oak tree in the front yard. They use the old telephone pole as a nut cache. There was a mast year for acorns 2 years ago, but since then, there have been very few acorns. The woodpeckers still have a good cache as far as I can tell. A squirrel was attempting to raid the cache on the telephone pole. The woodpeckers were dive bombing it and forcing it to the bottom third of the pole. During the commotion, the neighborhood cats started moving in. The cats (siblings) moved to the bottom of the telephone pole and were waiting for the squirrel. Another cat joined the wait under a vehicle parked on the street. The cats would jump up and the squirrel would dart up the pole. The woodpeckers (7!) would dive bomb the squirrel and force it down. The cycle repeated for at least 15 minutes. We left for a MTB ride and did not get see the conclusion, but the cats and squirrel were no longer in the area when we finished up the ride a few hours later.

chenda
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Re: Ecology- MMG

Post by chenda »

mountainFrugal wrote:
Mon Oct 16, 2023 12:24 pm
Ha! I am glad you are following the law to a T. How did the disposal go? Down the gullet or into the street?
Pidgeon has been laid to rest in the street. I felt slightly guilty about it although I decided eating was a bad idea as it might have swallowed poison or something. It made a surprisingly loud splat sound on the road.

Hehe that pole stash must be the centre of animal geopolitics.

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mountainFrugal
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Re: Ecology- MMG

Post by mountainFrugal »

I have been noticing lichens a lot lately. I went backpacking last summer and there were some stunning multicolored lichens on rocks along the trail. There are even some local varieties that grow on the concrete sidewalks that do not have a lot of foot traffic. Lichens are a symbiosis between photosynthetic bacteria/algae and a fungus. They can change color rapidly when they are re-wet (if in dry habitats). Lots of other Lichen facts over at the wikipedia page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lichen

7Wannabe5
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Re: Ecology- MMG

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

At my northern permaculture project, the ground was covered with reindeer lichen, wintergreen, and wild blueberry. Very beautiful in autumn with the whitish-gray of the lichen, deep green of the wintergreen, and scarlet of the blueberry foliage.

Bicycle7
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Re: Ecology- MMG

Post by Bicycle7 »

Perched on a bridge looking over a concrete damn slowing the flow of water in a creek, I watch a great blue heron motionless in the water, hardly moving an inch. After a few minutes, a couple of river otters emerge from the bushes on the stream bank and slither into the water to join the heron.

@MF: I love your multi-species standoff story! Around my house I see a lot of squirrel and bird interactions due to the ample food sources provided by all the fruit trees.

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mountainFrugal
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Re: Ecology- MMG

Post by mountainFrugal »

The local story is a decent amount of rain this month, but the storms are coming in warmer so no snow in town yet. There is snow at higher elevations and gradually the snow levels are creeping down. Last year we had already put in 15 days of skiing by now.

What are things like in your neck of the woods? Yes, I am talking to you thread/forum lurker. Any recent nature observations? Birds acting funny? Bees going dormant for the winter? Bears acting a fool?

J_
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Re: Ecology- MMG

Post by J_ »

I saw about 20 buzzards together in the air. I first thought they were crows. Do (young) Buzzards gather? 1200 m Austrian Alps yesterday.

theanimal
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Re: Ecology- MMG

Post by theanimal »

I’m in the Chicagoland area visiting family. It’s been very warm here. With no snow on the ground, the Canada Geese are still around and feeding on the grass. My mom has a bird feeder right outside the kitchen window that gets a lot of visitors. I enjoy seeing who shows up each day. So far there’s been doves, chickadees, a woodpecker, jays, and gray squirrels. When there’s snow, the deer will come up to the feeder as well, but they’ve remained closer to the edge of the forest with the mild weather.

AxelHeyst
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Re: Ecology- MMG

Post by AxelHeyst »

It rained moderately a week ago and there is still moisture at the top level of soil/sand, which I've never seen persist longer than a day or two. Our creek runs in the morning now, and there is at least one drainage with surface water flow that I've literally never seen flow except during a storm. I recall almost exactly a year ago a neighbor telling me that in the past ten months we'd had 2inches of precip.

I was on a walk yesterday and saw a crow perched on top of a Joshua, staring at me. I stopped. It flew at least 8 circles around me before I began to move again.

It's warmer than usual here now and much warmer than last year.

avalok
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Re: Ecology- MMG

Post by avalok »

We are on the Cornwall-Devon border currently and the theme is similar here, much milder than the year before. There's also been a lot of precipitation (which is saying something, as where we are is a temperate rainforest). The rivers are running much higher and faster than I recall a year ago. The ground is heavy clay, and on a walk I last did in March, I noticed considerable erosion on the riverbank.

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mountainFrugal
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Re: Ecology- MMG

Post by mountainFrugal »

Very wet snow in town (4 cm). 10-20 cm up higher in elevation. I drove up a forest road with some visiting friends intending to make some ground level snow observations next to one of the local weather stations, but the snow was too deep and slushy to make it the final 4 km. My friends are not snow peeps (city slickers! ha!) so we turned around. We walked along some lower elevation trails with patchy snow. We saw some Mallard ducks and some Nothern Pintails in a lake doing their thang duckin' off (scientific term ;)).

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mountainFrugal
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Re: Ecology- MMG

Post by mountainFrugal »

I followed a squirrel track from tree to tree and some dog tracks yesterday in the 2 cm of fresh dry snow. Cold snow like this is compressible enough to capture lots of detail and near perfect register, and just deep enough to capture nail drag along the surface. I could see the nails drag along the surface as the foot left the ground. It also makes for satisfying out and back running. I can enjoy the tactile crunch of the snow on the way out and take a look at my tracks on the way back. I noticed my right foot was landing slightly outward. It was a subtle change that did not occur on every foot print pair, but I had enough observations to suspect something might be out of alignment. Sure enough when I got home my right hip flexor and glute were a bit tighter than my left.

What is going on in your neck of the woods?

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jennypenny
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Re: Ecology- MMG

Post by jennypenny »

I struggle during the winter but I'm trying to take inspiration from this thread and appreciate what winter has to offer. I've discovered I love winter sunsets. They're different, and brief, but they are magical for about 15 minutes. I also thoroughly enjoy stargazing during witching hour -- the skies are crisp and full of stars. It's a wonderful way to start the day (except for that one day I heard a coyote but we won't talk about that lol).

When I was a kid we usually had snow on the ground most of the winter. When we did, I loved blue hour -- that last hour of daylight when everything turned blue.

mooretrees
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Re: Ecology- MMG

Post by mooretrees »

On a recent snowy hike with the family, DH noticed a lot of snow shoe hare prints. It was really cool to see so many of them, and then to notice how close and far apart some of the hops were. And even more fun to think about what was happening for the hare; were they being chased? Saw some tasty food? Heard a noisy human coming?

AxelHeyst
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Re: Ecology- MMG

Post by AxelHeyst »

I flushed a roadrunner yesterday. They run, then hop up and glide long distances with their wings held out stable, and every once in a while give a microburst of flaps, before coming down. The flying/running transition is smooth - they land running about as fast as they were gliding. I love their tracks:

Image

Image

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