Thursday, January 15, 2009

Awesome Nature Things We Saw or Heard

In the comments under this category, watch a hummingbird's growing stages (8/23/05), or watch and listen to dolphins talking to human fetuses while they're in the womb (10/18/05); listen to whooping cranes (8/7/05), learn about inbuilt natural defenses (such as coloration), in wildlife and domestic cats, and learn more about tornadoes (8/27/05), or how Aloe Vera is being tested as a natural food preservative (11/13/05). Listen to and view a variety of natural sounds, including birds, insects, and storms (11/5/05). On 12/3/05, read how a pack of squirrels attacked and killed a dog (12/3/05), or how my friend's cat delivered a kitten on her lap(9/1/05), find the nutritional values of many raw foods (9/19/05), and even find tips on Multiple Sclerosis, or relate your favorite nature experiences (yes, there are white muskies!-9/13/05). All this and more in the comments under here at



At 8:11 PM, Blogger Andreas of Scarborough said...

Greetings Darlene,

Just a short post in this section, today!

On the question of squirrels.

When I was a boy in the 1960s, we used to go to the zoo in South Perth for the day with the school at the end of the year. At the South Perth Zoological Gardens there were squirrels running everywhere. I don't think they are native to Western Australia, but I remember most vividly that we boys got as much if not more joy in seeing the squirrels scurry up trees than in watching anything else at the zoo, although the other animals were great as well.

Ah, the simple joys of childhood!

Kindest regards,

Andreas of Scarborough.

At 9:25 PM, Blogger Darlene said...

What a wonderful story, and viewpoint. Would you believe, as much as we often adore their antics, we in the U.S. regard squirrels as a nuisance? I have yet to find an absolute remedy for keeping them off my bird feeders. I use baffles on the poles so they can't climb up; all they do is leap from a vantage point, no matter how far away, and fly onto the top of the pole, then climb down and feast. Anybody out there have a sure-fire remedy?

At 7:28 AM, Blogger Andreas of Scarborough said...

Greetings Darlene,

I never lived in South Perth, but I believe now that in those days the locals of South Perth also considered them pests. Probably sometime in the 70s (but I'm guessing on the date) there was a major cleanup of this "problem" and I believe the squirrels were largely eradicated. Now in the 2000s there are only a few left, and the last time I went to the zoo a few years ago I saw only one or two. But my memories of childhood I'll always have.

By the way, I also loved Rocky and Bullwinkle as a kid so I can imagine these critters gliding as you say.

The wonders of nature, especially when we're not burdened by them!

Kindest regards,

Andreas Krokene.

At 5:11 AM, Blogger Darlene said...

ANDREAS is brimming with knowledge and anecdotes related to nature. It’s also a joy reading his writings, and he’s a super-great guy. I’m sure if you have a question, he’d love to help, or just share some of your experiences with him. Please visit his site, The Blogs of Andreas Krokene. Just click on the links on his home page to find the one you want.

At 1:03 PM, Anonymous spruce said...

Boy, do I know squirrels. I have about 10 - 20 of them that visit my yard every day. Personally, I love them. They're charming, clever, and their antics can brighten the even the worst winter doldrums.

Still, I did get tired of their raids on my bird feeders. So, overthe past few years, I've developed a few methods to keep them out of the bird feeders (mostly).

First, each morning I put some feed on the ground for them. They love it and strangely, it seems to keep them from ravaging the bird feeders too much.

Second - the wonderful Droll Yankee, Yankee Flipper ( Works like a charm and it's quite funny to watch the squirrles being flung off of the feeder. It's almost too bad the squirrels learn to avoid it so quickly.

Third - baffels and good ones too. There's a great platform type feeder made by Droll Yankee that comes with it's own adjustable baffel. Works great for letting the birds in and keeping the squirrels out. (

None of these methods are sure fire, but they certainly help when you live in the midst of so many squirrels! Now if I can only figure out how to outwit those darn raccoons!

P.S. I'm not a Droll Yankee employee or similar. I just happen to really like these two products!

At 10:27 AM, Anonymous Suzanne said...

Hi Darlene!

I grew up on a farm in rural southern WI in which squirrels are truly wild. Then I ventured to UW-Madison where 'domesticated' squirrels were all over campus! Now, I am in a suburb of the Twin Cities that I am lucky enough to have parkland right out my back door. My black lab Lexi loves to chase the squirrels and bunnies (don't worry she never catches them, just enjoys the chase) I've come to realize that squirrels are extremely smart animals as I watch them taunt Lexi by sitting on the fence at the end of our property : - )

I was lucky enough to work with Darlene for almost 4 years and am so excited for her success with this site!


At 1:07 PM, Anonymous Sherrie Rae said...

Hi Dar, I love the site, its fantastic. I also have a problem with squirrels in Jacksonville. Loving to feed the birds, one has to put up with the squirrels, and I feel sorry for them, so have not put up any baffels yet. My little Buffy, 10lb maltese almost caught one, but gads, what would she do if she caught one!. To change the subject a bit, in Feb. when we have a lot of Dragon Flies, or Sewing Needles, as some would call them, I had a neat experience with one. He had landed on my fence, the largest one I had ever seen, beautiful with clear wings. I talked to him, and he let me pet his wings several times and just seemed to be mesmerized. I contined to watch him in close contact and after an hour or so, he simply flew away. I have had this experience one other time, yrs ago, and wondered if anyone else out there, has also had a similar encounter. Keep up the good work, Dar. Miss you. Love Sherrie ( Favorite sister-in Law )

At 4:32 PM, Blogger Darlene said...

Thanks so much for the neat anecdote, Sherrie. I've never seen a dragonfly that big (wonder if they're larger in Florida), and I've never tried to pet the smaller ones, even when they landed on me. I love the fact that you talked to it; I do that when I go out to fill my bird feeders and the birds fly away. I tell them to please not be afraid of me, and to please come back, because I'm just putting more food out for them. I talk to the squirrels, too, but not as nicely. But I've gotten the best response when I've talked to my cats. They let me know what they want when we "talk together", such as leading me to the door when they want to go out and sit on the porch. So amazing that the dragonfly let you pet it, and for so long! By the way, a friend of ours has had hummingbirds try to sip out of his pop (soda) cans when he's been outside and rested them on a ledge. As far as I know, he's never tried to touch one.

At 4:55 PM, Blogger Jocelyn said...

Okay, we like squirrels here. We feed them and we even named one of our regulars: Scrappy. His back is kind of raggedy, but the fur seems to be coming back now. Scrappy likes to eat the sunflower from our bird feeder and our little Cairn terrier Billie likes to chase him when she gets a chance. The funniest is when Scrappy hangs on the other side of the fence looking over at Billie waiting for her to go away.

One other interesting thing I encountered this Spring was a pair of robins going mad because there were these 2 big crows nearby. I was worried the crows were going after their nest and I threw a few wood chips at them, but they were unfazed of course. Boy were those robins incensed though!

At 7:04 PM, Blogger Darlene said...

Why do our cats sometimes suddenly snap at us when we’re petting them? When cats flatten their ears, twitch their tails or growl when we’re petting them, they’re warning us, in the only way they can, to “back off.” If we don’t listen and keep annoying them, all they can do is lash out or bite to make us understand.

Some cats never learned the difference between fighting and playing. In an article by Dr. Marty Beaker, for the Knight Ridder News Service,, experts remind us that social skills develop at different times in kittens, the same as with children. If people bring a kitten home too soon, assuming it will bond better with them, it’ll miss lessons that can only be acquired by being with its mother and litter mates longer.

An eye opener for me was that, even with cats that dearly love us, if we stroke them too rhythmically (or with my cat, on his back near the base of the tail), this stimulates some cats sexually. Their natural response is to act as they do with other cats, whether or not they’re neutered. Males grip a female’s neck with their teeth and hold her with their front paws. Following sex, a female may lash out with her claws.

So if your cat warns you to stop petting him and you refuse, don’t blame him if he lashes out. Whatever his reason may be, he’s following his natural instincts.

At 8:09 PM, Blogger kathy said...

Hi Darlene

I have four cats and it breaks my heart when i see them go after birds and kill them. but what can you do? last spring my cat brought in through our doggie door a cockatiel! bright yellow male, and he was still alive! I still have him...hes doing good. I want to let him go, set him free again, but i know he'll just die out there on his own, so i have been taking care of him.
you asked me if you can link to me, yes of course! I'm happy you enjoy my blog, and yours is pretty nice too!
Thanks Darlene,

At 8:45 PM, Blogger kathy said...


I forgot...
my blog is mostly quotes that i collect. but i do add poems and other interesting stuff that i think people would enjoy reading. I'm such an awful writer myself...that i seldom write stuff of my own. I hope this helps. I collect stuff from the web and books too. most of my pictures on my blog come from every now and ten i add my personal pictures from home. :-)

At 5:16 AM, Blogger Darlene said...

If you're seeking a sense of tranquility or need some inspiration, please go to Katt's site, Collector of Quotes. For example, under "Bamboo Shade" she introduces "the spiritual core of shakuhachi," a bamboo, Japanese instrument, and you can listen to its haunting, mystical tones. Just reading her entries gives me serenity.

Katt, I'm so glad you adopted the cockatiel. You're right, he never would have made it out there. The other day a baby starling was on my porch steps. With that long bill, I could easily identify him. But he didn't have any feathers, just fuzz, and his eyes weren't open yet. I didn't let my cat out, because he enjoys sitting on the porch, and I knew he would go after the bird.

Even a neighbor who volunteers for the raptor center didn't know how to help him; if we picked him up, his mother wouldn't accept him, and I couldn't raise him myself; too young. Although I have a book, Arnie, the Darling Starling, by Corbo and Barras, which tells how a baby starling was hand raised, and how intelligent they are. Arnie even talked!

There are several loving, yet instinctively predatory cats in our neighborhood. I watched the starling as long as I could, until he hopped into the bushes, so I don't know his fate, and it still bothers me.

Katt, I'm so fortunate to have met you, and anyone who follows my advise and visits you will agree.

At 5:17 AM, Blogger Darlene said...

Hi, everybody. I'd like to introduce you to a new friend in our fold; Gary Wood, a photographer and fellow blogger in Ontario, Canada, whom you're going to love. The pictures in his blog, Gary's Latest Shots, make your brain kick into gear, and go beyond the platonic scenes into questioning the reason behind what you see (i.e., check out the one with a solitary baby carriage.)He describes his entries as reflections on what he's seen lately.

His photo gallery, which you can reach through a link on his site, is just as fabulous. The quality is on a par with those you find in National Geographic. Please surf on over to Ontario and see what I mean.

At 11:22 AM, Blogger Floridacracker said...

I can look out my window right now and see a bird feeder with the top knocked off and a fat squirrel sitting in it, so I guess I like squirrels too. I must, I keep feeding them my birdseed.

At 7:47 PM, Blogger Darlene said...

Hey, everybody, just received the funnest word game challenge(is funnest a word?)from Gary, our photographer in Ontario, who's the newest friend to join us. If you're up to it, go to

At 5:43 AM, Blogger Gary J. Wood said...

The link to my word-gaming blog entry (mentioned above) is here


At 4:54 AM, Blogger Darlene said...

I'd been hearing a "deet-deet-deet" sound in my yard lately, and recognized that it was from a cardinal, but the tone had seemed almost frantic. Today I finally found the source: a male cardinal was getting seeds from my feeder and bringing them to his baby, who was impatiently waiting, gape-mouthed, in our apple tree.

The father would feed his offering to the fledgling, but the second he left to go get more, the "deet-deet-deet" resumed. First time I've ever seen a baby cardinal! Another revelation: cardinals don't just eat seeds; they eat bread off the ground, too.

At 5:29 AM, Blogger Darlene said...

Okay, folks, I'm adding to our following of artists who elicit natural responses through their works. You've already met photographers Gary Wood, and Florida Cracker, but now they're being joined by Ventana, an artist of an entirely different ilk.

Ventana makes sculptural art, using metal, ceramics and natural materials to catch the beholder's eye and draw out the person's perspective.

I'm always drawn to these three sites, and appreciate the chance to comment on their works. Please do the same. These people are creating wondrous gifts, using their own special mediums. It's up to you to accept them and enjoy.

At 7:00 AM, Blogger Gary J. Wood said...

I visit Daily Zen regularly. It has a daily quote from classic Zen Buddhist and Taoist literature.

At 7:31 AM, Blogger Ventana Amico said...

Good Morning Animal Lovers@ Darlene's Place!

About those biting cats... I have a cat who bites when she wants MORE petting. She leans into my hand as I rub her, and if I pull my hand away, she gives me a little nip. I think she's trying to bring my hand back where it belongs. On her neck!

Speaking of nature & birds -- they're better than TV for the cat --through the windows to the back yard, she is entertained daily, by Blue Jays, Morning Doves, and occasional brown peloquin or even Heron, and of course Raccoons at night, taking a dip in the pond. (Okay, I enjoy them too.)

At 7:34 AM, Blogger Ventana Amico said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 4:32 AM, Blogger Darlene said...

Note: Don't worry, folks! The above "removed" was merely an exact duplicate; somehow got repeated.

At 8:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the linkage, Darlene. I came in tired from a walk, and the above meditative links sure are a pick-me-up!


At 6:37 PM, Blogger Darlene said...

MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS is an immunological disorder, and 76% of people living with MS are women. Granted, MS isn’t specifically a nature-related issue, but it’s in my nature to pass on valuable information. Therefore, I’d like to introduce you to Pat Baker, my newest friend. She not only provides invaluable first-hand knowledge and tried-and-true tips about MS at her site, the MS Companion, but she would love to have anyone who has or knows someone who has MS to visit her and chat.

But there’s more! Pat’s the kind of woman I love to stroll with around town--just take in the sights, stop somewhere for dessert, maybe head to the river to dip our toes in the soothing water--and that’s exactly what she does at another one of her sites, Walking Tours of Elmira, in her cozy little town in New York. Sometimes it’s the smallest things in life that can give us the biggest sense of satisfaction and wonder, as she proves.

If you prefer, you can go to Pat’s Pond to access these and other sites she has. I value my acquaintance with Pat, and I know you will, too.

At 12:32 PM, Blogger Darlene said...

Have you ever seen baby barn swallows in a nest? I did over the 4th of July weekend. We were at a reunion for a bunch of us college grads (I won't add how many years it's been) and our families at a lake. We all brought tons of food, and a nearby church let us use their facilities. Unfortunately, a pair of barn swallows had built a nest right above the outside door leading to the kitchen and dining room.

There were hungry babies in the nest, and with our constant in-and-out traffic, the parents were concerned about getting to the nest to feed them. The mom and dad kept hovering by the door, and we could see three tiny mouths peeking over the edge of the nest, waiting.

Thankfully the parents did find enough opportune times, but you should have seen the babies' mouths. They were diamond-shaped, about the size of an adult's index finger. So cute!

At 11:32 AM, Blogger Darlene said...

Regarding BUTTERFLIES, I found some fascinating, and in the case of the Monarch, vital information written by Maja Beckstrom for the St. Paul Pioneer Press:

MONARCHS: Monarchs migrate south to central Mexico every year. (In Minnesota, they usually leave in late August.) But the loss of Mexican forests, according to Beckstrom, along with development, pesticides and the eradication of milkweed through modern agricultural practices, have contributed to a decline in the butterfly’s populations during the past five years. Conservationists are urging people to create monarch “way stations” by planting clusters of milkweed, the only plant monarch caterpillars eat.

Tiger Swallowtails: Swallowtails are named for the tail on their hind wings, which resembles the forked tail of a barn swallow. The tail has a survival purpose. If a hungry bird bites the tail, it breaks away, and the butterfly escapes.

(My additional advice): Plant some purple cone flowers (Echinacea) in your yard. They are absolutely the best plant for attracting monarchs (and swallowtails!), which in turn lends to their survival. Echinacea is a tall, upright plant, with stunning flowerheads consisting of pink petals topped by an orange cone.

At 10:15 AM, Blogger Darlene said...

HOW SOME BUTTERFLIES, SNAKES, etc, ARE PROTECTED FROM PREDATORS. Learned this from my buddy Floridacracker (, and had to share it with you (after a bit of revising):

WARNING COLORATION: If they’re red, orange or yellow, that’s often (but not always!) a warning of danger or unpleasantness. The red and yellow bands on the venomous coral snake are an example. Yet other venomous snakes, such as diamondback rattlesnakes, rely on blending in, or CRYPTIC COLORATION (camouflage), rather than warning others of their presence.

Meanwhile, some species become poisonous or bad-tasting because of their diet. The bright orange Gulf Fritillary butterfly feeds on passion flowers, incorporates toxins from the vine, and in turn becomes poisonous to birds that would eat them if it weren’t for their warning coloration. (The cocoon is bright orange, too.)

(My input): Yet the shrimp-colored flamingo gets its color from its diet of…you guessed it—shrimp—and flamingos aren’t dangerous. Also, although a milkweed plant’s leaves are poisonous to most animals, the main diet of Monarch butterflies is milkweed. Thus, Monarchs become toxic to their predators. And butterfly weed, which many butterflies rave over, is a member of the milkweed family, so butterflies benefit from its toxins.

MIMICRY: Often a non-poisonous species will mimic the color patterns of their poisonous or bad-tasting counterparts. Because the Viceroy butterfly has colors similar to the Monarch’s, once a bird eats a monarch, it will probably avoid the Viceroy.

Floridacracker, a former National Park Service Ranger, has so much knowledge about our natural world, I highly urge you to visit his site. (Use the link above.) Also, he says that Monarchs have a bad taste, while Viceroys don’t, and the fruit of a passion flower tastes like styrofoam. Make sure you ask him how he knows! Darlene 7/24/05.

At 1:01 PM, Blogger Darlene said...

SEE SOME WHOOPING CRANES and LISTEN TO THEIR VARIOUS VOICES at the Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership homepage. (Thanks Pat, at, for finding this site for us!)(8/7/05)

At 10:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Go here for some extraordinary photography of a hummer's nest.

Not mine, of course, but mind-blowing.


At 5:11 PM, Blogger Darlene said...

Oh, Pat, thank you so much! The site is beautiful--shows the babies' development starting when there's barely a smidgeon there, and follows along... well, I don't want to ruin the glory of this site, but don't miss this one, folks. Go to hummingbird's nest. (8/23/05-Darlene)

At 5:39 PM, Blogger Darlene said...

To see the ultimate in photos of STORMY SKIES, go to Storm-Skies. My gratitude to Dick S. for this one. (8/24/05--Darlene)

At 6:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Want more tornado information? Here's a goverment site that has all facts you ever wanted to know.

Did you know?
What is the highest-elevation tornado?
The highest elevation a tornado has ever occurred is unknown; but it is at least 10,000 feet above sea level. On 7 July 2004, a hiker observed and photogaphed a tornado at 12,000 feet in Sequoia National Park, California.
See it here.

This ain't Kansas Dorthy.

D Bugs

At 10:58 AM, Blogger Darlene said...

Regarding your TORNADO INFORMATION: Thank you so much for these fascinating sites!

The first one Online Tornado FAQ has a powerhouse of information on tornadoes.

As for the second site: On 7 July, 2004, a hiker observed and photographed a tornado at 12,000 feet in Sequoia National Park, California. He also encountered a tornadic thunderstorm. Both the tornado itself and the huge hail stones produced as a result of the storm can be seen on this SFSU Dept. of Geosciences page.
Sorry, I'm having trouble getting this second link to connect, so you may have to paste
into your browser.

At 12:20 PM, Blogger Darlene said...

CAT LOVERS, you’re gonna love this video: Random This.

At 7:14 PM, Blogger Darlene said...

EVER HEAR OF A CAT STAYING ON HER OWNER’S LAP TO GIVE BIRTH TO A KITTEN? Well, that’s exactly what happened to my friend Kathy in Washington. Twelve-month old Kissa, who was pregnant for the first time, was on Kathy’s lap last week when she started having contractions.

As with all births, at first they were spaced apart, but eventually the pains became more frequent. Yet Kissa had no inclination to get down, so Kathy kept petting and consoling her. Then the spasms began, and Kissa began howling. She pushed, and Kathy could see a baby emerging. She kept pushing, and howling; all the time Kathy kept talking to her, and finally the kitten came out. Kissa began licking it all over, until the kit itself began howling, and all Kathy could do was remain seated, now with both of them on her lap, watching the scene in awe.

Suddenly the unthinkable happened: Nature called—not to the new mother and her baby, but Kathy, and she had to get up and go, and fast! Several weeks ago she had set up a box for Kissa to use as a nursery, and the cat had seemed delighted with it, sniffing around and even curling up in there to sleep. Now, scooping up the mother and baby, Kathy gently got to her feet as gently as possible, bent down, and set them down in the box. Momma Kissa wasn’t about to accept that rebuff! In the blink of an eye she turned her back on Kathy, grabbed her infant, and disappeared down a hole near Kathy’s bookcase.

Since then, Kathy has had a glimpse of two babies, but she doesn't know if there are more, because Kissa hasn’t brought them out of the hole. She has returned to Kathy’s lap, however, in between caring for her babies, and the odds are, in time the whole family will be curled up there. Talk about feline trust! (9/1/05--Darlene)

At 10:12 PM, Blogger kathy said...

That is indeed an awesome story about the cat giving birth on Kathy's lap! Wow! I never heard of a cat doing that. How cool! cats are very picky and she knew that she would be safe on her lap. Awwww! so cute. :)

At 11:18 AM, Blogger Darlene said...

That's exactly what thrilled "new grandmother Kathy" and me--the trust!

At 3:27 PM, Blogger Darlene said...

The Ravenmaster & The Tower of London’s Birds. I found a site that has a link to another site that tells about Derrick Coyle, aka The Ravenmaster. Derrick takes care of the ravens, ensuring that the royal decree issued by Charles II is obeyed—that there should always be six ravens at the Tower, and according to legend, if there aren’t, “the White Tower will crumble and the Kingdom of England will fall.”

The ravens Derrick cares for are so intelligent that Thor, the self-appointed leader, started imitating Derrick, who often receives a “good morning” from him. And apparently so did the delighted Russian President Vladimir Putin when he visited the Tower. I highly recommend that you visit expat-writer at Mo’s Musings, go to her Aug. 23, 2005 post, and click on her link to the site about Derrick and his ravens. (I didn’t want to “steal” it from her.)(9/7/05--Darlene)

At 11:04 AM, Blogger Darlene said...

WHITE MUSKIES: According to the Dept. of Natural Resources, a white muskellunge was caught in the spring of 2005 in the U.S., in the state of Wisconsin, proving that the tales of their existence are not just rumors. The musky weighed in at 8 pounds in the DNR's test nets, and measured 32.7 inches. Its skin was very white, with only a slight greenish tint.

Fisheries researcher John Lyons believed the muskie was "pretty close" to a fully albino.

After measuring and weighing the fish, a fin clip was attached for future identification, and the fish was released.

Thanks to Chris Niskanen in the St. Paul (MN) Pioneer Press June 12, '05, for this affirmation.

At 6:50 PM, Blogger Darlene said...

NORTHERN GOSHAWK trivia: This large woodland raptor is known for its relentless pursuit of prey. That's why Attila the Hun wore its image on his helmet. (Thanks to Beth Gauper, from the St. Paul Pioneer Press for this tidbit. (9/14/05--Darlene)

At 10:08 AM, Blogger Darlene said...

POTATOES--ORIGIN: Most people equate potatoes with Ireland, but they originally came from Peru! There are around 400 varieties in Cusco alone, and there likely are 4,000 different ones in Peru.

At 4:34 PM, Blogger ~*Jenni*~ said...

My two little sons and I sit on our porch watching birds at our feeders, and in our yard. The two year old is so excited by them, it is so cute! I wish we got more squirrels though, my oldest loves the squirrels.
This is a very nice blog.

At 2:52 PM, Blogger Darlene said...

RAW FOOD & its NUTRITIONAL VALUE: I just found this site. It's basically for those interested in a raw food diet, but the content is so good, thoroughly covering the nutrional value (including antioxidants), in such a variety of foods, even those like me who also relish cooked food will want to use this valuable resource: Cleansing Raw Food Diet. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to find the owner of this site to extend my gratitude, but I truly wish you my regards.

At 8:01 PM, Blogger Darlene said...

, according to scientists in Lima, Peru. They believe the ultrasonic emissions may benefit unborn children by stimulating brain activity while the fetus is still developing.

Therefore, dolphins have been trained to swim close to pregnant women and emit their calls. Some even “kiss” the women on their lips or stomach. In Spanish-speaking countries, this practice is known as delfinoteprepia, or dolphin therapy.

You can read more about this, see a slideshow or hear a video and watch To read more about this, watch a slideshow or watch and listen to a video from Oct. 17 showing interactions between dolphins and pregnant women, turn up your sound, then go to

(My apologies, but I cannot create a link to this site--you'll have to copy and paste it into your browser.)

At 11:06 AM, Blogger kathy said...

Hello darlene

I changed my name after a scare with google search, LOL.
I didn't know that pototatos orignated in Peru. I really do need to pop in here more often, facinating topics and info about animals. This dolphin article is amazing to me...i didn't know that about the human fetus hearing the sounds. I do know that dolpins are very intelligent and i love the way they talk to each other and to us. they are so beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing this with us!

At 3:22 PM, Blogger Darlene said...

(10/23/05) One of my dear friends just e-mailed me with this comment regarding my dolphin "post," and I had to share it, because I think it's delightful--particularly at the end:

You know, I can't help analyzing this thing. It's not so amazing when we consider the huge variety of sounds dolphins make. Babies can only process so much, then they shut down. So do we, but we can take much more, simply through experience. A lot of exposure must simply exercise the brain more than usual. Like playing a lot of music. The pleasant reaction of the mother would add to the positive reinforcement for the baby.

I remember hanging shelves at work when I was pregnant. I refused to continue when the drills and other power tools got too loud. My boss refused to understand and really gave me a hard time about it. But even he was a promoter of positive sounds for incubating fetuses, so that was just his nonsense. He did so much to make me miserable when I was pregnant, I finally concluded that womb envy was dripping from his chops. I will never regret my decision to keep the sound environment pleasant.

Don't you just love everything about dolphins?

At 3:31 PM, Blogger Darlene said...

RAKING LEAVES HELPS YOU LOSE WEIGHT GALORE! I've always suspected this, but didn't realize just to what an extent. My friend David Hollis, at Rural Life 2.0 has the proof in his Oct. 20, '05 post:

It seems that raking leaves is a good workout ... aside from making the yard look great and helping you amass some great fuel for the compost bin. Researchers say the average 150-pound woman burns 290 calories in an hour of leaf raking. But, like most everything else we do any more, there are some cautions:

"People will do themselves damage by overdoing things," says Ernie Miron, president of the Manitoba Chiropractic Association. "It's a good idea to just do some stretching to warm up."

I highly suggest you go to David's site to learn more.

At 1:44 PM, Blogger Darlene said...

NATURAL SOUNDS AND PHOTOS, including birds, insects and storms. Listen to a wide variety of fabulous digital recordings and view photos, at (Darlene-11/5/05)

At 7:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This News Just In From Sweden:



Some rowdy drunks have created quite a scare at an old folks home in southern Sweden.
And these boozers were as big as a moose. In fact they were moose.

Police say a mama moose and her calf got tipsy from eating fermented apples. Police managed to scare them off once. But the juiced moose returned to get more of the liquored-up fruit.

Police sent for a hunter and his dog, who managed to chase the animals away.

To make sure the moose don't fall off the wagon again, police had all the boozy apples picked up and carted away.

D Bugs

At 3:34 PM, Blogger Darlene said...

ALOE VERA GEL acts as a NATURAL PRESERVATIVE on fruits and vegetables after harvest, which could replace the synthetic food preservatives now being used, according to researchers in Spain. Science Daily reports that the gel not only makes these foods last longer than using the synthetics, but keeps moisture, bacteria and molds out without affecting the flavor. For details, see Science Daily's site (That's htm at the end!) I'm so sorry--you'll have to copy & paste the link into your browser. (11/13/05—Darlene)

At 11:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cute squirrels?
Do you believe the following from the BBC News?


Local people suggest hunger is driving squirrels to extremes.

Squirrels have bitten to death a stray dog which was barking at them in a Russian park, local media report.

Passers-by were too late to stop the attack by the black squirrels in a village in the far east, which reportedly lasted about a minute.

They are said to have scampered off at the sight of humans, some carrying pieces of flesh.

A pine cone shortage may have led the squirrels to seek other food sources, although scientists are sceptical.

The attack was reported in parkland in the centre of Lazo, a village in the Maritime Territory, and was witnessed by three local people.

A "big" stray dog was nosing about the trees and barking at squirrels hiding in branches overhead when a number of them suddenly descended and attacked, reports say.

"They literally gutted the dog," local journalist Anastasia Trubitsina told Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper.

"When they saw the men, they scattered in different directions, taking pieces of their kill away with them."

Mikhail Tiyunov, a scientist in the region, said it was the first he had ever heard of such an attack.

While squirrels without sources of protein might attack birds' nests, he said, the idea of them chewing a dog to death was "absurd".

"If it really happened, things must be pretty bad in our forests," he added.

Komosmolskaya Pravda notes that in a previous incident this autumn chipmunks terrorised cats in a part of the territory.

A Lazo man who called himself only Mikhalich said there had been "no pine cones at all" in the local forests this year.

"The little beasts are agitated because they have nothing to eat," he added.

At 1:32 PM, Blogger Darlene said...

12/3/05 Yikes... I knew squirrels were semi-carnivorous, but to attack a live animal, and do it as a pack--that's scary! I thought they only occasionally nibbled on cooked meat and suet. As gruesome as the article is, however, sure is fascinating to know. Thanks for sending it over!

At 2:52 PM, Anonymous Sherrie Rae said...

Dear Dar, I read the comment about the pack of squirrels attacking, killing and eating parts of a stray dog. It was a horrifying story, if true.I don't know if I will be able to look at the little critters the same in our yard!! We have quite a few of them raiding the bird feeders I have and of course my little dog and cat will give them a chase, but all in fun. Goodness, I think that when animals are very hungry, or almost starving they will yield to things that they normally would not consider doing. Love reading the new comments. Hope your feeling better and moving easier. Love you, Sherrie

At 1:08 PM, Blogger pb said...

Don't let anyone tell you we are not making progress in restoring our rivers and wetlands. In the last year or so, the Chemung River in Upstate New York has been upgraded to a trout stream. And just recently we are also seeing the return of raptors and scavenger birds! I've been seeing some large, very large birds on the river bank. After my sister verified that we were seeing turkey vultures and ravens, I contacted the local Audubon Society, who also gave the thumbs up.

To think I've been seeing ravens, turkey vultures and large hawks, but not believing it. The press has been so negative about habitat destruction that it forgot to mention habitat restoration, ongoing right here, too close for me to see it!

At 5:04 AM, Blogger Darlene said...

Unbelieveable! That's great. It's so true--we've had so many positive results in Minnesota, too, but somehow the media doesn't spread the bad as much as the good. The good stuff always seems to be buried in a section of the paper not as seldom read, for example. That's a shame, because if people could hear more about the positive results of efforts such as this, maybe they'd be more willing to add their support instead of figuring, what good does it do to try. Thanks!

At 6:35 PM, Anonymous e. f. said...

Wonderful sight can be seen in Galveston Bay, Texas. Although there have been hurricanes on the Louisiana and Texas coast, the dolphins show off jumping and diving along side the Texas Highway Ferry as we road on it to Bolivar, Texas.

At 8:30 AM, Blogger markali52 said...

I was always fascinated with zoos and wildlife but as a city boy never saw much until I statred gardening, the garden is quite large and I often sit out on the garden furniture in the late afternoon early evening and I have seen hedgehogs, squirrels, the neighbourhood cats, lots of different birds including woodpeckers, I have even seen a little fox pass through my garden I never thought there was so much life in a city, and to think that a garden makes it possible.

At 1:03 AM, Anonymous Annie said...

My garden is a haven for local wildlife, there are robins in nest box, hedgehogs, squirrels love the homebase garden furniture, a badger visits and numerous birds, butterflys and insects in the flower beds,

At 9:56 AM, Blogger Darlene said...

6/14/08..ORIOLES! In the early part of May this year I put out an oriole feeder. (I never see them here in the city.) No response for about 3 days, then suddenly there were about half a dozen Northern Orioles in the trees waiting their turn to get at my feeder. They stayed about 2 weeks, then suddenly nary a one in sight. Must have caught them on their trip further up north. Perfect timing! I'll try it in the fall too, just in case.


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