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  Topic: Wildlife, What's in your back yard?< Next Oldest | Next Newest >  
Bob O'H



Posts: 2253
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 15 2008,00:52   

Quote (Albatrossity2 @ Aug. 14 2008,11:09)
Also for Louis and all the Brits here, some more pictures of Scotland. All in colour...

Thanks - gorgeous, as always. †Scenery like that is one thing I miss in Finland. †And hey, the fulmar is almost an albatross.

One question - should the wagtail be a pied wagtail? †I'm not really sure what the distinction is: my bird guide implies that it's pied in the British Isles and white elsewhere. †I'm confused about this at the moment.

Earlier this summer there was a pair around here that spent their time winding up The Beast. †They even managed to hover just inside the French window.

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It is fun to dip into the various threads to watch cluelessness at work in the hands of the confident exponent. - Soapy Sam (so say we all)

   
Albatrossity2



Posts: 2780
Joined: Mar. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 15 2008,04:14   

Quote (Bob O'H @ Aug. 15 2008,00:52)
One question - should the wagtail be a pied wagtail? †I'm not really sure what the distinction is: my bird guide implies that it's pied in the British Isles and white elsewhere. †I'm confused about this at the moment.

I don't claim to be an expert on wagtails; they are not common birds in the US. Indeed most field guides would give you the impression that the birds found throughout the UK are pied wagtails.

But my understanding is that the grey-backed birds found in the northern parts of the UK are Motacilla alba alba (aka white wagtail). The black-backed birds (found in most of the UK) are M. a. yarelli (pied wagtail). We did see some of the black-backed versions as well, near Edinburgh and Kinross. I didn't get any decent pics of those; the bird in my picture was from Orkney (pretty far north!), and has a grey back.

Some of the taxonomy is discussed here, but I'm not sure if a Wikipedia article is the best authority. If anybody else has other information, I'd be glad to hear about it.

Since all of these birds are just subspecies, I only got to count one species for my trip list.

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Flesh of the sky, child of the sky, the mind
Has been obligated from the beginning
To create an ordered universe
As the only possible proof of its own inheritance.
† † † † † † † † † † † † - Pattiann Rogers

   
Albatrossity2



Posts: 2780
Joined: Mar. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 16 2008,18:07   

We've had a lot of rain lately; the logs on which we grow shitake mushrooms have been overproducing †:)

But the most interesting thing in the yard today was a myxomycete (slime mold). A little research indicates that this thing is called Fuligo septica, aka the Dog Vomit Slime Mold.

Here's the whole thing; it's about 4 inches long.



and a detail



--------------
Flesh of the sky, child of the sky, the mind
Has been obligated from the beginning
To create an ordered universe
As the only possible proof of its own inheritance.
† † † † † † † † † † † † - Pattiann Rogers

   
rhmc



Posts: 340
Joined: Dec. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 16 2008,18:32   

slime molds are cool.  to my knowledge, its the only fungus that travels.  we have the the yellow one and a pepto-bismal pink one.  they'll wander several feet in the right conditions, until the weather changes and they dry up.  

for the birders, when one sees a titmouse (the bird) and then one sees several more, is that  "titmice" or  "titmouses"?
(we went through the "a murder of crows, a parliament of owls, a flock of geese..." but no one knew about the multiplicity of titmouse...)

  
Lou FCD



Posts: 5409
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 16 2008,18:59   

Quote (Albatrossity2 @ Aug. 16 2008,19:07)
aka the Dog Vomit Slime Mold.

That thing needs a new PR guy.

Possibly also an attorney, as I think that name is tradmarked for someone else.

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Lou FCD is still in school, so we should only count him as a baby biologist. -carlsonjok -deprecated
I think I might love you. Don't tell Deadman -Wolfhound

Work-friendly photography
NSFW photography

   
Albatrossity2



Posts: 2780
Joined: Mar. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 16 2008,19:26   

Quote (rhmc @ Aug. 16 2008,18:32)
slime molds are cool. †to my knowledge, its the only fungus that travels. †we have the the yellow one and a pepto-bismal pink one. †they'll wander several feet in the right conditions, until the weather changes and they dry up. †

for the birders, when one sees a titmouse (the bird) and then one sees several more, is that †"titmice" or †"titmouses"?
(we went through the "a murder of crows, a parliament of owls, a flock of geese..." but no one knew about the multiplicity of titmouse...)

Yeah, but it's not a fungus, despite the name. The myxomycetes are considered to be protists. But the taxonomy has always been controversial, and I suspect that it still is!

As for the plural of titmouse, I've always used titmouses. But a google search (an arbiter that might be suspect) indicates that there are 5,400 uses of titmouses on the web and 152,000 uses of titmice on the web. Titmice is definitely winning!

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Flesh of the sky, child of the sky, the mind
Has been obligated from the beginning
To create an ordered universe
As the only possible proof of its own inheritance.
† † † † † † † † † † † † - Pattiann Rogers

   
jeffox



Posts: 671
Joined: Oct. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 24 2008,02:54   

Testing 1, 2, 3. . . .We'll see if THIS works, now.  



This photo was taken back in about mid-May.  There is a place in town that is part of the older, higher riverbank - now an isolated "mound".  That's where I ran into these "road rabbits".  :)   Enjoy!

  
jeffox



Posts: 671
Joined: Oct. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 24 2008,03:01   

IT'S ALIVE!!!  :)   :)   :P

Ok, let's do a few more!  This is a nice smallie caught in the dam-pool in the Chippewa River as it passes through town, about 6 blocks from my apartment:



And a pair of mallards in front of the public library downtown, photo from (about) early May this year:


  
midwifetoad



Posts: 3992
Joined: Mar. 2008

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 31 2008,12:20   

Some pics from my travelling spawn.















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Any version of ID consistent with all the evidence is indistinguishable from evolution.

  
J-Dog



Posts: 4402
Joined: Dec. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 31 2008,13:51   

Mid-toad - NICE PICS!!!  What?  You climbed Mt Everest, without telling us???!!!

But seriously?  When and where dude?

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Come on Tough Guy, do the little dance of ID impotence you do so well. - Louis to Joe G 2/10

Gullibility is not a virtue - Quidam on Dembski's belief in the Bible Code Faith Healers & ID 7/08

UD is an Unnatural Douchemagnet. - richardthughes 7/11

  
midwifetoad



Posts: 3992
Joined: Mar. 2008

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 31 2008,14:23   

Quote (J-Dog @ Aug. 31 2008,13:51)
Mid-toad - NICE PICS!!! †What? †You climbed Mt Everest, without telling us???!!!

But seriously? †When and where dude?

Last week, taken in Peru by my son. Possibly on the Inca Trail, but I'm not in frequent touch.

I think it's nice to be able to upload travel pictures to Flickr as you go, in case your stuff gets lost or stolen.

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Any version of ID consistent with all the evidence is indistinguishable from evolution.

  
Assassinator



Posts: 479
Joined: Nov. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 03 2008,14:39   

Maybe some of you guys can help me identifying an odd bug I've seen at work (supermarket) this evening.
It was black, a bit shorter then an inch, it's head looked like 1 from an ant and it had a pretty long abdomen wich it could curl up like a scorpion's tail. It made me think of an earwig, but it was bigger, black, I didn't really see a pincher on the back of it's tail and I've never seen an earwig curl it's tail up like that.
Anyone knows what I'm talking about?

  
Richardthughes



Posts: 11110
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 03 2008,14:43   

what flavour was it?

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"Richardthughes, you magnificent bastard, I stand in awe of you..." : Arden Chatfield
"You magnificent bastard! " : Louis
"ATBC poster child", "I have to agree with Rich.." : DaveTard
"I bow to your superior skills" : deadman_932
"...it was Richardthughes making me lie in bed.." : Kristine

  
JohnW



Posts: 3014
Joined: Aug. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 03 2008,15:18   

Quote (Assassinator @ Sep. 03 2008,12:39)
Maybe some of you guys can help me identifying an odd bug I've seen at work (supermarket) this evening.
It was black, a bit shorter then an inch, it's head looked like 1 from an ant and it had a pretty long abdomen wich it could curl up like a scorpion's tail. It made me think of an earwig, but it was bigger, black, I didn't really see a pincher on the back of it's tail and I've never seen an earwig curl it's tail up like that.
Anyone knows what I'm talking about?

Sounds like a rove beetle. †Something like this?



--------------
Math is just a language of reality. Its a waste of time to know it. - Robert Byers

There isn't any probability that the letter d is in the word "mathematics"...  The correct answer would be "not even 0" - JoeG

  
Richard Simons



Posts: 425
Joined: Oct. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 03 2008,17:56   

I too have an insect I'd like identifying.

It looks basically like a large ladybird larva, about 1.5 to 2 cm long, with a small, slender head and short legs. The abdomen looks like it is covered with large scales that give it a conspicuous serrate appearance. The whole animal is black on top, lighter below. I found it in a rotting log in boreal forest.

A colleague says it is a beetle larva but I do not know how good her identification skills are.

I'm sorry, my camera is not up to taking a decent photo of it but perhaps I'll get a close-up lens for Christmas . . .

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All sweeping statements are wrong.

  
Henry J



Posts: 4979
Joined: Mar. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 03 2008,22:50   

Quote
what flavour was it?


More to the point, did it taste like chicken? (or early semiaquatic vertebrates, whichever.)

Henry

  
Assassinator



Posts: 479
Joined: Nov. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 04 2008,06:02   

Quote (Henry J @ Sep. 03 2008,22:50)
Quote
what flavour was it?


More to the point, did it taste like chicken? (or early semiaquatic vertebrates, whichever.)

Henry

Doesn't everything exotic ;)

But yes JohnW, thatīs exactly the bug I saw. Thanks a lot.

  
fusilier



Posts: 249
Joined: Feb. 2003

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 04 2008,12:09   

Quote (Assassinator @ Sep. 03 2008,15:39)
Maybe some of you guys can help me identifying an odd bug I've seen at work (supermarket) this evening.
It was black, a bit shorter then an inch, it's head looked like 1 from an ant and it had a pretty long abdomen wich it could curl up like a scorpion's tail. It made me think of an earwig, but it was bigger, black, I didn't really see a pincher on the back of it's tail and I've never seen an earwig curl it's tail up like that.
Anyone knows what I'm talking about?

Sounds like a rove beetle -Staphylinidae - to me.

See

No, not THAT Rove.

ETA: †poo, JohnW beat me to it.

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fusilier
James 2:24

  
fusilier



Posts: 249
Joined: Feb. 2003

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 04 2008,12:16   

Richard Simons - ya gotta remember that one in five animal species are coleopterans. †Haldane wasn't joking when talking about "an inordinate fondness for beetles."

Look anything like this?




powderpost beetle larva

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fusilier
James 2:24

  
Wesley R. Elsberry



Posts: 4926
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 04 2008,12:43   

There was an adult red-tailed hawk perched near our house this morning. We usually don't get buteos hanging around due to the Harris' hawks.

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"You can't teach an old dogma new tricks." - Dorothy Parker

    
Richard Simons



Posts: 425
Joined: Oct. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 04 2008,14:08   

Fusilier,

Thanks, but I did what I should have started with and searched through Google Images. On the 15th page I found something similar - a lycid beetle larva.
(Sorry - I don't know how to reduce the size of the image) The one I have is somewhat different (more taper to the abdomen, smoother thorax, all black) but it is clearly related. I currently have it living under some moss and rotting wood in a take-out salad container so I can show it to my Adult Ed Biology students when we reach a suitable point.

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All sweeping statements are wrong.

  
Dr.GH



Posts: 2157
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 18 2008,17:41   



Well, this 25 lb Yellowfin Tuna is of great interest to the dog. I caught her yesterday on the Fury out of Dana Point Warf.

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"Science is the horse that pulls the cart of philosophy."

L. Susskind, 2004 "SMOLIN VS. SUSSKIND: THE ANTHROPIC PRINCIPLE"

   
Wesley R. Elsberry



Posts: 4926
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 18 2008,17:44   

One doesn't usually need a charter boat to hook a dog.

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"You can't teach an old dogma new tricks." - Dorothy Parker

    
Dr.GH



Posts: 2157
Joined: May 2002

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 18 2008,17:48   

Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ Sep. 18 2008,15:44)
One doesn't usually need a charter boat to hook a dog.

The sound of the can opener is usually all the bait needed.

--------------
"Science is the horse that pulls the cart of philosophy."

L. Susskind, 2004 "SMOLIN VS. SUSSKIND: THE ANTHROPIC PRINCIPLE"

   
Arden Chatfield



Posts: 6657
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Sep. 18 2008,18:31   

Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ Sep. 04 2008,10:43)
There was an adult red-tailed hawk perched near our house this morning. We usually don't get buteos hanging around due to the Harris' hawks.

Harris's Hawks? Where are you living these days?

We get little but Redtails here. I think some Harris's hawks would be some wonderful variety.

The first Western bluebirds seem to have arrived for the winter. They're early -- usually I don't see them here til the first big rainstorms around New Years. They're inevitably gone by Spring.

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"Rich is just mad because he thought all titties had fur on them until last week when a shorn transvestite ruined his childhood dreams by jumping out of a spider man cake and man boobing him in the face lips." - Erasmus

  
nuytsia



Posts: 131
Joined: June 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 15 2008,05:16   

As way of a political break...

Went for a stroll on Sunday and came across four echidnas during the day.


Check out those front claws!


The rear leg of these animals is quite odd as it faces outward. I can't think of another mammal that does that.. other than perhaps the platypus?
Anyone else?

In the late afternoon I met one at the top of a hill and took the opportunity to roll it over (the soil was too dry and hard for it to burrow down).

You get a good view of the rear legs here. Apparently the large claws on the rear legs are important for grooming between the spines.

These are such cool creatures. The wikipedia entry on the short beaked echidna is well worth a read.

   
J-Dog



Posts: 4402
Joined: Dec. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 15 2008,08:21   

Nice Work on the Pics and story - thanks.  I am looking forward to FTK's explanation of how they swam to Australia after Walt Brown's Big Flood.  

And now back to our Regularly Scheduled "Friendly" Political Discussions...

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Come on Tough Guy, do the little dance of ID impotence you do so well. - Louis to Joe G 2/10

Gullibility is not a virtue - Quidam on Dembski's belief in the Bible Code Faith Healers & ID 7/08

UD is an Unnatural Douchemagnet. - richardthughes 7/11

  
JohnW



Posts: 3014
Joined: Aug. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 15 2008,10:31   

Quote (nuytsia @ Oct. 15 2008,03:16)
As way of a political break...

Went for a stroll on Sunday and came across four echidnas during the day.

I suspect McCain would be doing better in the polls if he'd picked an echidna instead of Sarah Palin as his running mate.  Cuter, and a much better understanding of foreign policy.

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Math is just a language of reality. Its a waste of time to know it. - Robert Byers

There isn't any probability that the letter d is in the word "mathematics"...  The correct answer would be "not even 0" - JoeG

  
Henry J



Posts: 4979
Joined: Mar. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 15 2008,11:07   

Quote
The rear leg of these animals is quite odd as it faces outward. I can't think of another mammal that does that.. other than perhaps the platypus?


Could that be characteristic of egg-laying mammals in general?

  
J-Dog



Posts: 4402
Joined: Dec. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Oct. 15 2008,11:07   

Quote (JohnW @ Oct. 15 2008,10:31)
Quote (nuytsia @ Oct. 15 2008,03:16)
As way of a political break...

Went for a stroll on Sunday and came across four echidnas during the day.

I suspect McCain would be doing better in the polls if he'd picked an echidna instead of Sarah Palin as his running mate. †Cuter, and a much better understanding of foreign policy.

BaDump - CHING!

--------------
Come on Tough Guy, do the little dance of ID impotence you do so well. - Louis to Joe G 2/10

Gullibility is not a virtue - Quidam on Dembski's belief in the Bible Code Faith Healers & ID 7/08

UD is an Unnatural Douchemagnet. - richardthughes 7/11

  
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