Blog Archives

Curio Cabinet: Selenite

CC selenite

The Curio Cabinet series (#curioTuesday) is published biweekly, featuring an artifact of natural or cultural history and a brief selection of nifty facts. Curio Cabinet celebrates the history of curio collections, the roots of which played a part in the globalization of learning and scientific knowledge. Learn more here.

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Spring Photos – Turtles, Mayapples, and Insects, Oh My!

Large unripe fruit of the May Apple, Podophyllum peltatum

Large unripe fruit of the May Apple, Podophyllum peltatum

Eastern Box Turtle. Female by tell of eye color and flatness of plastron (bottom shell area). Copyright The Roaming Naturalist.

Eastern Box Turtle. Female by tell of eye color and flatness of plastron (bottom shell area). Copyright The Roaming Naturalist.

My red potatoes are flowering! Grown in a 5 gallon bucket. Copyright The Roaming Naturalist.

My red potatoes are flowering! Grown in a 5 gallon bucket. Copyright The Roaming Naturalist.

Another Eastern Box Turtle, obviously trying to take over the world. Ranger photo, Maryland Park Service.

Not sure of the common name - found "leather beetle" or "horned passalus." Odontotaenius disjunctus. Either way, huge. Photo courtesy of Ranger S. Andrucyk, Maryland Park Service.

Not sure of the common name – found “leather beetle” or “horned passalus.” Odontotaenius disjunctus. Either way, huge. Photo courtesy of Ranger S. Andrucyk, Maryland Park Service.

Luna Moth, courtesy of Ranger S. Andrucyk, Maryland Park Service.

Luna Moth, courtesy of Ranger S. Andrucyk, Maryland Park Service.

White Ermine Moth, Spilosoma lubricipeda. Photo courtesy of Ranger S. Andrucyk, Maryland Park Service.

White Ermine Moth, Spilosoma lubricipeda. Photo courtesy of Ranger S. Andrucyk, Maryland Park Service.

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Watchful eye. Eastern Box Turtle. Copyright The Roaming Naturalist.

[Video] Time-Lapse Flowers for Your Spring Viewing Pleasure

Watching videos of time-lapse plants has some strange, magical effect on me. We take the miracle of plant life for granted because it moves at such a slower pace than we’re used to. Maybe that’s why time-lapse is so cool – it speeds up the life of a plant so we can recognize it on our own terms. At any rate, I wanted to share some of my favorite vids with you to celebrate spring, spring, the coming of spring! As a very cool extra, there’s a vid tucked in there of a pumpkin – from seed to scale, which, at the end, will blow your mind.

Turn up your speakers and watch them dance. Tell us which one you liked best in the comments!


10 points if you can catch the slug in this one!

 

 

April Tweets & Pins

Here’s the monthly roundup of our favorite tweets and pins for your perusing pleasure. Be sure to follow us on Twitter and Pinterest if you like what you see!

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Astronomers pinpoint the exact date and time that Monet’s “Sunset” was painted.
This penguin slips on the ice and then I’m pretty sure he cusses.
What happens to your body without a spacesuit? NOTHING GOOD
Animal Planet’s “Call of the Wildman” is accused of animal mistreatment.
Photos: Camera-trapped predators of India.
Teach yourself to dream lucidly but, uh, watch out for the demons.
Spectacular renditions of superheroes in Pacific Northwestern indigenous art styles.
Two snakes of the same species can have surprisingly different venoms.
Video: 1-year old anteater has a fuzzy freakout over a log. You’re welcome.
Monsanto is returning to cross-breeding plants because people think GMOs are icky.

March Tweets & Pins

Here’s the monthly roundup of our favorite tweets and pins for your perusing pleasure. Be sure to follow us on Twitter and Pinterest if you like what you see!

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Polluted Milan is planning to construct a vertical forest by planting 900 trees on the balconies of two towering buildings.
A new supernova was discovered, which is important because supernovas can help refine distance measurements in our big gigantic universe.
Chinese researchers discover that ball lightning has to do with dirt. UFOlogists all over the world cry.
Activism has inherent risks, the worst of which are murder.
Umbra at Grist gives some pointers for tackling home mold problems before calling in pros.
All it takes is a mutation in one gene to turn a protein into a toxic venom.
Black widows, like rattlesnakes, can decide how much venom to inject when under threat.
I’ve probably said this before, but don’t feed deer corn in the winter.
Swedish people made this. I like them.
Science is learning how to make power out of.. heartbeats.

Roaming to the National Museum of Natural History

roam: verb - To move about without purpose or plan; to wander.

I am spoiled rotten to live so close to the Smithsonian Institution. If you’re not familiar, the Smithsonian is a group of museums, galleries, and a zoo that are located in Washington DC. I will admit with great shame that I have only visited a couple of the many locations, but the trouble is they’re so amazing that I end up returning to the same one(s) over and over.

I recently took my niece to the National Museum of Natural History (NMNH), since at the end of April the Fossil Hall dinosaur exhibit will be closing for renovations – FOR FIVE YEARS. As any good auntie should be, I was panicked and made sure, come hell or more winter weather, that I’d get her there.

Now of course, being a standard 4 year old, she was only mildly interested in the bones, particularly after  overhearing someone say the phrase, “dinosaur gummies,” in reference to candy available at the gift shop. These were essentially the only dinosaurs she was thereafter interested in, but I persevered.

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“RAAAR” is dinosaur for “I love you.”

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[Activity] Make a Nesting Materials Hub for Birds

I never forget to feed the birds. Every time I go outside, my muscle memory moves my eyeballs to the feeders to see if they need to be refilled.

But what I do forget is that, judging by how vocal they’re becoming, they’re getting into the mood for finding a mate and building a nest. The daylight clings a little longer, and all the trees – I just know it – are starting to stir. So this year I wanted to add another element to the backyard: a little depot for nesting supplies. Now most birds are going to use natural goodies, like twigs, moss, and (if you’re a hummingbird) even spider web silk, but birds are opportunists and if they decide yarn or dog hair would benefit the nest, they’ll certainly use it.

Cross the jump to see what I did this year!

nesting materials

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February Tweets & Pins

Here’s the monthly roundup of our favorite tweets and pins for your perusing pleasure. Be sure to follow us on Twitter and Pinterest if you like what you see!

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The Dodo is a new, awesome site all about animals that you should definitely check out.
Do you know what your plants are doing when you’re not watching?
This huge bee hotel is not only eco-awesome, it’s gorgeous and I want it. Now.
Mother Earth News gives you 65 ways to save money through self-reliance.
The Clymene dolphin is a cross between two other dolphins.
Top carnivores are more important than we ever could have imagined, because obviously.
Ten of the rarest animals on earth are stunning and fascinating.
#BestBigBug hastag reveals incredible and occasionally horrifyingly huge insects.
Cow poop can tell us things.
Were you under the impression that birds sleep in their nests?
The rare and spectacular snow leopard was captured on film in Pakistan by camera traps.
Do you need a giant animal made? Talk to this guy.

January Tweets & Pins

Here’s the monthly roundup of our favorite tweets and pins for your perusing pleasure. Be sure to follow us on Twitter and Pinterest if you like what you see!

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This trout ate a whole bunch of shrews. Wut.
Your eyeballs will love this list of beautiful moths.
A phenomenon known as ‘earthquake lights‘ may be linked to rift zones.
More than 300 sharks armed with transmitters tweet (as in, on Twitter) when they get near the beach.
The cancer-resistant and spectacularly ugly Naked Mole Rat was named Vertebrate of the Year.
An ancient tree-dwelling critter is the great grandmommy of the carnivore family.
Here’s Optimus Prime made out of gingerbread.
Flowers are blooming in New York.
Here are some animals that handled the polar vortex LIKE A BOSS.
This ancient piece of amber contains flowers frozen in the act of reproduction, giving botanists studying the origin of flower sex a reason to party.

Roaming to Longwood Gardens, Pennsylvania

roam: verb - To move about without purpose or plan; to wander.

Longwood Gardens is a botanical garden in Pennsylvania, USA, that consists of more than 1,000 acres of gardens, woodlands, and meadows. It started as a working farm purchased by William Penn in 1700, and evolved over the next two hundred years into one of the earliest and most extensive arboretums in the US. It was nearly sold for lumber but was purchased by Pierre du Pont 1906, who was determined not only to save the property, but to improve upon it for future generations to enjoy.

Bird of Paradise (Strelitzia spp)

Bird of Paradise (Strelitzia spp)

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