Tag Archives: nature

Newsletter 2 from Backyard Wildlife College

“More than just fluffy bunnies”

(Backyard Wildlife College, Allentown PA, est. 2017)

Newsletter 2 (July 2018)

Hello all, and welcome to newsletter 2!

The College has lots of exciting news about new arrivals spotted on campus!

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Ms. (or Mr.?) Fox was seen walking through the back alley about a week ago, and again a week later running across campus pursued by the Crow Airforce Acrobatic Team. The College has not received further news about Fox’s intention to join the Division of Furry Creatures, but we are open for negotiation. We realize that increasing species diversity may bring tensions, in particular when carnivores join the faculty or will serve in functions already occupied by current members, but as our motto makes abundantly clear, we are not in the business of enhancing the “fluffy bunny view” of nature.

Speaking of fluffy bunnies, a Visiting Assistant Rabbit has been appointed! Following several early morning campus visits, Continue reading

Note to Creepy Crawlies Division

To: Creepy Crawly Creatures Day and Evening Schools

From: Council of Fauna, Allentown Backyard Wildlife College (BWC)

Concerning your relations with humans:

The College kindly but urgently requests you to stop trespassing on human property, and in particular in the kitchen of flat Nr. 1, where ants have been found holding foraging labs. The team leaders have been notified that the nuclear option is on the countertop and fully deployed. Members of the Ants Department should refrain from seeking entrance, for their own safety and that of their colonies. We remind you that the College does not offer an “Indoor Ants” programme, and it never will.

Furthermore, there has been a request from the College’s human benefactors for the Mosquito Aerial Programme’s buzz training and target landing trials to take place away from the college perimeter where it meets the human dwelling. Other targets for practice are available elsewhere.

While we all appreciate the Creepy Crawlies Division is numerically the largest and among the oldest parts of any BWC, and that Allentown is the new home of the brown marmorated stink bug, that should not give the Crawlies license to display such inconsiderate behavior towards others. It sours the relations with the off-campus community and gives the entire College a bad name, and destroys the hard work from Furry and Feathered Creatures in community engagement.

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Professor Bunny captured here in the glamour role of Most Favoured Furry.

The arachnids should under no circumstances enter the human dwelling. There is a zero-tolerance policy because it is apparently impossible to tell which of you might be poisonous. We have been reliably informed that every single one of you found inside will be eliminated. Even though everyone at the College knows that none of you are dangerous to humans, we regret that no amount of education seems to help with this case of rabid arachnophobia.

firefly on a book

A firefly taking part in the “Lighten up” action, providing much needed reading light to members of the off-campus community.

In more upbeat news, participants in the “Outside Ants” program and “Drawn to the Light: Night-time Flight Navigation” course have been commended for their non-intrusive behavior with the human visitors to campus, and in refraining from entering the human dwelling even when the backdoor opens (with the exception of a couple of bamboozled fireflies). The College hopes that other programs and departments of the Creepy Crawlies Division will follow their example.

Mysterious events in the Backyard

I was all ready to publish the first newsletter from Backyard Wildlife College, but that is now pushed aside by the breaking news from this morning: mysterious massacre of multiple members of the Creepy Crawlies Division and vandalization of College infrastructure. This morning, it was discovered that the largest pitcher of the carnivorous Nepenthes (Sanguinea) plant has been destroyed, its contents dropped to the floor.

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Pitcher of Nepenthes plant destroyed…

Upon closer inspection, the mystery deepened, with several ants and one arachnid left dead on the leaves.

Victims of the events found on the plant; detailed picture of spider and ant on the left available on request.

The Backyard Wildlife College welcomes any information that may help shed light on these mysterious events.

The “Outdoor Ants” Program is continuing as usual; the Arachnid Department is rescheduling some classes and will be in touch with its students about these changes. The newsletter will be released in the coming week.

Yellowstone Lite

Most of the Saturday morning went to waiting around for the car to be fixed. At least that was possible, and I was assured that I would be able to zoom around the park by the afternoon. Yellowstone is a big place, as I mentioned already, and without a car you can’t do much. There is no bus service, because everybody comes by car. Continue reading

Bzzz

The sound of summer? Bumblebees buzzing about! I took some video with my iPhone, which does not have a great microphone for this. You may have to imagine them buzzing. Tips for good video equipment for filming bumbles in the comments please! Click on the picture to go to my Flickr site and watch the video there.

Het  geluid van de zomer? Hommels die rondzoemen! Deze beelden zijn met mijn iPhone gemaakt, en die heeft geen geschikte microfoon. Misschien moet je het gezoem er dan maar zelf bij denken. Tips voor een degelijke video camera voor het filmen van hommels graag in de opmerkingen! Klik op de foto om naar de Flickr webstek te gaan en bekijk de video daar.

bumblebees

Flowers from my mum’s garden, bees courtesy of mother nature.
Planten uit de tuin van mama, bijtjes geleverd door moeder natuur.

Wat klopt er niet? -Something is wrong…

Rugzak voor China: de nieuwe rugzak is 10L kleiner dan vorige keer; maar nu er alles in zit heb ik nog plaats over. Wat ontbreekt er in mijn rugzak? Suggesties in de Comments graag!
Backpack for China: the new pack is 10L smaller than the previous one. Yet with everything packed up I still have space left. What’s missing? Ideas in the comments, please!

And here are some pictures of a site we will visit! (Click on picture to see original size) Hier een paar foto’s van een geplande uitstap. (Klik op de foto voor de originele grootte)

Deep Green Pond, Changbaishan (Jilin province) Diepgroene Vijver, Changbaishan (Jilin Province)

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Crater lake of Changbaishan, “Heavenly Lake” (Kim Ilsung was born around here. Hmhm) Kratermeer van Changbaishan, “Hemelse Meer” (Geboorteplaats van Kim Ilsung. Ja hoor…)
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A rare sight in China these days: clear water, clean air, wildflowers. Changbaishan still has it. Een zeldzaam zicht in China dezer dagen: zuiver water, schone lucht, wilde bloemen. Op Changbaishan vind je het nog wel.

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