From 1851 to 1858, Henry David Thoreau noted a number of natural occurrences in detail, including the first flowering dates for over 500 species of wildflowers in Concord. Additionally, Alfred Hosmer, a botanist in the same area
, had recorded the flowering dates
of over 600 species of wild plants in 1878 and from 1888 to 1902. With that data, Richard Primack
, a biology professor at Boston University, and fellow researcher Abraham Miller-Rushing
spent years aligning old plant names with current names to study the change flowering patterns
from the recorded past to present. Their phenological
study concluded that plants in Concord, on average, are now flowering 10 days earlier than they were in Thoreau's time
(full article for the journal BioScience). [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief
on Mar 25, 2014 -
From the mid 40s to the mid 50s Coronet Instructional Films
were always ready to provide social guidance for teenagers on subjects as diverse as dating
, preparing for being drafted
, and shyness
, as well as to children on following the law
, the value of quietness in school
, and appreciating our parents
. They also provided education on topics such as the connection between attitudes and health
, what kind of people live in America
, how to keep a job
, supervising women workers
, the nature of capitalism
, and the plantation System in Southern life
. Inside is an annotated collection of all 86 of the complete Coronet films in the Prelinger Archives
as well as a few more. Its not like you had work to do or anything right? [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb
on Nov 1, 2012 -
Mike O'Connor, owner of Bird Watcher's General Store in MA, writes a column "Ask the Bird Folks", for The Cape Codder newspaper. Five of O'Connor's short but humorously enlightening pieces were chosen by Steven Pinker to be included in the 2004 edition of the Best American Science and Nature writing. Those five can be read here: 
. The full set of articles here
. He started in 2001 and is sort of a "Car Talk" of bird watching.
posted by stbalbach
on Dec 13, 2008 -
Those Crazy birds
The birdwatchers of Ireland were atwitter Tuesday after spotting a Baltimore oriole in a seaside village named Baltimore.
posted by aj100
on Oct 9, 2001 -
I've always found falcons fascinating.
A long time ago, I helped out ( in a small way ) with the state effort to re-establish the peregrine falcon in the Midwest. It was in a major Midwest city, where the downtown buildings were a close match to their native nesting habitat of cliff faces and tall trees. The focus for the falcon release was a hack box. Now, the same hack box is being used as a nest by a falcon breeding pair, who have four eyasses ( singular; eyas: i.e., falcon chicks ) this year.
This URL is the webcam of the hack box; it refreshes every 30 seconds. Since falcons eyasses grow fast, they need a lot of feeding, so the parents are primarily out hunting when they are not sheltering their children. Every once and a while you'll see one of the parents feeding the eyasses. In the coming weeks, you can watch these eyasses grow to more than triple their present size and get their flying wings.
posted by dragonmage
on Apr 27, 2001 -