Field Notes

Field Notes
5:00 am
Fri November 21, 2014

Tough Nut To Crack: Strategies At The Bird Feeder

Pine Siskins at the feeder, Putney VT. (CC BY-NC 2.0)
Credit Flickr user, Putneypics

"Birds and Seeds," by Brian Williams.

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Field Notes
5:00 am
Sat November 15, 2014

How Do Insects Survive Winter?

Hibernating ladybugs (Coccinellidae) (CC BY-NC 2.0)
Credit Flickr user, Jason

"An Insect's Guide To Surviving the Winter," written by Ashley King, read by Caroline Kurtz.

With the help of fur, hair, or clothing, warm-blooded mammals keep a consistent internal temperature, no matter the air temperature. That's not true for insects. How do they survive the cold of winter? 

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Field Notes
4:28 pm
Fri November 7, 2014

Martens And Fishers, Elusive Carnivores Of Montana's Old-Growth Forests

American marten (Martes americana)
Credit United States Fish and Wildlife Service

Walking around old-growth forests this winter, if you're lucky enough to see fur-lined tracks leading to the base of a tree, or scat containing porcupine quills, look up. Scan the treetops. You might catch a glimpse of a marten or a fisher, two members of the mustelid family that roam Montana's winter landscape.

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Field Notes
4:29 pm
Fri October 31, 2014

Super-Morph: Botanist In The Produce Aisle

Plant morphology in the supermarket. (CC BY-NC 2.0)
Credit Flickr user, Sandor Weisz

"Plant Morphology in the Supermarket," by Peter Lesica and Annie Garde.

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Field Notes
9:45 pm
Fri October 24, 2014

Mount Aeneas In Autumn

Mount Aeneas, Swan Mountains, Flathead National Forest, Montana. (CC BY 2.0)
Credit Liz Rohde

"Mount Aeneas," by Margo Whitmire.

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Field Notes
5:00 am
Fri October 17, 2014

Dance Of The Sandhill Crane

Sandhill cranes (Grus canadensis) dancing at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, NM. (CC BY 2.0)
Credit Manith Kainickara, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

"Dance of the Sandhill Crane," written by Clare Antonioli, read by Caroline Kurtz.

"Why do sandhill cranes dance? There are several theories. They may be establishing territories, or they may be warning other cranes of possible danger, but the most widely accepted theory is that the dance is a mating ritual. However, sandhill cranes dance all the time, even when they aren't mating, so how could a dance be only a mating ritual? Even juveniles, who are not of mating age, dance.

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Field Notes
8:29 am
Fri October 10, 2014

Daddy Longlegs: Two Eyes, Eight Legs, And No Webs

Harvestman, a.k.a. Daddy longlegs (Holocnemus pluchei). (CC BY 2.0)
Credit Mattknight

"Daddy Longlegs," written by Melissa Zapisocky, read by Caroline Kurtz

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Field Notes
5:00 am
Fri October 3, 2014

Starling Swarms And Hunting Hawks

A moot of European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) (CC BY 2.0)
Credit Flickr user, Seabamirum

"Starling Obfuscation," by Robin Childers.

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Field Notes
5:00 am
Fri September 26, 2014

Pine Squirrel Caches And Buried Treasure

Abandoned squirrel cache. Flickr user, Joel Penner. (CC BY 2.0)
Credit Joel Penner

"Pine Squirrel Caches," written by Caitlin Fox, read by Caroline Kurtz.

"Last September, I went on a hunt for buried treasure. I had heard of a man who put himself through college collecting pine nuts from squirrels' winter caches and selling them to the local grocer. He must have learned their hiding places and robbed their summer's work in late fall. I had pictured uncovering stores of hundreds of smooth, white pine nuts, individually shelled, like candy.

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Field Notes
5:00 am
Fri September 19, 2014

The Hidden Life Of Lichens

Lichens on rock. Flickr user Jared Tarbell. (CC BY 2.0)
Credit Jared Tarbell

"Lichens," written by Ted Morrison, read by Caroline Kurtz.

"As I belayed my partner up to the ledge, I examined the colorful world on the rock in front of me. The closer I looked, the more I saw. The small cracks in the mat of lichen surged like huge crevasses in a microworld, curving and breaking with the topography of the rough granite. The small polygons of green were flecked by a multitude of browns and grays.

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