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Quiet and cool at South Platte Park

17 hours agoHobbies / Nature : Nature's Blog

On this cool, cloudy morning along the Colorado Front Range, I returned to South Platte Park in southwest Metro Denver. Except for the friendly chatter of chickadees and the distant calls of belted kingfishers, the refuge was noticeably quiet as I walked north along the river and then turned west above the north shore of Eaglewatch Lake. Show More Summary

Italy's Complex Tectonics

Yesterday's tragic earthquake in central Italy (magnitude 6.2) was the result of complex tectonic forces that are at work in the region. Torn from the Eurasian Plate as the Tethys Sea opened (some 200 million years ago) the land that is now Italy became part of the African Plate, moving southward in concert with the other Continents of Gondwanaland. Show More Summary

Killer at the Window

Looking out our picture window this afternoon, I saw a killer perched in the magnolia, less than five feet from the glass. Tiger stripes adorned his thorax, appropriate for a predator and especially for one here in Columbia (home of the MU Tigers).Waiting to pounce, he remained perfectly still except for a chewing motion of his jaws. Show More Summary

No Sabbath for Skinks

On this mild, sunny, Sunday in central Missouri, five-lined skinks were especially numerous and active on our back deck and along our rock wall. No doubt hunting for insects and spiders in the many crevices, these reptiles included adults...Show More Summary

A Touch of Canada

After weeks of hot, humid weather and a morning of intermittent showers, cool, dry air has moved into central Missouri, a touch of Canada amidst an oppressive Midwest summer. No sparkling lakes stretch across the horizon, no forestsShow More Summary

A Feast in the Shadows

On my visit to Eagle Bluffs Conservation Area this morning, I encountered a feeding spectacle near the south end of the refuge. A shallow pool below an outlet canal teemed with small fish, clearly stressed by the falling water levelShow More Summary

The Grindstone Trail

Grindstone Creek rises on the farmlands east of Columbia, Missouri, and flows westward, entering Hinkson Creek in the Grindstone Nature Area. A parking lot for the latter is accessed from Old Highway 63, just south of Stadium Blvd. in...Show More Summary

Poisoning Democracy

As a narcissist, Donald Trump cannot accept rejection. Despite his brutish behavior and his rants against immigrants and globalization, he blames the media for his falling poll numbers and warns his admirers that a rigged system mayShow More Summary

Humans & Houseflies

We humans are annoyed by houseflies. They become trapped in our home and buzz about our face. When not bothering us they feast on garbage and lay their eggs in feces or carrion. Unlike flies that pollinate flowers, they seem to play no significant role in nature's complex web of life. Show More Summary

Louisiana Flooding

Southern Louisiana has been inundated with rain over the past few days; almost two feet have fallen in some areas and widespread flooding has developed. The culprit is a subtropical low, the same system that brought heavy rain to Florida's...Show More Summary

The River Tern

A wide variety of gulls, terns, geese, ducks and other water birds migrate along the Mississippi and its tributaries but few nest along the rivers themselves. One exception is the least tern, the smallest tern in North America.Common...Show More Summary

A Back Door Front

Returning to Missouri today, I was greeted by hot, humid air. Having just endured the same conditions across Kansas, it seemed that no relief was in sight, at least for the next few days.Then, about 5 PM, I heard rumbles of thunder.Show More Summary

Counting on Javier

To date, the Southwest Monsoon has been a dud along the Colorado Front Range. Unlike the upslope storms of spring, which douse the entire region with rain or snow, monsoon rains are generally associated with thunderstorms and precipitation coverage is often spotty. Show More Summary

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