Casualty

Glass is the most defining material in modern architecture. For birds, it is also the most deadly. Between 365 and 988 million birds are killed in the US annually from striking windows. The taller the building, the more deadly. This Kentucky Warbler fell victim to the buildings of Kansas City.

Bug Skin

This is the surface of a type of insect called a metallic beetle from the family buprestidae. These are spectacular insects that have shiny, vibrant exoskeletons. The interesting thing about these beetles is that under a microscope, as this is here, they show no color at all—the color we perceive comes from an interference pattern much in the same way oil on water appears colorful. The color in these images is a product of a microscopy technique called Differential Interference Contrast or DIC. The operator can create any combinations of colors by simply adjusting settings. You can see how the beetle actually appears… Continue reading

Protect Sea Turtles

Sea turtles have been nesting in Florida for a very long time, well before humans used these beaches. Nesting sites are marked out to reduce the impacts on these endangered animals from those seeking out the sun and water. Unfortunately, our impact is not limited to these sandy shores. Fishing and pollution are taking a huge toll. Click on the image for a larger view.

Flycatcher

Geckos are very common in Florida. They scatter under your feet as you walk down suburban sidewalks. You always have a fear of stepping on one, but they seem to navigate your footfall with ease. They climb our window screens looking for prey, mostly mosquitoes. Click on the image for a larger view.

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Wasp

I am not sure the type of wasp, but we found the remains just on the inside of our window. It is missing two of its wings, but apart from that, it is it good shape. At first appearance, it seem rather plain, but under closer inspection, the markings and structure are beautiful. As with most insects, this wasp also has three primitive eyes between its larger primary compound eyes. Click on the image for a larger view.

American Alligator

One facet of life in Florida is sharing the land with the American alligator. This sign is in the park in our residential subdivision. About 100 ft from this sign was an alligator laying in the reeds along the bank of the pond—wise words of caution. Continue reading