Posted by: atowhee | October 7, 2022


There is still some room in fall birding class for McMinnville Park & Rec. Click here for program guide, the class is on page 13. It begins Oct. 13, talks at night, field trips each following Saturday.

Cats and coyotes in Culver City–click here for look at fascinating study of the urbanized species.


You’ve seen the horrific damage Ian did to southwest Florida. On storm-trashed Sanibel Island is Ding Darling Wildlife Refuge, one of the world’s best birding spots. It was hit but surely lots of the birds followed nature’s loud evacuation calls (unlike certain bipedal mammals). Click here for Friends of Darling website. Click here for refuge website–the real-world site will be closed indefinitely…even if you could get there.

Click here for some aerials of Ian’s aftermath. The water often looks black…from gasoline out of damaged boats and vehicles and small planes. Pity the fish and crocs.

Speaking of fossil fuels, good ole Nord Stream is now a global mystery being investigated. Who dunnit? Click here for update. The off-gassing has now stopped–the pipeline is empty and Putin has neglected to re-open input. Still it leaked over a half million tons of methane into the only atmosphere we have, and methane is a horrific, long-lasting greenhouse gas. Far worse than mundane CO2.

Storms often drive birds to places they hadn’t intended to be. Years ago I saw a flooded field near Pt. Reyes. The morning after a terrific wind storm around New Year’s the water was alive with Red Phalarope blown in from offshore. By afternoon they had all gone back to sea where they prefer to be. Click here for a bit about Hurricane Ian’s rarities.

Birds that fly are more mobile than lumbering mammals like us. Our instincts tell us to lie-low. But water then floods the low lying places. So far the world’s nations and culture and religions are trying to ignore some of the vital issues raised by climate change. Who should control ever-more precious fresh water? Where are there places where people should NOT live? Deserts? Deep forests? Sea level? Islands? Flood plains? Beneath volcanoes? Atop quake faults? On precious farmland? Florida’s right-wing government will not face the issue–might upset rich donors in the real estate biz–but the insurance crisis there points out how some places are not even economically justifiable as residential. Less than one-third of Florida homes have flood (hurricane water damage) insurance–click here. Those storm-hit may get some money from federal coffers (our taxes subsidizing those who ignore climate change), but none of it will come close to covering the damage of those now carless and homeless. Want some irony served on ice? The only company that does offer Florida home flood insurance is a creation of their anti-government state government. Private companies want nothing to do with homes on the beach. Duh.


Click here for a view of one of nature’s genetic experiments. A rare American bird hybrid.

In Texas work is being done to produce hydrogen fuels without polluting the air. Click here. When the conservative legislature realizes this might some day hurt oil companies, won’t they try to outlaw hydrogen production?

Fat Bear Week. A very fishy event. Click here for explanation.

Nature has a surprising answer to part of the man-made plastics pollution problem. Can we find a way to work with wax worms? Click here.

Elk on Cannon Beach–photo by Peter Thiemann:

Bear with me…

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