Monday, September 18, 2006

McCritter - Red Salamander (Endangered) 02: Not!!

----- UPDATE ----- Well, I had to come back to this post and make the corrections that I made on the original photographs. I had erroneously identified this little critter last year when I first posted it - as the rare and endangered Red Salamander (Pseudotriton ruber). However, I recently received an email from Dean Alessandrini, VP of The Greater Cincinnati Herpetological Society, correcting me on the identification. Therefore, I now have the salamander properly labled, as the Cave Salamander, (Eurycea lucifuga). It is found in the limestone cave regions of the midwest and south (shown in map above). A beautiful little amphibian. As Dean stated, its identifying features of wide head, slender body, and large, bulging eyes are obvious. At least part of my comment below was correct. This salamander and all amphibians are truly the 'canaries in the birdcage' detectors of a clean, healthy environment. We are loosing them in ever increasing - and alarming - rates each year. This is something we should all be very concerned about. They may be first .... but we're not that far behind them. O'fieldstream --- original erroneous entry --- This little a rare item in the Hoosierland and well worth preserving. Besides being cute - they are environmental indicators. Even more than humans the skin of amphibians allow the outside environment to pass through their respiratory as well as their skin-air-interface. McCritter - Red Salamander (Endangered) 02 They are our "canary-in-the-birdcage". Let's not kill the our protective alarms.

Muskoka Outdoors Photo Gallery - Your Catch/Big Laker

Muskoka Outdoors Photo Gallery - Your Catch/Big Laker
Bill Anderson, over at Muskoka Outdoors has a new web site you out to take a look at. While there also, take a look at his new Photo Gallery. It's a free gallery - only costs you your email and he will NOT give it out. I was rumaging through it see what was there yet, and found photo at the link above. Whoopee! I want to know the details when Bill gets them. Take a look to see what the buzzz is about.


Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Solar Eclipse: Fade to Black and Back


Today a total solar eclipse may be observed from 08:36 GMT (09:36 BST) to 11:48 GMT (12:48 BST) in Eastern Brazil, West and North Africa, Turkey, Central Asia and Mongolia.

The Total Solar Eclipse of 2006 is underway. The area with the best view will be across Africa, Europe, Middle East and Asia. North, Central and South America will miss out this year; as will Austrailia and the archipeligos of the Pacific. This site is devoted specifically to the March 29, 2006 Solar Eclipse.

For those who would want to venture out to WATCH the eclipse or even PHOTOGRAPH it, follow those links. Be very careful about, 'watching' an eclipse. The full force of the sun can permanently destroy your sight! There are safe ways to accomplish being a witness to this great natural event; they are in the link above on WATCHing the eclipse.

Head to the Weather Underground Photo Gallery to see the picture NOW flowing in showing the eclipse from those areas in which it is visible. WOW! Some super shots already!!!

Weather Underground Photo Gallery also has a Photo Contest going .. check out the 'rules of engagement' HERE.

The Total Eclipse in history have been seen as being a time of great dread and terror. [1].

The term, "Total Eclipse" has come to mean many things, as well. We are a specie that loves to play with our languages, aren't we!

However, a total solar eclipse is a marvel of a nature. NASA's Solar Eclipse Page offers some very interesting data, insight and info. Here's a neat explanation of HOW a solar eclipse occurs.

Wikipedia Info on the Solar Eclipse is really cool! They have the animated graphic for tracking the path of the total solar eclipse.

If you've been fortunatre enough to have the opportunity to observer - first hand - this stellar event of nature, then post your comments. Include links to photos that you've made or you've found that others have made. I look forward to the next time we in North America have the opportunity to observe and record this great natural event.


Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Iditarod 34 - Off and Running!

Saturday 04 March 2006 was a boiling mass of fans, dogs, mushers and supplies lining the streets of downtown Anchorage, Alaska. All in anticipation of the 34th Running of the Last Great Race .. the Iditarod Dogsled Race. 1,112 miles from Anchorage to Nome. A grueling, tough, dangerous and unpredictable run for the finish line.

This year the snow conditions in Alaska have been so abysmal that 4-6 inches of snow had to hauled into Anchorage from the surrounding mountains to fill the streets so the ceremonial start could take place in Anchorage. I don't know how far this 'snow route' had to be man-made - but the trip went 17 miles from downtown Anchorage - D and 5th Streets. The Sunday start was moved to Willow in order to have the snow cover needed.

On Sunday afternoon at 2 PM Alaska Time (GMT -9) - "The Last Great Race" began for the 34th time since it's first race in 1973. The weather was not cold but sunny and clear. The snow was good for a start and the race began with the usual gusto of new mushers, veterans and new gadgets. Among the most interesting things showing up at Iditarod was the dog mushing styles this year. The Swede win last year by Robert Sorlie, brought back a slower trained dog with longer running times and quicker recovery. Jeff King let it be known that was the regimine his dogs were doing this year. So .. will it work? That is yet to be seen.

The trail has posed a number of surprises. Sections that were normally worry some - and last year were downright destructive - were pretty good this year. The sections that were troubling in 2005 were not so this year - and what was easy in '05, have been true thorns this year.

What awaits them as the mushers and teams dash down the trails across the Alaskan wilderness, is anyone's guess now. But we can all be sure it'll not be alligators, snakes and hot weather!