A blog about all things that are wonderful about and to the Earth.
Because being eco-friendly is easier than making the zombie virus.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Those little blue plastic bead things!

You probably know about the stuff I'm talking about. It's in scrubs and such that you would get from general body cleansing stores.
So these tiny plastic blue beads get in our waterways, eventually getting into the water cycle. This can then be eaten by fish, because they are so small, or other animals which will potentially lead it to human consumption. Do you really want to eat little blue beads of plastic? I highly doubt it!

So here's this email that I received about it, and frankly it was one of the first things that I read about this blue bead infestation.
I like to think that I help pass on pertinent information that could help others pursue their mission of being environmentally friendly. So here's the link to get more information about this!

Even if you may not live in Wisconsin where we have lots of beautiful lakes, including the Great Lake Michigan, there's still water all over and same with those microbeads!

Here's some education and now it's up to you to do something about it! Be the change!!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Protecting the offspring!

Many of you know the Red-Winged Blackbird. It's one that I have talked about multiple times over the years. 

This year, however, I saw something for the first time about these birds. I saw their offspring!
No one ever said that baby birds are the prettiest, but they are fascinating to look at.

When I was walking along the main path entering SANC I noticed these two little fluff balls three feet in. I had no idea what they were and didn't really pay much attention to the daddy bird landing on the tree near them chirping to tell me to GO AWAY.

The closer I got, the more furious the daddy bird became until he eventually came towards my head. Then I realized that those had to be his babies!

I quickly ran inside and did a few dodgy moves (I have fantastic evasive maneuvers if you didn't know) and grabbed my camera. The daddy bird was across the way at the top of a tamarack tree watching me and chirping. Though there were warnings from above, I decided to get in position and take some shots.

After the first couple ones (and I fortunately managed to snag the one above!) the mommy bird came back! She swooped by my head all the while holding a little grub in her mouth. She then checked on her young and stood guard.
After that last attack I didn't want to test my luck.

I told other patrons about it and they were able to get a good view without being attacked. Apparently there's just something about me that says "ATTACK ME!".

Not only were these shots about luck, but boy was I risking it! Who knew that basic nature photography could have these kinds of hazards (read that in a sarcastic way and you got it!).

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Did You Know: Turtles!

In this little diddy I'll tell you some interesting facts about turtles. 
This right here is a painted turtle!

These guys and gals incredibly beautiful with all of their colors (mostly orange and yellow).

Now here's a few things that I know about turtles, or that I have learned, that not many people know about.
1) The top shell of a turtle is called a carapace. Now I pronounce it c-air-a-piss, but that could very well just be my Wisconsin accent.
2) The bottom shell of a turtle is called a plastaron.
**Easy way to remember is that they CARRY the carapace and the plastaron is PLASTERED on their tummy!
3) The way to tell the difference between a male and a female turtle is to look at their plastaron. If the plastaron is flat, it's a female. If the plastaron is concave, or curved in, then it's a male. This is because the males have to mount the females in order to mate. So think of it as a puzzle fitting together.

Now we all know that turtles are reptiles, therefore they have eggs, and so they have to bury those eggs in soft ground.
Here's some tips to make sure we can have plenty of turtles 'cause baby ones are just so darn cute!!
1) If you see a turtle crossing the road, some are slower than others, and it's not really going anywhere and is in immediate danger, you can try to save it! HOWEVER, make sure you are being safe as well by turning on your hazards and pulling over to the side of the road. It's not good to cause and accident. 
2) When picking up a turtle, pick them up on the sides of their shell, easy way to remember this is like you're holding a hamburger! NEVER PICK THEM UP BY THEIR TAIL. That's damaging to their spine and that's just plain mean. 
3) Move those cuties to the side of the road that they were going towards and face them in the direction they originally were in. Most likely it was a female trying to find some ground to bury eggs in.
4) If you live near a body of water where a turtle might be in, don't compact the soft dirt/sand areas because that's the best location for them to lay their eggs and get baby turtles!!

As always, one should always respect these creatures. It's never good to try and touch an animals face if it's wild because they will perceive it as a threat. So give them FACE SPACE. You wouldn't like it if a giant came up to you and just started trying to touch your face, that would be terrifying.
To finish off, here's a blanding's turtle. There's maybe only 2 or 3 at SANC and it's even potential that they laid eggs!!!

There's so many other things to learn about turtles, but that's for a different time.