Aside from all the other amazing things that life consists of, this evening I am made happy by passionfruit gelato, chickie nobs, and the line, “Someone’s being attacked by a platypus bear!”, upon which, indeed, a platypus bear appeared onscreen, truly one of nature’s more creative miracles.
Over the last four years, 20 to 40 percent of the honeybee colonies in the U.S. have mysteriously collapsed. The killer has remained unknown–until now. A team of entomologists, along with military scientists from the Department of Homeland Security, have a new prime suspect (or rather, suspects), as shown in a new report on the science website PLoS One. A tag-team of a virus and a fungus show every sign of being the culprit. Now it’s just a matter of eradicating that dastardly partnership.
Of course, just identifying the culprit is only the first step. The entomologists still have to find a way to stop the tag-team attack. It looks as though they’ll focus on the fungus, which is easier to block and defeat than the virus, and which, if defeated, should be enough assistance to help get honeybee populations back on track. And there’s always more to uncover–the tendency of the bees to wander off just prior to death is still a mystery (a University of Montana doctor actually uses the phrase “insect insanity” as a possible explanation), but that should all come in time.
I was reading when when the tiny, bright bird flew in through the window and attempted, I suppose, to drink from the bright colours of my hair. To my credit, though it nearly surprised me out of my skin, I did not give in to my initial impulse to swat whatever was thrashing, panicked, a few inches away from my head. Instead I froze. I froze, and very gently began to turn, hoping sincerely that it was not a mouse, while putting my hand up, the better to support the creature as it was lifted from the cushion, held only by the tangled net of my hair. Imagine my surprise as I gathered the mystery in the palm of my hand, still swaddled in threads of hair, only to discover a hummingbird!
It was a beautiful thing, vibrant, green and red and amazing. I was astonished. Not only by the random luck of it, but the pure shock of discovering hummingbirds can be so far north. To my mind, they are practically tropical, another reason to love California. To discover one here in Seattle, a block away from the I5, against the backdrop of a gray, middling day, was shocking. It looked like a creature escaped from a fairy story, too much like a living jewel for rain or brick buildings, yet there is was, bound in my hair, beak like a black pin, feathers gleaming, chest thrumming, a lucid dream in the palm of my hand.
A capybara, the largest living rodent in the world.
I was initially confused why this picture shot up 100+ views in one day, only to find out that it was posted to the Facebook page of The Ellen DeGeneres Show… What?
the jurassic park cages
a dik dik, the supermodels of the tiny ungulate world