Tagged With nature

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Solitary bees are pretty damn awesome: They’re docile, easy to raise, and are amazing pollinators of spring flowering fruit and nut trees. These bees don’t use hives the way honey bees do, instead preferring to place their eggs in narrow holes, plugged up with mud.

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The weather is slowly getting warmer, which means we’re all about head outside a little more. If your outdoor adventures take you on a hike or two through nature, then you stand a good chance of coming across a plant or animal that you can’t quite identify. iNaturalist is an app that can help.

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Temperatures across the United States plummeted today, with parts of the Midwest experiencing wind chills of 40 degrees below zero — and that’s in Celsius. As if frozen pipes and frostbite weren’t dangerous enough, some folks are learning about one of the rarer, scarier side effects of super-cold weather: cryoseisms, or “frost quakes.”

While we won't be facing weather like this anytime soon, it is still important to understand what the extremes of weather can mean.

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Bats are woefully understudied. Perhaps it is because they are not cute, or because they're nocturnal and we don't see them very often, or, as "citizen scientist" Danielle Gustafson says in a Bloomberg report on a new bat app, because they just don't have good PR in pop culture.

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iOS: Navigating along roads is easy - just start up Google Maps or Waze - but finding your way on a trail in the woods tends to require a patchwork of PDFs, paper maps, and apps that only work for one park or system. Hikepack aims to change that.

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Gorillas, the largest primates in the world, can stand up to 1.8m tall and weigh upwards of 180kg. They're normally very peaceful animals - more Koko and less King Kong - but a dominant silverback male has the strength of several men, and isn't afraid to use it to defend his troop.

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It can feel nearly impossible to you access a sense of wonder in today's all-the-information-any-time-you-want-it environment, but the answer, I find, is often in the natural world. Whether it's feeling the strange cool breeze that arises during the totality of an eclipse, watching a thousand-strong starling murmuration swirl in the sky, or tasting fresh mango plucked from the tree in front of you, our sensory experience of Earth's pleasures -- even if we know exactly how and why they happen -- can reacquaint us with wonder.

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Flood waters may not look all that threatening on TV, especially if you're a skilled swimmer. But flash floods are actually incredibly dangerous, and they can strike with little to no warning. This is what you should do if you or your vehicle gets swept away by the raging waters.

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You’re drifting off to sleep when, suddenly, there’s a bump and a thump and an unearthly shriek. But never fear, if your home is making these noises you probably don’t have ghosts, but a family of common brushtail possums. Researchers have documented 18 different brushtail possum sounds. These include “grunting, growling, hissing, screeching, clicking and teeth-chattering calls, many of which would not be out of place on a horror movie soundtrack”.