Spring arrives!
Stream Violets, Viola glabella, help us celebrate the season of rebirth.
Welcome to April's issue of Whispers, the newsletter of the Dereila Nature Inn - your cyber nature centre. 

Many thanks to everyone for subscribing and contributing ideas and images to our project.  We really appreciate your support.

In this month's issue we have some new features to tell you about as well as some tips and photos we hope you'll enjoy.
Trivia Time
We start off each month with a trivia question.  Here's this month's:

What is the biggest lizard?

You'll find the answer at the end of the newsletter.
New Features at the Inn
This month's new additions include pages featuring mammals and birds.  Just click on the images to visit the page.

Walking in the Wild 
We've added five more pages to this series featuring mammals.  

The Porcupine  The Yellow-bellied Marmot  The Elk

The Pronghorn  The Bighorn Sheep
Click to visit.
Tales from the Deck: The Steller's Jay and its Peanuts
Everyday the Steller's Jay drops by and calls out for a treat and so here's a little photo story of what happens. 

To see the latest postings at the Inn as they are added, visit the news and updates page.
Contributed by...
As a community of nature enthusiasts exchanging ideas, stories, tips and images, we invite you to submit nature images to this part of our monthly newsletter. 

Contributed image 1

Tony D. from Toronto, Ont. sent this picture of an Egret standing in the ocean in Mexico.

Contributed image #2

This wonderful close-up of a Black Swallowtail was sent in by Ron M. of Kenner, LA. 
This is the official state butterfly of Oklahoma.  We want to thank Ron for also sending us an image of the Vicery butterfly which has been added to our State Insects page.

It's wonderful so have such a variety of contributed photos.  Thank-you!

If you would like to see your image as part of our members' section,
simply send us an e-mail.
Monthly Selections 
Each month we select a bird, bug and wildflower of the month. Here are this month's choices:

Insect of the Month  Flower of the Month  Bird of the Month
Click on the images to visit the page and don't forget that we welcome your suggestions for future selections, even if you don't have an image to supply for us. Please send your ideas to us by e-mail.

And a reminder that the year's archives for each are just a click away:

Wildflower Archives | Bug Archives | Bird Archives

The Wandering Image
This month we have captured an extraordinary plant for our wandering image.

Wandering Image

This Organ Pipe Cactus was taken in the desert just south of Phoenix, AZ.
Snippets in Nature ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
This month takes us to the area around Sedona, Arizona: the land of the Red Rocks and truly worth a visit to explore and enjoy the formations and colours.

Snippet of the Month 

Snippets in Nature 2

They call this formation Bell Rock.  These massive mountains of red are scattered all around this beautiful region. 
Caption This! 
Each month we invite you to submit a funny caption to go with one of the images in our "Caption This!" collection.  This month, two Thread-waisted Wasps seem to be in a bit of a tangle.  Can you think of any humourous captions to go with this picture?  We managed to come up with a couple of ideas for you. 

Caption needed!

Number one: "Can you do this?"
Number two: "They went at it head to head."

If you have a suggestion that will make us chuckle, please, send us an e-mail
We'd love to hear from you and add your caption to our collection.

You can visit the rest of the collections at the Inn:
The Mammals | The Birds | The Insects
Nature Notes

Click here learn more about mountain goats.

Tips from the Inn 

Tips from the Inn

At this egg-laying time of the year birds need a little extra calcium for their egg shells and a good source of this is hen's egg shells that we usually throw away. After laying their eggs, birds are also drained of calcium and will readily consume the shells you provide.

Rinse your egg shells and bake them in an oven for a short time, but don't brown them. This sterilizes them and makes them brittle. Place them in a bag and roll with a rolling pin or a bottle, crushing them into bite-sized bits. Mix the crushed shells in with the food that you normally put out at your feeding station. If you prefer, you can also keep it separate and observe the birds which come to partake in this new-found luxury.
What's This?  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Can you figure out what this close-up is? 

Close-ups In Nature

You'll find the answer below.
Be sure to visit our pages of Close-ups in Nature.
Joke of the Month ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
A man walks into a bar and puts a sack on the counter and orders a beer.  The sack begins to move.

"What have you got in the sack?" asks the barkeeper.

"Ducks," replies the man.

If I can guess how many are in the sack, can I have one? asks the bartender.

If you can guess how many there are in the sack, you can have both of them, answers the man.

Joke of the Month photo

No need to mention this, but the ducks were not too happy about this joke!
Notes from Around the Inn
A Thank-you
We always try to be accurate in the identity and information in the newsletter and Nature inn website, but occasionally mistakes occur.  Ron M. from Louisiana spotted a couple of errors in our virtual Bug Guide.  This was very much appreciated and the corrections were made.  Thank-you Ron for checking things out and contacting us.

If you see any errors, please let us know!
Images Wanted
We are still missing a few of the wildflowers for our provincial and state wildflower page. Many thanks to Susan G. who sent in this Wood Violet image, state flower of Wisconsin.

Wood Violet

These are what we still need:

CANADA -  Northwest Territories: Mountain Avens
Nova Scotia: Mayflower
Nunavut: Purple Saxifrage
Saskatchewan: Western Red Lily

USA - Arizona: Saguaro Cactus Blossom
Delaware: Peach Blossom
Iowa: Wild Prairie Rose
Massachusetts: Mayflower
North Dakota: Bitterroot
North Dakota: Wild Prairie Rose

If you can help out with any of these, that would be great. Please e-mail us.

Did you Know?
Quebec is the first Canadian province or territory to adopt an official insect. They have chosen the White Admiral Butterfly. To see our page of the official state insects click here.
Earth Day
Earth Day is April 22, and we're going to be celebrating.  Watch for details coming soon. 
Add a Google Gadget to Your iGoggle Homepage
You can now add a gadget to your iGoogle homepage featuring images from our website.  It's colourful, free and easy.  For more information visit the Inn's Add a Google Gadget page.

Book Recommendations
You may have noticed that we've been placing more and more featured books on our various pages.  We receive a very small commission from anything purchased through the Inn on Amazon.ca or Amazon.com - not just recommended books - which all helps pay for our webspace and other expenses. So please, shop with us and support our project!

Pay-Pal Accepted We have had a few people inquire about donating to help with our costs. Apart from making a purchase through amazon.ca or amazon.com (see above) you can help out by making a credit card donation through Pay Pal.  Just click on the Pay Pal logo on the main home page or site map. Thanks again for your support! 
Past Issues
If you're a new subscriber to Whispers you might be interested to know that past issues are available online - simply click here. We upload the issues as new ones are released, so as you receive this edition we will be uploading last month's issue.

Next Issue
Our next issue will be in your inbox during the first week of May!
Trivia Answer 
The biggest lizard is the dragon-like monitor lizard.  It can reach over 4 m in length and weigh 250 lbs.

Trivia Answer 

What's This? 
The image was a very close close-up of a Thatched Barnacle, shown here attached to a  mussel. 

What's this answer

To learn about rockweeds, seaweeds and all sorts of marine life, drop by the Inn's Lagoon Trail.
Spread the Word ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Please spread the word about our project by passing on our website information to friends and other nature lovers.  You can also forward this newsletter by clicking on the "forward e-mail" link at the bottom of this newsletter.

Any other ideas and suggestions are always welcome.  Send us an e-mail!
Contact Information
Until next time, best wishes from your friends at the Dereila Nature Inn - a Cyber Nature Centre for Nature Lovers.