Welcome to our monthly celebration of nature and photography!

» Quiz - Little Critters!
» Five Things About...chipmunks
» Bird Food Recipe: Chickadee Pudding
PLUS - great photographs from contributors | mystery image | a laugh or two and more!


Mount Wilson
An amazing little crab, the Heart crab, Phyllolithodes papillosus,
welcomes all to our August newsletter.
Where's Lily?

While you're reading this month, be sure to keep an eye out for Lily the Ladybug.

She's managed to hide in one of the photos, but which one?!

Which plant has been cultivated in such places as California, South America
and India to use in insect repellents, chest rubs and cough drops?

Compare your answer with the answer at the end of the newsletter. 

Here's a close-up image to test your mystery-solving skills.
As usual, you'll find the answer at the end of the newsletter.

Least Chipmunk,
Tamias minimus
_ Chipmunks are friendly, cheeky little critters, often curious and unafraid. They are rodents; small members of the squirrel family.
  There are some 25 species of chipmunks and except for one which is found in Eurasia, they are all are found in North America ranging from Canada to Mexico.
  Chipmunks are noted for their large eyes, pudgy cheeks which they can stuff full of food, bushy tails and stripes on the face, back and tail. Each species has its own variation of stripes and colouration.
  These busy animals scramble around over rocks, branches and twigs. They feed on nuts, berries, seeds, grasses mushrooms and some even eat birds eggs and insects.
  Although chipmunks hibernate, they do not live off body fat but rather feed off their cache of nuts and seeds that they gather during the warmer months.

A few months ago we had a multiple choice quiz featuring little critters. This month, we have the same theme but in a matching quiz.

Can you match the photos of the following little critters with the correct name?

Make a list 1 through 8 and start matching! Good luck.

(Note: Don't worry if you have some names left over as there are more names than photos.)
_ _ _
Little Critter 1
Little Critter 2
Little Critter 3
Little Critter 4
Little Critter 5
Little Critter 6
Little Critter 7
Little Critter 8
American Pika   Desert Cottontail   Eastern Gray Squirrel   Golden-mantled Ground Squirrel
Hoary Marmot _ Least Chipmunk _ Porcupine _ Red Squirrel
    Richardson's Ground Squirrel   Yellow-bellied Marmot    
Quiz answers are found later in this issue of Whispers.

Demonstrate your wisdom and nature know-how by throwing
a few fascinating nature words into your daily conversations!
The alpenglow I saw this morning was just so stunningly beautiful, it took my breath away.

What am I talking about?
  a. A beautiful butterfly.
  b. A flock of colourful birds.
  c. A mysterious halo-like soft light around the sun.
  d. A rosy glow on mountains at dawn or dusk.
You'll find the answer at the end of this month's Whispers.

Everyone loves butterflies like this Mourning Cloak, Nymphalis antiopa, the state butterfly of Montana and one of the beautiful butterflies featured on this month's featured page: State Butterflies. You can view the page here.

Our thanks go to the photographers who sent us some of the images.

These two beautiful photographs come from Susan Kalman of Allegany, NY. On the left are some gorgeous Carolina Springbeauties, Claytonia caroliniana, and on the right a bee investigates a peony.
Joyce Cahill, from Winslow, AR, spotted this pretty Indigo Bunting. What lovely colours!
This magnificent Anhinga, drying its wings, comes to us from Marilyn Flanagan of Florida.
Herman Veenendaal of St Mary’s, ON, saw this rather angry looking Red-shouldered Hawk.
From Jim Noeninger of Shiloh, IL, comes this Great Blue Heron which looks like it is swimming as it moves to deeper water.

Thank you everyone for sending in these great photographs for us all to enjoy.
We really appreciate your contributions.

If you have a nature image you'd like to see in this section, please let us know!.

Our wanderings this month take us down to the sea where we spotted this happy gull bringing its lunch ashore.
Do you have an idea for a fun caption for this photo of a Double-crested Cormorant?
Here are some ideas:

#1 - "Keep it still! Keep it still!"
#2 - "O don't like this! I think I'm going to fall.""

If this month's photo inspires you, please send us your caption in an e-mail.

Ann Nightingale from Victoria, BC, had a great caption for last month's photo:

"I've always wondered what I'd look like with a beard."

Thanks, Ann!

On May 9, 2016, President Barack Obama signed the National Bison Legacy Act, naming the bison the United States' official national mammal. The bison now joins the bald eagle, the oak tree and the rose as official emblems of the United States.

___A church-going cowboy lost his favourite Bible while out working. Three weeks later, a bear came carrying the Bible in its mouth.
___The cowboy couldn't believe it! He took the Bible out of the bear's mouth, raised his eyes heavenward and exclaimed, "It's a miracle! It's a miracle!"
___"Not really," answered the bear. "Your name and address are written inside the cover."
"OK, back to the woods I go. Nice to know I made somebody happy today."

Our Monthly Selections
Here are this month's choices:
Bird - Red-naped Sapsucker | Wildflower - Contorted-pod Evening-primrose | Bug -  Satyr Comma Butterfly

Click to visit__ Click to visit__Click to visit
Click on the images to visit the pages.
A Little Reminder
Just a little reminder that there are some very small birds that love to bathe. For these little ones the dishes do not need a lot of water. Small dishes work very well, but remember to keep the water fresh and clean.
Tips and Ideas
Here's an idea for hanging up one of these fancy bird seed balls.
First of all, drill a large hole though the centre. 
Drill two holes through a small piece of bark or wood and push some wire or cord through the holes, one end in each hole.
Fasten the two ends together under the wood.
Push the other end through the hole in the ball and hang up your masterpiece!
Bird Food Recipe - Chickadee Pudding
Chickadees and other birds will go crazy for some of this delicious food!

Chestnut-backed Chickadee
1 1/2 cup melted suet
2 Tbsp peanut butter
1 cup oatmeal
bird seed as desired
1 1/2 cups bread crumbs
1/2 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
Melt together and, when cool enough to handle, stuff into a half a grapefruit shell or a coconut husk, or into holes cut into a log.
Picture of the Week
Click to visit   Be sure to drop by the Inn every week to see the latest Picture of the Week.
You can also do so by clicking on the image to the left or by clicking here.
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Past Issues
If you want to see any of the past issues of Whispers, they are available here.
Did you know that the spectacular Great Blue Heron has good night vision allowing it to hunt both day and night? It is also the official bird of the lovely City of Seattle.

In 2013, California designated the almond as its official state fruit.

Eucalyptus trees have been cultivated for a variety of things including paper, insect repellent, chest rubs and cough drops.

Our mystery image is a wasp's nest - a pretty easy one this month, unless of course, you've never seen one.

Alpenglow is
d. a rosy glow on mountains at dawn or dusk.

_ _ _
Little Critter 1
Least Chipmunk
Little Critter 2
Red Squirrel
Little Critter 3
Yellow-bellied Marmot
Little Critter 4
Eastern Gray Squirrel
Little Critter 5
Little Critter 6
Hoary Marmot
Little Critter 7
American Pika
Little Critter 8
Golden-mantled Ground Squirrel
And if you're wondering what the two leftover names look like, here they are.
Richardson's Ground Squirrel
Desert Cottontail

Click here to learn more about butterflies

Still looking for Lily?

If you need a little clue, click here!
Did you find Lily last month?
Thanks for joining us this month. We hope you enjoyed this issue of Whispers. We invite your comments and ideas - just drop us an e-mail. See you next month!
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