The setting sun as the year comes to an end seems like an appropriate image
to greet to you to this month's issue of Whispers.  

Welcome to December's issue of Whispers, the newsletter of the Dereila Nature Inn - your cyber nature centre. 

It's hard to believe that the year is coming to a close and 2009 is just around the corner.  It's even harder to believe that we're entering the 3rd year of the Inn being online!

Many thanks for subscribing to our newsletter and visiting our website.  We hope you enjoy what you find.

Welcome once again to our new subscribers and to our old faithful ones, many thanks for your support and enthusiasm.

Season's Greetings!

We send this newsletter wishing everyone the very best of the holiday season and the warmest of wishes for 2009!
Trivia Time
We start off each month with a trivia question:

Many animals that look identical to us and it's hard to tell one from another. There is a group of mammals in North America that look the same to each other too! To tell each other apart they "kiss" when they meet each other.  Now what could this critter be?

You'll find the answer at the end of the newsletter.

New Features at the Inn
Once again we've had a very busy time at the Inn since our last newsletter. Here are the latest additions. Just click on the images to go directly to the page.

Click to visit.Close Ups in Nature

After zooming in and cropping, can you identify what these fascinating patterns, designs and textures found in nature are?

Click to visit.More Close Ups in Nature  

Is it a plant, a bird, a furry critter or a rock? Here are several more cropped close-ups featuring designs and patterns in nature. 

Click to visitEchoes of the Wild 

A new section featuring some of the special moments in the wild we've been fortunate enough to experience.

Click to visitStunning Shrubs Photo Gallery 

The flowers and fruits of over two dozen shrubs are featured in this new gallery.

Click to visit.The Sporting Games

Join us for a rare, behind-the-scenes, humourous and tongue-in-cheek tale of animals and their love of sports.

Click to visit.Wildbirds Photo Gallery #2

Our second wildbird photo gallery features over 30 images for you to peruse.

Click to visitWildflowers Photo Gallery #2

Our second gallery of wildflowers includes over two dozen images from the deserts to the forests.

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. 

Once again we have two contributions.

Jackie Muncy, of Palmer, Alaska, submitted this image taken during a freezing fog. The resulting frost covered the spruce branches and grew to great lengths creating a dazzling display of ice crystals.  

Contributed image 1

Below, a Mute Swan on North Carolina Lake was submitted by frequent contributor, Steve Slayton.

Contributed image #2

Jackie and Steve, thank-you for submitting your super photographs!
If you'd 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
Our wandering image this month takes us to the sunny days of summer with a Black-tailed Deer amongst the Campion flowers.

Wandering Image

The Black-tailed is also called the Mule Deer (because of its mule-like ears.) It is one of two deers of North America, the second one being the White-tailed Deer.
Snippets in Nature ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
This month we leave the chilly days of winter and take a summer visit to Yellowstone National Park.  

Snippet of the Month

This is a place of canyons, geysers and wildlife, like the bison below, wallowing in a dust bowl. If you have not had the pleasure to visit, we invite you to explore more of Yellowstone in the Inn's section of Special Places of the Natural World.

Snippets in Nature

Caption This! 
Each month we would like to invite you to submit a funny caption to go with one of the images in our "Caption This!" collection.  Can you think of a caption to go with this pollen laden bee?

Caption this image

Here are some ideas we came up with:

Number one: "How much more do we need?"
Number two: "Can someone show me the way home?"

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 to visit our page featuring wildflowers of the deserts.

Stories Behind the Pictures 

Behind the Image

The story behind this image concerns the patience and determination of the Great Blue Heron. While observing the bird it came up with a fish tangled up in seaweed. This told us to keep taking pictures. 

Behind the image

Needing to remove the seaweed the heron waded ashore shaking his head and loosening the seaweed. Once on the shore, it dropped the fish and picked it up again without the extra salad. This sequence was recorded and shown in The Heron and his Lunch.
Tips from the Inn
This month's tip will help you get some great images for next year's seasonal cards. 

Tip of the month

When it's time to take down the wreath, or if you make an extra one for this tip, hang it up outside in a handy location where you can get a picture. Place a few extra berries in amongst the leaves, etc. When the birds arrive for a snack, you simply take a few photographs. If the weather is a little chilly with snow and frost about, it makes for a very interesting card. 

Tip of the month

Good luck!  
Joke of the Month ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
A man walks into a bar with a newt on his shoulder.

He says, "I'll have a scotch and a beer for 'Tiny' here".

The bartender says, "Why do you call him Tiny?"

The man replies "Because he's my newt!"

Joke of the Month photo

This marmot didn't think much of this month's joke!
Notes from Around the Inn
Just a Reminder

As the chilly, frosty weather arrives for many of us, remember that the birds still love fresh and unfrozen water throughout the winter months.  They will appreciate the water as much as this Varied Thrush does.

Add a Google Gadget to Your iGoggle Homepage
You can now add a gadget to your iGoogle homepage featuring images from the our website.  It's colourful, free and easy.  For more information visit the Inn's Add a Google Gadget page.

Search the Inn
You may have noticed that we're adding search boxes on several pages.  These allow you to search the Inn quickly for a topic, information or image quickly.  Try them out!

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 or - 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 - or a cheque!
We have had a few people inquire about donating to help with our costs. Apart from making a purchase through or (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.  If you don't want to use a credit card and would prefer a contribution by cheque, simply e-mail us or write to address at the bottom of this newsletter and we'll be happy to send the details for that to you.  Thanks again for your support! 

Suggestions, Ideas and Feedback
We invite and welcome your contributions, thoughts and comments.  Please, take a moment to send us an e-mail.
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 in the first week of January. See you then!
Trivia Answer 
Although not usually caught up a tree, Prairie Dogs love to "kiss" when they meet.

Trivia Answer 

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 Inn for Nature Lovers.