Welcome to December's issue of the Dereila Nature Inn newsletter.
Welcome to Whispers

As the day draws to a close, so does another year at the Dereila Nature Inn.
We hope you have enjoyed your visits throughout 2010 and will join us in the
New Year for more fun with nature and photography.
Hello everyone and welcome to the year-end issue of Whispers, the newsletter of the Dereila Nature Inn - your virtual nature centre.  We send a special welcome to our new subscribers this month and our heart-felt thanks to those of you that have been joining us each month throughout the year.  We really appreciate your support, ideas, contributions and enouragement.
Trivia Time
Which is the tallest non-redwood tree?
You'll find the answer at the end of the newsletter.
What's This?
Do you know what this cropped close-up photograph is? You'll find the answer at the end of the newsletter.

Close-ups In Nature

For more of this type of mystery solving, be sure to visit our pages of Close-ups in Nature.

New Features at the Inn
Here are the latest additions at the Inn.  Just click on the images and you'll be taken straight to the page. 
Click to visit 

Wildflowers Crossword #3

Our newest interactive crossword focusses on red, pink and orange flowers.


Walking in the Wild - The Trees
There are several new additions to this section of photographs and facts.

 Pacific DogwoodBristlecone PineLodgepole Pine
 Ponderosa PineWestern RedcedarTamarackUtah Juniper

Find the latest additions on the news/updates page.
Contributed by...
We invite you to submit nature photographs to this section.  As always, we have some more wonderful submissons from our subscribers this month.

Contributed image

Leaf-hugger Frog
Marilyn Flanagan, FL

Contributed Image

Young Red Fox
Nancyj Hovey, New Port Richey, FL.

Sugar Maple leaves in West Virginia
Donna Ford-Werntz, Morgantown, WV

Queen Butterfly, Danaus gilippus 
Michele J. Durnil, Chino Valley, AZ.

We are always thrilled to receive your wonderful photographs.
Many thanks to Marilyn, Nancyj, Donna and Michele for your contributions.
   If you would like to see your nature images in our members' section,
simply send us an e-mail. We'd love to hear from you!

Monthly Selections 
Here are this month's choices: 
Bug - Bald-faced Hornet; Wildflower - Piggyback Plant; Bird - California Quail.

Bug of the Month - click to visit  Wildflower of the Month - click to visit  Bird of the Month -  click to visit
Simply click on the images to visit the pages.
You can also check out the archives as they're just a click away:

Wildflower Archives | Bug Archives | Bird Archives

The Wandering Image
Wandering Image

A coyote keeps a close eye on its surroundings as it wanders
through the grasses in the Canadian Rockies this past autumn.

Snippets in Nature

Snippets in Nature

Kluane National Park in Canada's Yukon Territory is home to mighty glaciers
and soaring peaks including Canada's highest mountain.

Snippetts in Nature
This spectacular wilderness is far and remote.  Its importance was
recognized internationally in 1979 when it became a part of a park system
that was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Caption This! 
We've got a couple of ideas for a funny caption to go with this photo of a Ring-tailed Lemur, but know you can come up with better ones.

Caption needed!

Number one: "OK.  I'm sitting confortably now when do I get fed?
Number two: "No, it is real and it's all mine."

If this photo inspires you, 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
Behind the Name 
Behind the NameBehind the Name

Kinnikinnick, or Common Bearberry, is a low-growing shrub which creates mats on the forest floor.  Its scientific name is Arctostaphylos uva-ursi.  Arctoctaphylos comes from the Greek arktos  which means "bear" and staphyle "bunch of grapes. The species name uva-ursi derives from Latin for "bear's grape."  Evidently, bears just love these berries!

Kinnikinnick comes from the Algonquian language meaning "smoking mixture" a reference to the fact that some people enjoyed smoking the dried leaves. 

Joke of the Month ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Over breakfast one morning, a woman said to her husband, "I bet you don't know what day this is."

"Of course I do," he replied as he left for work.
At 10 a.m. the doorbell rang and his wife opened the door and was handed a dozen long-stemmed red roses.  At 1 p.m. a box of her favourite chocolates arrived.  The woman couldn't wait for her husband to come home.

"First flowers, then chocolates!" she exclaimed.  "I've never had a more wonderful Groundhog Day in all my life!"

Joke of the Month

"We didn't ask for all this attention."
Notes, News and Tips from Around the Inn
Favourite Photo of the Year
Do you have a favourite nature photograph from this past year? Going through our files of photos of 2010 we've chosen this one as one of our favourites. 


It's not often we come across a Green Turtle so it was a thrill to be lucky enough to spot one on a trip to Hawaii.  If you'd like to select what you consider to be your favourite nature photo of 2010, we'd love to hear from you and we'll put together a page of selections at the Inn.  Please send us your photos and a brief description or explanation of the image and why it's your favourite. 

A Little Reminder
Now's a good time to pull out those berries that we suggested you stash away in the freezer when food was plentiful for our feathered visitors.

Tips from the Inn

A Spotted Towhee enjoys some Mountain Ash berries that have been strung from a twig.

There're not many berries left but a Hermit Thrush is determined to get its share.

These berries provided lots of great photo opportunities.
This Golden-crowned Sparrow is enjoying a snack on this chilly day.

Great Rivers - A New Project at the Inn
As we move into 2011 we're already thinking of new ideas and projects. One of them is the concept of a series featuring photographs of great rivers.

The Bow River flows through Banff National Park

In this picture the Bow River flows below Castle Mountain in Banff National Park.  If you have any images that you would like to share with us and our subscribers, please send them to us.  We would like to stress that the theme is rivers in nature, and as such, there should be no signs of human involvement or interference like bridges, dams, roads, fences, wires, buildings, etc.  Hopefully we can come up with an exciting new feature!

Tips from the Inn
Unwanted background clutter can spoil our photographs but don't give up!  You can still get that great picture with a bit of patience and re-positioning.


An American Robin has just grabbed a berry is is ready to leave.  We know it's going to come back for more.  This isn't a great picture because of the background interference.

By moving slightly to the left the photographer can avoid the vast white siding of the house in the background.  Checking what's behind the subject is very important if you wish to capture a nice clean image.

Picture of the Week
Click to visit picture of the week.

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.

Past Issues
We upload past issues of Whispers as new ones are issued.  You can view them all with a simple click here 
Did You Know... 

Did you know image

Did you know that when some dragonflies rest they point their wings forward rather than at their sides?  This is true of the skimmers which is the largest group of dragonflies and this trait can be helpful in identifying them.
Trivia Answer 

Trivia Answer 

The Douglas-fir grows up to over 300 ft/90 m tall making it
truly a giant amongst the giants in the rainforests of the Pacific Northwest.
What's This? 

What's this answer

This month's mystery picture is the Dwarf Dogwood. 
 How did you do?
Nature Notes

Click here to visit the Mammals Wildzone.

Spread the Word ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
We hope you've enjoyed this month's newsletter. 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.

Your ideas and suggestions are always welcome. Send us an e-mail!

Until next time, best wishes for the Holiday Season from your friends at the Dereila Nature Inn - the Cyber Nature Centre for Nature Lovers. Watch for the next issue of Whispers in your inbox during the first week of January.  See you in 2011!