Welcome to our monthly celebration of nature and photography!
We hope you enjoy this issue's selection of jokes, trivia, photos and news.
Mount Wilson
A handsome Northern Flicker, in the snows of December, welcomes you this month.

Until the late 1970s, the oldest living thing was thought to be the Bristlecone Pine.
What now is believed to be many years older?

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


Another little puzzle to test you. What do you think it is?
You'll find the answer at the end of this newsletter.


Our page for this end of the year edition of our monthly newsletter is the Bug of the Month archive page.
You can see the 76 bugs that have been chosen over the last 7 years. Find the page here.

Joyce Cahill of Winslow, Arkansas, sent us this picture of some deer twins.

This heron seeking a higher view was sent to us by Claudia Gregoire, Glenville, NY

Holly D. Johns of Kennesaw in Georgia shares another photo from her trip to Swaziland and South Africa.

W.C. Durnil of Chino Valley in Arizona, took this photo of a Bighorn Sheep in Boulder City.
Elk buck, at Lone Elk Park near St. Louis, MO, sent by one of our regular contributors, Jim Noeninger, Shiloh, Illinois.
Many thanks to Joyce and Claudia, Holly, Joyce, W.C. and Jim.
If you have a nature image for this section, please let us know!.


The fascinating Silk Floss tree, Ceiba speciosa, is native to South America,
but this image was taken wandering around Hawaii.


What do you think would be a good caption for this photo ?

Here are two ideas:
#1 - "I bet you can't do this."
#2 - "There has to be an easier way to have lunch."

W.C. Durnil sent in a caption for last month's image. "I tried to tell you he was loony!"

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


The snippet this month comes from Joyce Cahill of Winslow in Arkansas.
This beautiful spot is in Lake Fort Smith Recreation Area, Arkansas.


Nodding Beggarticks, Bidens cernua, got its rather interesting common name because it produces prickly, barbed fruits that often catch onto the fur of passing animals and the clothes of passing people. The genus name, Bidens,
refers to the two awns found on some plants in this genus. The species name, cernua, comes from the Latin cernuum which means "drooping" or "nodding," which is what these yellow flowers do.


Mrs. Mr. and Mrs. Bear were asleep when the phone rung. Mrs. Bear picked up the phone, listened for a few seconds and said, “How the heck should I know? It’s 100 miles away!” and slammed the phone down in a temper.
____ Her husband asked, “Who was that dear?”
____ “I don't know. Some crazy lady wanted to know if the coast was clear.”

"I told her not to phone me at home."

Monthly Selections
Here are this month's choices:
Bird - Pine Grosbeak  | Wildflower - Partridge-foot | Bug - Western Thatching Ant

Click to visit__ Click to visit__Click to visit
Click on the images to visit the pages.

A Little Reminder

Birds still like to bathe, even on the coldest of days, so be sure to keep the bird baths
and drinking dishes free from snow and ice. A little hot water soon gets things going again.
Tips and Ideas

It's time to prepare for 2015 and begin a new check-off list of birds that you see. A handy note pad can record the species you see at your feeder or in the garden. You could have a separate one for the birds you see on your travels. It is interesting to see how many species you can record in the entire year.

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.
Past Issues
If you want to see any of the past issues of Whispers, they are available here.


The annual Christmas Bird Count runs from mid-December until early January. 

For more details just click right here.

National Bird Day is celebrated in the United States on January 5.
For more details, click here.  


Did you know that Northern Bedstraw, Galium boreale, got its name from being
commonly used as a stuffing for mattresses by the early European settlers of the New World?


In June 2010, the Bullfrog, Rana catesbeiana, became Ohio's official state frog.


There are circular growth patterns of a flowering shrub called Creosote Bush,
Larrea tridentata
, in the Mojave Desert believed to be at least 2000 years older.


The close up image is an interesting mushroom, Morchella elata.

Click to learn more about mammals

Thanks for joining us and we sincerely hope you enjoyed this issue of Whispers.
We invite your comments and ideas - just drop us an e-mail. See you in 2015!
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