Welcome to February's issue of the Dereila Nature Inn newsletter.
This month we move on through the mists of winter and begin to look for the coming spring.
Hello everybody and welcome to another edition of Whispers, the newsletter of the Dereila Nature Inn - your cyber nature centre where we celebrate nature and photography every month with trivia, tips and site updates.
We've had several new subscribers join us recently, so we'd like to say welcome to them and a big thank you to everyone for subscribing and supporting our project. We hope you enjoy this issue.
Here's this month's trivia question: Which mammal loses up to 25% of its body weight during hibernation?
You'll find the answer at the end of the newsletter.
Here's another zoomed in and cropped close up. Do you have any idea what this strange looking thing is?
You'll find the answer below. For more of this type of mystery solving, be sure to visit our pages of Close-ups in Nature
|New Features at the Inn
We've got lots and lots of additions this month to tell you about including over 50 new jigsaw puzzles to try. Clicking on the images will take you straight to the page.
New Crossword Puzzles
We continue to build up our selection of things to do at the Inn with these two new crossword puzzles: Mammals and Water Loving Birds. They both use images for clues.
The birds will love this simple project idea for your suet feeder.
We've added eight new fungi to our collection of images in this guide.
Pictures of 2009 Jigsaw Puzzles
All 52 weekly pictures from 2009 have been made into flash jigsaw puzzles. If you feel like a challenge, try them out.
Walking in the Wild - The Birds
You'll find four more birds to this series featuring photos and facts about our feathered companions.
Each month we invite you to submit nature photographs to this part of our newsletter. Over the years we've had some really wonderful photographs. Here are this month's images, both submitted by frequent contributor, Julie C. of Van Etten, NY.
Deer in the Snow
Little Mouse in the Straw
Thanks for the pictures, Julie!
We really appreciate you taking the time and being part of this section.
If you would like to see your nature images in our members' section,
simply send us an e-mail.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Each month we select a bug, wildflower and bird of the month. Here are this month's choices: Bug - Helophilus fasciatus; Wildflower - Brittlebush; Bird - White-crowned Sparrow.
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
Our wondering image this month takes us into the forest where we found a curious thing called a nurse log.
When trees fall or have been logged and a stump is left, it can become a home for new life. As forest litter, fallen leaves, mosses, and lichens start to cover the stump, a sort of minature garden appears. Seeds which fall into it find a nourishing home, sprout and a new tree begins its life.
As the tree gains height the orginal stump gradually begins to decay and after a number of years it will have all but disappeared leaving a new tree standing with its roots seeking the earth below.
Snippets in Nature ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
With the beginning of spring just around the corner (we hope) the waters start to flow. This is Englishman's River, on Vancouver Island. The story goes that when a body was found in the river a first nations person explained, "It isn't one of us, so it must be an Englishman."
This month we're hoping you'll have some great captions to go along with this photograph of a spider, a fly and a flower. We've given you a couple of ideas to get your mind going.
Number one: "Hi there, welcome to my parlour."
Number two: "Hey, there's some good stuff over on this side."
If you have any suggestions for additional funny captions, 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
In this section we examine the meanings behind scientific names.
A member of the Orchid family of plants, Striped Coralroot has the scientific name Corallorhiza striata. Corallorhiza comes from the Greek word korallion meaning coral and rhiza = root, referring to the coral-like appearance of the rhizomes (horizontal underground stems found in some plants like irises and ginger). The species name striala means striped and is in reference to the stripes on the flowers. This all results in a common name, Striped Coralroot, that is not only a direct interpretation of the plant's scientific name but also helps one understand the plant's structure.
Joke of the Month ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
A crab and a lobster are secretly dating. Pretty soon the lobster tires of all the lying and tells her father who then forbids her to see the crab anymore.
"It'll never work, honey," he says to her. "Crabs walk side-ways and we walk straight."
"Please," she begs her father. "Just meet him once. I know you'll like him."
Her father finally relents and agrees to a one-time meeting and she runs off to share the good news with her crab sweetie. The crab is so excited he decides to surprise his beloved's family. He practices and practices until he can finally walk straight! On the big day, he walks the entire way to the lobster's house as straight as he can.
Standing on the porch and seeing the crab walking towards him, the lobster dad yells to his daughter, "I knew it! Here comes that crab and he's drunk!"
"I never touched a drop."
|Notes from Around the Inn
Tip from the Inn
We have mentioned in earlier newsletters about placing some roof-like cover over your hummingbird feeders. You can also protect the log suet feeders in the same way.
A piece of bark makes a very good roof. Simply drill a hole through it for the hanging wire to push through and then hang it up.
A Little Reminder
Birds need fresh, clean water throughout the year even when the ground is covered with snow. So, keep the dishes full and melt any ice that may prevent the birds from drinking or even have a bath.
Picture of the Week
Two House Finches standing by a water dish in the snow.
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
We're busy working on more features and planning more pages for the Inn. In the works we have some more tips for attracting birds to your garden or feeding station as well as some more fact pages on trees.Bird Food Recipes
If you're looking for some interesting projects and want to help birds make it through the winter, then you may want to check out our collection of bird food recipes
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 that the Sea Palm, Postelsia pelmaeformis, is so unique it is actually the only species in its genus?
This is an interesting algae because although it might look like lots of other sea plants and weeds it is unique in that is is able to stand upright, even when it's exposed and the tides are low. It is found on the rocky shores on the west coast of North America and survives the roughest of waters and constant battering or waves.
For more interesting information, photographs, stories and guides
dealing with marine life, drop by the Inn's Lagoon Trail
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Bears lose upto 25% of their body weight during their long winter's "sleep."
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~This month's mystery is solved:
You were looking at a very up of the Silverspotted Tiger Moth, Lophocampa argentata
Check of the amazing diversity of moths at our Moths At-A-Glance page.
Spread the Word ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Thanks for reading! 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 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 March, 2010.