Welcome to February's issue of the Dereila Nature Inn newsletter.
  Showing off his red patch, a male Downy Woodpecker welcomes you this month. 
Like many of us in the Northern Hemisphere he's waiting for the return of spring.
Hello everyone! Welcome to the latest issue of Whispers, the newsletter of the Dereila Nature Inn - your virtual nature centre. 

As we move into February we know that spring can't be far away which is a relief as it has been a very challenging winter for many of us this year.   
This month we have lots for you to enjoy with great photos, trivia and even a joke about a couple of moose on an outing. Thank you so much for subscribing and we hope you enjoy this issue. 
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Trivia Time
Which porous animal lives on rocks on the sea bed?
You'll find the answer at the end of the newsletter.
What's This?  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Do you know what this cropped close-up photograph is?

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.

At-A-Glance Guide to Parasitic Plants
Here is a selection of the many plants rely on others in order to survive. 
Click to visit   
 Find the latest additions posted at the Inn on the news/updates page.
Contributed by...
This month we have a terrific selection of nature photographs that have been sent in.
This spectacular Red Kite was captured in flight by Eileen of West Lothian, Scotland.

This frozen waterfall was spotted by Jonathan Schnurr, Suwanee, Georgia.

Jonathan also sent in a second winter shot: frozen moss in ice.


While visiting a wildlife refuge in Arizona, W.C. Durnil of
Chino Valley, Arizona, took this lovely picture of a White Wolf.

Rosemary O'Connell of Ottawa, Ontario, captured this
colourful scene of an American Goldfinch.

We really appreciate you sending us these photographs for us all to enjoy.

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 - Sericomyia militaris; Wildflower - Fawn Lily; Bird - American Pipit

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



Want to make an interesting bird feeder or bird house? We have lots and lots of creative projects, tips and ideas on this month's highlighted page which we call Tips and Tricks for The Backyard Birder. You can visit the page by clicking here.

Click to visit.      

 The Wandering Image
This month we wander around under the Hawaiian sunshine.
This is a Cannonball Tree, Couroupita guianensis, and it's really easy to see how this tree got its name. Is is native to the rain forests of South and Central America.
Caption This! 
What do you think would be a great caption for this photo of a Chestnut-backed Chickadee at the kitchen window? As usual, we've given you a couple of ideas to help get you thinking.

Number one: "It's so kind of you to do this for me."
Number two: "Thank goodness there's some left.  I've come a long way for this." 

Pat McMahon of Victoria, BC, came up with a great caption for last month's photo:
"If you insist on a punk hairdo like your friends, you can move out of my nest!

If this month's 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

Snippets in Nature


This peaceful scene of calm Lake Fort Smith in Arkansas 
comes to us from Joyce Cahill of Winslow, Arkansas.
If you think you have a suitable nature photograph for this section please send us an e-mail
along with a brief explanation. We look forward to your submissions.
Behind the Name 
Yellow Wood Violet, Viola glabella, is sometimes called Smooth Violet or Steam Violet because it has smooth leaves and is often found along streams or in moist woods.  The genus name, Viola, comes from the Latin word violaceous, a reference to the colour violet as many plants in this family are purple, blue or violet but as you can see, violets come in other colours, too.

The species name, glabella, is Latin meaning "smooth-skinned" referring to the smooth leaves.
Joke of the Month ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
       A moose explained to his buddy that he had a great little motor home.
       "Can we go for a ride?" his friend asked.  So off they went.
       After a while they approached a bridge and the moose stopped suddenly.
       "What's wrong?" his companion asked.
       "The sign says 'only 11 feet high' and my motor home is 12 feet 6 inches."
        His friends replied, "Oh, don't worry about that.  There are no police around, put your foot down and go for it!"


"I should never have listened to him!"
Notes, News and Tips from Around the Inn
Find us on Facebook
We invite you to post comments on our Facebook page.  To visit, just click on the logo or here.
We recently added a guestbook to the Nature Inn and welcome your comments on your next visit.  You can also find it here.

Nest Box Festival 2014
 We are very excited because coming up on April 1 is the beginning of our Nest Box Festival and now is the time to start getting ready!  We encourage everyone to help the birds out a bit and put up a nest box or two then submit photographs of the birds and their boxes. For more information, please check out our Bird Nest Box Festival page.  You will also find some ideas for making nest boxes by clicking here

A Little Reminder
Speaking of nest boxes, now is a good time to clean out any nest boxes used last year and prepare them for this year.  Use a pair of gloves to remove any old nesting material as insects may have settled in during the winter.  If there is mold in the box, give it a good scrub with a mild detergent and rinse thoroughly.
Tips from the Inn
 Suet plugs like these ones can be very handy when you're trying to
get that perfect bird photograph. You can see how to make them here.
  Try spreading one or two suet plugs on the ground or on the branches
of the tree. Hopefully inquisitive birds like this Canada Jay
will soon gather round to see what's happening.

 Now's the time to get some great photos.
Picture of the Week
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
 Click to visit the archives.
We upload past issues of Whispers as new ones are issued.  You can view them all with a simple click here

Celebrating Nature



You might want to get involved with the annual Great Backyard Bird Count
which runs from February 14-17 this year. Click here for more details

And coming up in March: 

Americans will be celebrating National Wildlife Week this year from March 17-23
(Canadians will be celebrating in April).  Click here for more details

World Forestry Day will celebrated on March 21. 
Get more details here.

Did You Know... 

 Did you know that frogs and toads shed the outer layer of their skin many times a year?

State and Provincial Symbols


The state of Oklahoma selected the cheeky raccoon as its official state furbearing animal in 1989, although its official state mammal is the American Bison. 

To see our collection of provincial and state mammals click here.

Trivia Answer 


Sponges are marine animals that filter food out of the water that flows through their bodies.
This is a Yellow-green Encrusting Sponge, Halichondria panacea. 

What's This? 


This month's mystery photo is a striking Pileated Woodpecker.
Nature Notes

Click to learn about marine life       

Spread the Word ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
We hope you've enjoyed our newsletter for this month and that you'll forward it on to your nature-loving friends. Until next time may you enjoy many wonderful encounters of nature.

We hope you'll watch for the next issue of Whispers in your inbox in March. See you then!