February 2008 - Whipsers - The newsletter of the Dereila Nature Inn - A cyber place for nature lovers. 

Our lead image is a frozen waterfall in Johnson Canyon in Banff National Park, Canada. This is a popular scenic trail in the summer months but also is a wonderful spot to explore when winter descends.
Welcome to another edition of Whispers - the newsletter of the Dereila Nature Inn. We are now one year old!  It's been an amazing year.
This has been a very busy month at the Inn as you'll see later in this newsletter.  As we move into year two we are very happy with the success and growth of our adventure. 

Thank you for subscribing and please, spread the word around!
Trivia Time
Each month we'll start things off with a little bit of nature trivia for you. This month we continue with insect trivia:

What is the fastest flying insect? 

You'll find the answer later on in the newsletter.

Tips From the Inn - #2 - Protective Covers for Bird Feeders ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Many bird food products are available for purchase including seed, suet blocks and bell-shaped food mixes which are hung up in various feeders for wild birds to enjoy in the months when food is scarce.  Often the feeders are hung in places exposed to winter rains or snow and so, here's a little project idea to create some protection for the feeder and the birds themselves using a simple inverted planter dish. 

Hummingbird feeder with protective cover

Our example uses a hummingbird feeder, but any other feeder or food sources could be protected this way.

Cover and feeder

Be sure to choose a plastic planter dish big enough to completly cover the feeder and the area around it. Drill a hole in the centre and using an upside down hook attach the cover and then hang your feeder from the hook.  It's that simple!

Hook and cover

Be sure to keep the hanging wire short for the maximum protection as shown here.

Although hummingbirds may have left many of us for the winter months, some do have to struggle through some snowy days in certain areas.  This cover helps protect the holes in hummingbird feeders from being covered with snow.

For more bird feeding and attracting tips, visit the Inn's All Things Natural Restaurant.
We welcome your nature tips and ideas! Just send us an e-mail.
 New Features at the Inn
We hope you'll enjoy the new features at the Inn:
Photo Galleries
Hover your mouse over the images for a description of our new photo galleries, then click on the image to go directly to the gallery.

Wildbirds  Insects  Water and Shore Birds

Wildflowers  Butterflies and Moths  Mammals

Visit the photo gallery index page by clicking here.

Living Waters
Living Waters 
This new page explores some of the beauty and diversity of sea and seashore life.  Click on the image to go straight to this feature.

New Walks in the Woods
There are two new walks in the woods this month: Edible Plants and A Look at Plants which explores some of the interesting aspects of wildflowers and other plants.  Click on the images below to start your strolls.
A Walk in the Woods - Edible Plants  A Walk in the Woods - Plant Diversity

Spectacular Places Jigsaw Puzzles
Special Places Jigsaw Puzzles
If you like doing our flash jigsaw puzzles, you'll enjoy our selection of 16 new ones which feature some of our favourite natural places.  Click on the image to get started!

Contributed by...
When we started the Dereila Nature Inn our vision was one of a community of nature enthusiasts exchanging ideas, stories, tips and images in one form or another. We invite you to submit nature images to this part of our monthly newsletter.

Red Headed Woodpecker  Red-headed Woodpecker - Juvenile

Our two fabulous images this month are of Red-headed Woodpeckers - mature on the left and a juvenile on the right.  They were taken and submitted by Margaret S. of West Virginia.  Thanks Margaret!
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:
Feb 2008 Bird  Feb 2008 - Bug of the Month  Feb 2008 Wildflower
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

Notes from Around the Inn
A Huge Thank You
We'd like to send our thanks this month to Dr. Cannings, Curator of Enthomology at the Royal British Columbia Museum in Victoria for his much appreciated help in the verification and identification of our dragonfly images and to Eric Eaton, co-author of The Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America who has helped with other identification in our bug guide and other insects pages.  Thank-you gentlemen! We really appreciate your time in helping us get things just right.

Visit the visual, virtual bug guide by clicking here.

Coming Up...
We continue to add features to this growing project.  Watch for more photo galleries and wildflower pages in the near future. 

All Things Natural Restaurant
Visit our section featuring recipes and ideas to help attract wildbirds to your feeding station.  Just click here.

Site Map
As our project gets bigger and bigger it seems that a site map is in order to give everyone a straight-forward overview of the pages and features at the Inn.  You'll find the map by clicking here.
Don't Forget Our Forums
Just a reminder about and an invitation to visit our two forums:
The Birder's Place

The Birder's Place - This a social network and forum just for Birders. Here you can meet other birders, exchange stories and upload and share your images.
The Nature Hut

The Nature Hut - Here we invite you to join our community of nature lovers.  Upload your nature images and enjoy discussions and stories of experiences and nature sightings.
Click on the images to visit the two forums.

Suggestions, Ideas and Feedback
As we move into year two of the Dereila Nature Inn, 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.
The Wandering Image
This month our wandering image takes us to Hawaii and a most curious-looking tree, the Sausage Tree, Kigelia pinnata.

Sausage Tree

Huge sausage-like fruits hang down from the limbs of these tropical trees.  The fruits can grow up to 24 inches long and are not edible, in fact the seeds are poisonous.  This fascinating plant is grown mainly as an ornamental.
Snippets in Nature ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
This month takes us to the Red Rocks of Sedona, Arizona.


Nature has created another masterpiece for this month's Snippet in Nature.  The red rocks near Sedona are a unique geological area that always mesmerizes the traveler in the northern part of Arizona.  Red rock monoliths with such names as Coffeepot, Cathedral and Bell provide awe-inspiring views. The ageless mountains, spires and boulders proudly display many amazing colours and are a photographer's delight. 


Trivia Answer 
Some dragonflies can reach speeds of 70 km per hour making them some of the fastest flying insects on earth. Furthermore, they can eat while they fly nibbling on their food which they hold in their feet.


To learn more about dragonflies and their relatives, visit the Inn's bug guide

Joke of the Month ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
A birder is leading a tour of novice birders. He points out a large bird in a distant tree and says, "Look there - a bald eagle!"

"How can you tell?" one of the novice birders asks.

"His feathers are all combed over to one side."

Shop with Us ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Don't forget to check out the amazon/dereila bookshop. You'll find a super selection of nature books and guides. See what's in the store for you by clicking on the image. You'll also find amazon.ca and amazon.com search boxes for our Canadian and US visitors throughout the Inn. 
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!
Quick Links...
Contact Information
Until next time, best wishes from the Dereila Nature Inn.