Welcome image

Welcome to the New Year and the first issue of 2009 of 
Whispers - the newsletter of the Dereila Nature Inn.  

Welcome to January's issue of Whispers, the newsletter of the Dereila Nature Inn - your cyber nature centre - and Happy New Year to everyone! 

Many thanks for subscribing to our newsletter and visiting our website.  We hope you enjoy what you find.

It's been a fun and busy year at the Inn and now as we enter 2009, we also enter the third year of being online.  We have lots of great ideas for upcoming projects and features, so stay tuned.

We hope that 2009 is a wonderful year for all.
Trivia Time
We start off each month with a trivia question and for January, we go to where the summer sun is shining at this time of the year. 

Which birds like to attack cars and buses often causing damage, but providing entertainment for some people?

You'll find the answer at the end of the newsletter.
New Features at the Inn
Since our last newsletter, it's been another busy month at the Inn with many projects completed and posted. Here's a guide to the latest additions.  Just click on the images to go directly to the page.

Wildflowers At-A-Glance
To brighten up the winter days we've spent a lot of time focusing on wildflowers. The result is that we have arranged our digital library into four At-A-Glance guides by colour for easy viewing:

White Wildflowers  Red Wildflowers  Blue/Purple Wildflowers  Yellow Wildflowers 

Close Ups in Nature
There are now two new Close-ups in Nature features to go with the two added last month.  We've taken images and then cropped and zoomed to create a thumbnail image which is usually a design, pattern, or texture.  Can you figure out if it's a plant or insect or perhaps a bird or sea creature?  All is revealed with the roll-over of your mouse.
Click on the images below to visit the two new pages.

Click to visit  Click to visit
Click to visit.
Birds At-A-Glance 1

We have organised our library of bird images and created At-A-Glance pages.  The first features a variety of birds of prey, thrushes, woodpeckers, finches and many other songbirds.

Click to visit 
Birds At-A-Glance 2

This page of different groups of birds includes waterfowl, shorebirds, dabblers, divers and waders.

Click to visit 
Wildflower Photo Gallery #3

The latest photo gallery in the growing collection features over two dozen images of colourful and cheery blooms.  There are now almost 20 different galleries to visit.
   Click to visit.
Waterbirds Photo Gallery - Updated

Several images have been added to our collection of water-loving birds.

To see the latest postings at the Inn as they are added, visit the news and updates page.

Contributed by...
As a community of nature enthusiasts exchanging ideas, stories, tips and images, we invite you to submit nature images to this part of our monthly newsletter. 

Once again we have several super contributions.

Steve Slayton, a frequent contributor to our newsletter, submitted this wonderful picture of a Red-shouldered Hawk.

Contributed image 1

Below, we have a fabulous photo of a coyote submitted by a new contributor, W C Durnil from Arizona.

Contributed image #2

We were also very pleased to receive this image from the North Carolina Native Plant Group for our Provincial and State wildflowers page. The Carolina Lily, Lilium michauxii, is North Carolina's state wildflower. The photograph was taken by M. B. Baumeister and the image is greatly appreciated.

Submitted image #3

Many thanks for submitting your super photographs!
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:

Insect of the Month  Flower of the Month  Bird of the Month
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

The Wandering Image
It's a snowy, winter's day down by the lagoon for this month's wandering image.

Wandering Image

The magnificent Great Blue Heron waits patiently in the snow.
Caption This! 
Each month we would like to invite you to submit a funny caption to go with one of the images in our "Caption This!" collection.  This month we have a Dark-eyed Junco looking for something.  Perhaps you could help with a caption?

Caption this image

Here are some ideas we came up with:

Number one: "Hey! I've been knocking for a long time!"
Number two: "We are all waiting out here."

If you have a suggestion that will make us chuckle, 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


Nature Notes

Click to visit our page of jigsaw puzzles featuring mammals.

Tips from the Inn
Occasionally we come up to a location where we find a rare plant that we just have to photograph, only to discover that it is too shady and dark for the camera to focus properly. Using a flash is a possibility, but that can sometimes spoil the image and it doesn't help the problem of focusing in the dark.

Tip of the month

Tip of the month image  Tip of the month image
Here is how we took this image of the moss Fontinalis neomexicana. We carry one of those small round lights called, DOT-it. We shone it on the moss and focussed the camera, and while leaving the light on the subject, snapped the image. The result was a pleasing image with subtle highlights of light.

This tip may help you in many other ways where that little bit of extra light is needed.
Joke of the Month ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
This guy had a millipede for a pet that he kept in a little box.

One day he asked it, "Would you like to go to out for a short walk with me?" but there was no answer from his new pet.

He waited a few minutes and then asked him again, "How about going out for an evening walk?" Again, there was no answer from his new friend.

He waited a few more minutes then he asked one more time, putting his face up against the millipede's house and shouting, "Hey! You in there! Do you want to go out for a walk!!!?"

An agitated little voice came shrieking from the box. "I heard you the first time...I'm putting on my shoes!!!"

Joke of the month photo

This is his friend, Harpaphe haydeniana, the yellow-spotted millipede. We have to use these images somewhere.

Notes from Around the Inn
Just a Reminder

Don't forget to make sure that there is water for the birds in the cold months of winter as it is very important at this time of the year. Here a Steller's Jay takes a drink during some chilly conditions.

Add a Google Gadget to Your iGoggle Homepage
You can now add a gadget to your iGoogle homepage featuring images from the our wessite.  It's colourful, free and easy.  For more information visit the Inn's Add a Google Gadget page.

Search the Inn
You may have noticed that we're adding search boxes on several pages.  These allow you to search the Inn quickly for a topic, information or image quickly.  Try them out!

Book Recommendations
We are placing more and more featured books on our various pages.  We receive a very small commission from anything purchased through the Inn on Amazon.ca or Amazon.com - not just recommended books - which all helps pay for our webspace and other expenses. So please, shop with us and support our project!

Pay-Pal Accepted - or a cheque!
We have had a few people inquire about donating to help with our costs. Apart from making a purchase through amazon.ca or amazon.com (see above) you can help out by making a credit card donation through Pay Pal.  Just click on the Pay Pal logo on the main home page or site map.  If you don't want to use a credit card and would prefer a contribution by cheque, simply e-mail us or write to address at the bottom of this newsletter and we'll be happy to send the details for that to you.  Thanks again for your support! 

Suggestions, Ideas and Feedback
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.

Next Issue
Our next issue will be in your Inbox during the first week of February. See you then!
Trivia Answer 
The New Zealand Kea Parrot, one of the few alpine parrots in the world, just loves to pull out all the rubber trim around bus roof vents and the windscreen wiper blades of cars!

Trivia Answer 

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!
Contact Information
Until next time, best wishes from your friends at the Dereila Nature Inn - a Cyber Nature Inn for Nature Lovers.