Welcome to January's issue of the Dereila Nature Inn newsletter.
Welcome to Whispers

A rather wet Bald Eagle in the temperate rainforest greets you to the New Year.
Hello everyone and happy 2011!  Welcome to the latest issue of Whispers, the newsletter of the Dereila Nature Inn - your virtual nature centre.  It is hard to believe that we are starting the 5th year of the Inn.  What started as a simple concept for a nature website has grown and grown beyond our expecations. 

To get the year started, we've got a couple of new sections in this month's issue: State and Provincial Emblems and Great Rivers.  We hope you'll enjoy them along with the usual photos, tips and trivia we have every month.

We are very happy with all of the support and ideas we have received over the years.  Many thanks to you for subscribing and being part of our community! 
Trivia Time
What colour blood do insects have?
You'll find the answer at the end of the newsletter.
What's This?
Do you know what this cropped close-up photograph is? You'll find the answer at the end of the newsletter.

Close-ups In Nature

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. 
Click to visit 

Fungi At-A-Glance Update
We have added 46 new images to this section.


Click to visit

Tales from the Deck: Birds and Berries
A large variety of birds dropped by to enjoy some berries that we stashed away in the autumn.


Click to visit

Photo Tip: Attracting Birds for Photographs
Using some simple natural props and food as a bribe, we have a few ideas to help attract birds to your feeding station and hopefully get a few good photographs.

Find the latest additions on the news/updates page.
Contributed by...
We invite you to submit nature photographs to this section.  We have a great start to the New Year with photos from Pakistan, England, Scotland and the United States.

Contibuted image

Eileen of West Lothian, Scotland sent in this terrific
photograph of an endangered watervole, Arvicola terrestris.

Contributed Image

Shahbaz Hasan of Karachi, Pakistan sent us this Butterfly Pea Flower,
Clitoria ternatea. We are so pleased to receive something from so far away!

This White-faced Darner, Leucorrhinia dubia, from Duncan Aitken of Chesire, England, completes a great variety of subjects from our friends overseas.

Providence Canyon, Georgia was submitted by Jonathan Schnurr, Suwanee, GA.

We are always thrilled to receive your wonderful photographs.
Many thanks to Eileen, Shahbaz, Duncan and Jonathan for your contributions.
   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 - Bombus bifarius; Wildflower - Blueweed; Bird - American Goldfinch.

Bug of the Month - click to visit  Wildflower of the Month - click to visit  Bird of the Month -  click to visit
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
Wandering Image

A colony of tent caterpillars has built its tent in the twigs of a tree. The tent is important in helping the caterpillars create their ideal temperature.  They can bask in the sun or hide in the shade of the tent according to time of day and location of the tent.

Caption This! 
Here's our monthly image ready for your humourous caption along with a couple of our ideas.

Caption needed!

Number one: "Is this where the guitar goes?"
Number two: "You don't keep your lunch in here do you?"

If this 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

Snippets in Nature

Pete Eddy from Denbigh, Wales sent in this month's scenic snippet in nature.  Pete explained that slate was mined and transported down this picturesque valley to Porthmadog for export.

As we begin 2011 we invite you to send us pictures of your favourite places in nature for this section.  It could be of a favourite pond, waterfall or forest trail.  Perhaps it's a valley, mountain, coastal scene or special national park holiday destination.  Thanks to Pete we have a great image with which to start off the year!

If you think you have a suitable photograph please send us an e-mail along with a brief explanation.  We look forward to your ideas and submissions.

Behind the Name 
Behind the Name

Mountain or Alpine Forget-Me-Not, Myosotis alpestris, is the state flower of Alaska.  Myositis comes from the Greek mus meaning "mouse" and ous meaning "ear" which is in reference to the leaves of the plant.  Alpestris refers to the fact that it's an alpine flower.

There are many stories behind the common name but most seem to refer to a young man who wandered by a river gathering flowers for his beloved.  He slipped and fell in the fast-moving waters.  As he did he threw the flowers he had gathered and called out "Forget me not!"

Source: Alpine Beauty by N.L. Jennings, Rocky Mountain Books.

Joke of the Month ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
One day a snake headed in to town for a little excitement.  He spotted a bar and slithered across the street, through the door and managed to climb up onto the bar stool.

"Evening," he said to the bartender.
"Evening," said the bartender. "Sorry, but I can't serve you,"

"Why not?" asked the snake.

"You can't hold your liquor."

Joke of the Month

"Now that's a good joke!"
Notes, News and Tips from Around the Inn
Find us on Facebook We invite you to post comments, suggestions and particpate in discussions on our new Facebook page.  To visit, just click on the logo or here.

A Little Reminder
Tips from the Inn

If you live in an area that has severe winter weather and hummingbirds, you might want to ensure a reliable source of food for the hummers by having two or even four feeders.  Take one or two in to the house at night and replace the other one (or two) in the morning with fresh and unfrozen food.
Tips from the Inn
If you have any Christmas wreaths or garlands left you might want to make use of them and even create your own Christmas cards for next year.


Hang your garlands or wreath outside.  You can attract birds by adding some hidden berries.  In this picture there is a likely spot for birds to perch.  A few berries are placed here.
An American Robin pops by to enjoy the food.
The berries were collected in the fall and frozen until now. 

It doesn't take much effort to take the photograph and create a great Christmas card!
Try attracting different birds to your wreath by using different foods.

Picture of the Week
Click to visit 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
We upload past issues of Whispers as new ones are issued.  You can view them all with a simple click here 
Great Rivers 

Great Rivers

The Rio Grande flows over 1,800 miles/3,000 km from the Colorado Rocky Mountains, through New Mexico and meanders down to the Gulf of Mexico.  It forms the US/Mexico border for a large portion of its journey. Over the years, the river has created a deep canyon as shown in this image which was taken near Taos, New Mexico.
Did You Know... 

Did you know image

Did you know that the concept for Velcro came from observing the
burs of the Common Burdock and how they cling onto clothing?
State and Provincial Symbols 

State/provincial Emblem Image 

The Pasque Flower, Pulsatilla hirsutissima, is the state flower of South Dakota. 
It is one of the first flowers to bloom in the spring time on the prarires. 

You will find more in our collection of state and provincial flowers by clicking here.
Trivia Answer 

Trivia Answer 

The blood of insects is actually colourless. 
The greenish or yellowish colours you might see come from the pigments
of the plants and foods that the bug eats.
What's This? 

What's this answer

This month's mystery picture is a Panter Cap, Amanita pantherina.

The scale bits are actually the remains of a structure called the universal veil which encloses the mushroom when it's young.  You can read more about this and other mushroom features in our page called Understanding Mushrooms.
Nature Notes

Click here to visit our section on fungi.

Spread the Word ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Thanks for reading this month's newsletter. 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!

Watch for the next issue of Whispers in your inbox during the first week of February.  See you then!