Welcome to January's issue of the Dereila Nature Inn newsletter.
On a rather chilly day, a Varied Thrush bids you a warm welcome.
Happy New Year everybody and welcome once again to Whispers
, the newsletter of the Dereila Nature Inn
- your virtual nature centre.
We find it hard to believe that 6 years ago this month we were putting the finishing touches on the first version of the Dereila Nature Inn website. Since then we've put in endless hours building the site into what we think is one of the best celebrations of nature and photography you'll find on the Internet.
We hope you'll enjoy this month's newsletter and we thank you for subscribing and supporting our project with your encouraging comments.
Please join us on Facebook where we welcome your comments and feedback.
Which bird did Benjamin Franklin think would make a fine choice as the national bird of the United States?
You'll find the answer at the end of the newsletter.
What's This? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Do you know what this cropped close-up photograph is? Put your brain to the test before checking the answer at the end of the newsletter.
|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 Cacti
Admire the variety of amazing North American cacti in this guide.
Frying Pan Water Dish
In this simple project you can provide a place for the birds to bathe and drink using an old frying pan as a dish.
Every month we are delighted with the photographs submitted to us for this section. Once again we have a terrific selection.
Great Blue Heron, from Judy Howle, Columbus, Mississippi.
Anemone Fish, taken by Rob Walker of Victoria, British Columbia,
while diving in the Red Sea.
What a rare sight! A Grizzly Bear nursing its young,
by Betty Davison of Port Moody, British Columbia.
A pair of Gray Catbirds on a twig, by Lee Anne Stark from Ontario.
This beautiful Red-headed Woodpecker was spotted at Rondeau
Park, Ontario by Herman Veenendall of St. Mary's, Ontario.
This Snowy Egret was taken on the River Cuale in Puerto Vallarta,
Mexico, by Penny Hershaw of Toronto, Ontario.
What amazing photographs for us all to enjoy!
Thank you once again to Penny, Herman, Lee Anne, Mary, Rob and Judy.
We really appreciate 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.
Here are this month's choices:
Bug - Empress Leilia Butterfly; Wildflower - Candystick; Bird - Eurasian Wigeon
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
OUR MONTHLY PAGE
One of the key ways to identify birds is by comparing their eyes. On this page you'll see a variety of the colours and sizes of bird eyes. There's also a little quiz to do after checking out the photographs. You can visit the page by clicking here.
|The Wandering Image
This month we wandered down by the marsh and found a friendly resident.
The Marsh Wren, Cistothorus palustris
, is one of nine species of wrens
found in North America. Wrens are noted for their long slender bills,
small heads and habit of holding their tails up high.
What do you think these two seagulls are saying? We welcome your caption ideas and have supplied two to get you thinking.
Number one: "Can I have it when you're finished?"
Number two: "When do I get a go? I saw it first!"
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
Capitol Reef National Park is a place of fascinating rock colours and formations in south-central Utah. One such formation is this, the Fluted Wall, which is a heavily eroded, colourful cliff. For more images and information on this amazing place, take our virtual tour
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
The Shooting Star, Dodecatheon pulchellum, is a gorgeous little flower of western North America. Its genus name, Dodecatheon, comes from two Greek words: dodeka which means "twelve" and theos, meaning "gods," suggesting that 12 gods protect this plant. The species name, pulchellum, is "beautiful" in Latin, which it truly is.
Joke of the Month ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
A bear was working on a building site near the forest and went for his tea break. He left behind is pick and shovel. Upon returning, he noticed that his pick has been stolen. Very angry, the bear stormed off to the foreman to report the theft.
The foreman just grinned at the bear and said, "Oh, I forget to tell you. ♪♪ Today's the day the teddy bears have their picks nicked ♪♪ !"
"Nobody told me there was going to be a picnic."
This bit of humour was sent to us by Tony D. of Toronto, Ontario.
|Notes, News and Tips from Around the Inn
We invite you to post comments on our Facebook page. To visit, just click on the logo or here
A Little Reminder
It's not too early to start to think about next Christmas!
If you still have your wreath, hang it up outside, sit back and wait with your camera.
Hopefully the birds you have been feeding all winter will come to investigate!
After a little bit of cropping, you have next year's Christmas card!
Tips from the Inn
If you're hanging suet outside, be sure to use proper suet cages. They are rather cheap and last a long time. Some people use net bags that onions are sometimes purchased in. Sadly, we've heard stories of birds getting their feet tangled in the netting, so please avoid them. Don't forget, we have lots of recipes and bird feeder ideas right here.
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
We upload past issues of Whispers
as new ones are issued. You can view them all with a simple click here
World Wetlands Day is celebrated every year on February 2.
This is a time to remember and respect the importance of wetlands everywhere.
Click here more information.
The Great Backyard Bird Count is February 15-18.
Here's another chance to take part in an important activity and celebrate
the importance birds and the pleasure they bring into our lives.
Click here for details of this event and to get involved.
|Did You Know...
Did you know that in ancient Roman times, oyster shells were used as ballots by elders to vote on whether or not one was banished from the village? Cup up meant you could stay in town, cup down meant you were on your way - in fact you were ostracized.
|State and Provincial Symbols
The state flower of Kentucky is the Goldenrod.
Have a look at the colourful variety of flowers that have
been chosen by the provinces and states by clicking here.
Benjamin Franklin thought the Wild Turkey would be a fine national bird for
the United States. However, the Bald Eagle was chosen in 1782.
Our mystery photograph is an English Plantain, Plantago lanceolata.
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. We hope that 2013 brings you many wonderful, happy times and lots of wonderful encounters with nature.
Watch for the next issue of Whispers in your inbox during the first week of February. See you then!