Welcome to 2014 and January's issue of the Dereila Nature Inn newsletter.
Graceful Mute Swans in flight help us bring in the New Year.
Happy New Year everyone, and welcome to the latest issue of Whispers, the newsletter of the Dereila Nature Inn - your virtual nature centre. 

We start the year off with lots of nature photos, some trivia, a caribou joke, information about upcoming nature celebrations and some tips for birders.
We hope you have had a joyful holiday season and we send warm wishes to you all for a prosperous and peaceful 2014.

Join us on Facebook
Please join us on Facebook where we welcome your comments and feedback.
Trivia Time
What is the official national tree 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?

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. 
Walk in the Wild - The Birds
We have added two more pages to our series of bird photo and info pages.
 Click to visit   
Find the latest additions posted at the Inn on the news/updates page.
Contributed by...
We hope you enjoy the fantastic nature photographs that have been submitted to us.
This very friendly-looking, American Alligator comes to us
from Judy Howle, Columbus, Mississippi.

A Red-headed Woodpecker at its hole, from Herman Veenendall, St. Mary's, Ontario.


This European Goldfinch comes to us from Eileen of West Lothian, Scotland.


This Rough-legged Hawk was spotted by Rosemary O'Connell, Ottawa, Ontario.


This fragrant Brugmansia was taken in sunny Hawaii by Albertina Pianarosa, Ottawa, Ontario.  

Thank you to everyone for taking the time to send in
these wonderful photographs for us to all 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 - San Francisco Lacewing; Wildflower - Common Chickweed; Bird - Sharp-tailed Sandpiper

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



Birds need a source of clean, fresh water all year round.  This month's featured page is called Water Tales - Birds and Water and features dozens of images of all kinds of birds enjoying their water.  You can visit the page by clicking here.


 The Wandering Image
In this month's wanderings we head out in the snow.
These dried-up Mountain Ash berries will be a source of food for birds
in the cold weather, but for now they are draped in a winter's cloak. 
Caption This! 
What do you think would be a great caption for this photo of these two Red-breasted Nuthatches? As usual, we've given you a couple of inspirational ideas.

Number one: "Are you sure you're one of us, a nuthatch?"
Number two: "I think you need a bit of a brush up." 

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



Frank and Sandra Horvath or Grimsby, Ontario, take us to Georgian Bay near Tobermory, Ontario. Georgian Bay is a large bay of Lake Huron, one of North America's Great Lakes.
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 
Field Mint has the scientific name of Mentha arvensis.  The genus name, Mentha, is in honour of Minthe, a nymph of Greek mythology who was obsessed with Pluto, the ruler of the underworld, and his golden chariot. Pluto's wife, Persephone, was jealous of Minthe and changed her into a mint plant.

The species name, arvenis, means "of cultivated fields."
Joke of the Month ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
       It was autumn and a young caribou asked his elder what kind of winter it was going to be.  Unfortunately, the elder had never been taught the old secrets and didn't know. Nevertheless, he said that the winter was probably going to be cold and they should collect wood.
       Suddenly he had a great idea and phoned the Weather Service. 
       "Is the winter going to be cold?" he asked.
       "It looks like it's going to be," the weather reporter responded.
       So the elder caribou told the entire caribou herd to gather more wood.
       "Collect every scrap of wood you can find," he told them all.
       Two weeks later the elder called the weather service again.
       "Are you absolutely sure that the winter is going to be cold?" he asked.
       "Absolutely," the man replied.
       "How can you be so sure?" the caribou asked.
       The weatherman replied, "Because the caribou are collecting wood like crazy."


"Some of these bits of wood are awkward."
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.

A Little Reminder
We would like to remind all you bird lovers just how important water is for birds, even in the winter. Keep those dishes full of fresh, clean water.

Tips from the Inn
 Here's a simple tip to help you get some good bird photos. Simply secure a small branch or twig to your bird feeding station.  One with berries on it will add a bit of colour. You might have to remove a leaf or two to make room for a small bird.
  Spread a little peanut butter on the underside of the leaves, out of sight if possible.
The birds soon find this new source of tempting food.

  Then with a bit of patience and luck you'll get a bird posing
prettily on the twig, just like this Ruby-crowned Kinglet!

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



 Coming up on February 2 is World Wetlands Day.  
Click here for information. 

Now is also a good time to start planning for the annual Great Backyard Bird Count
which runs from February 14 - 17 this year. Click here for more details.

Did You Know... 

 Did you know that the United Kingdom has a National Nest Box Week?
It starts on February 14 and its aim is to encourage everyone to put up nest boxes in their local area. You can find out more about this special time by clicking here

Emblems and Symbols of the World 


The Oregon Grape (which isn't a grape at all) is the state flower of the beautiful west coast state of Oregon. To see our collection of provincial and state wildflowers, click here.

Trivia Answer 


The oak tree is the national symbol of the United States.  There are  over 60 species of oak trees in the United States.  It was chosen in 2004 and represents the strength of the country. It joins more familiar symbols of the nation such as the Bald Eagle (national bird) and the rose (national flower). 

What's This? 


This month's mystery photo is an interesting fungi which grows on
the sides of trees.  It's called Artist's Conk, Ganoderma applanatum.
Nature Notes


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 February. See you then!