Welcome to March's issue of the Dereila Nature Inn newsletter.
As we head into spring we are greeted by a group of the prettiest wildflowers. They bear a pair of flowers on each stem and cry out to be called Twinflowers, Linnaea boreealis.
Greetings everybody and welcome to another edition of Whispers, the newsletter of the Dereila Nature Inn - your cyber nature centre where we celebrate nature and photography every month with trivia, tips and site updates.
Thank you for supporting your project by subscribing to the newsletter and spreading the word about the site.
We hope that this newsletter finds you well and enjoying nature and the changing of the seasons wherever you may be.
Here's this month's trivia question: Which insect never sleeps?
You'll find the answer at the end of the newsletter.
Here's another zoomed in and cropped close up. Do you have any idea what this may be? (We think this is a pretty easy one.)
You'll find the answer below. 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 features at the Inn. We've worked on updating our All Things Natural Restaurant section with some more tips on how to attract birds to your garden or deck and we've also made an new interactive crossword for you to try.
We hope you'll enjoy the new additions.
Clicking on the images will take you straight to the page.
The Importance of Water
Water can really help attract birds and in this article you'll see how easy it is to set up some water baths and dishes and the difference they'll make.
This simple project is will be a welcome addition to your bird feeding area.
Protecting Your Hummingbird Feeder
If you live in an area that gets snow and hummingbirds at the same time, you might want to check out this easy project.
Creating an Inviting Environment
Here are some tips and ideas to help enhance your bird feeding station and hopefully attract a variety of visitors.
Wildflowers of North America Crossword
If you think you know your North American wildflowers, we invite you to try this challenge!
To see the latest postings at the Inn as they are added visit the news and updates page
Each month we invite you to submit nature photographs to this part of our newsletter. We start with a couple of great shots sent in by Julie C. of Van Etten, NY.
On the left is a striking Lunar Moth and on the right a very easily recognized skunk.
John F. from Nashville TN also sent in a couple of pictures for us to enjoy. On the left a close-up of some Glade Mushrooms and on the right a photo of weathered bedrock.
Our thanks go out to Julie and John!
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!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Each month we select a bug, wildflower and bird of the month. Here are this month's choices: Bug - March Fly; Wildflower - Prince's-pine; Bird - Golden-crowned Sparrow.
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
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Our wondering image this month shows us how different organisms thrive in different environments.
This is an old weather-beaten railing. One side faces south and receives more sunshine. It's covered with lichens. Meanwhile, the north-facing surface receives much less sunshine is covered with moss. This clearly indicates the preferences of these plants and in so doing creates an interesting image.
Snippets in Nature ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
One of the most well-known rock formations in Arches National Park in Utah is Balanced Rock. This spectacular feature looks as if it might topple at anytime - and one day it will, for that's the nature of all the landscape of this most unique place.
The total height of the formation is almost 130 ft/39 m - about the height of a 13-storey building. The balanced rock itself measures over 50 ft/15 m.
You can take a virtual tour at the Inn of Arches National Park by clicking here.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Once again we're looking for some interesting and humourous captions to go with this month's selection. We've given you a couple of suggestions.
Number one: "This time don't miss."
Number two: "Am I close enough? Am I? Am I?"
If you have any suggestions for additional funny captions, 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
|Behind the Name
In this section we examine the meanings behind scientific names.
The White-throated Sparrow has the scientific name, Zonotrichia albicollis. The genus name, Zonotrichia comes from the Greek words zono - meaning band or zone - and trichia = hair. So we have a word which means "hair bands" which is in reference to the hair-like bands or regions of colour on the bird's head.
The species name, albicollis, is made up of albi = white and collis = neck or throat, in clear reference to the sparrow's very evident white markings on its throat.
Joke of the Month ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
A turtle was walking down an alley in New York when he was mugged by a gang of snails. A police detective came to investigate and asked the turtle if he could explain what happened.
The turtle looked at the detective and with a confused look he replied, "I don't know. It all happened so fast!"
"It left me exhausted!"
|Notes from Around the Inn
Tip from the Inn
With a few pieces of wood and a store-bought suet cake holder, you can make a simple feeder. Try to make the back board long as this helps woodpeckers balance with their tails.
A small piece of wood on the top provides further protection for the food from wet weather. You can use a store-bought suet block, or a home-made one (click here for some of our recipes
) or simply a piece of suet from the butcher shop.
Attach the suet cage to the board and hang in a convenient place. This holder has the door opening on the side to which allows it to be attached as high as possible. The nuthaches and chickadees quickly discovered their new source of food.
Here a Downy Woodpecker takes advantage of the longer part of the board.
A Little Reminder
As nesting season draws closer you can help many birds by supplying some nesting material. The fluffy seed heads of bullrushes are greatly appreciated by many birds.
An Anna's Hummingbird and a Pine Siskin help themselves to some of the goodies.
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're constantly working on new features at the Inn. Coming up in the next while are some features on moses and more crosswords to enjoy and more fact pages featuring trees.
We upload past issues of Whispers
as new ones are issued. You can view them all with a simple click here
|Did You Know...
Did you know that inside the spittle found on many plants in the springtime is a small insect?
One such insect is the Meadow Spittlebug, Philaenus spumarius.
Did you also know that they shed a sort of skin, as shown here? They molt in the chamber of foam that they made. Eventually this dries up and falls away.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The insect that never sleeps is the ant, a very busy creature indeed.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~This month's mystery is solved:
Our photo was a close-up of the nest of the European Paper Wasp, Polistes dominula
A pretty easy one this month!
See lots of pictures of wasps and bees in our At-A-Glance page.
Spread the Word ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Thanks for reading! 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!
Until next time, best wishes from your friends at the Dereila Nature Inn
- the Cyber Nature Centre for Nature Lovers. Watch for the next issue of Whispers
in your inbox during the first week of April.