Welcome to Whispers
In Banff, Alberta, the rolling clouds passing by the mountains and the changing
colours create a lovely scene as we move into autumn.

Welcome to October's issue of Whispers, the newsletter of the Dereila Nature Inn - your cyber nature centre. 

We hope you enjoy our collection of trivia, photographs, tips and other features in this month's edition. 

Welcome to our new subscribers and to those that have been with us for a while - many thanks for supporting our project.  We really appreciate it.
Trivia Time
Here's this month's trivia question:

Which creature has eyes that can move up and down and side to side enabling it to see over obstacles?

You'll find the answer at the end of the newsletter.

What's This?  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Our monthly close-up snap from nature is sure to test your observation skills. 
Can you figure out what this is?

Close-ups In Nature

You'll find the answer below.
Be sure to visit our pages of Close-ups in Nature.
New Features at the Inn
Here are the newest additions to the Inn. Click on the images below to visit the pages.

Click to visit 
Walking in the Wild - The Birds

We have added six new pages in this series including the Marsh Wren (shown here) the mighty Trumpeter Swan and the amazing Greater Roadrunner.

Click to visit.
Beetles At-A-Glance

In this At-A-Glance Guide you can see some of the different bugs classified as beetles. 

Click to visit.
Hover Flies At-A-Glance

These interesting two-winged insects look like bees, but are harmless.

Click to visit.
The Oregon Coast 

Our latest addition to our series of wonderful places in the natural world takes you exploring the Oregon Coast.

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 photographs to this part of our monthly newsletter. 

Contributed image 1 

 While on vacation on Canada's west coast, Penny H. of Toronto took
these pictures of some lazy seals basking in the sun.

 Image 2

This fellow seems to be saying, "What exactly is going on?"

Contributed Image 

  Frequent contributor Janiskay, of Hollywood, FL submitted this
photograph of a Fulvous Whistling Duck, Dendrocygna bicolor.

Many thanks for your submissions. 
We really appreciate you taking the time to be part of our newsletter.

If you would like to see your image as part of our members' section,
simply send us an e-mail.

Monthly Selections 
Each month we select a bug, wildflower and bird of the month. Here are this month's choices: Bug - Migratory Grasshopper; Wildflower - Tall  Mountain Shooting Start; Bird - Burrowing Owl (with many thanks to Janiskay of Hollywood, FL who submitted the photograph).

Insect of the Month  Flower of the Month  Bird of the Month
Simply click on the images to visit the pages and you can check out the achives.
They're also just a click away:

Wildflower Archives | Bug Archives | Bird Archives

The Wandering Image
This month we are wandering down to the coast.

Wandering Image

This amazing creature is a Frosted Nudibranch, Dirona albolineata,
or more simply, a sea slug. It actually has powerful jaws and uses
them to feed on small snails and sea anemones. 

Wandering Image

In this picture you can see a bit more of its body.

To see more of the amazing diversity of sea life,
check out our At-A-Glance Guide to Marine Life.
Tips from the Inn 

Tip image

Obtaining a decent image of an insect on a flower can be tough. The flower may sway in the slightest of breezes, or there may be a shadow in the wrong place. One way to combat these problems is to give everything a helping hand.

Tip image

Gently hold the flower still, ease it out of the shadows and take the photograph. 
Snippets in Nature ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Snippets in Nature image

Way down in the valley, the Colorado River flows through Canyonlands National Park in southeastern Utah.  This is a fascinating place of geological wonders. Throughout time the river and weather have worked to carve interesting canyons and almost mystical formations of rocks.

Take a virtual visit to Canyonlands by clicking here.
Caption This! 
We've come up with a couple of caption ideas for this photograph of a Red-breasted Nuthatch on the open window ledge, but perhaps you could come up with even better ones.

Caption needed!

Number one: "This looks tasty, but where's the peanut butter?"
Number two: "Don't let me disturb you, I've just popped by for a quick snack."

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.

Behind the Name image

Fireweed, Epilobium angustifolium, is a very comon tall perennial found in numerous places in the Northern Hemisphere.  Some people call it Rosebay Willowherb but by using its scientific name everyone knows exactly which plant you're talking about.

Its genus name, Epilobium, comes from the Greek epi meaning "upon" and lobos which means "a pod," referring to the fact that the plant's petals and sepals are located on the end of a long seed pod.  Angusti is Latin for "narrow" and foli means "leaf," so the species name angustifolium means "narrow-leafed."
Joke of the Month ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The professional football team had just finished their daily practice session when a large wild turkey came strutting onto the field. While the players gazed in amazement, the turkey walked up to the head coach and demanded a tryout.

Everyone stared in silence as the turkey caught pass after pass and ran right through the defensive line.

When the turkey returned to the sidelines the coach shouted, "You're terrific!!! Sign up for the season and I'll see to it that you get a huge bonus."

"Forget the bonus," the turkey said. "All I want to know is, does the season go past Thanksgiving Day?"

Joke of the Month

This turkey doesn't seem to think much of that joke.
Notes from Around the Inn
A Friendly Reminder
Don't forget to keep those water dishes full of clean, fresh water even during frosty and snowy times. Many birds like a bath even on the coldest days.

Friendly Reminder 

This Varied Thrush dropped by for a drink on one of the first snowy days of the season. 

Celebrate Autumn!

Celebrate Autumn

We invite you to celebrate autumn by submiting nature images of autumn from your part of the world!  We'll asemble them and create a special page on the Dereila Nature Inn website, just as we did for Earth Day in April.  For more information click on the montage above.  Deadline for submissions is October 15, 2009.  We hope to hear from you soon!

We were very pleased to receive an e-mail from Kem Luther regarding an error on our Reeds and Sedges page, which has now been corrected.  We appreciate hearing from readers and visitors to the Inn. If you spot any errors, please let us know.

Images Wanted!
We are still looking for some photographs to help us complete our pages of state/provincial birds, flowers, butterflies and insects.  If you think you might be able to help, this is what we still need:

Insects - visit the page

AK - Four Spotted Skimmer Dragonfly; AZ - Two Tailed Butterfly;  CA - California Dogface Butterfly; CO - Colorado Hairstreak Butterfly; MD - Baltimore Checkerspot Butterfly; NM - Tarantula Hawk Wasp; OR - Oregon Swallowtail Butterfly
Flowers - visit the page
NWT - Mountain Avens; NU - Purple Saxifrage; SK - Western Red Lily; MT - Bitterroot

Birds - visit the page
NWT - Gyrfalcon; CO - Lark Bunting; DE - Blue Hen Chicken; RI - Rhode Island Red Hen

State Butterflies - visit the page
AZ - Two Tailed Butterfly; AR - Diana Fritillary Butterfly; NH - Karner Blue Butterfly
NM - Sandia Hairstreak; TN - Zebra Swallowtail; WY - Sheridan's Green Hairstreak 

If you can help with any of these image, please send us an e-mail.  Many thanks!
Past Issues
We upload past issues of Whispers as new ones are issued.  You can view them all with a simple click here
Nature Notes

To see more desert flowers, click here.

Do You Know... 
Do you know what cut these leaves so carefully and neatly? You may have spotted something like this in your own garden.

Did you know image

They are made by the Leafcutting Bee.  These bees belong to the insect family Megachilidae.  The females use they sharp mandibles to cut pieces of leaves and use them to line their nests.

Do you know image 2
 This particular Leafcutter Bee belongs to the genus Coelioxys. There are literally hundreds of species around the world.

Trivia Answer 
This to this month's trivia question is: the common Black Slug, Arion ater.

Trivia Answer 

The Black Slug's eyes are on the tips of the longest pair of its four tentacles  The tentacles act like a periscope, stretching up and moving in all directions enabling the slug to see over obstaces. They can also be instantly retracted.
What's This? 
Here's the answer to this month's mystery photograph: 

What's this answer

It's a close-up of part of the wing of an Orange Underwing Moth.  Did you come close?
We thought the name Whispers well-represented the things we love so much in natural world around us: the sounds and changes in nature carried by the wind; the subtle passing of the seasons; the calming serenity of a wildflower garden and the gentle quietness of the forest.  Next time you're in a special place in nature, listen to the whispers.
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!
Watch for the next issue in your mailbox during the first week of November. 

Until next time, best wishes from your friends at the Dereila Nature Inn - the Cyber Nature Centre for Nature Lovers.