Welcome to Whispers
The fluffy clouds of summer roll by as we prepare to move into a new season.

Welcome to September's issue of Whispers, the newsletter of the Dereila Nature Inn - your cyber nature centre.  After a bit of a break for summer, it's great to be back again in your inbox.

We hope that you've had a most inspiring summer filled with wonderful encounters in nature.  Once again our newsletter has a little of something for everyone as we celebrate the world of nature.

Thanks so much for subscribing and supporting our project!
Trivia Time
Here's this month's trivia question:

Which common decorative plant is considered one of the most poisonous in the world?

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

What's This?  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
What do you think this rather bizarre close-up image 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 California Ground Squirrel

This is the latest in our series of information pages featuring mammals


Click to visit.
Moths At-A-Glance

Moths exhibit an amazing variety of shapes, colours and designs as you'll see in this At-A-Glance Guide. 

Click to visit.
Butterflies At-A-Glance

These dazzling beauties have been organised into a handy guide according to family group.

Click to visit.
Mammals At-A-Glance

This At-A-Glance Guide features images of critters large and small that are part of the Inn's collection of photographs.

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  Image 2

Jackie Olenik, from Welland, ON submitted the two photos above.  The one on the left is called "Chipmunk" and the second is "Hawk in the City."

Contributed Image  Contibuted image

  Janiskay, of Hollywood, FL sent in these two super photos of moths.  On the left, with a super name, is a Polka-dot Wasp Moth, Syntomeida epilais, and the other is a White-tipped Black Moth, Melanchroia chephise.

Thank-you so much for sending in your pictures!  We really appreciate you taking the time to do so and being 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 - Green Bottle Fly; Wildflower - Great Burnet; Bird - Acorn Woodpecker.

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 for our wandering image we're up in the mountains.

Wandering Image

This Mountain Goat, Oreamnos americanus, was spotted in early summer while it was still shedding its thick winter coat.  Mountain Goats have an amazing ability to traverse the steepest and most dangerous of slopes.  Read more about them on our Walking in the Wild page. 
Snippets in Nature ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Snippets in Nature image

Autumn comes very early in the mountains.  Here in Alberta's Kananaskis Country west of Calgary, the aspens along King Creek are a lovely yellow.  Standing in the background is Mount Blane (2993m/9820 ft). 

You can see more pictures and take the Inn's virtual visit to Kananaskis by clicking here.
Caption This! 
Once again we have selected an image that is waiting for a funny caption. We've come up with a couple of possibilities but know you can probably do better!

Caption needed!

Number one: "Just a minute.  Can I possibly get a word in?"
Number two: "Yes, dear. Yes, dear, Very good, dear."

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

Vari-leaved Collomia, Collomia heterophylla, is an annual plant found on parts of the west coast of North America.  It's a member of the Phlox family.

The Collomia part of its scientific name (which, as you probably noticed, is the same as its common name) comes from the Greek word "kolla" which means "gluton" refering to the fact that the plants seeds are sticky when wet.  The second part of the name, heterophylla, basically means "different or varied leaved."  This helps explain the connection between its names and helps identify it from other species of collomias.
Joke of the Month ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
A man walking through the mountains came across a very small guy standing over a dead mountain lion, the biggest he'd ever seen.

"Did you kill that mountain lion?" asked the man.

"Yeah, I killed it with my club," the other replied.

"Wow, you must have a big club," he said.

"Yep, there's about forty of us."

Joke of the Month

"Well, you'd better run!  He's not dead!"
Notes from Around the Inn
A Friendly Reminder
At this time of the year, as the berries ripen on the trees and shrubs, it is the time to pick a few bunches to save for the birds when the weather turns cold. Put them in the freezer for a few months.

Friendly Reminder 

A friendly reminder

When the weather changes, the berries are all gone and food is scarce, you can tie a wire around a bunch of the ones you've stored and then hang them from a branch in the garden.  The birds will thank you!

Picture of the Week
For the past eight months we have been adding a new nature-themed photograph every week to the Inn which means we have posted lots of images featuring wildlife, scenery and flowers.  Click on the collage below to see the entire selection.

Picture of the Week Collection  

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 learn more about fungi, click here.

Did You Know? 
Did you know why the jellyfish Cyanea capillata was given the common name Lion's Mane Jellyfish. It doesn't look too fierce when washed up on the beach!

Did you know image

However, when it's free and swimming in the water, its appearance changes and the reason for the name becomes more evident. 

Did you know image 2

Trivia Answer 
All parts of the Oleander plant are toxic.

Trivia Answer 

 The seeds are the most toxic followed by the leaves and flowers.  Even the stems are toxic!
What's This? 
Here's the answer: 

What's this answer

It's a rather odd burl on a tree.  That was a tough one this month, so we don't expect too many correct answers!

Here's another image of a similar thing:

What's this answer

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 October. 

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