ON  FLORA  &  FAUNA

book-with-pressed-flora-and-fauna

I consider myself a naturalist.

Okay, maybe I’m not a card-carrying licensed scientist, but I do love all things nature!

With that said…  let’s get a few milestones out of the way.  No, let’s get them out in the open!

Where kids can see them over and over again!!

autumn mushroom scene

A few milestones…

The Sierra Club

125 years old

~1892~

Founded 125 years ago, the Sierra Club celebrates an anniversary and it’s founder,

legendary conservationist John Muir!

“The Sierra Club is our nation’s largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization.”

You cannot go wrong in supporting this organization!!

Their motto~  Explore, Enjoy and Protect the Planet!

There is a wealth of information embedded in the Sierra Club.

https://sierraclub.org/about

You could read for months about all they have done, and all they want to do for our nation, world and planet as we know it.

John Muir was an extraordinary forward-thinking Scotsman who changed our landscape and saved

our country from a certain devastation that had already begun.

Thanks to this wise Naturalist and his example of living, thinking and observing~ we now have millions of acres to explore, enjoy and protect for the future.

We owe him so much!

You can read more about John Muir on the Sierra Club’s website.

https://vault.sierraclub.org/john_muir_exhibit/default.aspx

If you ever wanted to support a worthy organization, that gets good things done…  this is the one!!

HAPPY 125 th ANNIVERSARY !!

Thanks again John Muir!  You’re my hero!!

Muir quote:

“Any fool can destroy trees.

They cannot run away; and if they could, they would still be destroyed — chased and hunted down as long as fun or a dollar could be got out of their bark hides, branching horns, or magnificent bole backbones.

Few that fell trees plant them; nor would planting avail much towards getting back anything like the noble primeval forests.

It took more than three thousand years to make some of the trees in these Western woods — trees that are still standing in perfect strength and beauty, waving and singing in the mighty forests of the Sierra.

Through all the wonderful, eventful centuries … God has cared for these trees, saved them from drought, disease, avalanches, and a thousand straining, leveling tempests and floods; but he cannot save them from fools — only Uncle Sam can do that.”
(1901)

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National Park Service Centennial

Celebrating 100 Years Of Service

On August 25, 2016, the National Park Service turned 100!

‘The centennial celebrates the achievements of the past 100 years, but it is really about the future. It’s about kicking off a second century of stewardship for America’s national parks and for communities across the nation. Most importantly, it’s about inviting you to join us. We all have a role to play in ensuring that future generations of Americans will be able to enjoy the thrilling experiences of nature and wildlife, history and culture, and the spirit of adventure that is waiting at every national park.’

If you can’t go there in person, get yourself online and check it out!

nationalparks.org     and     nps.gov

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TURNING 172 YEARS OLD

…and still adding on!

[My personal favorite!]

SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTE

Washington, D.C.

Click on the vintage pic for a colorized view.

Cool!

“August 10th, 171 years ago the Smithsonian was born.

It took the fortune of a generous British benefactor, an act of Congress and a signature by

President James K. Polk to bring the Smithsonian to America.

This year, to celebrate the Smithsonian’s birthday, we took a look through our archives to get a sense of how the Institution has changed over the years. Take a trip with us down memory lane and explore the history of the Institution that brings our shared history to life for thousands of people every day.”

A Spring view of the Smithsonian ~ Wow!

smithsonian

The Smithsonian is free to the public!  That’s you and me!!  Free!!  Did I mention?  It’s FREE?!!

smithsonian-sunset

Smithsonian Castle Sunset

Wow!!

I want to work there, too!

  The light is so gorgeous around the National Mall in the evenings.  You’ve got to go!!

Check it out for yourself in person, or at:       si.edu

Just looking through the website can even take days and days!  It’s pretty awesome.

smithsonian-logo

pandas-at-natl-zoo

Our National Zoo in Washington, D.C. is also part of the Smithsonian Institute.

Since I introduced our students to the website some years ago, they still love watching the animal webcams.

We all watched as baby pandas and tiny eaglets were born right before our very eyes.

It is life-changing for children to see…  adults, too!

There are 3 main webcams: Panda-cam, Lion-cam, Elephant-cam

Here is the website for our national zoo:       nationalzoo.si.edu

It is also FREE!

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American Eagle Foundation

eagles.org

eagle-mountain-sanctuary

 [ Nesting season is over during the summer – will update you when the eagles have landed for 2018 ]

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THE EAGLES HAVE LANDED!!

The D.C. Eagle-Cam is now up and running!

2018

At least, off and on!

Weather has been pretty bad in the DC area and even though our eagles are back and doing nestorations the camera seems to be having a bit of trouble with the many storms blowing through.

The camera was up, then down.

January was touchy, but the cameras were fixed in February.

There are no eggs as of March 7th, but surely any day now!

I think the bad weather has played a big part in that.

Regardless, please check it out and be amazed at the gifts of nature God gives us everyday.

ENJOY!!

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APRIL 2018

TWO EGGS WERE LAID DURING OUR SPRING & EASTER BREAK!!!

CAN’T WAIT!

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NOTES FROM 2017 BELOW

January 2017

*****

There was no sign of our eagle pair [Jan. 1], but they have finally arrived back at their nest [ Jan. 4].

They are ever so slowly sprucing it up with new branches and straw.  Nestorations!  No eggs yet!

Something new this year was added…  SOUND!

You can now hear everything that’s going on around the nest.  Whether it be songbirds, squirrel chatter, the piercing cry of the eagles themselves, or [ugh!] traffic noise and sirens, you won’t want to stop listening in on them.

The weather has been cold and rainy, but wait until the snow showers begin.

To watch these patient, majestic creatures sitting in a nest totally covered in snow is as awe-inspiring as it gets!

Don’t miss it!

Here’s a few pics I snapped online…

They’re beefing up their nests as we speak and snow is on the way!

Eggs could be laid today! [Jan. 6]

Yay!

Nope, no eggs…   maybe today, Jan. 9th!  Still no eggs- it’s Jan. 17th!

[It seems to me last year’s eggs were laid around Valentine’s Day.  Which puts them hatching around St. Patrick’s Day.]

Regardless of when, the children love watching them!

Here’s a pic from Jan. 30th when it snowed!

Get yourself online to check out the video footage~ there was a flying squirrel checking out the nest one night, there was a young adult bald eagle hanging out in the nest who thought he found the perfect home until the real owner told him otherwise, she ran him off in a hurry!

Don’t miss any of it!

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THIS JUST IN!

SUNDAY, Feb. 19 ~ ONE EGG HAS BEEN LAID!!

YAY!!

[Keep watching for another one, or even two maybe.]

Second egg has been laid!! Thurs. Feb. 23

© 2017 American Eagle Foundation, DCEAGLECAM.ORG.

March/April ~ these eggs have hatched and the eaglets are growing like crazy!

Get online and see for yourself.

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~READ ON BELOW~

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The American Eagle Foundation has been up and running for 30 years now.

Based out of Pigeon Forge, Tenn. they have 3 location webcams for the public to view online.

One site is in the preserve at Dollywood [3 webcams there] where injured eagles are rehabilitated and cared for, but unable to be released.  These multiple pairs have produced more than 30 eaglets that have been released into the wild.

Another eagle-cam is in N.E. Florida near Cape Canaveral,

[there are two 3-week old eaglets in the nest right now- January]

Here’s a couple of pics- check out the food in the nest: fish, armadillo tail, more fish, something furry….  a squirrel.

© 2017 American Eagle Foundation, EAGLES.ORG

I’ve never seen eagles bring so much food!  I guess because it’s so plentiful here in Florida.

Awwwwww!!!  So tired from eating so much!

February- their pin feathers have been coming in now- almost fully covered- beginning to stand up now.

2 weeks have gone by since the above sentence was written- OMG!!  Get online and check out the size of these eaglets!!  They are fully feathered, weigh almost 6 lbs. and are getting huge fast!

They should start branching and then fledging anytime now.

Also, there’s a stork’s leg [most likely already dead] and a turtle shell in the nest now- food. Ugh!

Poor turtle.

On the downside- the stork’s leg had fishing line all around it, which got tangled onto the older eaglet’s leg and claw.

 Rescuers from Audubon had to go up by ropes and take the eaglet down, and to the hospital.

Still waiting for his return.

Their names are Peace [older sib.-presumed to be male] and Hope [younger sib. presumed to be female],

parents are Romeo & Juliet.

Did you know that usually the firstborn eaglet is a female?

Not this time, maybe!!  They are still waiting for conclusive results.

Did you know that it takes 4-5 years before a bald eagle gets it’s full white feathers?

**

…and the third eagle-cam is in our

National Arboretum in Washington, D.C.

[as mentioned above- the eagles have landed]

Go online, read all about them and enjoy watching the archived video footage and pics.

Your heart will never be the same!

 Enjoy!

This was last year’s batch.  Go online for the complete slideshow…  and more!

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Here is something new to watch!

Speaking of the National Park Services…  there is a…  wait for it….  born in July…

Puppy Cam at Denali Nat’l Park in Alaska

Did you know these facts?

The sled dog family that carries the rangers to inspect the park is the only reliable source of transportation!

At 50′ below sometimes it’s hard to start a 4-wheeler, or snowmobile, but the dogs are always ready and excited to run!

The dogs have a better memory and sense of direction than any park ranger!

[think blinding snowstorms and blizzards]

The sled dog family lineage is as old as the park– 100 years this year!

For the sled dog team there is always 35 dogs at the ready!

When a dog retires he, or she may have run 7000 miles, or more!

When retired, dogs are matched with adoptive homes that are conducive to their lifestyle– running!

denali-pups

‘The 2016 litter, from left to right: Hundo (short for “one hundred”) , Pinata, Party, Happy and Cupcake’

Awwwwww!

Go online and check them out, along with tons of great facts, footage, webcams and history!

Better yet, go visit in person!

nps.gov

Denali National Park, AK, USA

Denali is 100 years old this year!!

1917  –  2017

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THERE ARE MANY NATURE & ANIMAL WEBCAMS THROUGHOUT OUR PARK SERVICES AND NATION AS A WHOLE

GO ONLINE AND SEE FOR YOURSELF

THERE IS NO BETTER USE FOR COMPUTERS THAN THAT

[in my opinion]

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