Newsy Nature Notes– April 23, 2010

An article in the New York Times offers some interesting food for thought – reflections on 40 years of Earth Days and the current thoughts from Stewart Brand. Those as old and older than I might remember that name as the founder of the Whole Earth Catalog way back in 1968. Today some versions of the Whole Earth Catalog are available online, right next to Brand’s more recent works. I’ll date myself by revealing I had a copy of the Spring 1969 issue and the Last Whole Earth Catalog from June 1971. Now, with four decades of environmental thinking under his belt, Brand has changed his positions from previous stances – might make for lively dinner table conversation.

The highlight of our Earth Day was catching sight of a double rainbow during an early thunderstorm.  The photos below show either end of the brightest rainbow, but another weaker one spanned the sky above. Amazing! I cannot remember ever seeing a rainbow as brightly colored. The Day posted a similar photo from a Rhode Island reader who managed to digitally catch both rainbows.

rainbow-old lyme2 rainbow-old lyme1


Catching the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow seems more and more unlikely for bats in Connecticut, according to the article, Bat die-off could have disastrous effect on ecology, in The Day. Wildlife biologist Jenny Dickson, at the Department of Environmental Protection in Connecticut claims the bat population is “rapidly getting to the point of no return,” according to The Day reporter Judy Benson. White-Nose Syndrome (WNS) continued to kill off bat populations during winter months, and scientists don’t yet understand what can be done to stop or stem the decimation. The problem existed locally last year as well. It’s disturbing that WNS has remained and apparently worsened in local bat populations. We enjoy watching bats fly out of the woods in search for food around dusk. Last year there were fewer bats than previously. This year I will be happy to see any at all. More information is available from Connecticut’s DEP. The department asks local residents to report any known summer bat colonies by phone or email (both available via the DEP link).

Students at the high school, college undergraduate, and college graduate level collaborated to isolate a formerly unknown group of bacteria belonging to the Pseudomonas syringae species. Many strains of this family cause bacterial blight, spot, canker, and other diseases during cool, wet spring seasons. Read more – this knowledge may help determine how these diseases act.

A report from UC Irvine sheds light on the important role bats, birds, lizards, and other insect-eating creatures play in plant health – just more evidence of the connectedness of Earth’s creatures.

6 comments for “Newsy Nature Notes– April 23, 2010

  1. April 23, 2010 at 2:15 pm

    I’m worried about the bats, and frogs as well. And the bees. These die-offs don’t get the attention they warrant. i’ve always enjoyed seeing bats at dusk in my suburban neighborhood.

    A worthy charitable organization you may be interested in is Bat Conservation International.

  2. joenesgarden
    April 23, 2010 at 10:48 pm

    Thanks for the link.

  3. April 25, 2010 at 8:19 am

    The rainbow shots are stunning. It’s usually so hard to capture something as ethereal as color in the sky. Wow. I laughed about dating yourself with the Whole Earth Catalog .. my 1969 version was on my bookshelf until just a few years ago. I’ll check out his link.

  4. joenesgarden
    April 25, 2010 at 10:13 am

    My Whole Earth Catalogs disappeared long ago, Laurrie. Now I wish I had at least one for reference into history.

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