Readers’ wildlife photos

We’ll start with three raptor photos from Stephen Barnard in Idaho, and then proceed to the cats.

First we have a Swainson’s hawk (Buteo swainsoni):

Swainson's

Then a red-tailed hawk (Buteo jamaicensis):

Red-tailed

And a Northern Harrier (Circus cyaneus):

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Reader John sent some cheetah photos and notes (indented):

Following your recent call for photographs I decided to dig out some of a feline variety. The attached were taken in 2004 in South Africa’s Kruger National Park. The Kruger is SA’s largest ‘park’ at 20,000km2 – about the size of New Jersey. Its size means that it doesn’t have the feel of a park and if you wander of the beaten track, you can spend many hours exploring the bush or siting by waterholes without seeing many other visitors. The trip was not long after I made the switch to a Canon 300D, an early digital SLR; up to that point having been reluctant to discard traditional film.  The sharp eyed will notice I hadn’t quite got to grips with the auto focus.

This Cheetah crossed a dirt track in front of our vehicle and then spent some time in a small tree sharpening its claws whilst also keeping a watchful eye on us.

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It then wandered into the scrub, which was quite lush because it was December and the rainy season. Shortly afterwards it reappeared from the bush and walked slowly alongside the track as we inched our vehicle along and took photographs.

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It was clearly mindful of our presence but otherwise carried on as usual including regularly marking its territory.

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Later during the same holiday my daughter was lucky enough to enter an enclosure and spend some time petting a Cheetah!

(Professor Ceiling Cat doesn’t ever get to do that. . . )

2004-12-23_South Africa-0068_Wilderness_Alex Cheetah

 I’ve been lucky enough to see wild cheetah a number of times but sadly, on a trip to the Okavango in 1988, I have also seen the darker side with Cheetah skins hanging in a tannery in Maun. I’ll spare you the depressing image.

 

Monday: Hili dialogue

Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled.  This is one of the rare dialogues with a title, which is “Panta rhei,” a statement by Heraclitus what is identical to Hili’s first line:

Hili: Everything flows.
Cyrus: This sofa is stable.
Hili: But the personnel changes.
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In Polish:
Hili: Wszystko płynie.
Cyrus: Sofa jest stabilna.
Hili: Ale obsada się zmienia.

A tw**t

Well, I’m in a hotel with cable t.v., and I have a choice of watching one of elebenty gazillion channels or reading Carol Tavris and Eliot Aronson’s book Mistakes Were Made (but not by me), about people’s failure to recognize their biases and the ways they resolve cognitive dissonance. I’m halfway through it and it’s very good: a PCC Book Club selection.

I did turn on the t.v., as I don’t have cable at home, and the only thing I could find that was halfway interesting was some show called “Man vs. Food,” which involves a guy whose job is to go around the country and try to eat the biggest burgers, the hottest curries, and so on. It was mildly interesting because it was about food, but I’d prefer a show in which some guy just finds good places to eat.  Flipping through the other channels, I realized that since I’ve stopped watching most t.v., I’m not missing very much.

So I’m going to turn it off and read before I hit something like “Say Yes to the Dress” (and yes, there’s one reader out there who likes that show and shouldn’t be watching it and I’m talking to that person!).

In the meantime, here’s a fun tw**t.  There is a big anniversary tomorrow; does anyone know what it is?

Screen shot 2014-08-31 at 2.17.19 PM h/t: Alberto

A professor gives his students an object lesson in religious bigotry

UPDATE: I didn’t check the date carefully on this story, which I read as August 2014. My error: it’s August, 2012, so the story is two years old. My apologies. I’ll leave it up, however, as I think it’s still of value to discuss this, but be aware that the fracas is dead by now. And a note to readers as well: when sending me pieces, do check the date yourself.  Of course, I bear the ultimate responsibility!

________________________

Charles Negy is an associate professor of psychology at the University of Central Florida.  His faculty page says he specializes in cross-cultural psychology:

His research interests vary, but have focused primarily on how Hispanic Americans adapt to the United States’ culture and how that adaptation manifests itself on psychological and personality tests. . . Specifically, he examines how variables such as race, ethnicity, culture, acculturation, gender, social class, and sexual orientation influence people’s attitudes and behaviors, including performance on personality tests. Although his studies usually are contextualized in clinical psychology, the essence of the research falls more within the domain of personality/social psychology.

Well, there’s already some potential flashpoints there, but things really blew up when, according to Inside Higher Ed (IHE), Negy apparently was teaching his cross-cultural anthropology class when a fracas occurred (the following is, according to IHE, based on Negy’s account):

In Negy’s telling, about 8 to 10 students, among 496 students in the class, started arguing that Christianity was superior to other religions. Negy asked the protesting students to demonstrate how this was so. At this, one of the students in the group asked the rest of the class not to take part in the discussion.

Negy said the class continued after he steered the discussion in another direction, but he was fuming. Soon after, he sent out a stinging e-mail message to all the students in his class.

Here’s his email, which was also posted, presumably by one of his students, on reddit

Hello, Cross-Cultural students, I am writing to express my views on how some of you have conducted yourself in this university course you are taking with me. It is not uncommon for some-to-many American students, who typically, are first-generation college students, to not fully understand, and maybe not even appreciate the purpose of a university. Some students erroneously believe a university is just an extension of high school, where students are spoon-fed “soft” topics and dilemmas to confront, regurgitate the “right” answers on exams (right answers as deemed by the instructor or a textbook), and then move on to the next course.

Not only is this not the purpose of a university (although it may feel like it is in some of your other courses), it clearly is not the purpose of my upper-division course on Cross-Cultural Psychology. The purpose of a university, and my course in particular, is to struggle intellectually with some of life’s most difficult topics that may not have one right answer, and try to come to some conclusion about what may be “the better answer” (It typically is not the case that all views are equally valid; some views are more defensible than others). Another purpose of a university, and my course in particular, is to engage in open discussion in order to critically examine beliefs, behaviors, and customs. Finally, another purpose of a university education is to help students who typically are not accustomed to thinking independently or applying a critical analysis to views or beliefs, to start learning how to do so. We are not in class to learn “facts” and simply regurgitate the facts in a mindless way to items on a test. Critical thinking is a skill that develops over time. Independent thinking does not occur overnight. Critical thinkers are open to having their cherished beliefs challenged, and must learn how to “defend” their views based on evidence or logic, rather than simply “pounding their chest” and merely proclaiming that their views are “valid.” One characteristic of the critical, independent thinker is being able to recognize fantasy versus reality; to recognize the difference between personal beliefs which are nothing more than personal beliefs, versus views that are grounded in evidence, or which have no evidence.

Last class meeting and for 15 minutes today, we addressed “religious bigotry.” Several points are worth contemplating:
Religion and culture go “hand in hand.” For some cultures, they are so intertwined that it is difficult to know with certainty if a specific belief or custom is “cultural” or “religious” in origin. The student in class tonight who proclaimed that my class was supposed to be about different cultures (and not religion) lacks an understanding about what constitutes “culture.” (of course, I think her real agenda was to stop my comments about religion).

Students in my class who openly proclaimed that Christianity is the most valid religion, as some of you did last class, portrayed precisely what religious bigotry is. Bigots—racial bigot or religious bigots—never question their prejudices and bigotry. They are convinced their beliefs are correct. For the Christians in my class who argued the validity of Christianity last week, I suppose I should thank you for demonstrating to the rest of the class what religious arrogance and bigotry looks like. It seems to have not even occurred to you (I’m directing this comment to those students who manifested such bigotry), as I tried to point out in class tonight, how such bigotry is perceived and experienced by the Muslims, the Hindus, the Buddhists, the non-believers, and so on, in class, to have to sit and endure the tyranny of the masses (the dominant group, that is, which in this case, are Christians).

The male student who stood up in class and directed the rest of the class to “not participate” by not responding to my challenge, represented the worst of education. For starters, the idea that a person—student or instructor—would instruct other students on how to behave, is pretty arrogant and grossly disrespects the rights of other students who can and want to think for themselves and decide for themselves whether they want to engage in the exchange of ideas or not. Moreover, this “let’s just put our fingers in our ears so we will not hear what we disagree with” is appallingly childish and exemplifies “anti-intellectualism.” The purpose of a university is to engage in dialogue, debate, and exchange ideas in order to try and come to some meaningful conclusion about an issue at hand. Not to shut ourselves off from ideas we find threatening.

Universities hold a special place in society where scholarly-minded folks can come together and discuss controversial, polemic, and often uncomfortable topics. Universities, including UCF, have special policies in place to protect our (both professors’ and students’) freedom to express ourselves. Neither students nor professors have a right to censor speech that makes us uncomfortable. We’re adults. We’re at a university. There is no topic that is “off-limits” for us to address in class, if even only remotely related to the course topic. I hope you will digest this message, and just as important, will take it to heart as it may apply to you.

Charles Negy

I see nothing objectionable in this email. Its language is strong, and perhaps the students singled out (not by name) could feel that the professor will be biased against them, but they’re adults, and this is a lesson on how to be an adult at a university.

As of yesterday afternoon, there were more than 1,600 comments on the Reddit discussion thread. I’ve just skimmed them, but most of them think that Negy’s letter and attitude are fine, which is heartening.

Even more heartening is that his university is standing by him. According to Inside Higher Ed:

Jeffrey Cassisi, the chair of the department of psychology at UCF, said in an e-mail that he supported Negy’s perspective. “I view Dr. Negy’s discussion as protected by the fundamental principles of academic freedom,” he said. “I am encouraged by the worldwide positive response to his letter, because if critical thinking and debate were not permitted in our public universities, I believe the future of all human rights would be at risk.”

Tony G. Waldrop, provost and executive vice president, said in an e-mail that the university encouraged faculty members to have classroom discussions that help students think critically. “We also hope our students will arrive at their own opinions based on those thought-provoking discussions,” he said.

There is one fly in the ointment, however, as the IHE article starts with this statement (my emphasis).

Charles Negy, a professor of psychology at the University of Central Florida, has taught his cross-cultural psychology class for 15 years. Uproars are not uncommon, especially when he talks about religion or tells his students that there is no evidence of a “heaven.”

And it makes me wonder what Negy said that made the students proclaim that Christianity was “the most valid religion.” I hope it wasn’t that he’s promulgating atheism at a public university (UCF is a public university—with 60,000 students, it’s the second largest in the U.S.).

Even at a private university, like the one where I teach, I wouldn’t tell the students there is no evidence for a heaven. For one thing, it’s not in my brief as a biology teacher. But even were I teaching a course on comparative religion or culture, I would ask the students for the evidence, and let them argue it out under my guidance. Students should be adults and be willing to have their beliefs challenged, but for a professor to question religious beliefs in a public university, even as a lesson in learning to tolerate dissent, seems to me a violation of the First Amendment. In a private university, it’s no legal violation, but remember that a professor is an authority figure.

In the end, I love Negy’s letter but wonder if there’s anything a bit less honorable behind it. What got those students riled up?

 

h/t: pyers

Frank Bruni at the NYT discusses Sam Harris’s new book

As I’ve mentioned before, Sam Harris has written a new book, Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion, which will be on sale September 9.  Full disclosure: I’ve read it and given it a blurb: “As a neuroscientist, Sam Harris shows how our egos are illusions, diffuse products of brain activity, and as a long-term practitioner of meditation, he shows how abandoning this illusion can wake us up to a richer life, more connected to everything around us.”

As my blurb notes, it’s a wide journey through the land of spirituality, ranging from the latest findings of neuroscience to a chapter on gurus Sam has known. He recounts his experiences with drugs, and tells us what he’s gained from his own many years of Buddhist study and meditation.

The book will surely anger or confuse those people who think Sam has gone soft on religion, but take my word for it, there’s not an iota of sympathy for the divine in the book. And, having taken psychedelics in my youth, I have considerable sympathy for trying to understand what the brain is really capable of, and how our perceptions can be altered. (I myself am really glad I tried those consciousness-altering substances, for such experiences are both perceptually stunning and potentially life-changing.)

At any rate, New York Times writer Frank Bruni, in a Sunday op-ed piece called “Between Goddiness and Godlessness,” discusses Sam’s book, and, I’m glad to say, with considerable sympathy. An excerpt:

IN books and lectures since “The End of Faith,” Harris has increasingly redirected his energies from indicting organized religion — “I’ve ridden that hobbyhorse,” he told me — to examining the reasons that people are drawn to it and arguing that much of what they seek from it they can get without it. There is the church of Burning Man, he noted. There is the repetition of mantras. There are the catharsis and clarity of unsullied concentration.

“You can have spiritual experience and understand the most thrilling changes in human consciousness in a context that’s secular and universal and not freighted with dogma,” he said when we spoke on the telephone last week. It was a kind of discussion that I wish I heard more of, and that people should be able to have with less fear of being looked upon as heathens.

I’m not casting a vote for godlessness at large or in my own spiritual life, which is muddled with unanswered and unanswerable questions. I’m advocating unfettered discussion, ample room for doubt and a respect for science commensurate with the fealty to any supposedly divine word. We hear the highest-ranking politicians mention God at every turn and with little or no fear of negative repercussion. When’s the last time you heard one of them wrestle publicly with agnosticism?

During my conversation with Harris, he observed that President Obama had recently ended his public remarks about the beheading of James Foley by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, which wraps itself in religion, with a religious invocation: “May God bless and keep Jim’s memory, and may God bless the United States of America.” That struck Harris as odd and yet predictable, because in America, he said, God is the default vocabulary.

“There’s truly no secular or rational alternative for talking about questions of meaning and existential hopes and fears,” he said.

There should be. There’s a hunger for it, suggested by the fact that after Harris recently published the first chapter of “Waking Up” online as a way of announcing the entire volume’s imminent release, readers placed enough preorders for the book that it shot up briefly to No. 22 on Amazon’s list of best sellers.

Some of those buyers, as well as many other Americans, are looking for a different kind of scripture, for prophets purged of doctrine, for guides across the vast landscape between faithlessness and piety, for recognition of this fecund terrain. In a country with freedom of worship, they deserve it.

It’s good to see this kind of discourse, especially in a paper that, to me, shows unwarranted sympathy for religion. Although Bruni won’t admit to being an atheist, he does admit that he’s confused, and it’s refreshing that he’s even encouraging discussion about religion and whether religion is a justifiable practice, although this phrase by Bruni leaves me feeling a bit queasy: “I’m advocating unfettered discussion, ample room for doubt and a respect for science commensurate with the fealty to any supposedly divine word.”  Commenurate? Commensurate? To any rational person, respect for science and the truth it has given us, and the improvements not only in our own lives, but in our intellectual understanding of our origins and our universe—that far outweighs any “fealty” to superstition. Nonetheless, Bruni does point out that even agnosticism is poisonous for politicians in our faith-soaked country.

I expect that, as usual with Sam’s books, the atheist community will be divided on this one. But I also expect it will sell well, for anything that smacks of “spirituality” in a day when, as Bruni notes, many of the “nones” are seeking spiritual alternatives to conventional religion, will be of interest.  And, indeed, the book is doing well more than a week before it’s even appeared. The Amazon rankings a few minutes ago:

Screen shot 2014-08-31 at 3.09.02 PM

If you’re interested but don’t know if you want to take the plunge, Sam has published the first chapter for free on his website.  Have a look.

The cover is good, too:

Waking_Up_Cover_Small

Readers’ wildlife photos: Jesus seen in a moth

Well, reader Deborah didn’t see this moth, but she saw the article, and it’s the first case I know of of Jesus being spotted in a lepidopteran:

From the site of station KXAN (in Austin, Texas). Can you spot the savior?

jesus-in-moth

Of course it was seen as a sign:

GEORGETOWN, Texas (KXAN) – A Georgetown woman says a moth that showed up at her home with a pattern that resembles the face of Jesus is a sign from above.

Yvonne Esquilin tells KXAN the moth showed up at her home just after noon Wednesday. At first, her family thought it was a butterfly. It stuck around until she got home from work and saw it for herself.

“We were just amazed at the size of the moth,” she told KXAN. “It didn’t dawn on me until I snapped the picture. At first it looked like Jesus- and I still think it looks like Jesus.”

Esquilin says she has been praying for signs of hope that she would find a way to help her daughter continue pursuing her degree.

“I believe this was a sign,” she said. “God is letting me know Good News is Coming and to keep the Hope.”

The family looked into the significance of moths colors and learned yellow means hope and brown means important news. They’ve shared the image on social media asking others what they make of the large insect.

“People also saw an image of the Devil which is kind of creepy but after staring at it for so long it almost looks like it,” she said.

The moth spent the night at the family’s home before flying away around 7:15 this morning.

At least they let it escape. Had they killed it and preserved it properly, it would have gone for hundreds of dollars on eBay. Can any reader identify the moth?

 

Pittsburgh: #3

All I have time for this morning, before the meetings begin, is to post photos, which itself is a time-consuming exercise. But read this all, as awesome noms are at the bottom.

I met my friend, the reader known as “Hempenstein,” who is a retired biochemist living in Pittsburgh. He just bought a large and historic house that I wanted to see, but first we made a stop at a new and local distillery, Stay Tuned Distillery, which makes, gin, rye whiskey, single-malt whisky, and aquavit, all from this very small ten-gallon still:

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We sampled one of their not-yet released products, an aquavit that is infused with a secret botanical whose identity I cannot divulge lest the owners kill me. It was absolutely terrific, and ice cold:

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Hempenstein, a college friend, is an unreconstructed hippie, but he still bought this mansion (it was relatively cheap as, while the previous owner partly restored it, he died in mid-work and much of the house is still seriously debilitated). But it can and will be brought back to its former glory.

This is the Schwab mansion, built in 1889 by Charles M. Schwab (not the financial guy, but a steel magnate: once the president, successively, of Carnegie Steel, U.S. Steel, and Bethlehem Steel). Schwab advanced rapidly because he realized the importance of chemistry in making good steel, and also recognized the importance of the I-beam, the basis of all modern skyscrapers.  He tooled up Bethlehem Steel to make them, saying, “Well, if we go bust, we’ll go bust in a big way.”

Needless to say, he didn’t: I-beams were critical to modern architecture, and Schwab made a name, and a killing. This was his house (the first commission of architect Frederick R. Osterling), and now owned by my friend Hempenstein, who is posing with it at the bottom. The house is in Braddock, Pennsylvania, near the mills (nearly all defunct):

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Part of the inside: Hempenstein by the fireplace. You can see the fancy staircase and stained-glass window. This part of the house has been restored, and old hippie Hempenstein looks a bit incongruous sitting in his mansion!

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The stained-glass window. It’s not a Tiffany, but the maker hasn’t been identified yet. It will need some expensive restoration:

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It was time for dinner, but on the way we stopped at Hempenstein’s house to pick up a growler of local microwbrew (the restaurant is BYOB). He showed me his collection of American chestnut seedlings, as one of his hobbies is restoration of this species, Castanea dentata, which was largely destroyed in the U.S. by chestnut blight, a fungal disease that began destroying the trees in the eastern U.S. around 1900. Few adult trees remain, although they keep sprouting from the base only for the sprouts be killed when the fungus finds them.

Hempenstein is participating in a restoration project whereby the U.S. strain is crossed to a fungus-resistant tree, like the Chinese chestnut, and then the hybrids repeatedly backcrossed to the American chestnut to regain its morphological character while retaining the Chinese genes for fungal resistance (naturally, the backcrosses have to be individually tested for resistance). It would be easier to identify the resistance genes and then DNA-test the seedlings, but they’re not there yet. Here is one healthy backcross sapling:

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Time for my long-anticipated dinner at Jozsa’s  Corner, an unprepossessing place located in Hazelwood, a run-down suburb of Pittsburgh. You have to call to see if the owner will be open, and he’ll open if he gets four guests on a weekday, and 6 on weekends. Within lies a paradise of home-cooking, Hungarian style.

Hempenstein enters with a growler of the local Green Giant ale (fantastic) from the East End Brewery.

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It’s owned by Alex Jozsa Bodnar, who migrated to the U.S. with his parents in 1957, a year after the Hungarian Revolution. Because Alex’s father died young, his 19-year-old mother supported a family of four. Alex learned to cook, he told me, from his grandmother, as he was “tied to her apron strings.”

At the restaurant, for the measly sum of $20 (not including tax and gratuity), you get a delicious multicourse Hungarian meal, all cooked by Jozsa in the small kitchen. And if you want more of anything, you can get as much as you want. Do read the wonderful and laudatory review of the place in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

First course, langos, or Hungarian fire bread made with a potato dough. On top of it you ladle a homemade mushroom sauce. I had to resist eating several of these as I knew there was a lot more food to come.

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Soup with chicken, noodles, and various other ingredients I can’t remember. Since this is a one-man operation, the plates are styrofoam and the utensils plastic. Everyone eats family-style from big bowls served at communal tables.

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Then we had haluska, a simple dish of noodles and cabbage which the Post-Gazette describes this way:

. . haluska, a dish of cabbage and egg noodles, was perfect in its simplicity. The noodles were dense and chewy, more satisfying than this ephemeral starch usually proves to be, perhaps owing to the richness of browned butter. The cabbage had been cooked long enough to lose a touch of its bitterness, but not so long that it looses its pleasant crispness or flavor. This dish, so simple to describe, was immeasurably satisfying and memorable.

It was delicious and, as the British say, “moreish.” Again, I had to resist multiple helpings. It went perfectly with the beer.

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Next course. I believe this was a pork gulyas (goulash), served with little fried breads, sour cream, and a big loaf of homemade braided sesame bread, which came on coming. It was terrific. You can imagine that by this point we were getting full!

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The table: there were six of us: me, Hempenstein, a photographer (left), two bodybuilders (a couple) in town for a bodybuilding competition, who were chowing down after their posing, and a Famous Person at the head of the table.

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The last main course, which I believe was chicken paprikas with noodles and a delicious cucumber-and-onion salad. Note the heavy lashings of sour cream.  This was about all my stomach had room for, even though Alex offered us seconds of everything (and gave us the leftovers to take home):

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Dessert: a melange of prune- and apricot-stuffed pastries, juicy grapes, and chocolate chips. This is Alex, and kind and genial fellow who joined us after dinner to tell us about his history and that of the restaurant, which has been opened for 25 years or so.

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Now who was that Big Macher at the head of the table? None other than the Mayor of Pittsburgh, Bill Peduto, who dines here regularly! A Democrat, he was a friendly guy, and we learned a lot about what he’s doing for the city. Afterwards he posed with us all, even making a muscle pose with the two body builders:

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I couldn’t resist having my picture taken with the Mayor, although for some reason I grimaced during the shot. I showed this picture during my talk yesterday, claiming (falsely) that the Mayor had wished all of us atheists well.

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If you go to Pittsburgh, you simply must go to Jozsa’s Corner for its homey atmosphere, fantastic food, low prices, and Alex’s geniality. It gets Professor Ceiling Cat’s highest recommendation.

~

Readers’ wildlife photographs

We have pictures from several readers today.  First, a plea for ID from reader Jeremy, who isn’t quite sure about this insect:

I was hiking around Pelee Island on Lake Erie when I came across this little fella.  I think it might be a black-legged meadow katydid (Orchelimum nigripes) but I’m not quite sure.  He was producing a loud chirp which helped me find him.

The Missouri Dept. of Conservation website calls this—if it is O. nigripes—”one of our most beautiful katydids.”

Black-legged Meadow Katydid

From California, reader Joe Dickinson sends a bird:

In full sun, at the right angle, the crown and gorget of the male Anna’s hummingbird (Calypte anna) are an iridescent red/pink “structural color”, as in the hovering photo from January last year.  In the shade, or at the “wrong” angle, they can appear jet black.  So I was intrigued yesterday afternoon to see diverse, fluctuating colors  in light filtered through the foliage of a shrub in which this fellow was perched.  In my back yard at Aptos, CA.

hummingbirds1

hummingbirds3

Reader Peter sends photos of an unappreciated bird: the wild turkey.

I live and work in Southwestern Manitoba Canada – my adopted home, and I often encounter interesting wildlife on the edges of town. These photographs are of Eastern wild turkeys (Meleagris gallopavo silvestris) that I photographed just eight blocks from my house this morning, and very much in town.
According to my limited research, the wild turkey is not native to Manitoba, but was introduced to the province in 1958. The most recent estimate is that the population now exceeds 10,000, surprising considering the extreme winter temperatures we experience.
This was a group consisting of eight juveniles and one adult female (hen). They seemed wary, but relatively unperturbed by my presence.
. . . Adult female and juvenile:
adult_female_and_juveniles

Juveniles on the road (why did these turkeys cross the road?):

juveniles_on_road

Benjamin Franklin, as I recall, proposed that the U.S. adopt the turkey as the national bird. I think the bald eagle was a better choice, though turkeys make better eating!

Finally, diverse species from reader Sarah Crews:

The bunny and the jellyfish are from Pescadero, CA. The bunny is Sylvilagus bachmani, a brush rabbit, and the jellyfish is Velella velella, the By The Wind Sailor. There has been a large wash up of them this year on the Pac. Coast of the US that has received some media attention. 

I didn’t know of brush rabbits, but, with their roundish heads, they’re really cute.

bunny

velella

Sunday: Hili dialogue

Hili’s incursion into intellectual territory was short lived: she’s back to noms again—or rather, noms among the noms:

Hili: Look, the grapes are ripening
A: Yes, but they are sour.
Hili: Even among sour grapes a bird may be hiding.

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In Polish:
Hili: Patrz, winogrona dojrzewają.
Ja: Tak, ale są kwaśne.
Hili: Nawet wśród kwaśnych winogron ukrywają się czasem ptaszki.

Kangaroolet with bandages and skivvies

This is all I know from reader Amy, who found it on Facebook:

Kangaroo Joey was rescued from a forest fire. He’s learning to hop, hunt, and color co-ordinate his underwear.

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