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News stories tagged with "nature"

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Brown cricket in Hawaii, where some have "learned" to keep it quiet to avoid a predatory fly. Photo: <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/wahiawaboy/200849410/">Dean</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
Brown cricket in Hawaii, where some have "learned" to keep it quiet to avoid a predatory fly. Photo: Dean, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

What happens if you press "reset" on evolution?

When species move into a new habitat, some of the "tricks" their genes have learned no longer work to help them thrive. Some species will pick up new tricks--sometimes the same new trick more than once--and some will fail to adapt.

Martha Foley and Curt Stager look at silent crickets and flightless birds.  Go to full article
Allen Blagden traveled to the Wild Center to paint the resident porcupine Stickley especially for the "Moments" exhibit.  Photo: Wild Center
Allen Blagden traveled to the Wild Center to paint the resident porcupine Stickley especially for the "Moments" exhibit. Photo: Wild Center

Watercolorist Allen Blagden inspires "Moments" exhibit in Tupper Lake

The art of one of the nation's best watercolorists is on display at the Wild Center in Tupper Lake. It's part of the inspiration for the "Moments, Reimagining Nature through Art" exhibit. The interactive display, that's part multi-media, part art show, part hands-on art project, encourages visitors to engage with nature through art.  Go to full article
Reindeer moss (Cladonia rangiferina) is actually a lichen. Photo: <a href="http://mushroomobserver.org/image/show_image/205412">Jason Hollinger</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
Reindeer moss (Cladonia rangiferina) is actually a lichen. Photo: Jason Hollinger, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Lichens: living on next to nothing

What we call reindeer moss is nothing of the kind. It's not even a plant; it's a lichen. Lichens, which account for half of the natural nitrogen fertilizer used by plants and animals, are a combination of a fungus colony with algae and cyanobacteria that can live on practically nothing--dust, pollen, rain and snow.

Martha Foley and Curt Stager talk about nature's original minimalists.  Go to full article

Natural deceptions: crime (and punishment) among animals and plants

Social primates are supposed to share when they find food, but some will cheat. If they are caught, the group will punish them. Some plants and fungi use a kind of barter system to swap nutrients, and some of them will also cheat. But they risk being caught and cut off.

Martha Foley and Curt Stager look at crime and punishment in the natural world.  Go to full article
If you want the feeder to yourself, there's nothing like being able to imitate a hawk. Photo: <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/57974696@N00/8015491794/">pwhellen</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
If you want the feeder to yourself, there's nothing like being able to imitate a hawk. Photo: pwhellen, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Natural Selections: natural deceptions

Birds and other creatures have a sly side and will use deceptive communications to create an advantage for themselves in finding food and finding mates. Blue jays can imitate the sound of a hawk, scaring other species away from the feeder. Some birds mimic the alarm cries of other species, making them think that another of their kind is warning them about a predator.

But they can't pull the trick too often. "Crying wolf" has the same consequences in the animal world as it does in the fairy tale. Martha Foley and Curt Stager discuss the "tricksy" side of birds, and of cuttlefish.  Go to full article
Male indigo bunting. Photo: <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/kristi_decourcy/7539738334/">Kristi</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
Male indigo bunting. Photo: Kristi, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Well-dressed birds of the North Country

While the North Country is not exactly the tropics, we do have our share of exotically-colored birds. Blue creatures, for example, are rare in nature but we have the bluebird, the blue jay and the indigo bunting.

Then there are the goldfinches and the cardinals, the ruby-throated hummingbird and the oriole. Martha Foley and Curt Stager celebrate a little of the local color in colder climes.  Go to full article
The 2014 BioBlitz starts Sunday morning at 8:30 at the Adirondack Interpretive Center in Newcomb.
The 2014 BioBlitz starts Sunday morning at 8:30 at the Adirondack Interpretive Center in Newcomb.

Ready, set, count! BioBlitz starts Sunday morning in Newcomb

Visitors to the Adirondack Interpretive Center in Newcomb on Sunday will get a close-up look at wildlife. The annual BioBlitz is a one-day, rapid inventory of animal and plant life. Professional biologists will join citizen scientists to study and catalog wildlife in the Adirondacks, including salamanders, bees, mushrooms and wildflowers.

Todd Moe spoke with Ezra Schwartzberg about the expert-led species inventory teams that will discover, count, map, and learn about the park's biodiversity along lakeshores, marshes and forests.  Go to full article
This is how small a deer tick is. Photo: <a href="http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Tick_male_size_comparison_%28aka%29.jpg">Andre Karwath</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
This is how small a deer tick is. Photo: Andre Karwath, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Deer ticks: How they get on you, how to get them off

Spring and early summer is the prime time of year for encounters with deer ticks, carriers of the bacteria that causes Lyme disease. While still uncommon in the Adirondack upcountry, deer ticks are plentiful in the North Country lowlands.

They're hard to see, and hard to remove safely. But not impossible. Martha Foley and Dr. Curt Stager talk about the life cycle of the deer tick, and practical ways to minimize exposure to Lyme disease.  Go to full article
Wood Frog. Photo: <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/mikemcd/3623351755">Michael McDonough</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
Wood Frog. Photo: Michael McDonough, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

State Senate claims wood frog for New York

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) The wood frog is one more hop closer to becoming New York's official amphibian.

The state Senate voted 50-4 on Tuesday to add it to the list alongside other official animals such as the blue bird, beaver, brook trout and snapping turtle.  Go to full article

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