October 6th, 2020

The Not So Perfect Game Camera

Now days, I take more wildlife photos with my game camera than with my digital camera. At 4 am on a cold wintry morning my game camera is awake, I am not. What is the perfect game camera?  The camera that takes the photos you want or need. It is the camera that is reliable,…

Ichneumonid wasps, imposing allies

Last Thursday I saw this lovely Ichneumonid wasp (pronounced ICK-new-mon-id, from Greek “Ιχνευμων” which means “Tracker”). Most of the time I see Ichneumonids, they’re on the sides of trees, ovipositing (laying eggs) in boring insect larvae. This one’s behavior was very odd indeed. As you can see, this particular Ichneumonid wasp was laying her eggs…

Do you believe in science?

I listened to a presidential debate question, “Do you believe in science?”  It seems a simple, yes or no question.  It isn’t.  I’m a sociologist, and retired demographer.  I believe that scientific method is the best way to move toward understanding and describing the world.  I’m a numbers, statistics and data guy.  A positivist.  I…

Wet Firewood

I have accidentally entered the energy business.  About a third of the logs left after Lincoln Electric maintained the power lines were cut to non-marketable lengths, so the alternative was turning them into firewood.  Earlier, I wrote of the differences between species as firewood – this time I’m looking at the cost of water in…

Louse flies

It’s autumn. Among the many little signs of this are the appearance of Western Deer Keds, or louse flies, as they’re often called. As I was walking in the woods this past week, a number of them flew about me, a couple landed on my hand and ran up and down my arms. A poor…

What the cat dragged in

It was a dark and stormy night, and, because this was the Dakotas, it was windy. One miserable mallard found shelter in the gale, a place where the wind was broken by the house. A warm, safe place, in which it might rest from the storm.   Now, as it happened, my parents had a cat…

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