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Old 02-23-2010, 06:21 PM   #31
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Yeah, they're really interesting plants, and I look forward to seeing them every year. I wish that my high-school biology teacher had taught us about local natural history, but he didn't, just stuck to the book and nothing more, I had no idea back then how interesting things were around here, darn it.

I live across the street from a small marsh, and I agree, the Red-winged Blackbirds are my Spring harbingers of birds. Robins do sometimes hang around all winter here too. The birds that give me the most Springtime thrill are the Sandhill Cranes though. It always makes me happy to hear them calling way up high as they pass over, or rarely, come in for a landing in the fields near where I live.

John
Thanks for making me smile. I didn't realize how lucky I was. That is the only local history thing that I remember him saying (though he may have said more)...the only other thing that stuck with me (on a personal note, not academic) was that he used to like eating raw bacon! ~smile~

Just be happy that we all continue to learn. Thanks for sharing about the red-winged blackbirds AND the Sandhill Cranes--you painted a beautiful picture for me. I can imagine looking up at the sound of their calls. (as far as I know we don't have them here...I'd have to check a reference book).
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Old 02-23-2010, 06:23 PM   #32
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A dormant Sumac captures the sunrise
February 2010 Photo of the Month Contest - post entries here-dscf4022.jpg
like the colorful designs of a stained glass Tiffany.
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Old 02-23-2010, 07:54 PM   #33
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So what are they then........If not insects!
They are in a class called the Entognatha (sounds like something from a bad sci-fi movie), and are hexapods (6-legged) like insects, but there are sufficient other differences that have resulted in taxonomists separating them from the class Ectognatha (insects).

According to Wikipedia (brace yourselves, it's deep and meaningful):

"The Entognatha is a class of ametabolous arthropods, which, together with insects, makes up the hexapods. Their mouthparts are entognathous, meaning they are retracted within the head. Entognatha are apterous, meaning they lack wings. The class contains three orders: Collembola (springtails), Diplura and Protura. These three groups were historically united with the order Thysanura to form the class Apterygota, but it has since been recognized that the hexapodous condition of these animals has evolved independently from that of insects, and independently within each order. The orders are not closely related, and so Entognatha is considered a polyphyletic group."

Whew! I think it means that insects have mouth parts that stick out and most of them have wings. The Springtails are in a class that has the mouth parts more internalized, and no wings.

Of course, someone else will come along in a few years and decide that's all wrong, and we'll have to re-write the books again. It's just taxonomists keeping themselves in a job, I think. ;-)

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Old 02-23-2010, 08:25 PM   #34
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A dormant Sumac captures the sunrise
Attachment 14671
like the colorful designs of a stained glass Tiffany.
Very pretty. Clever composition.


(Please forgive the sentence fragments. "poster's license")
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Old 02-23-2010, 08:49 PM   #35
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Heres another one from our last snow storm:
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February 2010 Photo of the Month Contest - post entries here-feb-sunny-winter-day-004.jpg  
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Old 02-23-2010, 09:20 PM   #36
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Very pretty. Clever composition.
Looks good to me. You're entitled! (Sorry. Feeling silly tonight. )
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Old 02-23-2010, 09:58 PM   #37
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dapjwy Nice bramble laden fence.............
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Old 02-23-2010, 10:00 PM   #38
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I like that one much, dapjwy. You have a good eye.
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Old 02-23-2010, 10:34 PM   #39
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I see London I see France... I see dapjwy's bluebird box!!! Love it! The fence and shadows are greeeeeeeat! Here's two photos of the same Black-Crowned Night Heron, Nycticorax nycticorax.jpg. This bird was a battle ax. I was maybe only 30' away from him and he never budged. The others took off.
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Old 02-24-2010, 01:01 PM   #40
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Crystal clear too! Excellent....
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