About Me

bucharest gara de nord food 01

BIRDS

Categorized by genus/species, placed chronologically by common name

    American Coot

    American Crow

    American Flamingo*

    American Goldfinch

    American Kestrel

    American Robin

    American Tree Sparrow

    American White Pelican

    Bald Eagle

    Baltimore Oriole

    Barn Swallow

    Barnacle Goose*

    Belted Kingfisher

    Black-and-White Warbler

    Black-Capped Chickadee

    Black-Headed Gull*

    Black Vulture*

    Blue Jay

    Blue Tit*

    Blue-Winged Teal

    Bobwhite

    Broad-Winged Hawk

    Brown Creeper

    Brown-Headed Cowbird

    Brown Thrasher

    Bufflehead

    Canada Goose

    Canvasback

    Cape May Warbler*

    Carolina Chickadee*

    Carolina Wren

    Cedar Waxwing

    Chipping Sparrow

    Common Gallinule

    Common Goldeneye

    Common Grackle

    Common Gull*

    Common Merganser

    Common Moorhen*

    Common Pochard*

    Common Redpoll

    Cooper's Hawk

    Dark-Eyed Junco

    Dicksissel

    Double-Crested Cormorant

    Downy Woodpecker

    Eastern Bluebird

    Eastern Goldfinch - See American Goldfinch

    Eastern Kingbird

    Eastern Meadowlark

    Eastern Phoebe

    Eastern Towhee

    Eastern Wood Pewee

    Eurasian Blackbird*

    Eurasian Collared Dove

    Eurasian Coot*

    Eurasian Jackdaw*

    Eurasian Magpie*

    Eurasian Tree Sparrow*

    European Serin*

    European Starling

    Fox Sparrow

    Golden-Crowned Kinglet

    Gray Catbird

    Graylag Goose

    Great Black-backed Gull*

    Great Blue Heron

    Great Cormorant*

    Great Egret

    Great Grey Shrike

    Great Spotted Woodpecker*

    Great Tit*

    Greater Flamingo*

    Greater White-Fronted Goose*

    Hairy Woodpecker

    Harlequin Duck

    Hermit Thrush

    Herring Gull

    Hooded Crow*

    Horned Lark

    House Finch

    House Sparrow

    House Wren

    Indigo Bunting

    Killdeer

    Laughing Gull*

    Lesser Black-backed Gull*

    Lesser Scaup

    Lincoln's Sparrow

    Magnolia Warbler

    Mallard (Domestic)

    Mallard (Wild)

    Mourning Dove

    Mute Swan*

    Neotropic Cormorant*

    Northern Cardinal

    Northern Flicker

    Northern Rough-Winged Swallow

    Northern Shoveler

    Northern Shrike - See Great Grey Shrike

    Orange-Crowned Warbler

    Palm Warbler

    Red-Bellied Woodpecker

    Red-Breasted Nuthatch

    Red-Headed Woodpecker

    Red-Legged Thrush*

    Red-Tailed Hawk

    Red-Winged Blackbird

    Ring-Billed Gull

    Ring-Necked Duck

    Rock Pigeon

    Rook*

    Ross's Goose*

    Ruby-Crowned Kinglet

    Ruddy Turnstone*

    Scarlet Tanager

    Smooth-Billed Ani*

    Solitary Sandpiper

    Song Sparrow

    Spotted Sandpiper

    Swamp Sparrow

    Syrian Woodpecker*

    Tricolored Heron*

    Tufted Duck*

    Tufted Titmouse

    Tundra Swan*

    Turkey Vulture

    White-Breasted Nuthatch

    White-Cheeked Pintail*

    White-Crowned Pigeon*

    White-Crowned Sparrow

    White-Eyed Vireo

    White-Throated Sparrow

    White-Winged Dove

    Wild Turkey

    Wilson's Warbler

    Yellow-Bellied Sapsucker

    Yellow-Legged Gull

    Yellow-Rumped Warbler


MAMMALS

    American Beaver

    Common Raccoon

    Eastern Chipmunk

    Eastern Cottontail

    Eastern Fox Squirrel

    Eastern Gray Squirrel

    Groundhog - See Woodchuck

    Ground Squirrel - See Eastern Chipmunk

    Red Fox

    Striped Skunk

    Virginia Opossum

    White-Tailed Deer

    Woodchuck


Thursday, February 27, 2014
bahamas 2012

Paradise Island, Bahamas 2011

Sky Watch Friday


Posted by: Mike in: Bahamas,Travel at 9:00 pm

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Monday, February 24, 2014
2001-04-10 Paris France sites of the city (4)

Paris, France 2001


Posted by: Mike in: France,Travel at 8:00 am

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Thursday, February 20, 2014
River Arno in Pisa, Italy

Clouds over the River Arno, Pisa, Italy 2012

Sky Watch Friday


Posted by: Mike in: Italy,Travel at 8:00 pm

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Monday, February 17, 2014
2001-04-02 Rome Italy sites of the city (12)

Rome, Italy 2001


Posted by: Mike in: Italy,Travel at 8:00 am

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Saturday, February 15, 2014
flag and sears tower

Sears Tower, Chicago, IL 2005

Photohunt: Vertical


Posted by: Mike in: Photo Hunt,Structures,USA at 8:00 am

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Thursday, February 13, 2014
2001-03-14 Montpellier France (2)


Sky Watch Friday

Montpellier, France 2001


Posted by: Mike in: France,Travel at 8:00 pm

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Monday, February 10, 2014
constanta riprap 02

Constanta, Romania 2013


Posted by: Mike in: Romania,Travel at 8:28 pm

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Sunday, February 9, 2014

A few weeks ago Henry Holt and Company asked me to read and review the latest book by Elizabeth Kolbert, entitled “The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History.” The book had not been released, so the few reviews I was able to find simply made it clear that the “Sixth Extinction” was about the next big extinction (there have been five previous mass extinctions), and that humans were the cause. So, I somewhat indifferently decided to read and review the book, expecting an anti-global warming polemic. I was pleasantly surprised to discover, however, that the book was nothing like I expected.

Rather than an angry polemic, the book is simply a collection of wonderfully-written accounts of the author’s observations visiting extinction hotspots, mixed masterfully with natural history and the author’s own sense of humor. The author heads to Panama to research and witness the ongoing-extinction of the Panamanian golden frog. She heads to Iceland to see where the Great Auk once lived. From rainforests to coral reefs, Ms. Kolbert’s travels take her around the world, where she meets scientists, environmentalists, and locals, and learns first-hand about the critters and creatures she is researching. Her accounts are fascinating and detailed. As an aside, the accounts of her travel and the descriptions of the locales are just as interesting as the accounts of the subject animals themselves. As someone who loves to travel and read travel accounts, I was surprised at how well I simply enjoyed reading about the different places. Ms. Kolbert has a knack for descriptive writing.

As I mentioned, Ms. Kolbert’s accounts are also mixed perfectly with a generous dose of natural history, and all of it is well-written and very interesting. From Darwin’s specific accounts, to fossil records in Pennsylvania, to an overview of the previous mass extinctions, anyone interested in natural history will enjoy this book for this point alone. And, while global warming is mentioned here-and-there throughout the book, it is only front-and-center for a short while – and mainly in relation to the acidification of the world’s oceans. Most of the individual extinctions Ms. Kolbert discusses relate to man’s moving of animals and plants around the globe. Rats brought to an island uninhabited by rats consume every seed or nut, preventing the next generation of trees from sprouting, thus causing the deforestation of the island. Invasive species without natural predators out compete the locals, or they bring diseases with them to which the locals have no immunity, causing a die-off. Etc.

Overall, I hesitate to give any book a “perfect” review – the proverbial “5 out of 5 stars.” But, in all honesty, I don’t have any criticisms of this book. To be hyper-technical, I noticed two or three typos, but since I have an “Advance Reader’s Edition,” I assume those will be cleaned up. In any event, they did nothing to detract from the book – which was absolutely excellent. I find myself a pretty skeptical person, and I am certainly not much of an environmentalist, but even I had a number of “aha” moments while reading this book. I certainly did not find any of Ms. Kolbert’s conclusions to be tenuous, or even controversial. I would recommend this book – a quick read, I might add – to anyone interested in the environment or natural history.


Posted by: Mike in: Book Review at 3:42 pm

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Saturday, February 8, 2014
constanta black sea 05

Black Sea 2013

Photohunt: Water


Posted by: Mike in: Romania,Travel at 8:00 am

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Thursday, February 6, 2014
bucharest peasant museum 01

For Sky Watch Friday.

Bucharest, Romania 2013


Posted by: Mike in: Romania,Travel at 8:00 pm

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Sunday, February 2, 2014
florence pontevecchio (2)

Photohunt: Bridge.

Florence, Italy 2012


Posted by: Mike in: Italy,Photo Hunt,Structures at 5:48 pm

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Saturday, January 25, 2014
Bald Eagle Juvenile 04
Bald Eagle Juvenile 01

Bald EagleHaliaeetus leucocephalus – also known as Le pygargue à tête blanche (French), aigle à tête blanche (French), Amerikaanse zeearend (Dutch), Weißkopf-Seeadler (German), Vithövdad havsörn (Swedish), Vulturul cu cap alb, acvila cu capul alb, vulturul de mare cu capul alb, sau acvila americană (Romanian), and Pigargo Americano (Spanish).

Cruddy weather, but lots of eagles out.


Posted by: Mike in: Birds,Davenport,Iowa at 10:04 am

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Wednesday, January 22, 2014
Bald Eagle 04
Bald Eagle 03
Bald Eagle 02
Bald Eagle 01

Bald EagleHaliaeetus leucocephalus – also known as Le pygargue à tête blanche (French), aigle à tête blanche (French), Amerikaanse zeearend (Dutch), Weißkopf-Seeadler (German), Vithövdad havsörn (Swedish), Vulturul cu cap alb, acvila cu capul alb, vulturul de mare cu capul alb, sau acvila americană (Romanian), and Pigargo Americano (Spanish).

Poor light, very cold, and windy. But lots of eagles.


Posted by: Mike in: Birds,Iowa at 10:01 pm

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    Netherlands

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    Romania

    Spain

    Sweden

    Switzerland

    United States


INSECTS, ARACHNIDS, MYRIAPODS & GASTROPODS

Categorized by family, placed chronologically by common name

    Ants (Formicidae)

    Assassin Bugs (Reduviidae)

    Bee Flies (Bombyliidae)

    Blow Flies (Calliphoridae)

    Brown Lacewings (Hemerobiidae)

    Brushfooted Butterflies (Nymphalidae)

    Bumble Bees, etc. (Apidae)

    Carrion Beetles (Silphidae)

    Cellar Spiders (Pholcidae)

    Centipedes, House (Scutigeridae)

    Cicadas (Cicadidae)

    Common Sawflies (Tenthredinidae)

    Crane Flies (Tipulidae)

    Emeralds (Corduliidae)

    Ermine Moths (Yponomeutidae)

    Fireflies (Lampyridae)

    Flower Flies - See Syrphid Flies

    Funnel-Web Spiders (Agelenidae)

    Honey Bees - See Bumble Bees, etc.

    Hornets - See Yellowjackets, etc.

    Hover Flies - See Syrphid Flies

    Ichneumon Wasps (Ichneumonidae)

    Jumping Spiders (Salticidae)

    Katydids (Tettigoniidae)

    Ladybird Beetles (Coccinellidae)

    Leaf Beetles (Chrysomelidae)

    Leaffooted Bugs (Coreidae)

    Leafhoppers (Cicadellidae)

    Lightning Bugs - See Fireflies

    Longhorned Beetles (Cerambycidae)

    Mantid Flies (Mantispidae)

    Mantids (Mantidae)

    Minettia Flies (Minettia)

    Narrow-Winged Damselflies (Coenagrionidae)

    New York Weevils (Ithyceridae)

    Orb-Weavers (Araneidae)

    Paper Wasps - See Yellowjackets, etc.

    Picture-Winged Flies (Ulidiidae)

    Plant Bugs (Miridae)

    Robber Flies (Asilidae)

    Scarab Beetles (Scarabaeidae)

    Scentless Plant Bugs (Rhopalidae)

    Short-horned Grasshoppers (Acrididae)

    Signal Flies (Platystomatidae)

    Soldier Beetles (Cantharidae)

    Soldier Flies (Stratiomyidae)

    Sphinx Moths (Sphingidae)

    Spittlebugs (Cercopidae)

    Stink Bugs (Pentatomidae)

    Swallowtails (Papilionidae)

    Sweat Bees (Halictidae)

    Syrphid Flies (Syrphidae)

    Tiger Moths (Arctiidae)

    Tiphiid Wasps (Tiphiidae)

    Yellowjackets, etc. (Vespidae)

    PLANTS

      Brown-Eyed Susan

      Buttonbush

      Clematis

      Crown Vetch

      Dandelion

      Day Lily

      Field Marigold

      Larkspur

      Mountain Blue

      Palm Tree*

      Purple Coneflower

      Rose

      Sedum

      Spider Lily - See Spiderwort

      Spiderwort

      Stinkhorn

      Sweet Alyssum

      Tulip

      Whorled Tickseed

      Wild Pansy

      Yarrow


    REPTILES and AMPHIBIANS

      American Toad

      Common Garter Snake

      Eastern Box Turtle*

      Green Frog

      Long-Tailed Salamander*

      Northern Fence Lizard*

      Painted Turtle


    FISH

      Giant Sea Star*

      Nassau Grouper*

      Puffer Fish*

      Scrawled Filefish*

      Sergeant Major*

      Spanish Hogfish*

      Spotted Grouper*

      Stoplight Parrotfish*

      Yellowhead Wrasse*

      Yellowtail Snapper*


    CRUSTACEANS

      Crayfish


    OTHER

      Events

      Farm Implements

      Landscapes / Rivers

      Miscellaneous

      Planes / Trains / Autos / Boats

      Rainbows / Clouds / Sky Formations

      Signs, Billboards, etc.

      Structures / Buildings

      Sun and Moon

      Weather


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