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Categorized by genus/species, placed chronologically by common name

    American Coot

    American Crow

    American Flamingo*

    American Goldfinch

    American Kestrel

    American Oystercatcher*

    American Robin

    American Tree Sparrow

    American White Pelican

    Bald Eagle

    Baltimore Oriole

    Barn Swallow

    Barnacle Goose*

    Belted Kingfisher

    Black-and-White Warbler

    Black-Bellied Whistling-Duck*

    Black-Capped Chickadee

    Black-Headed Gull*

    Black Vulture*

    Blue Jay

    Blue Tit*

    Blue-Winged Teal



    Broad-Winged Hawk

    Brown Creeper

    Brown-Headed Cowbird

    Brown Pelican*

    Brown Thrasher


    Canada Goose


    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


    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 Shag*

    European Starling

    Fox Sparrow

    Golden-Crowned Kinglet

    Golden-Fronted Woodpecker*

    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*

    Green Heron

    Hairy Woodpecker

    Harlequin Duck

    Hermit Thrush

    Herring Gull

    Hooded Crow*

    Horned Lark

    House Finch

    House Sparrow

    House Wren

    Indigo Bunting

    Ivory Gull


    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

    Painted Bunting*

    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


    Ross's Goose*

    Royal Tern*

    Ruby-Crowned Kinglet

    Ruddy Turnstone*

    Sandwich Tern*

    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


    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


Nature Blog Network
Friday, January 1, 2016

Word of the Day – first-foot: the first person to cross the threshold of a house on New Year’s Day.

Thursday, December 31, 2015

On December 10, 2015, we saw last year’s Serbian SuperLiga champion, FK Partizan Belgrade (ФК Партизан Београд), take on FC Augsburg of the German Bundesliga. It was the final game of the Group Stage of the UEFA Europa League, with the winner advancing to the knockout round and the loser being eliminated. Partizan jumped out to an early 1 – 0 lead, but ultimately lost 3 – 1.

FK Partizan (ФК Партизан) v. Augsburg; Europa League, December 10, 2015

Continue Reading »

Sunday, December 20, 2015

A great article by Bill Wundram, my grandparents’ neighbor for many, many years:

So much about Christmas is tradition, and so many stories have been hanging around our family for a generation or two:

A week before Christmas, my dad would haul into the parlor (never the living room) the biggest Christmas tree in town. On Christmas Eve, heavy footsteps would stomp on the front porch, and my dad would shout “Goodbye, Santa.” We always knew the clomping was my dad’s feet, and the sliding parlor door would open to a magnificent Christmas tree surrounded by electric trains, dolls and BB guns. My mother, in her thin voice, would sing “God rest ye merry, gentlemen.”

Becky was about 10, also is the big house, the Christmas Eve night she was staring out her bedroom window and saw Santa Claus. She excitedly watched him lug a red sack into the house of our neighbors, the big Motto family. She ran downstairs, shouting, “I saw him. I saw Santa. He’s for real.” She is now an adult, a school teacher, who is still convinced that she actually saw Santa and tells her kindergartners that he is as real as the Easter Bunny.

Posted by: Mike in: Holidays at 8:46 pm

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Sunday, December 20, 2015

I often see pro-gun advocates argue that we need to oppose gun control because the population cannot resist a tyrannical government if the population has been disarmed. Libertarians like Austin Petersen post anti-gun control memes like the following:

While it is, of course, true that a population cannot resist a tyrannical government if the population has been disarmed (setting aside the discussion of whether an armed population could effectively resist a government armed with tanks, jets, etc.), I do not find this argument to be very persuasive in opposing proponents of gun control. Since most gun control advocates do not consider the government a threat to the population (rather, they see the government as a protector and a provider of services), this argument ends up preaching to the choir – it is unpersuasive to gun control advocates and persuasive to those who are already firmly in the anti-gun control camp. (This is also why I do not bother arguing “the 2nd Amendment says…”, because opponents simply disagree with what the 2nd Amendment means.)
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Monday, November 23, 2015

Traveling for us is as much about trying the different foods and drinks as it is about meeting the people and seeing the sites. We had read about eating bugs prior to heading over, and the “Bug Guy” was right on time.

First up: grasshopper.

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Posted by: Mike in: Food,Insects,Thailand,Travel at 6:00 am

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Saturday, November 21, 2015

On our trip to Thailand, we did find our way to a late-night Muay Thai Kickboxing event in Chaweng (which is on the island of Koh Samui, in the Gulf of Thailand). We watched the fights at Phetch Buncha Stadium, a 650-seat stadium that seemed a lot older than it supposedly was (the website says it was built in 1998).

Muay Thai Boxing in Thailand

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Friday, November 13, 2015

From the QC Times:

Just before a Scott County judge on Thursday sentenced Melvin T. Lucier to life in prison for sexually abusing one girl under the age of 12, the victim told the court she’s no longer “scared.”

Lucier, dressed in an orange jail uniform, declined to make a statement before District Judge Joel Barrows handed down the sentence — the four-time convicted sex offender’s second sentencing to three life terms in the past two months — during an almost 25-minute sentencing hearing…

Defense attorney Michael Motto asked for concurrent sentences.

“I would argue that it’s one common scheme,” he said.

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Posted by: Mike in: Law at 5:00 pm

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Sunday, October 25, 2015

Taling Chan is one of the 50 districts of Bangkok, Thailand. Taling Chan Floating Market is located on the canal Khlong Chak Phra and is open only on weekends. The market was full of fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as lots of fresh fish, mostly sold from boats on the canal. Much of the fish was available to be cooked to order, as well.

Floating Market, Bangkok, Thailand

The Entrance to the Taling Chan Floating Market.

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Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Lucier Gets 3 Life Terms in Sex Abuse Case

From the QC Times:

Three-time convicted sex offender Melvin T. Lucier will spend the rest of his life in prison without the possibility of parole for sexually abusing two girls younger than 12, a Scott County District Court judge ruled Monday morning.

Continue Reading »

Posted by: Mike in: Law at 5:00 pm

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Tuesday, August 18, 2015
Parenthesis Lady Beetle

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Posted by: Mike in: Insects,Iowa at 6:00 am

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Thursday, July 16, 2015

Lucier Found Guilty of Sex Abuse

From the QC Times:

A Scott County Jury deliberated for about six hours over two days before finding Melvin T. Lucier guilty of sexually abusing a young girl in February 2014.

Lucier, 55, a registered sex offender and former resident of the Patriot Mobile Home Park in Davenport, was found guilty on one count of second-degree sex abuse.

A quiet “yes!” could be heard in the courtroom as District Court Judge Joel Barrows read the verdict aloud.

Lucier remained emotionless as he was handcuffed and led out of the courtroom.

Reporting on post-trial filings here.

Prior coverage here and here.

Posted by: Mike in: Law at 8:32 pm

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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)

    Ground Beetles (Carabidae)

    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)

    Orb-Weavers (Araneidae)

    Paper Wasps - See Yellowjackets, etc.

    Picture-Winged Flies (Ulidiidae)

    Plant Bugs (Miridae)

    Primitive Weevils (Brentidae)

    Robber Flies (Asilidae)

    Scarab Beetles (Scarabaeidae)

    Scentless Plant Bugs (Rhopalidae)

    Short-horned Grasshoppers (Acrididae)

    Signal Flies (Platystomatidae)

    Snout and Bark Beetles (Curculionidae)

    Soft-Winged Flower Beetles (Melyridae)

    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)


      Brown-Eyed Susan



      Crown Vetch


      Day Lily

      Field Marigold


      Mountain Blue

      Palm Tree*

      Purple Coneflower



      Spider Lily - See Spiderwort



      Sweet Alyssum


      Whorled Tickseed

      Wild Pansy



      American Toad

      Common Garter Snake

      Eastern Box Turtle*

      Green Frog

      Long-Tailed Salamander*

      Northern Fence Lizard*

      Painted Turtle


      Giant Sea Star*

      Nassau Grouper*

      Puffer Fish*

      Scrawled Filefish*

      Sergeant Major*

      Spanish Hogfish*

      Spotted Grouper*

      Stoplight Parrotfish*

      Yellowhead Wrasse*

      Yellowtail Snapper*





      Farm Implements

      Landscapes / Mountains

      Planes / Trains / Autos / Boats

      Rainbows / Clouds / Sky Formations

      Rivers and Waterways

      Seven Seas

      Signs, Billboards, etc.

      Local Structures / Buildings

      Sun and Moon


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