Starry, Starry Night

By Eilene Lyon I adore the Don McLean song of that name, and the Van Gogh painting that inspired it. Most of all, I love the starry night itself - the one I'm privileged to enjoy just by walking out my bedroom door at night. I live in what you would classify as a "dark-sky"... Continue Reading →

Jumpy

By Eilene Lyon Spring in southern Nevada brings out the hibernating desert tortoises, and the people who look for them. Transects, which are twelve-kilometer squares, three kilometers a side, were randomly scattered on the map for the 2008 crews. A crack GIS team produced individual maps for each transect, along with directions to the starting... Continue Reading →

History of the Theory of Evolution

By Eilene Lyon This is the follow-up article to Science and Belief. Darwin’s Observations on the Natural World Charles Darwin formulated his hypothesis of evolution by natural selection based on observations he made during his trip around the world on the Beagle in the 1830s. Some of those observations: Island groups had wildlife differing from... Continue Reading →

Gold Medal Waters*

via Daily Prompt: Toxic By Eilene Lyon August 2015: I was working the MAPS bird-banding station at the Oxbow Park and Preserve along the Animas River, just north of Durango. Some of our volunteers happen to be active-duty, uniformed Parks and Wildlife officers, so we heard early on that something was amiss high in the... Continue Reading →

Science and Belief

By Eilene Lyon I once asked a classroom of college biology majors, some of them pre-med, whether they “believe in evolution.” About half raised their hand. Ha! Trick question. Science is not about believing. Belief and faith are the realm of religion and spirituality. In fact, you could say that science is the antithesis of... Continue Reading →

Ecuador Highlight

By Eilene Lyon As much as we were impressed with our time in the Galapagos, I believe the real highlight of our 2007 trip to Ecuador was our time in the Amazon basin, along the Napo River. The Sacha eco-lodge arranged our transportation from Quito by plane, van and motorized canoe. Smaller boats carried us... Continue Reading →

Upside-Down and Sideways

By Eilene Lyon When you learn to draw, using a photo to sketch from, art teachers will suggest you turn the picture upside-down. That way, you focus on the shapes, rather than letting your mind tell you what you’re looking at (mountain, tree, bird, etc.). It’s a way of changing your perspective. Turning the familiar... Continue Reading →

Absurdities #4

By Eilene Lyon I get tickled every time I read this species description for the Eurasian Collared-Dove in my National Geographic bird guide: "...do not do well in the wild" they claim. From Project FeederWatch: "No species of bird has colonized North America at the speed with which the Eurasian Collared-Dove (Streptopelia decaocto) has marched... Continue Reading →

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