Timely nuggets of information and ideas we want to share with you.

Dancing Racoon!

First, you must make sure to turn on the sound.  This makes me rethink my opinion of racoons.  It will make your day!!

Asknature.org is a free online tool where you can search thousands of nature’s solutions to various challenges. It is designed to provide guidance to students, educators, engineers, scientists, designers, artists, naturalists, and anyone curious about something in nature.  Examples of questions include how a decentralized society helps ants to recover from a food shortage or how maple tree seeds twirl in a tornado-like vortex to increase the reach of where their seeds are planted.

Click here for a Field Guide on how to use the site.

Amazon Smile is a painless way to donate money to the charitable organization of your choice, and it won’t cost you a cent! Sign up for Amazon Smile at www.smile.amazon.com  and designate your charity. From then on, as you shop at Amazon (make sure you’re on the Amazon Smile site), a small percentage of your purchase amount will be donated, at no additional cost to you. I have mentioned Amazon Smile before but since I keep forgetting about it as I shop on Amazon, I thought you might also need reminding.


Merlin is a phone app that identifies birds that you see or hear. Answer three questions –

o   What is the size of the bird?

o   What are the main colors?

o   Where was the bird? Check one of six possibilities.

Are you hearing a bird song you’d like to identify? Go to the Sound ID and let it listen.  It will show you real-time suggestions for who is singing.  You can compare what you heard to Merlin’s songs and calls to confirm what you heard.  Sound ID is available for birds in the U.S. and Canada.  More regions and species are being added all the time. Or you can choose Photo ID and Merlin will select from its over 8,000 species to find the one that matches most closely.

You can build a digital scrapbook called Save My Bird of all the birds you’ve encountered.  Just click “This is my bird” each time you identify a bird and Merlin will add it to your list.  The app is free.

For Apple click here

For Android click here.