Natural History Notes

These are quick stories or news items with less commentary. These may be short stories or comments about other natural history stories from other sources

NH Photography: Dragonflies of the North Carolina Coast


I recently took a hike at Currituck Banks Reserve on the outer bank of North Carolina.  My daughter was fascinated by  the hundreds of dragonflies buzzing around.  We spent more than an hour watching them interact with their environment and each other in the dry woods and near the bay waters. There are a million […]

Fishing for Fossils in the North Sea: The Lost World of Doggerland

The skull of a mammoth is loaded on board a fishing vessel on the North Sea

Imagine trawling for fish and when you pull up your nets you find a massive bone or a huge tooth along with your catch.  For over 100 years fishermen in the North Sea between Britain and Denmark have found such items in their nets but it wasn’t until the 1980s that the items that their […]

NH Photography: Frosty Window


In case you hadn’t noticed it’s been a bit cold this winter.   Here in Ohio we have already had more days below zero (Fahrenheit) than the last couple of years combined.   Today I walked into my daughter’s room and noticed that some beautiful ice crystals had formed on her window.  This is a […]

The Peat Bog: Chronicler of Human History


Peat bogs are a repository of the passage of time. They record changes in the earth’s atmosphere and unique events such as ash falls from volcanic eruptions. Through careful analysis of bogs we can reconstruct the past just like we can reconstruct a crime from the crime scene. Peat bogs in Europe give us a unique window into the effects of human industry and landscape shift due to deforestation and agriculture and even longer term shifts in climate patterns.

NH Notes: A Fish that Prefers to be on Land – The Pacific Leaping Blenny

The Pacific leaping blenny.  Many populations of this species are found along the coasts of Guam.  These fish is only about 4-8cm in length.

This fish prefers to be out of water!  The Pacific leaping blenny is back in the news again with the publication of further research on how they avoid being eaten by birds and lizards.  Whoa, back up a bit you say.  A fish living out of water! Yep, and this isn’t just a fish that […]

NH Photography: Critters Around Our House This Fall

Grace lets a hickory tussock moth caterpillar walk across her face.  Those feet really do tickle!  Photo: Joel Duff

Nothing particularly profound today. I thought I would just share a smattering of pictures of critters that can be found on most any given early fall day around our home near Akron OH. The last couple of days there have been thousands of ladybugs swarming around the backyard looking for a place to overwinter. I […]

NH Notes: Fuzzy Orange Galls on Oak Leaves

Galls along the main vein of a pin oak leaf.  Image: Joel Duff

My 5-year-old daughter is very attentive to the insect population around our house. She spends many hours collecting all sorts of insects and other animals.   A month ago she brought me a leaf that she thought had a caterpillar of some sort on it.   She is well aware that bugs make little houses […]

Dragon Tales, UFOs and the Creation Museum


Since its inception, one of the Creation Museum’s most provocative exhibits has been one that places dinosaurs and man side by side.  While this is anachronistic to most people at least everyone agrees that dinosaurs really lived at some time in earth’s history.*  This year the Creation Museum added a new exhibit where you can […]

NH Notes: Ancient Lava Flows and Inverted Valleys in Utah

Former valley floor covered with lava is now a flat topped hill with an airport.

How does a hill get a flat top?  The picture below is a Google Maps satellite image of St. George Utah. To the left you can see an airport. This airport is on top of a long hill whose top is well over 100 feet above the city below.  The airport was built here because […]

Night of the Invasive Earthworms: A Horror Story for Northern Forests

A group of invasive earthworms. Well, invasive if they are on a continent where they are not natively found.

We all learned from an early age that earthworms are God’s good gift to gardeners.   They rework the soil and help to degrade leaf litter thus helping to make nutrients and water available to plant roots.   Our appreciation of earthworms can be traced back to Charles Darwin who spent more than 40 years […]


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