Reader’s wildlife photos


Why Evolution Is True

Stephen Barnard in Idaho continues his quest for the perfect photo of the rufous hummingbird (Selasphorus rufus). He explains:

I realize that I’m being repetitive, but I’m looking for a definitive Rufous BIF — one that could be used in a field guide or a monograph.  This is as close as I’ve come.

I’m not sure what a BIF is, but that looks pretty good to me.

RT9A1693-2And another:

The light was poor, but the drop of nectar hanging from the beak is of interest.


And two more photos from Steve Pinker’s trip to Tasmania. First, a sugar glider (Petaurus breviceps):

face to face with a sugar glider-L

. . . a “tree filigree”, Hogarth Park Strahan:

tree filligree Hogarth Park Strahan-XL

and a “limpet valentine”:

limpet valentine-L

The whole gallery of Steve’ Tasmania photos (7 pages) is here.

View original post


Somali woman reportedly killed for not wearing a veil

Can we all just be treated equally, how do you treat women so badly when without them there would be no more men(DUH!)!!!!!!

Why Evolution Is True

I say “reportedly,” because although the BBC reports it as news, it is based on hearsay from relatives and so must be hedged. But if it’s true, what can you say about groups that will kill women based on their failure to cover their faces. The same thing, I suppose, you’d say about those who mutilate schoolgirls for the crime of wanting to study. From the BBC report:

Militant Islamists in Somalia have shot dead a Muslim woman for refusing to wear a veil, her relatives say.

Ruqiya Farah Yarow was killed outside her hut near the southern Somali town of Hosingow by gunmen belonging to the al-Shabab group, they say.

The militants had ordered her to put on a veil, and then killed her after returning and finding she was still not wearing one, the relatives said.

An al-Shabab spokesman denied the group had killed the woman.

The hedges…

View original post 469 more words

Update: Jerry Coyne the Cat


Why Evolution Is True

From Christchurch, New Zealand we get a report on Jerry Coyne the Cat from his adoptive staff, forwarded by his original foster mom Gayle Ferguson. And the news is heartening:

Well Jerry continues to rule. His coat is very thick and his tail gets fluffier every day. Growing so fast and will be a big cat I think. A very loud purr box and sleeps under the covers on the cold nights. Chases all the neighbourhood cats away and regularly hangs out with the chickens. One day lying with them in the sunshine but moved before I got the camera ready. He still doesn’t quite get the cat door which is a pain but when he wants to come in he flies in so you have to stand back!

An absolute sweetie who is much more of a lap cat than he was initially. Gives Loki [the other cat in…

View original post 94 more words

Letter Against Fear. By Lidia Yuknavitch.

I know your childhood fears all too well, sad but very beautiful story.

The Manifest-Station

Letter Against Fear. By Lidia Yuknavitch.

This is me running away from home for the first time.


I’m three. I have a small plastic suitcase and a big scary looking doll. Look at that thing. My cat “spice” is in the foreground, probably wondering where I’m going. My sister is in the background, nearly out of the frame, in the most glorious red dress.

I went to the edge of the yard and sat on the curb for about 30 minutes.

The house is near Stinson beach near San Francisco, where I was born. The yard was filled with fruit trees. The house was filled with anger. My sister and I were terrified most of our childhoods. My father bred fear into the bodies of his daughters.

And yet look at me. In that moment of the picture, taken by my mother who no doubt thought it looked cute, like…

View original post 480 more words

Readers’ wildlife photos

Very cool

Why Evolution Is True

Here’s another batch from Steve Pinker’s trip to Uganda. I gather he’s back from Tasmania now, so expect some photos from there. The captions are Pinkah’s

A yawning Chlorocebus pygerythrus, aka vervet:

yawning vervet-L

Eye contact with Chamaeleonidae (not sure which of the 160 species this is [JAC: can readers help?]):

eye contact with chameleon-L

Happy hippo family (Hippopotamus amphibius):

happy hippo family-L

Collared lion (Panthera leo) on a mound:

collared lion on mound playing w other lions-L

Grass stem with a Southern Red Bishop (Euplectes orix): [JAC: the source of the name is obvious!]

grass stem w red bishop-L

Here’s a short video of one building a grass nest (Wikipedia notes that males build several nests at the start of the breeding season to attract females.

It still amazes me that the construction of such elaborate nests is hard-wired in its genome, since birds can do it without learning. Somehow in the configuration of neurons and molecules in its tiny brain is a…

View original post 22 more words

The Chinese Man.

So sweet, so true.

Hope* the happy hugger

Hong Kong 1When we boarded a connecting flight from Honk Kong to Johannesburg, we were utterly exhausted. My nerves were, to say the least, a little on edge.
The lack of sleep did not help the situation much. When we were in the air, the flight attendant gave us the usual warm facecloth and offered us fresh juice. My little girl, who was parched, happily took a glass of orange juice. No sooner had she taken a sip had she dropped the juice. I was drying her with a tissue and used my facecloth to mop up the rest of the juice.
As I was bending over trying to help my little daughter, who felt awful about dropping her juice, I heard a soft foreign voice just next to me saying “hello.”  I looked up and saw a Chinese man handing me his facecloth. He looked just as tired as we were…

View original post 208 more words