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Archive for December 2013
How Poisonous Is Holiday Mistletoe?
Almost all of us have come across American Mistletoe, the white or green-berried parasitic plant hung in doorways during the holiday season to elicit kisses from those standing beneath it. Reputed to be the “kiss of death,” Mistletoe (the Phoradendron species is found in North America) is said by some…

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How Will Our Birds Cope With Winter’s Big Chill?
Winter’s chill is arriving, with close to Arctic conditions forecast for many of less temperate states over the next few days.  So how do our birds cope and what do they do for protection during severe weather such as blizzards, hurricanes, and tornadoes? Birds have an amazing ability to find…

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Don’t Miss The Geminid Meteor Shower The Night Of December 13th
The December night sky is busy.  We’ll see the Geminid meteor shower as well as the less well known Ursids closer to Christmas And later in the month we have the the Winter solstice— the first day of winter. The Geminid’s Meteors Should Be Easy to See The night of…

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Was Rudolph Actually A Female Reindeer?
Each Christmas season we hear the story of the eight flying reindeer that pull Santa’s sleigh all over the world in one night. And don’t forget Rudolph too! But what made Santa choose reindeer to help him accomplish this feat? Wouldn’t elephants, with their huge flappable ears, make a better…

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Are Christmas Poinsettias Really Flowers—Or Something Else?
Poinsettias seem to be everywhere during the the holiday season— schools, homes, offices and everywhere in between. But how many of us have seen a poinsettia in the wild?  And what’s a plant doing blooming right as winter is beginning? Just where did this plant come from? What Exactly Is…

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