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Archive for December 2014
A to Z in 2015: Making The New Year A Good Year
If there’s one surefire way to make the new year a good year, it’s to spend lots of time outdoors enjoying North America’s natural diversity. With that in mind, here’s a list of nature-watching ideas and hints organized from A to Z. Alpine regions contain some of the most amazing…

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Flirting With The Kiss Of Death!  Just 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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Don’t Miss The Geminid Meteor Shower This Weekend!
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 nights of…

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Is Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer Actually A Female?
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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How Do 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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National Audubon’s Annual Christmas Bird Count Starts This Sunday— And It’s Easy To Get Involved!
With thousands of birders joining forces all over the continent, the single biggest nature event of the year is upon us: the annual Christmas Bird Count. The tradition started in 1900 when ornithologist Frank Chapman proposed an alternative to the recreational hunting of birds that usually occurred on Christmas Day.…

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Is Your Holiday Christmas Poinsettia A Flower—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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