Category Archives: Fish
Did you know that this is the earliest spring in our lives. That’s right, thanks to a leap year weirdness the equinox is 2 days earlier (March 19 or 20 depending on your timezone) than it used to be. According to The Old Farmer’s Almanac equinoxes and solstices are happening earlier and earlier every year because of how leap year is calculated. When I was little it was always March 21st, this year it was on March 19. That means this was the earliest spring since 1896.
I will let The Almanac explain Why Spring Begins Early This Year
It all happens because the number of days in a year isn’t even. A year lasts 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes, and 46 seconds. Call it 365.2422 days. If only the year were 11 minutes longer, or 365.25000 days, we could simply add one day every fourth year and take care of the fraction forever.
But because Earth spins a hair less than 365 ¼ times per year, we must sometimes omit that extra once‑every‑four‑year day, and that’s what creates all this fussing. Skip three leap years every four centuries and you’re accurate to one day in about 3300 years. (We even deal with THAT little glitch by skipping February 29 in the year 4000.)
A calendar that doesn’t accurately divide days into the year starts going weirdly out of sync. Seasons start happening at odd times. In the previous Julian calendar (where all century years were leap years) the annual 11‑minute error accumulated to where equinoxes were happening around March 11. The Easter Bunny was hopping around in the snow!
The present calendar takes care of everything. This leap year will make 2016 have the earliest seasons of our lives (thus far!).
But Louise and Sofie don’t know that spring was early. They just want to chase the ducks. Have a great day!
This is a blog hop. I hopped it from MYBrownNewfies. Check them out for more mischief.
Mini Cooper loves to chase the fish. We have 3 tanks and she could spend all day looking at them. She loves to watch the fish so much that she ripped the backing off of the kitchen tank to get both a front and back view of her friends. I worry sometimes that the fish will have heart attacks because this giant creature keeps coming at them from every angle. (Can fish have strokes?**) I have even seen her stick her paw into the little slit on the top of the tank that we feed the fish through.
The picture above is how I see Mini Cooper looking through the tank.
The picture below is how I perceive the fish she her.
Ahhhhhhh! Get me out of here!!!!!
** Things I learn on the internet: I asked Google “Can Fish Have Strokes?” What I learned was that anything that has blood flow is able to have a stroke because a stroke is simply a blockage leading to a lack of oxygenated blood reaching any given area of the brain causing necrosis of brain tissue. Fish only have a 2 chambered heart. Stroke is usually seen in creatures with more chambers in the heart due to increased pressure that comes with each chamber. Mammals and birds have 4 chambered hearts, frogs have 3 chambers, and then fish have 2. Sadly, though a simple heart structure, it does appear that fish can have a stroke. I just hope not from Mini Cooper.
This is a blog hop. I hopped it from MYBrownNewfies. Check them out for more mischief.
This picture makes me feel simultaneously peaceful and anxious. I love the calm swimming of the duck (or is it a black swan) on the pond, but then all those Koi make me anxious because they are so crammed in and they look hungry. How does it make you feel? – DogDaz
Many people think endangered species only exist in the wild plains of Africa or some desert somewhere. But, actually, things are going extinct in your own back yard. Here are 6 from my neighborhood. – DogDaz
by Kristen Minogue
The last Western Black Rhino appeared in Cameroon in 2000. Now they’re gone, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, which declared the rare subspecies officially extinct Nov. 10. As thousands more species go extinct across the world every year, the Chesapeake Bay watershed is fighting to save its own endangered flora and fauna. Maryland counts 362 plants and animals on its endangered list – and that’s not including the ones that have already been wiped out from the state. Whales, bats, turtles and orchids: here are six of Chesapeake’s most wanted.
Dwarf Wedge Mussel(Maryland: Endangered; U.S. Endangered)
If these bivalves went extinct, the Bay would sorely miss them. Besides purifying the water from bacteria, harmful algae and metals, their shells also provide habitat for many of the Bay’s smaller creatures. Unfortunately freshwater mussels are one of the most endangered taxa in the world. They’ve faced threats since the 1800s, when their shells were popular for pearl buttons. Now threats are more indirect: Nutrient pollution from the land and subsequent low-oxygen zones can destroy their habitats and suffocate them.
Indiana Bat (Maryland: Endangered; U.S. Endangered)
Bats: The cave-dwelling, nocturnal creatures of nightmare. Insects would probably love it if they went extinct, as a single bat can eat up to 3,000 bugs a night. Humans, not so much. Those of us who like eating food grown in the U.S. can thank bats for getting rid of some of the worst crop pests. Though roughly half hibernate in southern Indiana caves (hence the name), populations are scattered throughout most of the eastern U.S. Habitat destruction is one of the biggest threats to their survival. But in the last few years a new killer has emerged: white-nose syndrome, a disease from a white fungus that covers their muzzles as they sleep. The disease has already claimed more than a million bats. They also need wooded streamside forests for roosting – another landscape feature that’s disappearing.
Small-whorled Pogonia(Maryland: Extinct; U.S. Threatened)
This tiny plant is considered the rarest orchid east of the Mississippi. Already extinct in Maryland, it now occurs in only 18 states and provinces and is critically imperiled in 14 of them. Much of the problem lies in the soil. Like many orchids, the small-whorled pogonia needs a few, very specific microscopic fungi to grow. The fungi in turn need certain kinds of trees. When forests are logged or disturbed, the trees change, and this throws the tree-fungus-orchid cycle out of whack. By studying one of the few populations in Virginia, SERC scientists are trying to figure out exactly which fungi the pogonia needs to survive. Once they narrow that down, they hope to be able to grow one in lab and one day bring the orchid back to Maryland.
North Atlantic Right Whale(Maryland: Endangered, U.S. Endangered)
Unlike many whales, right whales prefer to hug the coastlines – a fact which makes them more vulnerable to human disturbance. In the past excessive whaling caused their populations to plummet until today there are only 300 to 400 left in the western North Atlantic. Now they’re more often killed while accidentally entangled in nets or in collisions with ships. November marks the beginning of their winter migration, a dangerous time when they migrate south to give birth to their calves. During the migration some pass by the mouth of Chesapeake Bay. To help protect the whales on their journey, NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service created mandatory speed limits for large ships in certain areas, including the entrance to the Chesapeake.
Leatherback Sea Turtle(Maryland: Endangered; U.S. Endangered)
The world’s largest turtle – and largest living reptile – stretches 6.5 feet long and can weigh as much as a small car. It’s also the only sea turtle without a hard shell. Though leatherbacks generally stick to the open ocean, they rely on beaches to make nests for their eggs, and some have been found in the lower Bay. Today both land and sea have become dangerous. On shore the eggs, juveniles and adults risk being harvested. At sea they can often find themselves inadvertently trapped in fishing gear.
Puritan Tiger Beetle(Maryland: Endangered; U.S. Threatened)
Only 5,000 of these insects are left in the world, and 4500 are in Maryland, according to the state’s Department of Natural Resources. Their tiger-like predator instincts make them wonderful at pest control. But they have very specific living requirements. Their larvae can only survive in barren, gradually eroding cliffs that erode just enough to keep away plant life but not enough to harm the population. In 2006 the Maryland DNR began restoring a cliff near Sassafras River for them by keeping plants away with herbicides, with some success. They’ve also tried relocating the beetles, though so far this hasn’t led to any established populations.