The Garden of Eden

-or-

“I had a hunting territory in Africa at the bottom of the Olduvai Gorge.”

A month back, I noticed and commented on this BB post. Like other commenters I recognized it from the Life Nature Library (Early Man, to be precise). My primary partner in workcrime has a complete set of the books in his classroom, so I’ve scanned the illustration Mark F referenced and two others I particularly liked. I’m going to leave cleanup and stitching for another day…

*

*

*

A little chest puffery – my original ID of the antelope as a Topi was dead-on. For an interesting post on early human/hyena conflict by Steve Bodio, click here.

*

*

*

Jay Matternes’ web site (he did the work above) is here.

Har Nuur, Mongolia – EOIotD

Har Nuur sits in the Valley of Lakes of western Mongolia. Bordered bymultiple mountain ranges, the Valley of Lakes hosts remnant basins of larger ancient lakes, dune fields, and salt marshes. Har Nuur, like other lakes in the region, is a closed-basin lake fed by precipitation.

My guess is the pH and dissolved mineral content of the lake is pretty dang high – I wonder if anything other than little crustaceans and planktonic life can survive there.

Har Nuur, Mongolia : Image of the Day.

-+-

An earlier post from the Earth Observatory Image of the Day (if I had to guess, I’d say that north=down in this one):

Sand Dunes in Har Nuur (Black Lake), Western Mongolia

*

And for folks who’d like to explore via Google Earth, a Khyargas Nuur placemark.

Shelving the Carnivores

As my Sarracenia collection has expanded, my backyard table’s become covered with mini-bogs. I figured I’d reclaim it, so I threw together a shelf out of salvaged cinderblocks, chimney tile, disk rotor and strapping. Further proof that I am a DFH – swamp yankee subsp. [n.b. - some of the photos below, rather than embiggening when clicked as is our normal practice, will instead link to the main Flickr photo page so you can see attached notes.]

*

*

Sarracenia unknown’s hood (maybe Tarnok?)

*

A side (yard) note – the cherries are ready and the new growth bamboo is leafing out.

Water Garden Tour

Last Sunday, the Seacoast Water Garden Club hosted the first of it’s summer garden tours. Mr. Smith’s ponds are beautiful – he’s working with the features and plants already on his property and the result is a critter and plant paradise.

A map – I’ll refer to this when I indicate where my photos were taken.

*

One of many big green inhabitants of the Frog Pond.

*

The ponds were swarming with damsel and dragonflies. (Duck Pond)

*

I saw 4 Northern Water Snakes basking in the Silt Trap Pond.

*

I could live here.  (Water Works Pond)

*

Near the Small Beaver Pond.

The Brotherhood of Leathery Wings goes to London

We’ve got 5 (count ‘em) giant azhdarchid models (two of which are standing on the ground as the world’s first Haenamichnus-inspired parasagittal terrestrial azhdarchid models), 13 pterosaur busts representing a broad sweep of their diversity, a life-size Pteranodon to have your photograph taken alongside and more information on pterosaurs than you could shake a stick at.

Pterosaur.net Blog: The Brotherhood of Leathery Wings goes to London.

A Day at Black Jungle – Animals

It’s always a gas to check out M and R’s dart frog collection; just as exciting and interesting: they are doing some bird breeding. There are Gouldian finches and an araçari named Lance in the store – other birds, too, but theses two enclosures (Lance especially) captivated me.

Dendrobates leucomelas Guyana Banded. Love these guys. Black Jungle’s banded leucs seem pretty bold – most others I’ve seen have been very shy.

*

Dendrobates auratus. When I first got interested in dart frogs I was lukewarm on auratus. No longer.

*

The tadpole room.

*

M and R had the folks from The Creature Teachers down as well. They had some great critters with them.

Elliot the Umbrella Cockatoo. Elliot has more personality than some people I’ve met. He is an extrovert – within a couple minutes of him stepping onto my hand he and I were talking to each other, bobbing around and having a great time (at least I was – if Elliot wasn’t, he fakes it well).

*

He thought that posing for photographs was pretty weak tea after our Soul Train session; the people looking at Sarracenia might want to have some fun, perhaps?

Skoochee the Coati, so named because he puts his front paws out through the door of his crate and Flintstones himself around the room. For folks who are unfamiliar with Coatis – they are cousins of the raccoon from Central and South America. Long canines, amazing double-jointed nose, inquisitive – a favorite creature of mine.

A Day at Black Jungle – Plants

Today was Black Jungle‘s 16th anniversary Open House. A couple of other froggers and I made the trip down – it was a great day for a road trip (shout-out to S for doing the driving!). Black Jungle has an amazing selection of carnivorous plants and the Sarracenia are in tip-top shape at this time of year – flowers, new growth – wow.

A Sarracenia minor hybrid – the windows (fenestration) on the leaf is an S. minor characteristic.

*

Sarracenia flava – the hood is perfectly shaped to channel rainwater away from the pitcher’s mouth.

*

Sarracenia catesbaei – I’m mostly (but not dogmatically) a species guy, but for this beauty, I make an exception. It’s a naturally occurring (flava x purpurea) hybrid, named for a naturalist who should be better known: Mark Catesby.

*

But it wasn’t all carnivorous, all the time – Calopogon tuberosus – a beautiful little bog orchid.

*

And not all bog, either. A Hoya macgillivray‘s flowers getting ready to open. They are going to be huge – the buds, unopened, are larger around than a quarter.

Who was the Archigram of mammoth bones?

The border between natural history and architectural design deserves far more exploration, beyond the odd science museum diorama. We have been living in buildings for more than 20,000 years, if Mithen’s book is to be believed, but nearly half of that period has seemingly been thrown outside the pale of architectural history.

Who was the Archigram of mammoth bones? … Geoff Manaugh | Canadian Centre for Architecture (CCA).