Category Archives: Bill’s Notes

Signs of Winter 11: The Great Backyard Bird Count

If you would like to listen to this blog rather than reading it, please click on this link. Starting tomorrow (February 16th) and running until Monday (February 19) the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology, Birds Studies Canada and the National Audubon … Continue reading

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Signs of Winter 10: Parasites and Pathogens

If you would like to listen to this blog rather than reading it, please click on this link!) Parasites and pathogens often have very obvious effects on the their hosts. Some parasites (like tapeworms, for example) basically steal a percentage … Continue reading

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Signs of Winter 9: House Cat Day Year 6!

Five years ago I wrote about Groundhog Day and suggested that we change this early February day-of-prediction to focus not on an animal that is sound asleep in his grass-lined burrow dreaming of gardens to ravage, but rather on an … Continue reading

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Signs of Winter 8: Winter Deer

On our two acres just outside of Apollo (Armstrong County, PA) we have a group of deer that Deborah and I enjoy watching very much. Now these deer do a number of things that are annoying (they eat anything we … Continue reading

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Signs of Winter 7: Observations

It was very cold a few nights ago. Deborah’s phone app registered -8 when we got up a bit after 7 am. I took Izzy out for her morning “business” and to fill the bird feeders and add water to … Continue reading

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Signs of Winter 6: Fire Ants

(Many thanks to Chris Urik, one of  my old students, for keeping my interest in fire ants alive!) There aren’t any fire ants in Western Pennsylvania, and even if there were they would not be active in the winter. If … Continue reading

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Signs of Winter 5: Snowshoe Hares and Road Salt

The North American distribution of the snowshoe hare (Lepus americanus) covers an extensive swath over the upper half of the continent. Most of Alaska and most of the provinces of Canada all the way east to Newfoundland and Nova Scotia … Continue reading

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Signs of Winter 4: More on Bees

Bees are the giant pandas of the insect world. They are charismatic and almost universally admired by the lumbering humans around them. We recognize that they pollinate not only our food plants but also a significant percentage of the plants … Continue reading

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Signs of Winter 3: Acrylamides and You!

Acrylamide is an industrial chemical used in the manufacturing of many types of polymers. These polymers can then be used in water treatment systems (and wastewater treatment, too) and in the synthesis of various grouts, cements, cosmetics, plastics, pesticides and … Continue reading

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Signs of Winter 2: Circadian Rythms

This year’s Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine went to three scientists who have explored the fundamental genetics and physiology of living organisms’ biological clocks. Over the past three decades these researchers have put together an incredibly compelling picture that … Continue reading

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