We all love a good science fiction creature. Well, here’s one that really exists! The amazing bathynomus is an isopod that begs for stories to be written about it! I saw this specimen with Chris Mah at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History. Learn more at Chris’s amazing blog: The Echinoblog. You can also read about this creature from Kevin Zelnio’s article, which is like “Bathynomus 101” – a great way to learn about these interesting deep sea creatures!
When you are out riding a bicycle, running, or walking, make sure you don’t go so fast that you miss the special moments that you can find along the way. These two turtles were seen on the American Tobacco Trail (Durham, NC) while I was out riding. I saw them out of the corner of my eye and stopped to explore.
This little Mud Turtle hatchling was about the size of a quarter.
Notice the pollen on the shell.
This box turtle was closed up tight!
I could barely see the eyes!
Yes, of course we saw amazing mountains and glaciers in Alaska. But some of the real treasures were found underwater in Tutka Bay. Take a look at some of these anemones, feather worms, sea stars, and other assorted beauties! These were all found under the dock of the lodge where we were staying. Although I also took some underwater photos, these were all taken above water, focusing through the cracks of the dock segments.
Click to embiggen the images.
Day 4. More misty rain. Eye slits widening. Wing feathers noticeable under the skin. Tiny robin feet!
See if you can find the worm that the mother robin left in the nest for the babies to eat!
Day 3 and another chilly, damp day for the baby robins. The mother stayed on the nest most of the day. I checked them in the morning (sleepy heads) and at dusk (sort of hungry, but mostly sleepy). This group seems to be developing slower than last year’s.
Day 2. I was able to see all four baby robins, but they are really very snuggled together. Today was chilly and rainy. I expected to see them eating today, but mostly they slept. I try to only look in the nest in the morning and night so that they are not disturbed too much, but really, every time someone leaves the house, the mother flies to the nearby tree and leaves the nest for a few minutes.
Here’s the honeysuckle vine on our front porch. Can you find the nest?
Look closely and you will see the mother bird’s beak. She’s done a terrific job keeping the warm and dry this weekend.
Eye slits are starting to form. They will continue to spread across the eye before they are able to open.
Four sleepyheads. Look at that baby chicken neck!
If you look close, you can see the beginnings of where the feathers will start to emerge.
Not as sharp as I would like, but this closeup of the down shows off the tiny spurs that hold air.
We have baby robins again this year! Last year I documented the 12 days of their development from hatching to leaving the nest. You can look through the archive here (reverse order of date, so scroll down to see the earlier images).
Four robin eggs in nest. The nest is built in our honeysuckle vines on our front porch.
Baby robins Day 1! Hatched on Sunday, April 28th. So far 3 of the 4 eggs have hatched. Last year they hatched on April 27th!
Amazingly, the baby robins still make no noise in the nest. I am assuming this is so that they do not draw attention to their location. They are really filling up the nest now (and spilling over the edges!).
Day 11: daily morning check of the nest. All four are still there!
Baby Robins Day 11: feathers
Day 11: As the feathers continue to emerge, the down looks more and more out of place!
Baby Robins Day 12: morning nest check. They are sleepyheads!
Baby Robin Day 12: Remember when that eye was just a tiny slit? Only a week ago!
Baby Robin Day 12: head feathers are coming in replacing downy "mohawk"
Baby Robin Day 12: feathers are looking more and more like they will be ready for flight soon.
The highlight of the first weekend in May was Day 9 & 10 of Baby Robin development. The feathers are just amazing as they emerge.
The nest is getting crowded!
Check out that cute head and the feathers starting to emerge. The feathers on the wing look like a ruff around its little neck.
Day 9: It's all about the feathers.
These look like paintbrushes to me. Day 9 feathers.
Closeup of the Day 9 feather unveiling.
Day 10: all snuggled in, with feathers fluffed out
Day 10: Baby Robin sporting the mohawk look as down is replaced by feathers.
Day 10: closeup of feathers and down.