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Weekend Reading | April 2016 Edition

Happy Earth Week! I hope you found a moment this week to think about the planet we are fortunate enough to inhabit. Here’s some reading for you this weekend!

While I am most passionate about the more  visible array of flora and fauna, I find this “new” tree of life pretty cool. It puts things into perspective for us on our high horses, visualizing something we already knew; vertebrates aren’t the top of the heap.

Droughts and fire are a reality in the Western United States. Although the increased frequency is depressing, they need to be part of our consciousness as we move forward.

However, even scarier than above is this: there are people in congress who don’t think we should have parks run by the government. I’m not saying the feds, the state, nor any other smaller bureaucratic entity gets it right all the time…..but this is fucking scary and needs to be stopped; especially considering that the constituents of these elected officials don’t universally agree with the movement.

Birds are more vocal during nocturnal migration when confronted by anthropogenic light sources. Or at least one study suggests that. I’m not surprised, but the research is interesting.

A survey of professional scientists suggests that more Natural History training is needed in high education. You won’t hear me arguing with that. But will it get me into graduate school?

Now I don’t know how I really feel about this. As the article states, introduced animals can wreak havoc on ecosystems. The idea to reintroduce beavers to improve water retention in parts of California is compelling and could work. However, beavers can have extraordinary influences on a riparian environment and that’s not to be taken lightly.

Evolution astounds: a snake that uses its tail to catch birds? What!? (Also I think this is awesome because it was headed by people who actually live in the place of discovery, this is too uncommon.)

I’ve always been frustrated by the lack of casting appropriate birds for the locale of a film or television show. This explains why Hollywood gets it wrong, but it doesn’t let them off the hook for soundtracks. I shouldn’t be hearing Cactus Wrens in a movie set in Australia.

I’m a birder. Do you think I’m creepy?

This is supposed to be tongue and cheek, but it’s kinda scary how we use public land. Keep that in mind as you explore this spring.

Last but not least, this isn’t reading, but it’s certainly art. Art and environmentalism come together in this piece by a favorite street artist of mine, Blu.

And again, Happy Earth Week!

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