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Saturday, 20 August 2011

Recent Happenings

I found a non-venomous snake in my neighbors' yard! It was gray. I think it was a buttermilk racer. It was awesome! I'd seen garter snakes outside before and even inside once (I took it outside, of course, but the fact remains that when I found it, it was in the dining room), but I'd never seen a big snake in the wild, and this was more than a foot long. And gray. I was watching a cardinal in my neighbors' tree, and then I realized there was a snake next to me. I love it when that happens.
I've been making myself go outside each day, because even though it's really, really, really hot in Texas right now, there's a lot to see. Not as much as usual, because of the horrible drought, but at least that means the chickadees will go right over to the neighbors' dripping hose. (Yes, I know that's a terrible waste of water, especially in these times, and I tried to turn it off, but I couldn't, and my mom says it isn't worth telling them about, since we never talk to them, anyway).
I can't remember if I mentioned all the nature books I ordered. If I did, I said it was 17. It turns out it was actually 19. My mom got angry, but I really don't think it was a waste of money; they're excellent books!
Some are field guides. I have exactly 5 field guides now. They are: Birds of Texas, Birdlife of Houston, Galveston, and The Upper Texas Coast, Amphibians and Reptiles of Texas, A Field Guide To Common Texas Insects, and Butterflies of Houston. I might have gotten a title or 2 wrong, but it's close enough; I don't feel like checking. The next time I see them, I will, and I'll edit this if they're wrong. Anyway, they're quite good. Most don't have pictures, but I can always use the Internet for that. The Encyclopedia of Life is by far my favorite taxonomy site, but I also have a few bird sites I go to.
Discoveries aided by the field guides: There are chickadees in our yard, and they're called Carolina chickadees. Those lizards we keep seeing on trees are green anoles, and only the males have the inflatable throat sac. Most of the other lizards we see, unfortunately, are not native. How I detest the exotic pet trade. At least I haven't seen many. Anyway, I need a separate field guide for beetles. I should really get my mom to help me learn the names of plants; she knows more of them than me.
I also bought some books on how to notice more things when you're in nature. They're excellent, but for Kamana One: Exploring Natural Mystery, you need a tape, which I lack. I've no money left, so I'll have to wait, unfortunately. It looks amazing, though. I need another book, too, but my library has that, so I needn't worry.
The rest are about conservation and/or political activism and the like, mostly, except for one that I particularly love: The Voice of the Infinite in the Small by Joanne Lauck. It's about how people used to coexist peacefully with insects and in fact love them, but now people have turned against them, and why that is, and what the results of that have been, and how to love them if you want to. I've never understood why people didn't like insects, so this really helped me understand, and it gave some good arguments I can use when people try to kill them for no reason, and it was really comforting to learn about people who felt the same way. I would recommend it to anyone, because it can probably help you understand yourself better, and it might even be a cure for entophobia (fear of insects) and arachnophobia.
Speaking of my love for insects, I was a bit disappointed with The Practical Entomologist because it focuses too much on dead insects for my taste, including instructions for how to get them into that state if you can't find them that way, but I don't regret getting it; it has good ideas in it.
I'm going to school in a few days; it's a school I've never been to, and I'm a bit nervous. I'm also moving to a bigger house soon, which I think is good overall because while we'll have less money, it's closer to the woods. That'll be nice. And we'll have a kitchen garden! And I can do whatever I want with my room! I can even make my own laboratory and my own space for reading my 2,662-page dictionary (It isn't easily portable, you see)! Unfortunately, the people who lived there before us might have used pesticides, and if so, it might take a while for us to get creatures to come back, but I'm sure we'll manage it. We're going to get an owl box and a bluebird box, too. I'll miss the gum trees, though; they're covered in yellow-bellied sapsucker markings. I'll have to take photographs.

Thursday, 4 August 2011

I'm back! With a tardigrade icon!

I'm back! In the time it took to forget to post here, I did the following:
--Went to Massachussetts
--Adored Massachusetts
--Signed up for early access for (SQUEE!)
--Turned 13
--Went to camp
--Abhorred camp
--Ordered 17 books, all of which were about nature (The name of this blog is very apt, you know.)
--Bought several other books, all of which were either about nature or the history of Salen
--Enjoyed life, generally
--Started 3 new insect experiments (very simple, just seeing which insects come to certain fruits and dead toads and things I found on the ground and at which time of day)
--Found out I might move to a bigger house soon
--Didn't really care
--Met an online friend
--Overall, done lots of other cool things I should have made posts about. Oh, well. I'm here now, aren't I? The next interesting thing that happens to me, I will notify you of.

Sunday, 8 May 2011

What My Life Is Like, Overall

I thought I should talk about it, since that's what a blog is for. Anyway, it's good. I enjoy it. I'm virtual schooled, which is interesting. I finally caught up on schoolwork (I've been ill since May, and we still don't know why. We think I might have an autoimmune disorder, but we've no idea what. Anyway, it's hard to do schoolwork when you're ill, so I'm behind), which is awesome. I was diagnosed with Asperger's a few months ago, which is interesting (to me, that is; you might not find it so). I recently signed up to volunteer at my local wildlife rehab center, which I'm really, really excited about! I'm going to feed baby birds from May through August whenever my mom has time (because of my age, I'm not allowed to do it without her). In my spare time, I usually read, be on a couple of obscure online forums, or research tardigrades, but I do other things on the Internet, too. I'll make a link list soon. I took the SAT yesterday, which was actually kind of fun, and I think I did well. I normally use paragraphs, but at the moment, I don't think anything I have to say is long enough to merit one.