Articles by " Hugh"
While Some Count Sheep, Others Count Bats
By     |    Aug 18, 2013
Posted in: Uncategorized     |    No Comments

While Some Count Sheep, Others Count Bats

When darkness falls, most people retire to the comfort of their lighted homes. Human bodies are programmed by circadian rhythm to seek rest when night comes, letting the creatures of the darkness – owls, opossums, bats – move through the shadows. We do not follow their comings and goings, and perhaps we do not want to know what they are doing out there. We prefer to let nature’s nocturnals take […]

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“Science and Nature for Whaaahhh??” The story behind the name
By     |    Jul 27, 2013
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“Science and Nature for Whaaahhh??” The story behind the name

I write stories about, well, science and nature. While I often interview scientists for my stories, what I write isn’t considered “hard” science. It’s intended for the lay person interested in the ways the natural world weaves in and out of our lives, and about the amazing work scientists are doing that most folks don’t know about. I love doing what I do, and when it came time to come […]

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Dragons and Darners and Damsels, Oh My!

Dragons and Darners and Damsels, Oh My!

July 2013 The warm sun is setting over the pond, and it seems like a nice time for your first flight of the day. As a mosquito, you aren’t exactly going to win any popularity contests, but hey, it’s a living. Off you go in search of a tasty treat, hopefully from one of those large creatures wearing floppy hats you see floating on the water in their brightly colored […]

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Blue Crabs: Rhode Island’s Next Big Shell Fishery?
By     |    Jul 21, 2013
Posted in: Blue Crab, Rhode Island DEM, Uncategorized, URI, USFW     |    2 Comments

Blue Crabs: Rhode Island’s Next Big Shell Fishery?

In a restaurant, on a plate, filled with meat and stuffing, the blue crab is a sight to bring a smile to the diner’s face. In a trap, on a crowded boat, filled with snapping claws, this very lively crustacean prompts much more caution than contemplation. It’s this latter encounter that URI Research Associates Barbara Somers and Chris Parkins are wrangling with on en early autumn morning on Point Judith […]

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Life, Death, and the Odds: Perils of a First Year Bird
By     |    Jul 12, 2013
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Life, Death, and the Odds: Perils of a First Year Bird

At first, I thought the wind was making the glass door rattle. Even the second time I heard the small thud, I didn’t process what was happening. It was a stifling hot day, the air conditioner was running, and there was the oil burner guy who came to do a tune-up to attract my attention. It wasn’t until he was bringing his equipment out to his truck that I figured […]

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Leopards in the Forest
By     |    Jul 1, 2013
Posted in: Caterpillars of Eastern North America, Giant Leopard Moth, Moths, Uncategorized     |    3 Comments

Leopards in the Forest

  The trip to the edge of the woods would be a quick one. The air had been steam sauna wet, and even now only recalled the tepid dampness of someone else’s towel. Worse, the yawn of days like this had produced a ravening hoard of mosquitoes that laughed openly at the casual wave of a hand. My dog, Shadow, for whom this trip to the woods had been necessary, […]

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“My” Birds

“My” Birds

It’s silly and I know it.  There’s no logical reason, but try as I might, I fall victim to it again and again.  Anthropomorphism. Giving human characteristics to non-human creatures is hardly new.  The term comes from the Greek words “anthropos” (human) and “morphe” (shape), but this notion is universal.  Still, that’s no excuse. At the moment, the animal in question is the Red Bellied Woodpecker.  The Sibley Field Guide […]

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BioBlitz 2013: The Year of the Flood (Sort of)
By     |    Jun 16, 2013
Posted in: BioBlitz, Central Fall Middle School, frog, Natural Science, RINHS, Roger Williams Park Zoo, snakes, URI     |    No Comments

BioBlitz 2013: The Year of the Flood (Sort of)

“Every great scientific theory starts out by wandering around in the mud and the rain.” David Gregg, Executive Director of the Rhode Island Natural History Survey stood precariously atop a folding chair. Dressed in his trademark bush hat and fly fishing vest, his lanky frame looked out over a crowd of people dressed in waders, fancy foul weather gear, plastic-bag-cheap ponchos, shorts, boots, and sandals. The faces were smiling, but […]

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Sharks, Skates, and Chemistry: What can they Tell Us?
By     |    Jun 5, 2013
Posted in: Sharks, URI     |    2 Comments

Sharks, Skates, and Chemistry: What can they Tell Us?

Could sharks and skates play a role in our understanding of climate change impacts? What role might they play in helping people choose only fresh food? Or could these fish actually help scientists develop drought resistant crops? These are the kinds of questions URI Graduate student Abigail Bockus wonders about. And that is why, at the moment, she is using one hand to hold down a four-foot spiny dogfish shark […]

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Flashback: BioBlitz 2012
By     |    Jun 3, 2013
Posted in: BioBlitz, RINHS     |    No Comments

Flashback: BioBlitz 2012

Note: This  June 7 & 8,  Rhode Island Natural History Survey (RINHS.org) will host the 14th annual BioBlitz.  In anticipation of that amazing adventure, here’s a look at last year’s festivities. “Check this out!” A noisy gathering of teenagers jog up to David Gregg, Executive Director of the Rhode Island Natural History Survey (RINHS).   One teen holds a plastic container with a snake inside.  “We found a dead brown snake!” […]

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