Tag Archives: birds

Monarch Butterflies and Malaria Fever

In the language of medicine, symptoms of a problem or disease are often what help professionals diagnose the root cause.  If a person has malaria,  he or she will exhibit symptoms like a fever, the chills, and feeling achey.  Of course, many of us have experienced those signs and we just have the flu.  Context is also crucial: malaria is only found in certain areas of the world, and only carried by certain mosquito species.  Symptoms can point a doctor in the right direction, but a closer examination like an MRI, X-ray, or blood test usually provides the definitive proof of the problem.

So what in the world do monarchs have to do with malaria fever?

Migration map of monarch butterflies. Chris Brackley/Canadian Geographic

In the United States, Continue reading

A Walk in the Woods

Bill Bryson spent several months walking the Appalachian trail in order to write his book, A Walk in the Woods.  I just spent an hour on a bike trail near my home in Madison WI yesterday afternoon.  Bill got a whole book (yes, it’s worth reading – go find it!), while I got about five paragraphs, though in terms of words per hour invested, I’m probably ahead of him.  In terms of useful thoughts, you’ll have to let me know.  It was a profitable hour for me: Continue reading

Spring comes to Wisconsin (part I)

gedc1048Right outside my backdoor is a light fixture.  Hasn’t worked for a number of years, doesn’t seem to feel like a priority to fix it right now.  Just as well – a pair of robins have decided this is a great spot to raise their children.  Sheltered from the rain, relatively protected from predators.  The only real disadvantage seems to be these pesky humans who will keep coming in and out of the door below. Continue reading