Never Mind Cuteness–Get a Load of This!

So there you are on your pedal-boat, in nice calm water, happily fishing away; and you think you’ve got a nice big gar-fish on the line… but you don’t. Keep your eyes peeled for the surprise that’s in store for this fisherman. And then imagine it happening to you. Pleasant dreams!

Mr. Nature: Zebras on Red Alert

Jambo! Mr. Nature here, and today’s safari is a proper safari that takes us to somewhere in Africa to look in on the zebras.

The waterhole can be a dangerous place for zebras. Ambush predators are seldom far away. These zebras are barking up a storm and going on the alert because one of them has detected a lion nearby and given the alarm.

You’d think a striped horse would sound more like a horse; but nothing sounds quite like a zebra. I used to want to be one, when I grew up; but I never did master the zebra bark.

Orcas Ramming Yachts–Again and Again

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Whale-watching could get a little dangerous soon.

Scientists are baffled by recent attacks on boats and yachts by killer whales, orcas, in the sea off Spain and Portugal (https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/sep/13/killer-whales-launch-orchestrated-attacks-on-sailing-boats).

This behavior by the orcas has never been reported before, it’s really quite scary, and nobody knows why the orcas are doing it. One yacht reported being rammed by a single orca “at least 15 times,” disabling the engine and the steering gear. The yacht had to be towed into port.

“Several boats sustained serious damage,” including injuries to their crews, ran another report.

Scientists may be baffled, but the sages at the left-wing British noozepaper, The Guardian, are not. Only “51 days to save the Earth!” ‘Cause of Man-Made Climate Change, see. ‘Cause every year is, like, the hottest year ever. And if those Paris Climate Accords don’t go through, we’re all, like, doomed.

If they stopped short of calling for the Green New Deal, it’s only because the UK doesn’t have one yet.

Meanwhile, we don’t know why the orcas are banging into yachts. And there’s something else we don’t know, a bigger something:

Just how hard are the orcas trying?

(Actually it sounds like something in a “Bell Mountain” book…)

 

Now That’s What We Call a Shark!

Massive 6 1/16''  Megalodon Tooth Replica image 0

British scientists have “used mathematical calculations to work out the size” of Carcharodon megalodon, the biggest shark that ever lived (https://www.cnn.com/2020/09/03/world/megalodon-shark-scli-intl-gbr-scn/index.html). At 60 feet long and weighing 48 tons, Megalodon was twice as big as a full-grown great white shark… according to CNN Fake News.

Actually, the great white tops out around 20 feet long; but CNN didn’t know that.

CNN also goes on about “rare fossil remains of its teeth.” They got that wrong, too. Those fossils are not rare. In fact, you can buy them online. “Sharktooth Hill,” near Bakersfield, California, is famous for yielding lots of fossil Megalodon teeth. A friend of mine had one, years ago. And yes, it was as big as your hand.

I don’t know why people who write about sharks are so fond of exaggerating their size. Like, a 20-foot shark is chopped liver? Last I looked, the world-record great white shark caught on hook and line was 16 feet long. But 20 or 30 feet long makes a better story, somehow.

We can be thankful that this bruiser is extinct, except in monster movies. We’ve got enough real monsters to worry about.

Sanity Break: Baby Bunnies

The nooze can wait! We’ve got baby bunnies.

Here at Chez Leester, we’ve actually had this experience. Bunny has babies in our garden, babies grow up, babies come out of the garden and hang out with you. They haven’t learned to be afraid of people.

Just a little foretaste of a thoroughly restored Creation. Probably one without The Washington Post.

Rocks That Won’t Sit Still

Sailing stones in the desert of Death Valley

Next time you happen to pass Death Valley, visit Racetrack Playa and see the famous and mystifying “sailing stones.” As you can see by the photo above, the stones leave plain tracks in the dried-out mud of the playa. (“Playa” is a dried-up lake or pond that sometimes fills when it rains. We had a nice one right next to our high school football field.)

What makes the stones “sail”? Well, no one has observed it happening, but time-lapse photography in 2014 suggested the stones were powered by a delicate balance of ice, water, and wind. A thin layer of ice sticks to the bottom of the stones–some of which weigh several hundred pounds–and when a stiff wind comes up, off they go. That’s the theory, anyway.

There’s also a theory that space aliens may be responsible. UFOs traverse the incalculable vastness of interstellar space to come here and push rocks around. I don’t think much of that theory.

Mr. Nature: The Return of the Elephant Shrew

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Jambo! Mr. Nature here, in the Horn of Africa–and so is the elephant shrew.

Actually, this cute little guy didn’t “return” from anywhere. He’d never left. But for 50 years or so, scientists couldn’t find any–although the local people said yeah, sure, they’re still around. But now, finally, science has rediscovered the elephant shrew–with the aid of no-kill traps baited with… peanut butter. Somebody had a bright idea!

As tiny as it is, the elephant shrew is most closely related to aardvarks, manatees… and the elephant. Or so they tell me.

And if it had been a cryptozoologist who’d rediscovered it, he would have succeeded himself right out of a job.

Sanity Break: Butterflies

Ugh, the nooze! Pandemic. Politics. Riots. I’m supposed to be covering it, but feh. And double-fesh.

Here, instead, is some of God’s stuff: assorted butterflies filmed in slow motion, courtesy of the Houston Butterfly Museum. It reminds me of my grandpa’s butterfly bush, which attracted colorful customers from all around. I used to watch it by the hour.

The works of God’s hands are everywhere for us to see: a sure sign that God is nigh.

The Lord is with us. Every day.

About Those Squished-in Phone Displays

A couple of you have found that when you try to read my home page, or comments, on your phone (don’t expect me to remember what kind of phone: all we have here is a wall phone), the display is all squished off to one side and very hard to read.

I’ve sent a screen shot of the problem to Jill and she says she can fix it sometime during the next few days. Please be patient: she’s fixed a lot of things here, so far.

And now, per a request by Phoebe [trumpet fanfare]…

THE SPOTTED QUOLL

Quolls - Bush Heritage Australia

This cat-sized animal lives along the east coast of Australia in rainy, wooded habitats. Also known as the tiger cat or tiger quoll, it’s a predator that eats pretty much anything it can catch. Oddly enough, it has the second most powerful bite among all carnivorous mammals.

This marsupial is related to the Tasmanian Devil. Quolls are not as numerous as they used to be, and some conservation measures are in order. To me they somewhat resemble Thylacoleo, the extinct “marsupial lion,” which had some of the deadliest biting equipment known from the fossil record. Cryptozoologists think there might be a very few of those left, somewhere. But no one else does.

Mushrooms on Our Lawn

Mushrooms in the Yard: To Eat or Not to Eat has been a Common ...

Yesterday there were a few little white mushrooms on our lawn, a few steps from my writing chair. I wasn’t surprised: we’ve gotten a lot of heavy rain lately, and wet weather often brings out mushrooms.

But when I looked out the window this morning, one of those mushrooms was as big as a softball and the others were hurrying to catch up.

Are they edible? Is Russian roulette safe to play? Is ignorance a reliable protection from naturally occurring poisons?

I suppose I ought to remove them, just to be on the safe side. I wouldn’t want any animals eating these. But they do look attractive against the bright green backdrop of the grass. I wonder if deer or foxes or unsupervised dogs would eat them. I’d hate to pull them up if they can’t do any harm.