Category Archives: nature

Bunnies in the Snow

Look at this: someone loved his bunnies enough to shovel out a network of paths in the snow, for them to play in. They do seem to be enjoying it.

I’ve been seeing bunny-tracks in the snow by my apartment, but not the bunnies themselves. I wonder where they’re nesting.


When You Don’t Know You’re Swimming with the Sharks

Here’s something you absolutely don’t have to worry about when the temperature is hovering around zero degrees. But in the crystal-clear waters of the Bahamas–well, that’s another story.

Watch how fast the sharks appear, seemingly out of nowhere, as soon as the little boy enters the water. Don’t worry, he gets out in time. But it was a close call. I wonder if he’s seen this video. Crikey, I wouldn’t even get into a bathtub, after this.


Four-legged, Woolly Shepherds

They can’t play harps or write psalms, but alpacas and llamas (very closely related) are the latest thing in livestock protection. I’d never heard of it until last night.

These South American relatives of the camel will guard sheep, goats, calves, chickens, and ducks from predators like foxes, feral dogs, and dingoes. They not only protect the livestock; they also bond with the animals they’re guarding. And they have such nice, sweet faces.

For a thorough discussion of this intriguing innovation in farming, visit the Glenhope Alpacas website (http://glenhopealpacas.com.au/alpacas-for-sale/herd-guards-for-sale/)

Okay, living here in the suburbs, you don’t always know about things that rural people take for granted. Susan, my editor, knows people who keep llamas or alpacas to scare off the coyotes. Around here, Democrats paved over all the farms. We may someday get coyotes, but we’ll never get sheep unless they can find a way to browse off parking meters.


The Snow Apocalypse of 2018!!!

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To hear the TV and radio noozies tell it, today’s snowstorm is just too awful, too fraught with doom and disaster, to bear thinking of–which doesn’t stop them obsessing about it.

So, yeah, just now, here in Noo Joisey, it’s terribly cold and snowing very hard–as it has done many times before, and will do many times again. It means a bit of hardship, but it won’t last.

I look out my bathroom window, where there’s a maple tree whose branches almost touch the screen. Despite the nasty cold snap we’ve been in, the tips of those branches already bear hard, tight little buds–this year’s leaves. In due time, according to the pattern ordained by our Creator, the buds will fatten, open up, and be green leaves.

We have God’s promise: While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease. (Genesis 8:22)

But I don’t suppose too many noozies know that anymore.


Bonus Critter Video: Baby Sloths

My wife thinks baby sloths are just about the sweetest critters on earth, and has always wanted to have one for a pet. I think New Jersey might be a bit too chilly for them, but we can dream, can’t we? So video is maybe the next best thing.


An Even Bigger Big Cat

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“Unknowable” has pointed out that there is a cat even bigger than the American lion was: the liger, the offspring of a male lion and a female tiger. These hybrids are sterile, which is probably a very good thing. We wouldn’t want them devouring all the elephants.

I, Mr. Nature, stand corrected. I knew about these critters but wasn’t counting them because they can’t reproduce themselves. There’s also a tiglon, with a tiger father and a lion mother: not quite so big, but somewhat more aggressive.

Nature sure is full of surprises.


The American Lion

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It’s snowing today, and we still have our Christmas tree–hooray!

Hi, Mr. Nature here, with another one of those cool Ice Age mammals that aren’t here anymore–the American Lion, Panthera leo atrox, the biggest member of the cat family ever to walk the earth. It was very similar to today’s African and Indian lions, only bigger. A lot bigger.

Why did it go extinct? Nobody knows, really. You’d think it could’ve gotten by, preying on elk and bison and other big game. God does things with His creation that we still don’t understand. Maybe He has stored them somewhere else. Maybe, when He restores all things, He’ll bring back the American lion.


The Freddy Kreuger Dinosaur

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This is a dinosaur I never heard of when I was a kid, probably because its discoverer thought it might’ve been a giant turtle.

All they’ve got are a few bones, including an extra-wide pelvis, and those enormous claws. If you think the reconstruction above looks rather fanciful, welcome to the club. There’s no skull, no teeth, so it’s not possible to guess what this creature ate.

Therizenosaurus means “scythe lizard,” named for the claws. How they were used, who knows? Someone suggested, for digging into termite mounds for yum-yums. But it would take an awful lot of termites to feed this baby, several times the size of a grown man. Maybe Therizenosaurus went around like Freddy Kreuger in the Nightmare on Elm Street movies, using the claws to commit murder. We just don’t know. The few fossils that we have come from Mongolia and northern China; and except for the claws, it’s all just bits and pieces.

Bob Bakker, the scientist who did more than any other to popularize the notion of dinosaurs as active, complex, and reasonably intelligent creatures, rather than just these big lumps of stupidity that hung around in swamps, once told me he thought God created dinosaurs because He took delight in them. I would guess God had a blast, creating these. And He is probably amused–tenderly!–by our efforts to figure out the fossils.

Maybe someday He’ll let us see these animals as they really were.


No More Moa

I first read about the giant moa birds of New Zealand when I was seven or eight years old and had no idea where New Zealand was and couldn’t quite understand the word “extinct.” They’ve fascinated me ever since.

Hi, Mr. Nature here, along with 11-foot-tall, 600-pound flightless birds–a lot bigger than the ostrich. They lived all over New Zealand until people arrived a few centuries ago and wiped them out. By the time the first Europeans reached New Zealand, there were no more moas. It’s really hard for flightless birds to defend themselves against human hunters armed with spears and bows and arrows.

It’s sad enough that animals do go extinct. What wouldn’t I give to see a live Baluchitherium! But when people drive them extinct, that’s worse. I can’t believe it pleases God when we do that.

Some scientists think they can bring the moa back through cloning: there are remains that have yielded moa DNA. I’ll believe it when I see it. I would rather than they bring back decency–wouldn’t you?


Cat Shows Gators Who’s Boss (Incredible!)

Some aspects of this video puzzle me. We’ve got a houseboat up against the shore, enough gators in the water to shoot a Tarzan movie, and people just walking around like fairly large alligators are of no more concern than a couple of chipmunks.

But the cat knows better. Watch what happens when the gators try to horn in on his territory. With this cat around, maybe the people can afford to be unconcerned.


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