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The Bombardier Beetle And Its Crazy Chemical Cannon | Deep Look Video

March 17, 2017

When attacked, this beetle sets off a rapid chemical reaction inside its body, sending predators scrambling. This amazing chemical defense has some people scratching their heads: How could such a complex system evolve gradually—without killing the beetle too?

This is another installment of the PBS Deep Look series. If no film or link appears in this email, go to the blog to view it by clicking on the blog title above. If the film stops & starts in an annoying manner, press pause (lower left double bars ||) to let it buffer and get ahead of you.  [Chuck Almdale]

The Stinging Scorpion vs. the Pain-Defying Mouse | Deep Look Video

March 13, 2017
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There’s a chemical arms race going on in the Sonoran Desert between a highly venomous scorpion and a particularly ferocious mouse. The outcome of their battle may one day change the way doctors treat pain in people.

This is another installment of the PBS Deep Look series. If no film or link appears in this email, go to the blog to view it by clicking on the blog title above. If the film stops & starts in an annoying manner, press pause (lower left double bars ||) to let it buffer and get ahead of you.  [Chuck Almdale]

Piper – Oscar winner | You Tube Video

March 11, 2017
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Sent in by Ellen. At 4:45 minutes length, I don’t know if this is the whole Piper, or a short portion, but it was an Oscar winner and it’s not costing us anything, so enjoy. Produced by Pixar Disney.

This is a YouTube video. If no film or link appears in this email, go to the blog to view it by clicking on the blog title above. If the film stops & starts in an annoying manner, press pause (lower left double bars ||) to let it buffer and get ahead of you.  [Chuck Almdale]

How the Rock Pigeon Became the Sky Rat | PBS Science Video

March 9, 2017
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Charles Darwin knew there was a lot that was special about pigeons, and a lot that was common. Perhaps that’s why he used them to introduce the world to his new theory of evolution by means of natural selection.

This is an installment of the PBS – It’s OK to be Smart series. If no film or link appears in this email, go to the blog to view it by clicking on the blog title above. If the film stops & starts in an annoying manner, press pause (lower left double bars ||) to let it buffer and get ahead of you.  [Chuck Almdale]

Just in time! Saturday’s hike and bird!

March 8, 2017
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Northern Flicker Red-shafted x Yellow-shafted (J. Kenney 11/26/12)


Hikers All! What better place in
the Santa Monica Mountains than  L.A.’s backyard wilderness? Trippet Ranch in Topanga State Park!

We will explore there this  Saturday March 11th.

Trippet Ranch in Topanga S.P. (L. Plauzoles 2/20/14)

Trippet Ranch in Topanga S.P. (L. Plauzoles 2/20/14)

Meet at the Trippet Ranch parking lot in Topanga State Park at 8:00 AM! (Early, since Daylight Savings Time only begins the following night.) Our weather has encouraged many bird species to decide to breed here. However, what makes me optimistic is the first fill of the Trippet Ranch Pond in more than eight years.

Let’s see what a few days’ rain does for this environment. We can’t expect to see blooming spring flowers yet, but we should have a good chance to spot at least 3 woodpecker species.

Our walk will be about 2 miles, with up to a 300-foot elevation gain/loss and plenty of opportunities to cut back for a shorter hike. Wear solid walking shoes and long pants to protect against ticks. Bring water, a  proper, birder-like  floppy-style hat, and bathe in sunscreen. Since some of the trails are going to be moist, walking sticks are recommended–I will bring at least 5 extras. Weather report says it will top 75 F before noon, so dress in layers.

Directions: To reach the Trippet Ranch parking lot (State Parks pass or $10 fee) turn off Topanga Canyon Road on to Entrada Road, 4.7 mi. from PCH. This is about a hundred meters pas the Old School Road signal light. As you climb up Entrada, bear left twice and make a hard left to enter the park (a little over 1 mile total). Keep an eye out for signage. Desperate to not pay the parks for parking? Do a careful U-turn before the last left and park on the downward side of the road, then walk in to the park (approx. 20 minutes).

Weather: Looks promising for ideal walking weather; keep checking for blog updates or call Lu at 310.395.6235.

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