What are your favorite cool spots/stops around the world that aren't super popular tourist traps? [more inside]
Specifically the natural world around me. I recently moved back to California (southern, but interested in all) and have a growing desire to know and understand the 'natural' world around me. The flora and fauna (ID & cultural/commercial/ethnobotanical qualities), weather, and the changes to this aspect of the world, all interest me, especially in an environment so dynamic and exceptional, yet heavily culled and altered by human hand. Books, articles, websites, film, writers; any and all resources are welcome. Thank you. [more inside]
Need help coming up with a new for a blog! The focus will be on sustainability/green living, personal finance, paying off debt, and science related topics. [more inside]
I'll be spending a week in Germany at the beginning of October. I have a ton of free time and the willingness to go anywhere that's rail-accessible. So, I beseech you: What are some of the coolest-SOUNDING places or things in Germany? [more inside]
Does certain music (like film scores or classical music, not lyrics) elicit feelings such as sadness, fear, or inspiration because we are socialized to respond that way, or is there an innate explanation? Moonlight Sonata, for instance, is beautifully melancholy. Certain film scores prepare you to feel fearful or sad before anything scary or bad even happens.
Ideas for a low-key weekend trip on Metra from Chicago? [more inside]
Hi, We have had bees for weeks now flying into our bush. The bush is a medium sized one, and the bees have somehow created a hole (bigger than a fist) on the side of the bush, not the top. So they fly into the side of the hole and we can't see what is going on in there. [more inside]
I’m in DC, and going to San Francisco for a half marathon in early December. What National Parks and beautiful, nature-y things can I see out West that time of year, and how do I get to them? [more inside]
I'd like to follow around a trained naturalist or scientist and listen to them hold forth on flora, fauna, geology, weather, (and some history) you name it. I have an Absolute Lack of Patience for general tours that lack a suitable density of information. (This is also true of nature documentaries.) I'm less picky about exact topic and more interested in interesting and knowledgeable speakers. Museums are cool, but I far prefer wandering around outside. Any ideas to share?
I would like to spend a long weekend or perhaps full week, in mid to late October, alone or semi-alone in nature. An individual retreat that involves yoga, hiking, meditation and contemplation (and maybe even homesteading activities), but is not overly "woo" or religious, sounds ideal to me. Where can I do this within a (maximum) 3-4 hour drive of DC? [more inside]
I'm thirsting to get outdoors this summer, and would love to do some hiking/camping a bit off the beaten path. But I live in Brooklyn and don't have a car. What are my options? [more inside]
I want to move to Humboldt to work in the healthcare field. Has anyone else worked or lived in Humboldt? How is it? Do you like it? Was it the right decision? [more inside]
My 4th of July plans seem to have exploded, and I'm trying to make a backup plan. Since it's a 3-day weekend, I'd like to go camping somewhere—but I'm expecting that all the decent campsites are going to be packed and I'd really like to avoid that. Do you have any suggestions for where I could go with a couple of friends to enjoy a little camping without having to deal with too many other people? [more inside]
We are a family of four with two primary-school age children. We would like to spend a few years (or more) living somewhere abroad (we are currently on a small island in BC, Canada). We can live anywhere in the Schengen area and Canada. My job will travel with me, so employment is not an issue. A list of desirable attributes is below the fold. Aside from the weather and desire for mountains, medium-sized cities in the Netherlands, Flanders, and Denmark meet most of these desires. Is there a Ghent in the Alps? Eindhoven in Quebec? Aarhus in the Andes? [more inside]
While hiking to the Sespe Hot Springs in the Los Padres National Forest over the weekend, I kept hearing this vocalization. (The low moaning one that repeats six times.) What creature is it?
A friend and I recently went on a cruise and it was the most relaxing and restful experience of my life. I've been trying to figure out how to recapture that experience at home. [more inside]
Cheapest place to visit leaving from Gold Coast, Australia as a solo flaneur (including plane fare)? I have a passport. I like nature and history more than resorts or theme parks. I like cold weather, not hot. I'm okay with camping or single rooms in backpackers. I can't drive. Late 40s, female, unfit (but happy to walk max 20k per day), introvert, 1-2 weeks, some time in April to June. [Thinking about Tasmania, Bali, Norfolk Island. I know the east coast of Australia like the back of my hand, same for Queensland outback and northern NSW. I've been to the Alice and Uluru and spent 3 weeks in New Zealand in December so let's rule them out. Oh and i'm off to Korea in August, so not there either.] Estimated budget for suggested trip appreciated.
Can we tell the difference between sunrise and sunset by sight alone? [more inside]
My wife found a bird wing and breastbone in the woods near our house. Can you figure out what they are and what might have happened to them? (photo warnings: BIRD GORE!) [more inside]
One of the most horrifying sounds I've ever heard woke me up last night as I was sound asleep in my tent. I'm assuming a sasquatch but maybe y'all can help me come up with an alternative explanation. [more inside]
I'm working on a project for which I need to compile a series of amazing/exciting/mind-blowing facts and stories about the natural world - and I'm hoping you can help. Think "ants can lift 100x their own weight" or "that bird that mimics cellphone ringtones" - but less well known. Areas of inquiry that I could dig into would be great too. Thanks!
For a project I'm doing, I'd like an illustrated book with lots of information on the physical world of the Bible - particularly animals, plants, and insects. I can look up what's mentioned in the Bible on Wikipedia, but I want more than that. I want to be able to page through an illustrated work (color) - bonus points if there are commentaries from scholars - and to learn a lot about all of the creatures mentioned without having to turn to my computer for complete information. More below. [more inside]
Ms. deadwax and I are taking trains through Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria in February. We would like to stop at one or two places that are not big cities, go hiking and otherwise get out of town and into nature a bit, probably with 3-5 days parked in one place at a time. If you have been through this part of the world, where would you recommend, particularly in February? [more inside]
Can you think of any jobs that sound like this? Spending time outdoors, collecting samples, analyzing them in the lab, figuring out how to improve our way of life on this planet. Maybe teaching kids from time to time. [more inside]
I'm looking for a giant book of life on earth for a kid. A book with real pictures (not drawings) that highlights the biodiversity of the earth. A book with 400+ pages that would have pictures of things like the dragon blood tree, the jewel caterpillar, the banyan tree, the cashew tree, the iridescent sky blue Hoplia coerulea. Not just pigs, zebras, and lions. And not anything framed as "weird!" If there was an updated version of the Illustrated Wildlife Treasury Cards, that would be fantastic and ideal. But I don't see such a thing, so a book will have to do. Any suggestions?
My elderly dad would like to listen to bird, owl, and nature sounds that are going on outside of his house from inside the house. Is there an outdoor microphone and indoor receiver (amp? speaker? I'm not quite sure what I am looking for here) system that will do this for him easily? [more inside]
I recently discovered that I really enjoy hiking. I live in Maryland, and would like to experience some good hikes in the state. Ideally hikes at a moderate level of intensity that could accommodate a group of five or six. These would be weekend hikes, and the less crowded the better. [more inside]
My boyfriend and I currently live in NYC. We hate it - we're tired of the noise, the garbage, the tiny apartments and the high prices for nearly everything. But we're considering having a baby in the next few years, and both our families are nearby - should we stay for family support or move to a location where we would likely be happier? [more inside]
Wedding poetry recommendations for a pair of active, late 20-somethings? [more inside]
Inspired by yesterday's Your Shot post on National Geographic, I bought a print. Now I want more [more inside]
In the mid-1800s, a snail spent years glued to a specimen card in the British Museum before scientists realized it was still alive. What became of this snail? Help me solve a scientific History Mystery, AskMe! [more inside]
A few years ago I watched a David Attenborough nature doc in which he narrated a scene that took place in an ancient, overgrown jungle temple. An alpha male monkey was surrounded by females, and a smaller, cheeky, male monkey waited nearby. A scene unfolds where a particular female waits for the right moment, calls the cheeky monkey over when the alpha isn't looking, and quickly mates with him, before he runs off into the jungle. What is this scene from? I would LOVE to find it again. Thanks.
Trying to take a short trip with two toddlers where they can get knee-deep in nature - forests, lakes, whatever. Ideally it's a nice, high-end hotel that's family friendly, a short flight (we'd like to go beyond the road trip radius) from LA. Any suggestions? Maybe somewhere outside of Portland?
I read an article several years ago in which the following argument was made: "life" exists to modify carbon. The assertion was that "life" arose as the most efficient method for creating certain forms of carbon utilizing all available resources, including sunlight, etc. Does anyone know of the article or of the broader theory?
Nostalgia time: I can't remember the title of a series of direct-mail nature videos advertised on TV. [more inside]
I recently bought a pair of Aftershokz bone conduction headphones, with the express purpose of using these to listen to podcasts, audiobooks etc. without shutting out the sounds of the world around me when hiking. As hoped, they work brilliantly, so I'm now looking for new ideas of what to listen to when spending quality alone time surrounded by nature. [more inside]
I'm curious to know if there are any works of novels, poetry, and non-fiction that parallel with the work of Walden? From an individualist, naturalist, and stream of consciousness point of view. Particularly works similar to Thoreau's eloquent writing style. [more inside]
What kind of tree is this?
I'd like to learn some more vocabulary to describe nature and architecture for my writing. I love elaborate descriptions in 19th century literature, but I have no idea about the names of most flowers and trees, and I have no idea how to describe various types of architectural in anything but the vaguest terms. [more inside]
With the recent news that nature words are being removed from children's dictionaries, I'm looking for many more nature words and their definitions to add to my lexicon. Books, blog posts, whatever, I'll take them all. The more obscure and localised the better. (Title taken from here).
We have a couple more days in Sydney, and need a few suggestions for what to do with the rest of our time. I would prefer sights and scenes of nature we can't see anywhere else. The difficulty: my wife needs a break from walking. [more inside]
I'm working on a project and I'm looking for metaphors that describe the relationship between a secret and the covering it is embedded in. I'm looking at examples from nature--like a pearl in an oyster for example. It's a loose metaphor really, as long as that which is embedded is precious and sought after, and the covering which envelops it doesn't really signal that there is anything of value inside. Ideas?
Next week I am visiting Australia for the first time. Flying in to Sydney, spending a week there with relatives in Merrylands, then two weeks with relatives in Melbourne (Braybrook) and then another week in Sydney. I want to know what is the best way to spend my time given that I am primarily interested in nature and day hikes, so the most pressing question is really 'What are the best day trips and hikes within a two-hour radius of Sydney and Melbourne?' Other factors: [more inside]
I got to work with this example when I took a mycology class a few years ago, and it occurred to me that watching it grow might be kind of beautiful... if the years it took were compressed to a minute or so. I've found no such timelapses, however.
I'm staying near JFK and have a couple of days in NYC. I have a bunch of work to do on a laptop and I like good coffee shops to work in (wifi + outlets), unusual food that I should try in NYC, and pretty nature. It's winter. Where should I go?
I am taking a much-needed vacation in December before the holiday season. I would LOVE to get out of the city for a week and just wander around in nature, but I don't know where to start given the potential obstacles. I grew up going to Acadia National Park in Maine...so I'm basically looking for the same thing somewhere warmer. [more inside]
I'm looking for shortcuts, mnemonics, hacks or cheats to become an expert at identifying trees. What helped you? Despite having a passion for the woods, owning several great books on tree identification and even carrying an ID chart, the business of saying "Ah! An elm! Hey! A lime!" or indeed "No. 1: The Larch. The Larch" still eludes me. Please note - I'm in the UK.
Do mountain lions ever eat the remains of another animal's kill, or do they eat only what they kill themselves?