Monday, June 22, 2009


Your dog sees the world in yellow, blue and gray. Reds, greens and orange probably appear black. Fido uses his vision to confirm what he learns by sniffing. By human standards, dogs are near-sighted, but they can detect movement at four times the distance you can.

-- Killing carpenter bees to keep them from eating your wooden deck only causes them to bore more holes for new nests. You can move the carpenter bees to a new location by painting or varnishing the deck and leaning a few short 4 X 4s against the foundation of your house. The bees like dry timber in its natural state.

Male carpenter bees have white or yellow faces. They are annoying but they can’t sting. Both sexes pollinate flowers and pollinators are badly needed with honeybees vanishing.

--American black bears (which may range in color from brown to cream color) only live in North America. Though they appear clown-like and friendly, they can kill and have consumed human flesh, especially if cubs are in danger.

If you meet a Black bear on the trail, don’t run away because it turns you into prey and they can run 35 miles per hour for short distances. Throw your arms up to make yourself look bigger and yell at the top of your lungs. Note: This does not work with grizzlies. If a grizzly comes after you, play dead and you might survive.

-- Crows (including ravens, rooks, magpies and similar birds) are extremely intelligent and will dip food in water to make it easier to swallow. They have adapted to almost every climate in the world.

They are scavengers that eat virtually anything. They have a highly developed social order and assignment of duties. Some pet crows have been taught to speak. It is difficult to get close to a group of crows called a (murder of crows) because they have sentries watching the area.

-- The American Pygmy shrew (Sorex hoyiis) is the smallest mammal in North America (2-4 grams, or 1/10th to 1/7th of an ounce and 2 3/4th - 3 3/8th of an inch). Using food consumption as a gauge, this little creature may be the most ferocious mammal on Earth, eating its own body weight every day. It has been said that a shrew “is killing, has just killed or is about to kill” around the clock.

The Pygmy shrew’s diet is mostly insects, but it is not unheard of for a shrew to kill and eat a mouse that dwarfs it --or even another shrew. It will attack a human foot without hesitation. A female shrew can produce three litters a year of two--eight babies. Aren’t we glad that Pygmy shrews only live 16 months at the most and they aren’t the size of dogs?

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