Our Window on Nature

. . . exploring the world around us

Archive for the 'Environment' Category

Fat, Fur, And Feathers

Posted: Sunday, January 8th, 2017 @ 11:49 am in Critters, Plants, Weather | 1 Comment »

When the weather turns so frightfully cold that we don parkas and boots before venturing outside, how do plants and animals survive? They can’t add layers of clothing. They can’t toast their tootsies before a fire. They’ve never even heard of hot chocolate. Scientists focus on two coldweather survival strategies that are used by living organisms, […]

A Closer Look at Snow

Posted: Saturday, December 24th, 2016 @ 11:26 am in Sky, Weather | 1 Comment »

Love it or hate it, when snow season appears much of the country is covered with a blanket of white. In the northern hemisphere about half of the land area sees some snowfall each year, and every state has experienced at least an occasional dusting of the white powder. It may be hard to appreciate, […]

Nature’s Fireworks

Posted: Sunday, August 7th, 2016 @ 6:18 pm in Sky | 2 Comments »

Several times a year we rearrange our sleeping schedules to watch one of nature’s annual fireworks displays. Just like clockwork, during the second week of August, the early morning sky lights up with the castoff particles left by the passage of a comet. Comets are the vagabonds of the solar system. Many of them travel […]

A Flash of Green

Posted: Friday, July 15th, 2016 @ 11:12 am in Sky | Comments Off on A Flash of Green

Jules Verne, among others, wrote about the “green flash,” but the first time we read about it, we concluded that it seemed about as likely as traveling 20,000 leagues under the sea. It was called “an intense spark of colored light visible at sunrise or sunset” – sure, with Nessie rising to greet it, no […]

Those 0l’ Devil Winds

Posted: Friday, April 1st, 2016 @ 5:42 pm in Weather | 1 Comment »

Prodigious pillars of sand … stalking with majestic slowness … their tops reaching to the very clouds.” So wrote Swiss adventurer John Burchardt when describing the swirling phenomena that he saw while exploring the deserts of northern Africa. The Native Americans of the Southwest called this sort of manifestation a “devil wind” when it occurred […]

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