My Winter Solstice Reflection: On weaving together a world that's been torn asunder.
The number of bees we've identified from our summer collection topped 160 this week. We won't finish identifying all the specimens collected before the deadline for my student's final written report, but we'll get through most of it. She'll certainly have enough data to say some interesting things. Between our garden and prairie sites, we've... Continue Reading →
Not too long ago, I hit a milestone in the native bee project I've been working on with my Avila honors student, Laura Presler: We identified the 100th wild bee in our summer research collection. A lot of people out there have identified many more bees than that, so by some standards 100 bees is... Continue Reading →
Bee activity has spiked this month out at Jerry Smith Park. Our collection protocol brought in twice as many individuals compared to April and May combined! I'm also seeing bees I haven't seen before; notably, Svastra, a striking bee with very furry legs. (That "fur" by the way is what biologists call "scopa;" specialized hairs for carrying... Continue Reading →
After a rather slow start this spring, activity has picked up at Jerry Smith Park. Less than a month ago, not only were bees in short supply, but insects of all kinds were scarce. Now the prairie is buzzing, hopping, flying - even being chewed apart! The explosion of life in such a short space... Continue Reading →
I'm very excited to report that Daughter of Aithne, Book Three of The Silver Web, has received the 2017 OZMA Award for fantasy fiction! A division of Chanticleer's International Book Awards, the OZMA Awards recognize emerging new talent and outstanding works of fantasy. Winners were announced last weekend at Chanticleer's annual authors conference in Bellingham, Washington. It was a... Continue Reading →
Saturday was Girl Scout STEM Day at Avila, a yearly event hosted by our Tri Beta biology student club. Several of our science faculty participate, and this year, I brought out the bees. Thanks to my growing collection and somewhat more secure knowledge of our local fauna, I was able to show our area Girl... Continue Reading →
Friends in the northeast are getting pummeled by one deep freeze after another, but here in the Midwest, spring has made its presence felt. The sun shines bright over warm and breezy days. Daffodils are pushing up through the dirt. Birds defend their territories and build nests, and the grass looks greener every time I... Continue Reading →