Tuesday Mixed Bag

Yesterday was my birthday, so…other things got done than a post here.  So what’s interesting right now?  How about two urban predators mixing it up on the street in front of a lucky photographer?  http://www.nhm.org/nature/blog/hawk-attacks-snake-and-epically-fails   There’s another pair in the same post…that time reptile v. reptile.

Several good Twitter science accounts to follow:  https://twitter.com/carlzimmer  Award-winning science journalist.     And Asia Murphy,  https://twitter.com/am_anatiala,   studying Madagascar wildlife.    And Sophie Gilbert, https://twitter.com/SophieLGilbert, wildlife ecologist, conservation biologist.

Been hearing about CRISPR and gene editing, but haven’t found a good explanation?  http://www.nature.com/news/crispr-gene-editing-is-just-the-beginning-1.19510?WT.mc_id=TWT_NatureNews

We were missed by the tornado this morning but got 1.5 inches of rain (yay) that came down very hard and produced a lot of runoff (not quite as yay)  slowed down by our various erosion control efforts.   I went out and did minor science when the storm quit, checking water quality in the runoff at different levels.  Yes, we need to build two more checkdams, since last fall’s multiple flash floods managed to scour in areas that had been “safe.”   More storms are due overnight and off and on until Saturday.   One of our big bullfrogs glowered at me as I tried to get a better picture and flung himself into the water before I got exactly what I wanted.  I should’ve put the big lens on the camera.  But here it is:


The pond is not large enough to sustain a good population of bullfrogs, but apparently a small reliable pond is better (in their little amphibian minds) than a much larger area that isn’t reliable.   I had been quite happy with a breeding population of Rio Grande leopard frogs (much more in scale with our waterscape) and cricket frogs (ample room for them) but once you get bullfrogs, you’ve pretty much GOT bullfrogs unless you try to hunt them out, and I haven’t time.

[Edited to add link to Nature News article on CRISPR tech.]


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