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Possible causes:



  • Baptist explanation: There must be sin in your life. Everyone else opened it fine.
  • Presbyterian explanation: It's not God's will for you to open this link.
  • Word of Faith explanation: You lack the faith to open this link. Your negative words have prevented you from realizing this link's fulfillment.
  • Charismatic explanation: Thou art loosed! Be commanded to OPEN!
  • Unitarian explanation: All links are equal, so if this link doesn't work for you, feel free to experiment with other links that might bring you joy and fulfillment.
  • Buddhist explanation: .........................
  • Episcopalian explanation: Are you saying you have something against homosexuals?
  • Christian Science explanation: There really is no link.
  • Atheist explanation: The only reason you think this link exists is because you needed to invent it.
  • Church counselor's explanation: And what did you feel when the link would not open?

Doggles – Dogs in Sunglasses

Saturday, 12 March 2022

How do I look in these?  That age old question about sunglasses is now not only restricted to our own species.  Now the dogs are getting in on the act too.  A surprise hit, it has been described as one of those money making ideas that should never have worked but in fact makes millions.

The Green Lantern of the Animal Kingdom – The Paradise Tanager

It is said that imitation is the greatest form of flattery.  So, perhaps when a certain Alan Scott came in to possession of a magic lantern after a rail crash in 1940, which bestowed upon him certain powers, he was at a loss about how he should dress when in action. 

Perhaps he remembered a stunning, exotic bird he had seen in books in his youth.  

When he became the Green Lantern could it be he had the Paradise Tanager in mind?

Very probably not, but it must be said that the mask worn by the brilliantly colored Paradise Tanger is more than a little reminiscent of the entire Green Lantern Corps.  This medium sized songbird is more than just a mask, however.  It has sky blue underparts and its upper body is a glossy black.  As for the tail – it can be either yellow and red or all red, depending on the species.

The bird is found in the Amazon Basin in South America, in over half a dozen countries there.  Such is the brilliance of the bird’s plumage that it is known locally as siete colores, which means seven colors.  There is no sexual dimorphism which means that the female, so often a dowdy color in other species, has the same magnificent plumage as the male.

As such it can be quite difficult to tell the genders apart.  The only thing which differentiates is that the male calls out more often than the female (whether or not you agree that that is extended to other species is entirely a matter of opinion).  Fortunately, the future of this species seems, for the moment, secure.  Although their exact number is not known, they are described as common throughout their extensive range.

The Paradise Tanager is a clean freak.  Each morning when the mist descends they awake before many other species of bird and ruffle and preen their feathers in order to keep them in tip top condition. Once a male has found a mate the pair elopes to the canopy of the rainforest.  This is because the higher they nest it becomes less likely that their eggs will be eaten by predators.  They chose a nesting spot and then the majority of each day is spent searching for nesting material, finding fruit to eat and hunting insects on the wing.

The species rarely lays more than two eggs at a time and another reason they nest in the canopy is because it puts them at a height where the humidity is just right for the eggs to develop.  After about two weeks the eggs will hatch.

A startlingly beautiful species, the Green Lantern may not, after all, have used them as an inspiration for his mask.  The Paradise Tanager is, however, a super bird in its own right.

Badlands National Park


Badlands National Park, in southwest South Dakota, United States preserves 242,756 acres (98,240 ha) of sharply eroded buttes, pinnacles, and spires blended with the largest protected mixed grass prairie in the United States. Bizarre and beautiful formations jut out of the fractured prairie in various shades of pink, red and yellow. Bison and bighorn sheep are a few of the parks multiple inhabitants.

Sit back and take in this glorious landscape with its wildlife through this short film created by Matt Brass.  The music is The Temperature of the Air on the Bow of the Kaleetan" by Chris Zabriskie.

The Hyrax – The Elephant’s Cousin

Thursday, 17 February 2022

The Hyrax may look like a guinea pig to the casual observer but looks can be very deceptive.  It has even been called the rock rabbit but its family tree is much stranger than you might expect. Its nearest living relatives are the elephant and, bizarrely, the sea cow.

Peacocks in Flight: It’s Quite the Sight

Sunday, 9 January 2022

You may have been lucky enough to have encountered a peacock or two in your time.  If you are like me then these beautiful, iridescent birds stop will stop you in your tracks.  Yet few people have seen one take to the air – and many assume that the three species are flightless.  Although the sheer mass of feathers precludes any avian marathon, they can and do take flight, normally to get to their chosen spot for the evening.  It may be a roof or a tree, but somewhere safe from most predators.

Hummingbirds in Flight

Saturday, 1 January 2022

Nothing can quite prepare you for the exquisite sight of a hummingbird on the wing. Nature has truly spoiled us with this astonishing spectacle. Take a look as ten different species take flight in their search for food and marvel at the aerodynamics of one of the world's truly astonishing species.

Image Credit Flickr User Ingrid Taylor
This beautiful specimen is known as an Anna’s Hummingbird and was named after Anna Messina, the Duchess of Rivoli. It is found along the Pacific Coast from British Columbia to Arizona. Males perform remarkable display dives during the courtship season. The male, when his territory is threatened, rises up around a hundred feet before diving on to his rival. The dive is so fast it produces an “explosive squeak” as the wind rushes through the tail feathers.

Mallorca's Living Fossils

Thursday, 28 October 2021


Thought extinct thousands of years ago, the Mallorcan midwife toad was discovered alive and well in the 1970s.  Its lifecycle is astounding considering it lives among pools in the mountains of this Spanish island.  Oh and the male carries the eggs around his hind legs while they develop! This and other members of the living fossil club are featured in this fascinating documentary short by Rachel Ledbetter.

Unexpectedly Funny Things to do with Hamsters When You're Bored

Hamsters – they’re adorable and surprisingly good company too. Here we take a look at some unexpectedly funny things you can do with hamsters when you’re bored – and throw in some cool facts about hamsters at the same time!

1. Amuse Him With Your Office Anecdotes
Hamsters love to hear what went on at the office. In fact they like nothing better than a long and intense monologue. Start with the time you got to work and give him a blow by blow account of the day’s activities. You can even tell him those secrets that you can’t tell anyone else, like who is having an affair with the boss. Hamsters love gossip!

Wanted: Grizzly Bears?


Curious about grizzly bears? A 7 minute film about the elusive North Cascades grizzly bear narrated by ecologist and film maker Chris Morgan, and including appearances by many Washington State residents who share their opinions of bears, and help bust some myths. The film includes beautiful footage of the North Cascades, and bears in Alaska where Morgan has hosted several films for PBS Nature, the BBC, and others.

Rattlesnake Wrestling - The Ophidian Combat Dance

Saturday, 16 October 2021

It looks as if these snakes are dancing with each other, perhaps in courtship but this graceful exhibition is anything but friendly. Most frequently witnessed in the diamondback species this is ruthless combat: both rattlers are male and they are engaging each other for the right to mate.

The Frog Photographer


Director Thaddeus D. Matula followed conservation biologist, amphibian specialist and nature photographer Robin Moore into the heart of the Costa Rican rain forest on the Osa Peninsula. The Osa is a mecca for biologists as it is home to 2.5% of all the world's unique species. Robin sets out to document some of its smallest four-legged inhabitants including the poison dart frog which has a very distinctive call! This amazing project was selected for the launch of BBC Earth.

The Honduran White Bat

Friday, 1 October 2021

You may just have done something of a double take. Yet these small creatures huddled together are indeed bats.  They are Honduran White Bats (Ectophylla alba) and they do not easily fall in to a number of bat stereotypes: they do not live in caves and they do not suck blood. Additionally their fur, as you can see, is snow white.

It is found only in a few Central American countries. If you are very, very lucky you might be able to find it in Nicaragua, Costa Rica and, of course, the country from which it gets its name, Honduras.

Yet it is extremely rare and, moreover, it is tiny – the largest examined have never exceeded 5cm in length. Not only that, but its white fur has evolved for a reason: camouflage. (Note: the above was caught by using mist nets in Costa Rica and was later released).

10 Beautiful Butterflies and Their Ugly Duckling Caterpillars

Saturday, 19 June 2021

Vans Old Skool
“There once was an ugly duckling,” goes the old song. This could not be truer of these stunning butterflies and their most peculiar caterpillars. Another opportunity to scratch your head at the vagaries of Mother Nature, take a look at this pictorial proof of butterfly beauty and caterpillar creepiness!

1 The Tiger Swallowtail

Found in the Eastern side of the US, this butterfly often produces two or three batches of eggs each year which puts it among the more fecund of butterflies.  You can see the black “tiger” strips on the wing of the male (a shadow of these stripes can be seen on the female but they do not to attract a mate – the male does all the leg work!).

Monarch Migration – Staggering Spectacle of Nature


Monarch butterflies are renowned for their migration.  Yet no single monarch has ever completed the 2,000 mile round trip – it is generational in nature because of the sheer distance involved. There being safety in numbers this leads to what is surely one of nature’s most spectacular sights – that of millions of monarchs congregating together.

In North America the butterfly begins this massive yearly migration in August.  Monarch butterflies fuel up on nectar in the northern States and Canada - it is time to leave as the coming winter will be so cold it would inevitably kill them.  Unlike their great-grandparents they have never flown more than a few hundred meters in their lives but they head out over vast northern lakes with no hesitation.  This is the first leg of one of the world’s greatest migrations.

The Incredible Chrysalis

The chrysalis of the butterfly looks, close up, alien and perhaps even a little frightening.  Yet it is one of the four stages of the life of a butterfly and without these bizarre looking enclosures we would not have the beauty of butterflies.  There always has to be a beginning in this process and above you can see a Painted Lady caterpillar beginning the transformation.

The butterfly emerges two weeks later.  The abdomen is white and still inside the shell of the chrysalis. Various silk strands from the caterpillar stage are in the upper right corner of the picture. The colorful wings seen here at the top of the picture have yet to unfurl and harden.  The pupal stage (called chrysalis in the Lepidoptera) is only found in insects that can be described as holometabolous (a marvelous word if ever there was one).  This is a term which is applied to any insect group that undergoes a complete metamorphosis during the transition from embryo through larva, pupa and adult (sometimes known as imago).

The Pronghorn – The American Almost Antelope


If you were asked to think of a large mammal of the American prairie you might well say the bison, coyote or wolf, a measure of how much these species have settled in to our general consciousness. Yet there is one unique American animal which is less known but is perhaps the most charismatic of the Great Plains. Many refer to it as an antelope but that is far from the truth. A true American native, the Pronghorn has sojourned across the deserts and plains of North America for at least a million years: but an antelope it is not. Its closest relative is the giraffe.

The pronghorn is found nowhere else in the world except the interior western and central north of America. At first sight it certainly does resemble the antelope of the Old World but it is thought to be a classic example of convergent evolution. This is where species develop to inhabit at least two separate places in the world but which share features and behaviors which mean they may resemble each other despite no shared ancestry. To the untrained eye, their appearance would suggest that they are related species even when they are not.

The Extraordinary Pink Katydid

Flamingos aside, you do not get to see the color pink in the animal kingdom a great deal.  A notable exception is the pink katydid.  Yet this is by no means a separate species – this coloring affects around one in 500.  You may have already guessed that the condition is something similar to albinism.

Known as erythrism, the condition causes a curious reddish pigmentation. It can affect the body of an insect as well as its skin, and it is so rare that it was not noticed by western scientists until 1887. The reason for this oversight was perhaps due to the inclination of the insect to remain perfectly still during daylight hours.

Bat World Sanctuary


In 1989, Amanda Lollar discovered a bat dying on the sidewalk.  Distressed that any creature should have to expire in such a way she took it home to allow it a dignified send off.

However the bat, which she christened Sunshine, survived due to Amanda’s care and was the catalyst for Bat World Sanctuary, which Amanda founded in 1994.

This short film by Brett Kessler takes a peek in to this world of injured, orphaned, and non-releasable bats in Mineral Wells, Texas.

I’m Just a Shark


Imagine if a representative of the group of fish we refer to as ‘shark’ could address us, what would it say? This ageless creature might have some things to say which would make us sit up and pay attention, surely? Shot and written by Pascale Briançon, I’m Just a Shark does exactly that and although I am naturally disinclined towards anthropomorphism this has a certain profundity which makes it gripping from start to finish.

Directed by Julien Marckt with the voice of Daniel Njo Lobé, this may be putting words in to the mouth of an entire group of animals… but what words they are.

The Largest Pigeon in the World – The Victoria Crowned Pigeon

Due to the demise of the Dodo, the mantle of the world’s largest pigeon was passed on to the Victoria Crowned. If you associate pigeons with the types that we see in our cities and towns – altogether a pretty unimpressive lot – then you are in for a surprise.


Amung Feedjit