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Nature's Corner

Nature’s Corner allows Moonshine Ink to profile something happening in the great outdoors, either a species of plant or animal or relevant event happening involving nature, or even a person working in nature

The Cunning Coyote

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There is something about the coyote’s call, something that calms my fear of having too much civilization and not enough wild.

Getting to Know Alvin, Simon, and Theodore

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Why do we often think of Alvin and the Chipmunks when we think of chipmunks? Movie stars trump nature? As much as celebrities take over the limelight, there’s much to learn about the real striped speedy mammal.

The Bluebird Landladies

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Every spring for the past two decades, citizen scientists Ann McBride and Patty Evans have monitored egg counts in 50 bluebird boxes they had placed in Martis Valley and the Kyburz Meadow area. “You never know what you’ll find in the boxes — it’s like Christmas,” says McBride. While this labor of love requires tenacity and hard work, Evans wouldn’t have it any other way. She adds, “It’s magical every year.”

Gone from Tahoe: The American Pika

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“With high metabolic rates and thick fur, pikas are well-adapted to the cold temperatures at high elevations, but these same adaptations make them vulnerable to global warming” (Joseph Stewart, 2017 study on pikas in the Tahoe region).

Bombs Away!

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Does extreme cone caching indicate a big winter? Probably not. Overzealous caching more likely reveals a squirrel’s resourcefulness in capitalizing on a big cone crop year.

Forest Foraging

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Stir fry, add to a pizza or concoct a sweet jam with some delectable edible plants found right here in the Sierra. They’re out of this world — or more like “out of the wild!”

Ground Control to Major Tardigrade

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Water bears are so sturdy that they probably won’t succumb to nuclear war, global warming, or any astronomical events that wreak havoc on Earth’s atmosphere.

Getting Ready for Winter

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The beaver has long been thought to be non-native to the Sierra, but new evidence proves otherwise.

Parents! Kids! Explore the Outdoors!

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Tahoe Institute for Natural Science (TINS) publishes a new children’s nature activity workbook for kids K-5th grade.

A Booming Sound of Spring: The Sooty Grouse

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A note of caution: Being territorial, particularly during the breeding and nesting season, the sooty grouse female will aggressively chase any human in her path.