Art and Design Cool Nature

Abstract bubbles beneath ice

Liked iceformation by Ryota Kajita / 梶田亮太 - PhotographerRyota Kajita / 梶田亮太 – Photographer (

His photography series of “Ice Formation” is featured in the magazine “Photo Technique” (November/December 2012), “”(May 2015), ““ (August 2015), “城市画報 -CITY ZINE-“ (January/Februray 2016), National Geographic Magazine (March 2020) and is represented by Susan Spiritus Gallery in Newport Beach, California and Fotofilmic in Vancouver, Canada.

bubbles beneath ice covered in spiky frostI love the spiky ice atop the frozen surface, the rounded bubbles at center contrasted against the dark depths. A warm fur cloak cocooning a precious cluster of eggs.

white bubbles in a splat of black surrounded by thinning iceI like that the thinning window of ice is at once dendritic, parasitic, the expansion of decay and darkness. And within that hazy-edged darkness, brilliant sharp crystalline bursts of white.


Watched Fantastic Fungi

Watched Fantastic Fungi from

Delve into the magical world of fungi, from mushrooms that clear oil spills to underground fungal networks that help trees communicate.

Thought it would be focused on the science of fungi networks and uses of fungi, but those were kind of glossed over in favor of hippie bullshit about spirituality and opening your mind with psychedelics and becoming one with the universe 🙄 Complete with mandala visualizations lmao 🙄🙄🙄 I don’t know who this was aimed at because it’s not changing anyone’s minds about shrooms. There was just enough of the science to keep us watching and thinking it’d go deeper. Disappointing. At least the footage of mushrooms growing in like two seconds was cool.

Cool Nature

Birds making group decisions

Bookmarked ‘Democracy’ governs mass jackdaw take-offs (

“Our study shows that by calling out jackdaws effectively ‘cast a vote’ and, when calling reaches a sufficient level, a mass departure takes place.”

Environment Nature

Climate change makes animal populations more susceptible to other impacts


Regulations aren’t keeping up with rapidly changing reality. We’re still in denial that we can do things the same as always without destroying it.

These stories are frustrating to read because we’ve been here before, and we should know better. But no one wants to give up or reduce their own share, whether it’s fisheries or water rights. But the ecosystems don’t lie, don’t care that people are counting on them for profit; eventually, either they’ll collapse and be gone for good, or we’ll figure out how to harvest sustainably 🤷‍♀️

Cool Nature

Watched Hummingbirds

Watched Hummingbirds from

David Attenborough takes us into the remarkable lives of hummingbirds via stunning slow motion photography. Everything about these tiny birds is superb and extreme. They have the highest metabolism, fastest heart beat and most rapid wing beat in the avian world. They evolved to feed on flowering plants but are now a crucial part of wider ecosystems. How do they mate, raise their young, and live?

  • Hummingbirds need to drink every 15 minutes
  • To not starve overnight they go into torpor
  • Feet and legs evolved to save weight but useless for anything but perching
  • Fuschia’s long pistils are for hummingbirds to hold onto while they drink
  • Red flowers common for hummingbirds to hide from bees which are red green colorblind
  •  Their hearts beat 1000x a minute when flying to supply their wing muscles with enough oxygen
  • Hummingbirds are only found in the Americas
Nature Science

Sweepstakes colonization

Suspected origin of South American rodents – capybara, chinchilla, guinea pigs – is Africa via rafting.

A random and uncommon dispersal method.

Lifestyle Nature

Small Seasons

Bookmarked Small Seasons (

Prior to the Gregorian calendar, farmers in China and Japan broke each year down into 24 sekki or “small seasons.” These seasons didn’t use dates to mark seasons, but instead, they divided up the year by natural phenomena.

I really like this way of breaking the year up into smaller pieces based on what’s happening in the world around you. I don’t pay enough attention to nature to have this level of detail, but there’s markers in the garden I notice, mostly what’s blooming and when the frogs are singing 😉 Winter always sucks for me so it’s nice to have a way to track the progression of winter into spring — when the oregon grape blooms, then the crocuses, then the red flowering currant and indian plum, and now the tulips.

Nature Travel Websites

Stunning trip report to the Serengeti

Bookmarked Northern Serengeti by Paul Stamatiou (

Safari wildlife game drives in the Northern Serengeti in Serengeti National Park, Tanzania.

Aside from the beautiful photography, I’m very impressed by the trip report format, with the large scale photos, highlighted “travel partners” and the place where they stayed, the embedded videos and mini clips, and the orientation map at the top of the post. The way the captions divide sections of photos and video feels effective in telling a story and breaking up the excursion. I also like that they position this as one photoset within a larger trip with its own landing page.

This is a decided class above the trip reports I’ve posted on Cascadia Inspired 😂

Comics History Nature

Read The Great North Wood

Read The Great North Wood

Long ago the whole of Southern England was covered in forest. Over time, this woodland has been gradually cut back, but small patches remain amidst the suburban sprawl of South-East London. A few ancient oaks still stand in the gaps between housing estates, alongside railway lines and acting as boundary markers on roundabouts. The magic that once filled the ancient forest can still be felt even when the trees are long gone. Memories of the Great North Wood are recorded in the place names – Forest Hill, Honour Oak, Norwood. Stories are told of the bandits, outlaws and gypsies that once roamed the forest, and their presence can sometimes be sensed when the hum of the city is quiet. Tim Bird’s longest work to date continues his interest in psychogeography and how memories live on in the landscape.

This was an odd collection of brief comics about the loss of the Great North Woods to the south of London, and specific places and trees that used to be important. It’s a remembrance of what was, and a recognition of the special nature of old growth forests, though it didn’t quite come together for me as more than the sum of its parts.

The joke is that housing developments are named after what they destroyed, which holds true in England as well. It’s on the one hand sad to recognize the habitat lost, but on the other it’s a small memory of history. The vignettes of specific places were interesting.

What makes me saddest about the loss of forests like this is that people didn’t recognize the value of what they had, and squandered it – old growth forest going to make charcoal *shudder* At least in buildings it lasts a long time.

I can only hope that five hundred years from now we’ll have saved new old growth forests for people who live then.

Cool Nature Science

Supergene divergence leads to “four sexes” in white throated sparrows

Liked The Fascinating and Complicated Sex Lives of White-throated Sparrows by Kenn Kaufman (Audubon)

With their quadruple personalities, those little brown birds at your feeder are a lot more interesting than they might appear.

I am not a bird person but this is legit fascinating. They buried the juicy bit down at the bottom of the article.

Field researchers noticed over 25 years of research that the two color morphs of this species *nearly always* cross-breed with each other, so they dug into the genetics and discovered a supergene that influences hormones that influences behavior to the point where there are effectively FOUR sexes of these birds!

(Actually good) explainer video from the original paper:

(Go go basic science research! Sometimes you need to look at things close enough to realize there’s something interesting going on — originally they thought the morphs were juveniles!)