Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Some links to while away your winter time with...

Wow - I have such a backlog of stuff to post here it's not funny at all! Just a few more days until I get the backlog of other stuff done and then I will post like mad...

In the meantime, here are three interesting links from around the world.

Colletes hederae - CC (1)
The first talks about a group of underground-nesting bees that line their tunnels with a mixture of silk and a previously unknown plastic. Better known as "plasterer bees", the genus Colletes has many members with varying lifestyles - but the bees this story is about have also been called "cellophane bees" and now "polyester bees". Makes you glad for the scientific name amidst all the confusion.

The second gives you a tour around the wildflower garden property of Christina Kobland in Pennsylvania. We don't all have 4 acres to play with but it's wonderful to see what can be done.

Birds killed by buildings. Copyright Kenneth Hardy
And the third is like the first - part of the growing trend to using bio-mimicry to make better, greener materials part of our lives. The researchers at Arnold Glas have figured out how to make a picture window that is transparent to you and me but looks like a spiderweb to a bird. Birds know to avoid flying through sticky webs and this helps prevent life-threatening collisions with windows.