Author Archives: Skipping Stars Productions LLC

About Skipping Stars Productions LLC

Skipping Stars Productions LLC is an activities, educational, events and fundraising organization serving communities, neighborhoods and individuals in and around Chandler, Gilbert and Queen Creek, AZ.

Capturing The Moment — Painted Lady On A Rock

Butterflies, Painted Lady Butterfly, Sabino Canyon Recreation Area

Becoming is Superior to Being

Lizard Walk (1 of 1)-15 Painted Lady blogPainted Lady Butterfly On A Rock — Image by kenne

This time of year I spend more time hiking on Mt. Lemmon that I do doing nature walking in Sabino Canyon. The exception was yesterday’s SCVN Lizard Walk. During the walk, which I will be posting on later, we saw a few butterflies. Currently, there are naturalists doing butterfly counts. I haven’t seen a report on the numbers, but from my observation trying to photograph them, the numbers are low.

The above image of a painted lady is one of the few butterflies I saw, at least that stopped for a moment. Maybe I would have seem more if I had been looking for butterflies rather than lizards.

kenne

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Zanjero Park Burrowing Owls

Source:  Desert Rivers Audubon – by Stacy Burleigh, Owl Watch Coordinator, stacymb@cox.net

Educating and inspiring our community to protect and preserve birds, wildlife, and their habitats in Arizona, serving Chandler, Gilbert, Mesa, Queen Creek, Apache Junction & parts of Pinal County.

Desert Rivers Audubon, in partnership with the Town of Gilbert and Wild at Heart raptor rescue, installed a burrowing owl habitat at Zanjero Park, Gilbert, AZ (Lindsay Rd. & 202 Fwy.), Fall 2011. Project made possible by a grant from TogetherGreen.

At the end of October the morning monitoring group began picking up and examining pellets at the burrows to confirm what the owls are eating. A trend of insects and not rodents has been established. Being next to agricultural fields,  it was expected for rodents to dominate their diet. At first we wondered if the farmer was putting down a rodentcide. Greg Clark recently discovered a researcher, in the Imperial Valley where 70% of California’s burrowing owls reside, who found only .2 % of pellets contain rodents. His explanation is that the flood irrigation eliminates rodents. Maybe this is what is happening here as well.

Not knowing if insects could sustain our remaining 5 owls through the winter, I was convinced to do a short-term supplementary feeding of frozen white mice. I began this on January 16th. Greg and I decided we should learn something from doing this as well.  I first wanted a basic question answered – how long will it take a mouse to be regurgitated? Answer: 2 to 3 days. Greg suspected that the owls were not regurgitating all of their pellets at the burrows and if so, we thus were not seeing all that they eat. This has turned out to indeed be the case. Only a small percentage of the white mice pellets are showing up. Some weeks more than others. And those that we do find are a combination of mouse and insects, sometimes very packed with insect parts. I am feeling better that they are finding insects in the winter.

Please join us  Saturday, February 23rd from 8 to 11 am at Zanjero Park for a Volunteer Clean Up Day.

Now onto the owls themselves. 90X is her usual, confident self residing at #50, although of late she can be seen all the way down to #37 in the afternoon. This is due to the fact, I surmise, that 88X has not been on site since 1/9 and #37-46 was her “territory”.  No signs of predation in the park this time as was the case with the last two owls. The female of the local pair at #15-16 has not been seen since 1/9 either but because she is so secretive and because it has been so cold I’m not completely convinced she still is not there. The really AWESOME news is the release site local owl who I had started to suspect was male has joined 90X at #49-50.  Last week a regular park walker and the evening monitoring group saw them together at #50. Courting behavior was going on and the male has been named Whitebeard. (He really extends his white chin feathers very long when doing a courting display). This morning we watched Whitebeard come out of #49 and 90X out of #50. If you go out to see them Whitebeard flies easily if approached too close.

 A decision on whether more owls will be relocated to Zanjero this Spring is still being reflected upon. Greg Clark is waiting to hear the information the farmer has, how stable the food supply is, and how many migrants will arrive on site in February into early March.

Happy Owling!

 

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12 Packable Snackables

Source:  http://www.tablespoon.com/ –  By Burn The Wine

Fuel up when you’re out and about with one of these easy grab ‘n go snacks.

Grab one of these easy-pack snacks to toss in your bag, then get going! Spring’s waiting!

Spring’s here, with all its outdoor fun and activities in tow. Time to shake off the heavy sweaters of winter and get your fun-in-the-sun activities on!

But all that fun stuff requires calories – delicious calories – to keep you fueled for biking, hiking, dog-walking, mountain climbing, or whatever it is that keeps your spirits soaring.

We’ve got a dozen tasty treats that jump into your bag so you can run out the door and soak up the fresh air:

1. Tasty Trail Mix Treats

12 Packable Snackables

These treats feature crunchy walnuts, cranberries, wheat germ, flax and a touch of chocolate for a complete and yummy snack.

2. Nutty Berry Tarts

12 Packable Snackables

Mixed dried fruit, maple syrup and a bit of citrus flavor make these tasty tarts unique and berry irresistible.

3. Car Snacks

12 Packable Snackables

Mix graham snacks, popcorn, Berry Berry Kix cereal and sourdough pretzel nuggets, and you’ve got a travel-with-you finger food in seconds.

4. Blackberry-Almond Oatmeal Bars

12 Packable Snackables

Fresh blackberries and blackberry fruit spread are baked between a brown sugar and oatmeal mixture in this fresh-tasting homemade treat.

5. Hikers Trail Mix

12 Packable Snackables

This magical mixture has got you covered with Fiber One cereal, whole almonds, soy nuts and yogurt-covered raisins.

6. Super-Chunky Trail Mix Cookies

12 Packable Snackables

These dense chewy cookies are going to give you what you need to keep going, whether you’re in the wildest woods or an urban jungle!

7. LARABAR über

12 Packable Snackables

Grab ‘n go snacks that pack easily into anything – backpack, gym bag, briefcase or even your running belt.

8. Backpacker Bars

12 Packable Snackables

Get all the delicious taste of Golden Grahams cereal without worrying about the bowl and milk!

9. No Bake Energy Cookies

12 Packable Snackables

Are you kidding me?! You don’t even have to bake these! Delicious and about as easy as it gets.

10. Power Brownies

12 Packable Snackables

With the chocolaty brownie part we all love, plus an extra kick from Fiber One Raisin Bran Clusters cereal, these things are awesome and probably should go in all our faces.

11. Power-Packed Lemon Bar

12 Packable Snackables

These citrusy little sweets, like you, are more than they seem – with protein powder added so you can power through your day!

12. Peanut Butter Cup Snack Cake

12 Packable Snackables

With mini peanut butter cups on top, you can have your cake and eat it too – without the fuss and mess of frosting while you’re on the go.

Ideas for Packaging

Pack your treats in reusable containers or recyclable packaging. These days, a quick check on the web will give you lots of options, or you can make your own. Even a simple, washable fabric bag will work. Bio-degradable totes are best if disposal is necessary.

Think green and feel even better about your outdoor adventures!

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Bird of the World – Blue-Cheeked Bee-eater

Bee-eater, Birds, Birdwatching, Christian, Creation, Lord’s Provision, Meropidae, Nature, Videos

Lee's Birdwatching Adventures Plus

What a neat video of the Blue-cheeked Bee-eater. I have seen photos of them, but seeing birds in action is always special. There are some birds that just hit my fancy as I admire the Lord’s Handiwork. The Bee-eaters are one of those.

By Igor Byshnev

Matthew 6:25-34 NKJV
(25) “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?
(26) Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?
(27) Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?
(28) “So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field…

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Snowy Owl Migrations

La Paz Group

Climate change has had a significant impact on a multitude of global issues ranging from the environment to even politics; the Snowy Owl, Bubo scandiacus, is another organism that is feeling the effects of warming temperatures impede on its natural habitat in the northern circumpolar region. Varying degrees of climate change have significant impacts on the apex predator’s prey, which subsequently relocate, thus forcing Snowy Owls to migrate as well.

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Art and Science 5: John James Audubon and his American Birds

Before the Art

Guest post by Edward Spencer

I like birds… I am not sure when this interest took hold, but I feel that there is something soothing and comforting about watching the little guys potter about. Their lives seem so beautifully simple yet each one has its own complex story. I also think that they add an additional element to art and photography, providing a focal point to a landscape, reflecting the mood of certain scenery or weather or just providing a way to show off your skills and perseverance. Therefore, when I became interested in photography, birds became my top challenge.

So when asked to write a post on art and science my brain quickly went to John James Audubon (1785-1851), the French-American painter, adventurer and birder who sailed into Britain in 1826 with his great work, the ‘Birds of America’.

This fantastic book consists of the life-sized…

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Butterflies can taste with their feet!

Butterflies can taste with their feet

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Wind Up Butterflies

 

Butterfly wind-up-butterfly-toy

Let me just warn you before you begin. You are going to make these, not just one but lot’s why? Because they are so darn cute. Once you get the technique down you are going to want to make blue ones, pinks ones , orange ones and purple ones. You will be addicted! Wind Up Butterfly Tutorial

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A CAT AND A BUTTERFLY

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Butterflies

lyndamichele

Butterflies

The butterfly bush is in full swing, I counted 15 butterflies on it at one time.

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