Sciencelog: 17 Nov 2015

mule deer buck

Greetings from our home in Johnson Canyon, Utah. With the cold weather, hundreds of Mule Deer are migrating down the canyon, headed towards the lower elevations and warmer temperatures of the south. Quite a few are pausing to nibble our garden and pose for photos. Almost any time we look outside, we see several.

It is not really cold yet (so far our coldest night has been 16°F), but we have already had one brief snow.

rainbow with extra colors

We had some rain too, and I caught this unusual rainbow during a morning shower. Notice that there are extra colors at the bottom. This is not a normal, double rainbow. Instead, it is the result of two separate patches of rain, one behind the other. The sunlight was producing a rainbow from each, overlaying one rainbow on top of the other. I have never seen this before, and was delighted to get the photo.

roadrunner

When I investigated a strange sound, I found this Roadrunner pecking on our window. He then explored the front porch, wandered through the garden, and then went on along his way.

red-naped sapsucker

I have been hearing this fellow for a couple of weeks now, and finally got a decent shot of him. He is a Red-Naped Sapsucker, and has been making small holes in the Juniper trees to collect sap. When I sit outside to watch the birds, I hear him every day, softly tap-tap-taping. It is not at all like what most people think of from woodpeckers. Their loud, rapid drumming is actually for communication, much like a bird song. When they are digging in tree bark for sap or insects, the sound is much quieter.

Besides the nature photos, I have been working on the website, adapting it to the wonderful feedback you have been sending. I am working on a couple of new videos, including one on spiders that I have been planning for quite a while. If you have not checked out the new Learnalong series, be sure to take a look.

Health update:

Several of you have noticed that I look a bit tired in some of the recent photos. My Epstein Barr virus has flared up again, leaving me quite tired and achy. This is the same virus that causes Mononucleosis. Like other viruses in the same group (chicken pox, herpes, etc.) once you have it, the virus remains in your system for the rest of your life. For most people, it remains dormant, but for some of us, it reoccurs periodically, and seems to hit you harder as you get older. Don't worry. It is not life threatening or disabling. I just feel like I am carrying an extra 100 pounds on my back all the time, and my spleen and lymph nodes ache.

It does not respond to anti-viral medications, so the treatment is lots of rest. I am lucky enough to live in a place where I can rest while enjoying the wonders and wildlife of Johnson Canyon.

Have a wonder-filled week!

Robert Krampf
The Happy Scientist