*rugenius - 03.21.12 , 12:40 - 0 Notes

Poison Arrow Frogs at the London Zoo

zslfrogs-5.jpg The latest dose of natural inspiration from our resident zoologist and London-based editor, Justine Aw.

There are so many species I love in the Reptile (and amphibian!) house at the London Zoo, but these two species were particularly fascinating to watch as they boldly courted around the enclosure. The black-legged or bicolored dart frog (Phyllobates bicolor) and the strawberry poison-dart frog (Oophaga pumilio) were chasing prospective mates and rivals around their enclosures and calling so loudly you could hear them over the din of school groups (a very impressive feat!).

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*rugenius - 03.20.12 , 10:35 - 0 Notes

Slender Lorises at the London Zoo

slenderloris-1.jpg The latest from our resident zoologist and London-based editor, Justine Aw.

I recently had the honor of spending a quiet weekday morning completely mesmerized by these incredible creatures at ZSL London Zoo. The beautiful grey slender loris (Loris lydekkerianus) is an incredible nocturnal primate and it’s hard to describe the experience of watching them. It’s simultaneously very relaxing and thrilling to see them moving with a unique combination of elegance and awkwardness with their long limbs stretching from branch to branch. At the London Zoo, these creatures live in the nocturnal house below the Rainforest exhibit and the zoo recently welcomed twins! See more pics on the next page!

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*notcot - 03.16.12 , 13:01 - 0 Notes

East Camp Home Pillows

pillow1.jpg I love art as objects… there’s something fun about paintings and photographs as transformed into large pillows you can hug and squeeze… the change in texture changes the way you relate to the pieces (like these i’ve long loved from click for art)… the latest find are these beautiful pillows from East Camp Home Pillows featuring the creature photography of Valerie Shaff. The two initial collections are Exotics (Tigers and Crocs and Peacocks and such) and Fable (Doves and Snakes and Hawks and such)… see the gorgeous pillows on the next page!

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*rugenius - 02.24.12 , 01:15 - 1 Notes

White-spotted Jellyfish at the Cal Academy

calacademyjelly-02.jpg The latest from our resident zoologist and London-based editor, Justine Aw.

Another of my highlights at the Steinhart Aquarium at the California Academy of Sciences were these delightful jellies! The Australian or white-spotted jellyfish (Phyllorhiza punctata), are a beautiful species native to the Western Pacific ocean, but also found in North America, where they are an invasive species. See more jellies on the next page!

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*rugenius - 01.30.12 , 09:00 - 1 Notes

The Biodiversity Project from Joel Sartore

biodiversity4.jpg

A Linne’s two-toed sloth (Choloepus didactylus) at the Lincoln Children’s Zoo.

National Geographic photographer Joel Sartore is on a mission to capture our incredible biodiversity before it disappears. Using zoo animals to create stunning portraits of amazing creatures. The project began with amphibians (and the gallery includes some real gems), but now includes all sorts of creatures, totaling over 1,800 already. Find out more about the ambitious and stunningly beautiful The Biodiversity Project and see a selection of photos from the project on the next page.

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*rugenius - 01.27.12 , 11:45 - 1 Notes

Flamboyant Cuttlefish at the Cal Academy

fcuttlefish1.jpg The latest from our resident zoologist and London-based editor, Justine Aw.

A zoo and aquarium regular, I love discovering new creatures and one of my favorite aquarium specimens in the Steinhart Aquarium at the California Academy of Sciences was the Flamboyant Cuttlefish (Metasepia pfefferi), a colorful species native to the tropical Indo-Pacific. True to their common name, these cuttlefish are incredibly beautiful and mesmerizing to see in action. See more photos and videos on the next page!

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*notcot - 01.26.12 , 14:01 - 4 Notes

Creatures of the Cal Academy of Sciences

calac0.jpg The latest from our resident zoologist and London-based editor, Justine Aw.

I finally made it to the California Academy of Sciences in its new Golden Gate Park home! I have been looking forward to checking the new facilities out in person, ever since Jean visited (and posted about) it a few years back (see previous posts here, here and here). As expected, the facilities are incredible and the animals it houses are phenomenal. I can’t recommend visiting strongly enough. With a walkthrough rainforest filled with terarria and aquaria as well as the dedicated Steinhart aquarium, the Cal Academy is a real treat to visit and proved to be the perfect playground for a macro lens! Here are just a few of the academy’s incredible creatures. More pictures on the next page!

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*notcot - 01.23.12 , 15:00 - 0 Notes

Mosquito Caught!

carniv1.jpg Remember a few years back when i visited California Carnivores? Well my carnivorous plants that came home with me from that trip are still doing their thing happily… and the other day NOTCOT.org editor, Justine Aw, came by and noticed that this sundew (most likely the cape sundew, Drosera capensis) caught its own prey! Fascinating to see it in action up close as its little tendrils wrapped tighter and tighter… see her close ups on the next page as well as the BBC’s time lapse footage of the a sundew at work!

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*notcot - 11.15.11 , 12:00 - 0 Notes

Macro Kingdom III

fiatvid2.jpg This featured video series on beautiful visual inspiration is brought to you by FIAT! Thank you FIAT for your support of NOTCOT!

Clemens Wirth’s Macro Kingdom III is a video poem of sorts diving into “a special place, unseen microcosmos within a unseen universe bind us together.” The way the sounds pull it all together is mesmerizing! See the video on the next page…

TO PAGE 2 of “Macro Kingdom III”! ——->

*notcot - 10.15.11 , 19:54 - 1 Notes

Boobies on Christmas Island

blueft0.jpg Wow. SO CUTE. The various species of boobies (red-footed, brown, etc) and sharp coastline are amazing! These are also in from my dad’s adventures in Christmas Island (which according to wikipedia - The mountain was originally a volcano, and some basalt is exposed in places such as The Dales and Dolly Beach, but most of the surface rock is limestone accumulated from the growth of coral over millions of years. “The summit of this mountain peak is formed of a succession of tertiary limestones ranging in age from the Eocene (or Oligocene) up to recent reef-deposits, with intercalations in the older beds of volcanic rocks.”)… so far you’ve seen the insane crabs… see the rest of the bird and jagged coastline pics on the next page!

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*notcot - , 19:17 - 2 Notes

Crabs of Christmas Island

crabs8.jpg Freshly returned from his latest adventure, my dad just sent over pictures of some of the amazing robber crabs, red crabs, and other random crabs he found in Christmas Island. They are HUGE! And gorgeous! And amazing! Take a look on the next page!

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*rugenius - 09.05.11 , 00:05 - 2 Notes

Dalston Eastern Curve Garden, London

dalstonpavillion.jpg Another London discovery from Justine!

An unexpected discovery on the way to FARM:shop, the Dalton Eastern Curve Garden looked irresistibly welcoming. The unexpected wildlife friendly garden is a beautiful sanctuary from the busy streets, like a big communal backyard complete with butterflies and bees drifting from flower to flower, children playing and locals relaxing in the sunshine as the pizza oven was being fired up.

The garden is situated on the abandoned Eastern Curve railway line. The area was transformed into a green space by the Design for London initiative Making Space in Dalston. The collaborative EXYZT built the ‘Dalston Mill’ for three weeks as part of The Barbican Centre’s ‘Radical Nature’ exhibition and returned to create the pavilion in 2010. The gardens opened just over a year ago in July 2010.

“A meeting place for people and plants”, the garden hosts courses, events, workshops and all sorts of activities for children and adults, it is a wonderful space and perfect way to escape for a few hours. More photos of this spectacular urban garden and pavilion on the next page.

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*rugenius - 09.03.11 , 13:40 - 4 Notes

FARM:shop in Dalston, London

rmmain.jpg Here’s the latest discovery from Justine based in London!

20 Dalston Lane in the heart of East London seems an odd address for a farm. But Dalston’s FARM:shop is literally a farm in a shop. Once a derelict store, the shop is now a shop/cafe/meeting place and farm all in one. It is home to hundreds of growing plants arranged in every setup imaginable from a backyard polytunnel to hydroponics setup where plants are fed by the fish. It is even home to a flock of rooftop living chickens!

A perfect combination of public spaces/projects with urban farming, I knew this one would be right up our alley, and when I heard about the hydroponics and chickens on the roof, I knew it would be one not to miss. More photos on the next page!

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*notcot - 08.23.11 , 18:57 - 1 Notes

Santa Cruz Sea Lions

sealion00.jpg Last night we stayed at the Dream Inn Santa Cruz, and from the balcony there was an amazing view of the wharf, boardwalk, and the bay… and all night we heard a mix of waves crashing, fog horn going, and what sounded like tons of sea lions barking… but we never saw them! When i asked about the upon check out ~ i didn’t believe the woman that they were all tucked away on the pylons beneath the wharf… so, first stop was the wharf! And she wasn’t kidding… you have to see it for yourself ~ they balance and nap beneath the wharf on the thin pylons. They even leap up on to them (sometimes after many tries and much splashing) ~ and you can get closer to all of them than at a zoo, etc. It’s fascinating. They are SO loud with the echo created under the wharf. You can peek at them at a few spots ~ under the wharf, on the floating barge near the boat launch, and through various areas in the center of the wharf near the far end… Endlessly amusing, and a gorgeously sunny day in Santa Cruz ~ take a peek at our post-car-weekend adventure on the next page…

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*notcot - 07.07.11 , 16:40 - 1 Notes

Fortress of the Bear

bears0.jpg On fun emails ~ my dad just got back from Sitka and sent over some adorable Brown Bear pics. Turns out they are from one of his favorite non-profits that he visits a few times a year ~ Fortress of the Bear… “a 501 (c)3 non-profit education and rescue center with an exquisite three-quarter acre habitat for orphaned Brown Bear cubs complete with covered viewing areas.” Mind blowing that the tiny cubs he saw in the years past are now 300-600lbs cubs! And apparently these Sitka Browns “represent a distinct population, genetically dissimilar from any other bear. Research suggests these bears are remnants of a Polar bear population stranded in Southeast Alaska following the last ice age.” Interesting, right? Rumor has it they may have started as browns that turned white to adapt (and into polar bears of the region) only to evolve back to browns to adapt again… Regardless, it sounds like a beautiful, playful, peaceful space for orphaned cubs to call home, and definitely a better alternative to the usual reaction of shooting them! Some grow up to move to zoos around the country, others live out their days there… and all get delicious salmon and food from local fisherman, restaurants, and more! So, if you’re ever in Sitka, Alaska go visit (and support!) Fortress of the Bear! Take a peek at more of the pics he sent over on the next page.

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