Friday, October 17, 2014

Quick Links

Cornell is besieged by hordes of pest deer and tries "non- lethal" management; the result is surprising in more than one way. (From Reid)

The most interesting PD development in a long time, though fruit flies are a long way from humans. (Though more genes are shared throughout the animal kingdom than you might think).

Giant extinct kangaroos on tiptoes.

A historic photo of a jackrabbit drive in Idaho.  Patrick Burns explains. Would you believe I can still hardly find one despite this year's returning (if out of synch) rains?

Real time break! EVERYTHING is a little odd because of disturbed weather. I live on a dirt road, but I am only one block from the center of town, and in twenty odd years I have never seen the birds in the following photos closer than the edges. I heard birds calling, thought it was a wandering fall flock of what we call "pinoneros" (Pinyon Jays) and went out my front door to surprise this little covey of Gambel's quail walking nervously down the middle of the street!
They immediately ran for Chavez's driveway, but I snapped these two quick shots before they disappeared. Right or double click for bigger.

On Tim Gallagher's Imperial Dreams blog, he shows two pieces of ancient falconry art he saw in Portugal. The Accipiter is interesting because it recalls how ancient the sport of hunting quail with Sparrowhawks all around the Mediterranean must be, even if it only survives perilously in three locations now. Remember, this is the far west of the Roman Empire, and I have seen similar realistic mosaics in Turkey, in the formerly  Byzantine eastern end (actually, the little museum was east of Istanbul, east of Ankara, well on the way to the Kurdish non- state north of Syria and Iraq. But artistically, this stylized one, possibly 1000 years old, is more intriguing to me. In the dog, hawk, and quarry I see echoes of the dragonish saluki with its rider in Karen's image below-- and even more intriguing hints of images on rocks made a thousand miles and more further east, and millenia before...

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