nature

34th Annual Bob Ross Open Invitational Nature Show

////

Imagine seeing your photographs on an 10′ x 7.5′ screen!  Eugene Daily News is proud to announce the 34th Annual Bob Ross Open invitational Nature Photography show which will be held this Friday, November 8, 2013 at Linn-Benton Community College.  This is a non juried event, enabling photographers and others to share their interests in nature, their techniques and photographic perspectives in a friendly, constructive forum.  This is a free event and is open to the public.

Photo by | umlaufsculpture.org
Photo by | umlaufsculpture.org

Photographers are encouraged to submit up to 15 digital photographs.  Videographers must limit your video clips to a total of 3 minutes running time.  The clips should be in a common format such as QuickTime that can be shown on any computer.

The theme this year is “On the Ground” or “Grounded”.  Please feel free to show photographs that do not represent the theme but they must still be about nature, as defined below.

Important notes: Nature is defined as plants, animals, scenics, rocks, clouds, water, or anything else that one finds in nature and that lacks any evidence of humans.  There may be times when it is appropriate to violate the rules but make sure that the subject is of nature rather than architecture, hot air balloons, vehicles, bridges, backpackers, etc.  In general, humans and human artifacts should not be in any of your photographs.

Manipulation of digital images must be kept to a very bare minimum.

Our intention is to feature nature the way it is and not heavily manipulated.  The Bob Ross Nature exhibit does not show fine art that has been produced and manipulated from the mind of the artist, but rather the elegance of nature in the raw.

 

A little manipulating of brightness, contrast, color balance or removing a distracting artifact is acceptable.  The use of filters other than for sharpening is generally not acceptable.  Adding things that were not in the scene is totally unacceptable.

Photographers may submit images for showing even though they may not able to attend. However, their images may not be shown if there is insufficient time.

Photographers are asked to send their images to Bob one week before the show so that he can compose the evenings presentation.  You can group the images into a Power Point presentation or simply send in your set of images and Bob will put them into a Power Point presentation for you.

Horizontal photos look great on the screen if they are sized to 10″ x 7.5″ and a resolution of 150 dpi.   The 10″ width is the important part for the horizontal photos, whereas the 7.5″ measurement is the important part for the vertical photos.  Tiff files seem to look better on the screen than JPEGs but JPEGs are fine.  If you want your photos in a particular order, then adding numbers to the file names will accomplish that during the building of the Power Point presentation.

Submissions may be emailed to [email protected].  Linn-Benton Community College is located at 6500 Blvd. S, Albany, OR 97321.  We have included a map for your convenience.  For further information you may reach Bob Ross at 541-928-3711.

The event will be held in room F-104 (Auditorium in the Forum Building) and showing begins at 7 p.m. Friday November 8, 2013.   If you are unable to submit for this years exhibit, there is always next year!  The theme for November 14, 2014:  The Aerial Perspective.

 

UO professor Gregory Retallack controversially questions where life began

The textbooks have told the same story for years: life began in the ocean then moved onto the sandy shores of land. This secondary school concept becomes the base for all science related classes, but University of Oregon Geological Sciences professor Gregory Retallack has set out to prove the opposite.

Retallack is suggesting that Precambrian fossils, known as Ediacarans, may not have developed from early marine life, but instead from land-dwelling lichens.

Edicaran fossils typically date from 600 million years ago and were usually considered to be fossils of sea pens and jellyfish, but Retallack is making the case that instead of animals the fossils are types of fungi or lichens.

Retallack found that the fossils were formed by ancient soil and not marine mud.

“The key evidence for this new view is that the beds immediately below the cover sandstones in which they are preserved were fossil soils,” Retallack said in a statement for the Science Recorder. “In other words the fossils were covered by sand in life position at the top of the soils in which they grew. In addition, frost features and chemical composition of the fossil soils are evidence that they grew in cold dry soils, like lichens in tundra today, rather than in tropical marine lagoons.”

The new findings have been controversial in the science word — some have been supportive while others have called Retallack’s arguments weak.

Martin Brasier, a Palaeobiology professory at the University of Oxford belittled the findings.

“I find Retallack’s observations dubious, and his arguments poor. That this was published by Nature is beyond my understanding,” Brasier wrote in an email to LiveScience.

Despite the criticism, an editorial piece ran in Nature, an international weekly journal of science, that credited the recent findings to an ever changing fossil record.

“The fossil record has this irritating habit: just when everyone thinks that the narrative has been sorted out, something comes along to force the story in a new, unexpected and breathtaking direction,” the journal read.

The Book Monster Vol. 13

//

These days you can find and purchase almost anything because of the internet. But alas, I cannot seem to find the book “101 Shaggy Dog Jokes” anywhere. I checked this book out a number of times from my elementary school library, and I loved it. I even memorized a few of the jokes.

Q: “What is the first thing a shaggy dog does when it jumps in the swimming pool?”
A: “It gets wet.”
And
Q: “How do you make a shaggy dog float?”
A: “Two scoops of ice cream, root beer, and a shaggy dog.”

Yes, these jokes are ridiculous, but it is a children’s book (I still think they’re funny). Not being able to find this book makes me feel like it died; and books shouldn’t ever die. This digital age we live in has brought us unlimited access to books in both digital and hardcopy; however, It seems like “101 Shaggy Dog Jokes” slipped through the cracks.

I recently finished Richard Dawkins’ book “The Greatest Show on Earth”, which is about evolution. Dawkins is a world renowned evolutionary biologist who writes informally about the science and brilliance of evolution. There were 2-parts in the book that I found rather dense, but the rest was a breeze to read and understand. My favorite part of the book was learning about all the strange but true happenings in the natural world and the evolutionary explanations behind them. Dawkins writes about some very strange flora and fauna, and the addition of full color photos with in-depth captions is very helpful in visualizing what he is writing about. If you want to understand evolution, this book is a must read.

Looking for literature with a cowboy twang? If you are, look no further than the High Desert Journal, which is based out of Bend, Oregon. This local publication includes poetry, non-fiction, art, and fiction about the American west. I discovered this gem at Barnes & Noble, and read through it while scarfing some pumpkin cheesecake at the cafe. Highlights in the current issue include a short non-fiction piece titled Occupy Fossil by Jack E. Lorts (fossil has less than 500 people), a report on the national cowboy poetry gathering, and the art-conscious spacious formatting. You can pick the High Desert Journal up at Barnes & Noble or you can subscribe for $15.00 at their website.

As October comes to an end, don’t let it end without reading any Edgar Allen Poe, the original master of suspense and terror. Wait until it’s late and everyone in the house has gone to bed, sit in a cozy chair next to the lamp, read The Raven or The Fall of The House of Usher or whatever your favorite Poe writings are, and let your imagination run loose in the silence of your own home.

Do you have a question for The Book Monster? Or do you have something you want to say about books? Email me at [email protected] And be sure to share The Book Monster with your friends on Facebook.

Annual Mushroom Festival Renewed This Sunday

//

Words by Kevin Baird, EDN

If you like to eat mushrooms, listen to live music, see fall foliage, mingle with the community, and have a good time, look no further than The 31st Annual Mushroom Festival at the Mt. Pisgah Arboretum. The festival begins at 10:00 a.m. on Sunday October 23rd and will end at 5:00 p.m. the same day. Admissions are $5.00 and the proceeds go to the funding of Mt. Pisgah Arboretum. This is their largest fundraising event of the year.

To get to the festival you can either take the free shuttle from Civic Stadium (where the Ems used to play), which will be leaving at the top of every hour, or you can drive to the festival where there will be free parking.

There will be over 350 kinds of mushroom on display, which is the largest on the west coast, that have been foraged over the past few weeks by the Cascade Mycological Society (CMS) and LCC.

Peg Douthit-Jackson, event coordinator at the arboretum, said that because it has been a very dry summer the foragers are hoping that they will find some rare species that thrive in dryer climates.The foragers have also reported that the fruiting of mushrooms in the Coast Range and Cascade foothills has been strong.

The best thing about mushroom festival is the food. Local vendors will have carts set up and they will be making special mushroom dishes. There will be sampling too.

Douthit-Jackson said that Holy Cow Cafe, which has been coming to the festival since its first year, makes a delicious mushroom soup. She said that some people will come to the festival just for this soup.

Other attractions include sales with items like mushrooms, plants, t-shirts, arts, crafts, and books. There is a scarecrow contest, hay rides, guided nature walks, and crafts for children.

Live music will be played all day and the set list includes:
10:00 Against the Grain
11:00 Clambake Combo
12:00 Kingdom County
1:00 Cat Like Reflexes
2:00 Satori Bob
3:00 The Huckleberries
4:00 The Stagger and Sway

Last year I had the opportunity to go to the mushroom festival, and I had a blast. Bring your families and friends, support a good cause, and appreciate one of nature’s delicacies. I’ll see you there.

Hiking The Tam McArthur Rim

//
The Tam McArthur Rim above 3 Creeks Lake.

The Tam McArthur Rim trail is brutal but extremely rewarding. The 5.5 mile trail (round trip) gets its name from a mountainous wall, or rim, that forms a picturesque backdrop for 3 Creeks Lake. The rim was named after “Tam” Lewis A. McArthur who served on the Oregon Geographic Board.

To get to the Tam Mcarthur Rim trailhead head east on Highway 126 (you can go up the Highway 242 scenic route too) until you reach Sisters Oregon. When you reach Sisters take a right (south) on  Elm Street. Follow this about 17 miles, the last 2-miles being gravel, until you reach a pair of latrines on the left-hand side of the road. Shortly after the latrines you will see signage and a trailhead. You can park on the side of the road. If you begin to drive by 3 Creeks Lake you’ve gone to far.

The trail is dusty, sandy, stoney, gravely, snowy, and gains close to 1,300-feet in elevation, so it’s important to bring a good pair of hiking shoes on this hike. Sun screen, chapstick, food, and plenty of water are also essential for this hike.

Looking up towards the Tam McArthur Rim (TMR) can make this trail seem a little daunting, but if you keep hiking you will be up on the TMR before you know it. The trail is steepest at the beginning, and it switchbacks through ponderosa forests until you are on the (TMR). Once you reach the TMR the forest opens up and the trail becomes relatively flat with a few steep hills. You will also encounter a number of snow patches depending on how long the snow lingers. While you hike along the rim you can expect a clear view of Mt. Bachelor and an steep and rocky view of the TMR from above and 3 Creeks Lake.

The top of the trail provides a great view of the 3 Sisters.

After following the TMR the trail heads east towards Broken Top. You can expect more snow patches and one last steep push to the top of the trail. The trail ends on a ridgeline facing Broken Top. There are a few good sitting rocks where you can relax, eat lunch, and soak up the scenery. From the north to the south you can see Mt. Hood, Mt. Jefferson, 3 Fingered Jack, Mt. Washington, the Three Sisters (from north to south they are named Faith, Hope, and Charity), Broken Top (directly east), and Mt. Bachelor to the south.

I didn’t see hardly any wildlife along the trail other than few magpies. The bugs weren’t bad either. I only saw a few flies and one mosquito (it bit me).

After a rough hike like this its important to treat yourself. I recommend a soak in the 3 Creeks Lake. After spending 5-hours on the trail, I was dirty, grimy, and tired. 3 Creeks Lake is great for swimming; it has sandy beaches and cool-clear water. After swimming in the lake for half an hour I felt fresh and rejuvenated. There is also a store on the lake front that sells ice cream, candy and a few random items like chapstick. You can also rent a boat at this store.

 

When the Bees Go, We Go (A Film Review)

//

Do you eat honey as an alternative to sweeteners? Did you know that the bees that produce that honey are given a steady diet of high-fructose corn syrup? Try and run from the cold hard truth of this warm and delightful movie, Queen of the Sun: What Are the Bees Telling Us?, and you won’t make it far. The truth is that the mono-cropping practices of large farms in America have caused over 5 million bee colonies to disappear. We rely on bees to pollinate our crops. It’s as simple as that. I don’t know about you, but only having oatmeal and bread for the rest of time (because the price of fruits and vegetables skyrocketed due to massive crop shortages, and even losses) does not sound healthy. Queen of the Sun is a documentary that takes an alternative look at a topic that most people are downright afraid of… bees.

I’m sure it has happened to almost everyone. Here in the northwest we’ve got a lifestyle that lends itself to bee stings. When I was a kid, I stepped on a nest and had a very pissed off swarm fly up my pant leg and into my shirt. Now that I look back on that event, I realize they probably weren’t even bees. That’s part of the problem, the fear that people have. When in reality, bees are fairly docile insects that only sting when provoked. Most of the time, bees get a bad rap from yellow jackets, wasps, and hornets, that are all aggressive creatures known for stinging first and asking questions later. Even now, while I research bees, half of the websites I run into are something along the lines of- “Bee problem? Dump gasoline in hole after dark, ignite, etc…” Only every once and awhile does someone chime in and say, “uh, call a beekeeper?” It’s that fear that we must educate our way through. If people knew the truth about bees, they wouldn’t run for the gasoline and the blazing torches.

But I digress… Queen of the Sun (from director Taggart Siegel) is beautifully filmed, the locations are amazing, the close-ups of bees and hives and honeycombs are all superb. While some of the interviewees are a little more colorful than the rest, all of the experts and beekeepers that lend a hand to Queen are intelligent, funny, and thoughtful people who obviously care deeply about bees… And why shouldn’t they? Bees are an essential part of our ecosystem, without them, pollen would not be spread, plants would be stuck, unable to breed. Most movies like to tell the end of the world as a bang, Queen is telling it with a whimper.

The message of this movie is clear, if we don’t change our habits in America and Europe, bees could disappear altogether. remember that movie 2012? Yeah, except without all the explosions and bad acting. Bees pollinate 40% of our food supply on Earth… with out them, well… are you going to do it? I can’t even get my kids to take out the garbage, less “go out back and pollinate the garden kids… otherwise no fruit… ever.”

I love movies like this. That make it to my hands through no fault of my own, strictly on chance (it happens a lot, most recently with The Way Back), and it ends up not just informing me, but moving me. To know, now, that chemicals developed in wartime, explicitly to kill humans, is now sprayed onto the food we eat… well I shudder to even write it. The neurotoxin-based insecticides that are used these days are the same chemical agents we developed to destroy each other almost a century ago. The great part about this movie is the many different angles it shows, and the multiple theories it presents as to why these mass-extinctions are happening with our bees.

The footage in Queen of the Sun is simply breathtaking. The intricate ways that a colony moves, shifts, grows, and dies are fascinating to watch, and the movie never lingers too long in the sadness of its message. In fact, it keeps an upbeat rhythm and never seems to become complacent or stagnate. The movie will open on Earth Day at the Bijou on Earth Day, and everyone should check it out. If for no other reason than to educate themselves on the importance on these highly evolved little creatures. I highly recommend it! I have to say, after watching this movie, I will never look at bees the same way again.

 


 

Don’t miss the new film “Queen of the Sun: What are the bees telling us?” returning to Portland, OR and will be playing in Eugene at Bijou Art Cinemas starting APRIL 22nd! Also theatrically premiering in 4 other Oregon cities beginning on EARTH DAY 4/22! Queen of the Sun is a profound, alternative look into the problems and solutions of the global honeybee crisis from Taggart Siegel, the director of the award-winning, grass-roots hit The Real Dirt on Farmer John. Film.com calls Queen of the Sun, “Stunning… as soulful as it is scientific, as uplifting as it is alarming.” Shawn Levy at the Oregonian calls it, “Entertaining, gorgeous, and relevant.”

FOR MORE INFO VISIT: WWW.QUEENOFTHESUN.COM