Welcome to "the quietest square inch in the wilds of America, discovered by Gordon Hempton.
The quietest inch isn’t a sound vacuum. It represents a place with a minimum of human-made noise. The discipline of acoustic ecology, which is dedicated to understanding the natural sounds that come through loud and clear when we're not around, outlines an important distinction between sound and noise. The blip of water droplets from a forest canopy? Sound. The tinny din of Taylor Swift through smartphone speakers? Noise. For example, the inch, as it's often called, is exposed to flute-like bugling from Roosevelt elk, the Morse-code chirp of the American Dipper, and assertive hooting from the endangered Northern Spotted Owl. The steady rush of the Hoh River rounding the shoulder of Mount Olympus whooshes nearby, and summer snowmelt punctuates the setting with staccato droplets. In spite of the natural sound, dense forest engulfs the inch in a hush that is, at times, below 20 decibels—quieter than most recording studios.
The recording is presumably normalized to make it sound much louder. Don't think I could sleep through that boid.
The photo, taken by Hempton, is of a red pebble he left at the quietest spot.
The Audubon Society received 9,000 entires for their annual photography contest and chose nine winners, including Mary Angela Luzader's Fine Art Honorable Mention for her shot of fighting Purple Gallinules, above.
She took her shot at Venetian Gardens, a public park in Leesburg, Florida:
Venetian Gardens is a wonderful place to photograph Purple Gallinules in a natural, parklike habitat. Someone called my attention to this pair chasing and fighting each other. I have never witnessed this behavior, and I was so excited I almost forgot to snap a few shots! When the fight was over, the victor got the girl, and the loser was chased away, with a few less feathers . . . and perhaps a headache!
The Top 100 is well worth the time if you admire birds and or beautiful photography.
• Announcing the 2015 Audubon Photography Awards (audubon.org)
• 2015 Top 100 photos (audubon.org)
“Outside the store there is a trail of sugar. And a clump of cherries,” reports a Denver, CO TV news station, dramatically.
A hungry bear in Colorado broke into a local pie shop, and helped himself to some pie. In fact, he helped himself to all of the pie. He ate every last pie in the place, except for one flavor.
Read the rest
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There's something striking and lawless about the bodies of moths, isn't there? Their patterns of howling eyes, bark-like patterns, haloes of bright, thin hair seem almost accidental, like fractals gone all wrong. Now, a new procedural generation bot pays tribute to the morbid maths of moths, and it's compelling.
Poet and artist Katie Rose Pipkin and multi-talented game maker Loren Schmidt (their stark, demanding 'retro'-style work Star Guard was an Independent Games Festival design finalist) have collaborated on Moth Generator (lepidoptera automata, of course). It makes moths, tweets and names them.
A dark sort of beauty wings out of such a simple idea: Sometimes there is one tiny pearlite body pinned to a slate-gray scientific sheet, and at other times, it manifests a whole board with a array of spectacular forms pinned side by side. You feel lots like you're wandering the collection of some mad biologist, skirting the line between artifice and nature. Follow @mothgenerator on Twitter to watch the dusty, incandescent life forms unfold.
“Captured this whilst hiking the cliffs in Látrabjarg [Iceland]. This came across as an anomaly where it seems that the fog was flowing down like a waterfall.” Reginald Schmidt via r/videos.
Beautiful video of air currents rippling through grassy knolls in Norway. Read the rest
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“What would a nature documentary be like if the animals were armed with our favorite weapons?”