ecosystem

The Huge, yet Often Unspoken, Problem with Outdoor Cats

I’ve known about the extreme problem that outdoor cats pose to our ecosystem, particularly for bird and rodent populations, for years, and firmly believe that cats should be indoor only. Whenever my belief on this comes up in conversation with cat owners who let their cats outside, though, they indicate no real awareness of the scope of the problem (though there’s probably some willful ignorance mixed in, too), so I’m glad to have an updated reference for them in the form of this Smithsonian Magazine article, “The Moral Cost of Cats.”

Beautiful Moths

Spanish as a language doesn't have a real equivalent to the word "moth."  In fact, the most commonly used option is "mariposa nocturna," which means nocturnal butterfly.  I kind of think that's a little unfair to both moths and butterflies, though, as I believe there are many that are so visually distinct - not to mention behaviorally - as to merit a different category, not just a subcategory.  So yay, English, for giving us both!

I've been seeing a much wider variety of insects (and, really, of animal life in general) on my porch this summer, and the moths have been one of my favorite parts!  Here are a few I'd like to share with you.  In order from first to last in the slideshow, they are: the honey locust moth (or the bisected honey locust moth) Syssphinx bicolor or Sphingicampa bicolor, a looper moth (inconclusive regarding the exact species given the closed wing position), a looper or a common oak moth Phoberia atomaris, a white-dotted prominent moth Nadata gibbosa, a common gray moth Anavitrinella pampinaria, and a fall webworm Hyphantria cunea.

More Finding Light Exhibition Photos!

Here are a few more photos from my Finding Light exhibition currently up in USM's Goppert Gallery!  I'm taking photos in batches (it is very hard to get good photos in low-light settings, so I take some, see if I have any good ones, post, and repeat!).  It's not hard to take photos of the non-interactive parts of the show, so I haven't been focusing on those just yet since it's more important to figure out the photography for the interactive pieces since they're so tough to capture!  So first up - here are some additional photos of All That I See.  The algae that is growing on the sculpture is a local species - I took water from USM's pond and have been cycling it and keeping it alive and flourishing for several months now within the sculpture's glass container.

Photo Teaser from My Exhibition Reception!

This Friday was my opening reception for my Goppert Gallery exhibition Finding Light.  I will share a more comprehensive set of photos with you in a bit, but here's a teaser!  The show is up through March 9th if you want to experience it firsthand.