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  • Filming Orchids with the Panasonic DMC FZ200 and FZ300 Cameras is a short video illustrating some of the advantages of using these cameras.
  • They have a good depth of field which allows you to focus on tiny orchid flowers using the macro setting.
  • I have found the lightweight Slik Sprint Pro II tripod very useful. Of special importance is you can focus on a flower take a short video and easily remove the camera to view how it looks and put it back without altering its position.
  • For very tight areas the tiny AMBICO tripod works well.
  • By using f 2.8 the orchid flowers can stand out from the background.
  • With their regular batteries these cameras will run 1.5 to 2 hours in the video mode. 
  • Using a Juicebox DSLR Power battery and a Bescor Coupler & AC Adapter Kit for Sigma fp & Select Panasonic Cameras should allow these cameras to run in the video mode for many hours.
  • For information about these cameras look at An Evaluation of the Panasonic FZ-200 and FZ-300 Camera
  • For information about orchids in Southeast Alaska look at Native Orchids of Southeast Alaska the book updated by Marlin Bowles & Bob Armstrong
  • For information about the value of fungus gnats for pollinating some orchids look at /sites/default/files/mcx196.pdf
  • We Really Like is a video showing some of the different creatures that eat and come to dandelions.
  • I see lots of deer and bears foraging on them along roadsides in the spring.
  • I wonder about the effects of salt on roads and whether the dandelions can accumulate the toxins and transmit them on to our wildlife. The same concern about the use of pesticides to control dandelions on lawns and the effect this might have on creatures that forage on these plants. 
  • For interesting information on the history of dandelions look at
  • A Great Blue Heron caught shows what fish the heron caught in about a one-half hour of filming. 
  • This could be a useful video to show while discussing the behavior of a heron while fishing.
  • It appears it caught Pacific herring, juvenile salmon, a small flatfish, sculpins, and a gunnel.
  • Of interest is one of the sculpins was probably a staghorn sculpin which because of its "horns", which it erects when disturbed, could be very difficult and dangerous for the heron to swallow. In the video you can see that the heron eventually gave up.
  • Gunnels are also difficult for them to swallow -- not sure why -- perhaps the way the fish struggle or perhaps tough skin. In another video it shows a heron not being able to swallow several gunnels. Type in gunnel in the search to find the video.
  • For a fun article about these birds look at Things that go Squawk in the Night (Great Blue Herons) by Bob Armstrong and Marge Hermans
  • Hedgehog Arion is a small slug that was feeding on Wild Iris leaves in the Very Beary Berry Wetlands.
  • The slug was identified as Arion intermedius by using the key in Slugs of British Columbia -- a key to
  • This is an invasive slug that seems quite common in Southeast Alaska. To learn more about this species look at /sites/default/files/Arion_intermedius_Gastropoda_Stylommatophora_first%20%281%29.pdf
  • In this publication they mention:  Its worldwide invasiveness is apparently facilitated by its feeding habits and particularly by its reproductive strategy of strict self fertilization which is unusual in pulmonates. 
  • The Value of Cow Parsnip for Insects in Alaska is meant to illustrate how certain plants attract a wide variety of insects to feed on their nectar and pollen. 
  • The Cow Parsnip is considered a "generalist" flower that attracts several species of insects. 
  • These types of flowers are (from the book Pollination and Floral Ecology by Pat Willmer, 2011 by Princeton University Press}.
  1. open accessible flowers, bowl shaped or flat;
  2. small or medium-sized flowers (very small examples often grouped together as inflorescences);
  3. commonly white, cream, or yellow-green in color;
  4. mild to moderate scents, fruity or musty but not unattractive; 
  5. highly accessible pollen, often in large-quantities; 
  6. exposed nectar, occurring at low volume and usually high concentration.
  • This seems to fit the Cow Parsnip (Heracleum lanatum) perfectly.
  • In watching the insects that come to various flowers I am always amazed at how many visit the Cow Parsnips. Even on cool rainy days. 
  • For interesting information about this plant look at Harvey JA, Gols R, Smith B, Ode PJ. Invasive moth facilitates use of a native food plant by other native and invasive arthropods. Ecological Research. 2019;34:659–666 /sites/default/files/1440-1703.12035.pdf
  • Some moths feed on this plant look at /sites/default/files/Depressaria%20radiella.docx
  • Yellow Slime Molds at Very Beary Berry Wetlands is about some we saw forming in mid-August this year. 
  • The Yellow Slime Mold is technically (Fuligo septica).
  • It common names include Scrambled Egg Slime and Dog Vomit Slime Mold
  • For interesting information about slime molds look at Help--I've Been Slimed! (slime molds) by Bob Armstrong and Marge Hermans
  • In the video I included a photo of an insect that was feeding on the slime, a beetle, and a crab spider that was nearby.
  • Northern Flying Squirrel shows a number of images taken with the Panasonic DMC-FZ300 camera in the time lapse mode at night.
  • The camera was about 9 feet away from a platform of moss where I put some unsalted peanuts to attract flying squirrels. 
  • The camera was set in manual focus to take a photo every 30 seconds at f4 at 1-800th of a second with the flash on. 
  • In this mode it lasted for about 2 hours and 15 minutes with just the camera's battery.
  • Each photo was 13.333 inches wide by 7.493 inches in height at 300 dpi. 
  • The only alteration I did was to lighten them up in shadows and highlights and save them at about half their size for use in a video. 
  • I started the camera at around midnight when the flying squirrels were mostly about. Of interest is one red squirrel showed up -- see if you can find it. 
  • I was not present when the camera was taking photos. 
  • I was pleased at the quality of images taken with this fairly inexpensive camera (about $400 new) using just the camera's built in flash. Which made set-up very easy. 
  • Of interest is the JUICEBOX DSLR POWER battery JBDP-01 with a DC COUPLER FOR DMW-DCC8 can be attached to the camera which should allow it to run several hours in the time lapse mode. I have not tested this device yet.
  • For more information about this camera look at  An Evaluation of the Panasonic FZ-200 and FZ-300 Camera 
  • And the value of using cameras remotely for documenting animal behavior look at Using Remote Cameras for Capturing Animal Behavior
  • Installing a Beaver Pond Leveler is a video that shows the building of and installation of one at the beaver dam on Strawberry Creek in the Very Beary Berry Wetlands.
  • These wetlands are owned by Southeast Alaska Land Trust and they were concerned that the dam sometimes backed water up close to the nearby homes. 
  • These levelers are designed to help keep the water at a level suitable for the beavers and, hopefully, the adjacent land owners. 
  • Beavers usually cannot figure out how to block the water flowing out of these pipes and they require very little maintenance. 
  • For information about these devices and beavers look at
  • To see some of the creatures that use this beaver dam look at this video by Doug Jones
  • For information about beavers in the Juneau area look at  Beavers by the Mendenhall Glacier in Juneau, Alaska