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Comment Archives: stories: Outside: Natural World

Re: “No, Really, We Do Need Bugs

He's dead Jim. The sky is falling on him.

Posted by Bradden Kerr on 07/16/2019 at 5:00 PM

Re: “Butterflies by the ka-jillions!

I think you helped explain what I saw yesterday (July 12) on Highway 20 passing over the Pacific Crest trail/Santium Pass. There were about 10 miles of butterflies flying into windshields. I thought I'd run into the Monarch migration but they were too small and wrong time and location.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Brad Reynolds on 07/13/2019 at 10:50 AM

Re: “Nina de la Tierra: Child of the Earth: The mystery of the Jerusalem Cricket

The parasites that these guys carry are called horsehair worms. The worms lay their eggs on plants at the bank of a stream, the potato bug comes along and ingests the eggs along with the leaves. When the worm has grown up in the abdomen of the bug, it signals it to go to water. When the bug reaches water, the worm bursts out of the bug and slithers into the water. Horsehair worms are filter feeders. They root themselves in the mud and filter stuff out of the water to eat. I have seem them a foot long. I did an autopsy on one potato bug and found a worm a foot long all wound up inside the abdomen. Unfortunately, it was dead as well.

Posted by Barbara Hunt on 06/05/2019 at 9:50 AM

Re: “Cougars on the Rise

Dear Mr. Anderson:

It seems as though the subject of what to do with cougars encroaching on populated areas is a topic of never-ending debate among my neighbors. Specifically, many see the practice of euthanizing these wild cats as too harsh and cruel, and wonder if less drastic measures might be just as effective in reducing/eliminating risk to humans, pets and livestock. Specifically, questions about live-trapping and relocation, or to haze them with rubber bullets in order to instill fear of humans in them seem to be what some of the population would prefer.

Is there a reason, based in science, that euthanizing these cougars is the only solution ODFW uses? I would really like to know. Actually, it would be very helpful to have a page on ODFWs website that addresses this question (their page on cougar management does not address this issue, even indirectly).

I have written ODFW requesting a reply to this question. I anxiously await your response in the event that they don't. Thank you for your attention to my question!

Posted by christomart on 05/19/2019 at 5:43 PM

Re: “What to do about outdoor cats?

I was just told by my police department here in Junction City, it's illegal to have a trap on my patio.

Posted by Wal BLeigh on 05/09/2019 at 11:44 AM

Re: “Cougars on the Rise

Another important measure to discourage cougars is to put window coverings up on your windows. I loved having my big farmhouse windows uncovered, but it enabled a cougar to see my cats lounging on the back of the sofa in front of the windows. It attempted to attack them, charging full force against the window which sounded like a bomb going off in the house. Luckily our storm strength windows held and all that was left was a big cougar face and tail print on the glass where his body was flung sideways and his launch tracks in the gravel outside the window. We now have shades up.

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Michele Smollett on 05/08/2019 at 8:56 PM

Re: “Cougars on the Rise

The woman who was killed near Mt Hood last summer had blood red hair. Really. I think the cougar thought she was bleeding. She was a smart person and I think she would have acted appropriately if she saw the cougar coming. She may have been moving fast because she started her hike very late in the evening. I talked to her just before she left and I thought it was too late She tried to get someone to hike with her.

3 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by George the Hoz on 05/05/2019 at 5:33 PM

Re: “Cougars on the Rise

If You Are a Foreign National Seeking Asylum in the US and Encounter a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agent:

Solitary agents often will retreat if given the opportunity. Leave the animal a way to escape.

Stay calm and stand your ground.

Maintain direct eye contact.

Pick up children, but do so without bending down or turning your back on the ICE agent.

Back away slowly.

Do not run. Running triggers a chase response in agents, which could lead to an attack.

Raise your voice and speak firmly.

If the an ICE agent seems aggressive, raise your arms to make yourself look larger and clap your hands [Hands up, Don't Shoot].

If in the very unusual event that a agent attacks you, fight back with rocks, sticks, bear or pepper spray, tools or any items available.

5 likes, 13 dislikes
Posted by Scott Randall on 05/02/2019 at 11:23 AM

Re: “Backyard Scorpions: We've got some of the stingers in these parts, but don't worry

I live outside Jacksonville Or. My wife let me know she saw one in the kitchen which I got rid of. I have a question does anybody know which one's are more venomous the red or black ??? Thanks

Posted by jammer-01 on 04/28/2019 at 1:35 AM

Re: “Hummingbirds Ahead!

I was thinking happy birthday wishes for you and dad recently!
Big hugs,

Posted by Jl2knit on 04/08/2019 at 2:23 PM

Re: “Hummingbirds Ahead!

Charles, can we go back to enjoying hummingbirds now?

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by jmathieud09 on 04/05/2019 at 7:27 AM

Re: “Turkey Vultures are Back Again

@anonymous user above; I only spent about five minutes during my lunch googling this, but I was able to find this scholarly reference:…

It shows that in 1973 patagial tags for red-tailed hawks weighed 4 grams, and other birds' patagial tags had weights and sizes proportionate to their body sizes. I would be surprised if the weight had gone up with our advances in material science over the past several decades. Another quick google search shows the low range for red-tailed hawk adult weight at 690 grams. This means that the patagial tag is approximately 0.5% of the bird's body weight.

I'm not specifically aware of how much Jim Anderson weighs, but a 70 lb tag weight would put his weight at 14,000 lbs if the same proportion was maintained. Hopefully this shows just how ridiculous an exaggeration you're making here.

Another quick google: "Ethics of patagial tags". This string will return almost 160 scholarly articles considering various impacts of patagial tags specifically on various aspects of bird behavior and health, and some will include cost-benefit analysis of those impacts versus conservation benefits for the species. Different search strings would likely bring even more results. We cannot fix a problem we don't understand. Period.

Your comment assumes scientist blindly chase data at the expense of the health of the species they are researching. Frankly it is insulting to those who have dedicated their lives to conservation efforts.

3 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by CMcCue on 03/18/2019 at 11:24 AM

Re: “Turkey Vultures are Back Again

How about a story about the number of animals killed and/or injured simply so some scientist can write a paper. Terrorizing animals simply for humans inability to understand things should have been stopped years ago as how can any relent data be collected from a terrorized injured animal with tags and radio collars attached to them.
Any scientist would laugh at you if you strapped a radio collar on a human that was a size and shape that was proportional to their weight of what we use on animals and expect to get any real data. If Jim Anderson was tracked, tackled, held down and had a 70lb radio collar strapped to his neck, a number spray painter on his forehead and a GPS tracker super glued to his back do you think it may hamper his reactions to movement and natural retractions to every stimuli he encounters.
Self proclaiming yourself a naturalist and citizen scientiest in no way means nature can survive your intrusions or barbaric actions.

2 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by anonymous on 03/14/2019 at 1:37 PM

Re: “Friend or Foe?: The truth about the black widow

Fantastic article! Thank you

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Amanda McArthy-Foust on 02/25/2019 at 9:44 PM

Re: “They're on the Move!

Both last year and this we have been camp hosts at Tumalo State Park December through February. Last year - virtually zero robins and this year they are coming through in waves each day (and yes, creating a lot of work for us in cleaning the seedy poop off the picnic tables and sidewalks!). Do you have any idea why the difference - seems like the two winters are relatively the same (not like two winters ago with all the snow)?

Posted by Alison McElwain Erickson on 01/29/2019 at 11:34 AM

Re: “They're on the Move!

Cool article, thanks!

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by MajorMajorx2 on 01/29/2019 at 8:11 AM

Re: “Where Have All the Insects Gone?

Thanks for another article telling it like it is Jim. I hope we are smart enough to realize how strong the connection is between our health and that of the rest of the planet-before its too late.

Posted by Alice on 01/11/2019 at 8:03 PM

Re: “Packing Off Pack Rats: Don't kill the rats, move 'em

Come on, people, poison isn't necessary, and could inadvertently poison pets or livestock. The one time I tried it, the packrat went crazy and made a total mess of my cabin before dying.

A couple of people already said the solution I find the easiest - catch them in a Havahart trap and submerge it in the nearest creek or large barrel of water. I thought it might be hard, but no, it was pretty easy and quick. I'll deal with my karma, which is in pretty good balance, thank you.

The only part I'm not sure about is how to make sure the fleas don't survive. Perhaps burying to a certain depth? Or leaving them in the water long enough to kill the fleas?

At any rate, after having much of the insulation in my cabin in the country tunneled through by packrats, I am ready to reclaim my territory. After discovering a previously unknown hole where the ridgepole meets the dimensional lumber, and badly so, I covered it over with a piece of hardware cloth, and for now that seems to have done the trick. But now I will have to deconstruct the wood ceiling and walls in all the places they got into, clean them (with something like Citra-Solv), and make sure from inside that the entrances are gone, and reinforce vulnerable areas with more hardware cloth. I plan to make a solution of plant scents they don't like to saturate their areas. (Lavender, rosemary, cedar, sage... which also happen to be good antifungals.)

As for relocating, I agree that it is a horrible idea - they will either come back or become someone else's problem. Think of your home or car as the primary bait, and offer them something else - a feast in a Havahart - and then do them in.

0 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Karen Weed Warrior on 11/24/2018 at 10:00 AM

Re: “The Black Widow's Sister Arrives

Venom is delivered via injection from a bite. plants don't bite, so can't be venomous, but animals can be poisonous (e.g. poison arrow frogs)

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Kelly Clowers on 11/02/2018 at 3:11 PM

Re: “Sydney the Cygnet Lives On

The flight feathers on Sydney's wings were only trimmed temporarily.
ODFW and the Trumpeter Swan Society decided Sydney would have a greater chance of survival if she stayed with her parents for the winter. They wanted to temporarily prevent her from flying so she won't be able to fly into power lines - a huge threat to trumpeters. As far as predators go, Sydney was much more vulnerable when she was a tiny cygnet.
Pete and Eloise are excellent protective parents who do a great job of fighting off any potential threats to Sydney.
Once the spring comes, Sydney will grow new flight feathers and be taken to Summer Lake to live her life as a free swan. Sydney is in NO WAY a prisoner or part of an ill advised petting zoo.

Posted by Robin Gold on 10/26/2018 at 4:10 PM

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