Search This Blog

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Spotting a Lace Monitor in the Wild

Sometimes a simple walk to the beach can be an adventure.

We encountered this lace monitor (Varanus varius) in the coastal forest at Cape Tribulation, Queensland, Australia. We were privileged to observe its natural behavior–sensing the presence of prey and other monitors, and also marking its territory. Definitely an Earth Minute.

See more of Queensland Australia:
Watch Green Ants
Sea Birds on Great Barrier Reef
Flying Foxes

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Sea Birds on the Great Barrier Reef - Michaelmas Cay, Queensland, Australia

22 nautical miles from Cairns, Queensland, is Michaelmas Cay, a bird reserve and incredible place to snorkel, dive or do some bird watching! 

A dive boat, certified for ecotourism, takes you directly to a strip 
of sand beside the protected nesting sites.

The sounds were fantastic!  So have a look at the video and listen to the recording from the beach. Wait for the surprise!

Can you spot the brown booby among the common noddies? 

We used Seastar Cruises, and they were so great and knowledgeable!   Below is one of their pictures.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Listen to the River! Russian River Adventure Canoe Trip Healdsburg, CA

Summer is a hot time in California.  
What better plan than a canoe trip on the Russian River just outside of Healdsburg in Sonoma County?

Listen to the sound of the birds, the inflatable canoe squeaking along, the dip of the paddles, and the sounds of the river flowing by.


Enjoy and cool down a bit! 

An easy paddle and float trip - Then head to Healdsburg Plaza Park for an outdoor concert?! has great trips!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Watching Valley Carpenter Bees

I was headed down to the garage when I heard a gnawing sound and saw a pinch of sawdust fall from the side of the bottlebrush trunk. The Earth Minute video will reveal who was carving a home out of the soft wood.

Four valley carpenter bees (Xylocopa varipuncta) live in the old trunk. These large bees (approx. 1 inch long) live in southern California and are valuable pollinators. Each individual visits more plants daily than a European honey bee.  

The three black females and one golden-colored male share the tunnels, but the females are also carving out new tunnels to lay their 5-7 eggs.

Each larva is sealed in a chamber within the tunnel and provisioned with its own food. They mature to adult form and then break their way out of their chambers.

I love to see these big bees in the garden. Their loud buzz alerts you to their presence. Valley carpenter bees give you a complete evaluation before flying on, but don’t be afraid of them. Like many large creatures they are gentle giants, males do not even have stingers. They are gatherers of abundance, harvesting from the plants but sharing their bounty by pollinating and helping new things grow. I regard them as a personal totem animal. 

One of the most gratifying places to experience an Earth Minute is in your own backyard. Take a moment to explore the world right outside your door.

See and hear more at

For other wildlife videos

Subscribe via e-mail and receive an e-mail when the next is posted.