Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Birding Board Game Pt. 1

Over the years, I have purchased two birding-themed board games on eBay. This isn't Birdopoly we're talking about here. These are actual games about birding. I'm going to highlight both games in this post and a subsequent post. The first game is called Gone Birding. Published in 1990, it's a video-based game hosted by Bill Oddie and Peter Alden. You also may recognize the artwork on the cover and playing cards. Let me start my description of the game by saying that I haven't actually played it, but I plan to the next time I can get a group of birders together in a non-birding situation. Is that even possible?

This is the board above. The premise is relatively simple. You are on a cross-country birding trip trying to see as many species as possible. The person who "sees" the most species wins. You are dealt a series of cards from a "hotspot" deck at the start of the game. These cards each list a well-known birding spot. As you "visit" each spot, you pick up birds for your list.

You also pick up "Surprise" cards along the way (including a very surprised-looking puffin). Surprise cards help change the game up a bit and keep it interesting, sort of like a Chance card in Monopoly. Some of them are pretty funny as you can see in the second photo.

The video element of the game helps create the flow of the game through a series of ID challenges and also takes you from hotspot to hotspot. There are 10 games on the tape, each leading you through an approximately 2-hour board game experience. It seems like an interesting game. Have any of you played this game? Anyone want to come over and play? I hope the video tape works!

The Sibley Guide to Trees?

Holy cow, how did I miss that David Sibley is coming out with a Guide to Trees? AWESOME. Pre-order it here.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Butterfly back from the brink

ScienceDaily has a really neat article on discoveries that saved the Large Blue butterfly from extinction, a European species with a very interesting life cycle. The article stresses the importance of understanding the entire life cycle of a species and its ecological interdependencies.

And yes, I've been a lazy blogger. Facebook is a good eater of time.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Help Legalize Beekeeping in NYC

Who knew that beekeeping was illegal in NYC? Hrmph. Well, you can help out by signing a petition to lift that ban.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Gull struck by winning hit in baseball game

Royals vs. Indians last night - story and video here.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

CSA Bounty

Excitement abounds! We are members of the Rutgers Community Supported Agriculture program this year and today was our first pick up. The cold and wet weather here made the share a bit small this week, but it's still plenty for the two of us. I'm sure we'll have MORE than enough over the summer to make up for it. Our stash includes:

LOTS of salad greens including one that tastes remarkably like wasabi (some type of arugula maybe?)
Pea shoots
Lemon Balm

So, my first order of business was to address a craving I had for scallion pancakes. Consider it done.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

"Lawrence's" Warbler

For the past month or so, a "Lawrence's" Warbler has been seen at the Kay Environmental Center in Morris County. I got to see it on Saturday. This is the rarer of the two Golden-winged Warbler x Blue-winged Warbler hybrids - "Brewster's" Warbler is the other. It was singing the bee-buzz song of a Blue-winged Warbler. Neat bird! Learn more about Cornell's Golden-winged Warbler Atlas Project which also tracks hybrids.