November 22, 2014

Elyria
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Gerrone: Some things you should know

Did you know that the great-crested flycatcher often places a small piece of shed snake skin dangling out of its nesting hole in order to scare away would-be predators?
Did you know that cattails are often called “the supermarket of the swamp” because most every part of the plant is edible?
Did you know that newts are aquatic, then terrestrial, then aquatic during the course of their lives?
Did you know that kestrels can see the ultraviolet tracings of rodent urine?
Did you know that maple syrup is really boiled down tree sap?
Did you know that water hemlock is a poisonous relative of parsley?
Did you know that male house wrens build several nests just in the hopes that a female will like one of them?
Did you know that the female house wren then completely change around the male’s nest to suit their own needs?
Did you know that water striders can actually walk on water?
Did you know that antlers fall off and regrow each year?
Did you know that owls have crooked ears?
Did you know that an owl’s crooked ears give them auditory depth perception?
Did you know that northern hemisphere tornadoes almost always whirl around in a counter-clockwise direction?
Did you know that water in toilets and bathtubs does as well?
Did you know that this is because of the rotation of the Earth? 
Did you know that giant silk moths have no mouth parts and live for only a day or so?
Did you know that eastern screech-owls don’t screech or hoot, but whinny like a horse?
Did you know that Asian multicolored lady beetles bleed yellow through their leg joints when frightened?
Did you know that black walnuts are drupes?
 Did you know that drupes are fruits with large pits or seeds?
Did you know that birds do not have tails? Did you know that birds only have tail feathers?
Did you know that beavers use their tails for little more than smacking the water to scare off predators?
Did you know that turkey vultures poop on their own feet in order to keep themselves cool?
Did you know that most meteors are no larger than grains of sand?
Did you know that monarch butterflies are poisonous to eat?
Did you know that cherry tree bark contains cyanide?
Did you know that the blue color of our sky is caused by upflux scattering of incoming sunlight?
Did you know that water expands when it freezes?
Did you know that squirrels do not remember where they buried their winter storage of nuts?
Did you know that squirrels are one of nature’s chief reforesters?
Did you know that amphibians can breathe directly through their skin?
Did you know that ducks cannot fly during part of the summer?
Did you know that a flower’s job is to produce seeds?
Did you know that earthworms have no eyes?
Did you know that crayfish swim backwards when frightened?
Did you know that the fur on the winter coat of a deer is made of hollow hair?
Did you know that snakes drink water?
Did you know that coyotes are the world’s fastest dogs?
Did you know that all starlight that reaches us is at least four years old?
Did you know that the speed of the snowy tree cricket’s call can accurately tell the temperature?
Did you know that most songbirds migrate at night?
Did you know that the dark heartwood of the black walnut tree is actually dead?
Did you know that bats are not at all blind?
Did you know that a group of crows is actually called a murder?
Did you know that honey bees are not native to North America?
Did you know that black rat snakes are incredible tree climbers?
Did you know that hummingbirds beat their wings up to 70 times each second?
Did you know that the Appalachian Mountains were once taller than the Himalayas?
Did you know that cinnamon is actually ground up tree bark?
Did you know that the Northern Lights are actually caused by sunspots?
Did you know that a woodpecker’s tongue is so long that it wraps around the birds head?
Did you know that when a flycatcher flies off to catch a flying fly that it is called “hawking?”
Did you know that if you grind up buckeyes and drop them into a pond that stunned and gasping fish will float to the surface?
Did you know that a skunk is a weasel? Did you know that all weasels can spray?
Did you know that a mink coat is really a weasel coat? 
Did you know that pit vipers have heat sensing organs on their snouts?
Did you know that toads are distasteful and toxic to eat?
Did you know that duckweed is the world’s smallest, flowering, plant
Did you know that owls can fly without making any noise?
Did you know that dandelion flowers are actually many flowers in one?
Did you know that many snakes can “stink” you if you pick them up?
Did you know that salmon and trout return to their home rivers through the sense of smell?
Did you know that hummingbirds cannot walk?
Did you know that there is a freshwater jellyfish?
Did you know that turtle shells are actually ribs?
Did you know that it is nearly impossible to be allergic to goldenrod? 
Did you know?
I thought you should!
Gary Gerrone is a naturalist and freelance writer. Contact him at 329-7135 or ctsports@chroniclet.com.