Society for the Protection of Underground Networks


Hotspots of mycorrhizal fungi are thought to be under threat, from agriculture, urbanisation, pollution, water scarcity and changes to the climate. Photograph: Biosphoto/Alamy

We featured three articles by Fiona Harvey, Environment correspondent for the Guardian, each in 2016 on quite different topics, and then we did not see her again until today. Our attention to fungi has been constant since Milo got the topic started in 2011, and SPUN’s mapping project counts as good news:

World’s vast networks of underground fungi to be mapped for first time

Project aims to help protect some of trillions of miles of the ‘circulatory system of the planet’

Vast networks of underground fungi – the “circulatory system of the planet” – are to be mapped for the first time, in an attempt to protect them from damage and improve their ability to absorb and store carbon dioxide.

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Poems about Foxes

Poems about Foxes

Naturalist Weekly

A fox jumped out one winter’s night, 
And begged the moon to give him light.
For he’d many miles to trot that night
Before he reached his den
(Excerpt from “The Fox's Foray”, Anonymous)

It was early morning.Early enough that the freshly fallen snow hadn’t been disturbed by the commuter traffic. My dog and I were walking slowly down the road when we noticed animal tracks alongside us. They were small, oval type prints with noticeable claws and distinct division between toes and paw pad. Looking very similar to the dog prints but smaller, these tracks seemed to indicate the presence of a fox.

Vermont has both red and gray foxes. The gray fox is a native species, and the red fox was introduced to the area by European settlers. The gray fox is smaller than the red fox and has the ability to climb trees and retract…

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Things to Do when You Visit Costa Rica — Alluring Planet

Costa Rica is a popular destination for nature tourism, and its greatest comparative advantage is its well-established system of national parks and protected regions. The nation also offers a number of world-renowned beaches, both in the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, that are easily accessible by plane and land from both coastlines, as well as […]

Things to Do when You Visit Costa Rica — Alluring Planet

Black and White Friday — Jet Eliot

Australian Magpie Pied Kingfisher, Botswana We are often attracted to the colorful wildlife on this planet, but for today, Black Friday, let’s take a look at our charismatic black-and-white animals. There are all sorts of black-and-white animals, domestic-bred and wild, mammals and insects and everything in between. As always, I will focus exclusively on the […]

Black and White Friday — Jet Eliot

Whitewater Preserve~

So beautiful – and so important too during the drought.

Cindy Knoke

Is a 2,851 acre protected nature and wildlife preserve,

located in the southern California desert and extending up into the adjacent San Bernardino and San Jacinto Mountains.

These photos were taken in late October.

Southern California is still in the worst drought in memory,

but the year round Whitewater River is still actively flowing in the desert, aided by earthquake faults trapping water run off from Southern California’s tallest mountain, the 11,500 foot Mt. Gorgonio.

This geological anomaly creates a natural oasis,

that sustains a host of wildlife including bear, bighorn sheep, and mountain lion,

as well as plants, palms and flowers, all in the midst of the baking hot desert.

Cheers to you from Whitewater Preserve~

For more information on the preserve see:

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Sweet Bud~

Such a very amazing plant!

Cindy Knoke

Why doth thou,

stink so much?

This is the flower bud of a corpse plant, named for the rancid corpse like smell the flower emits when it blooms. The smell attracts carrion beetles who pollinate the flower. The flower itself is the tallest in the world and can grow up to twelve feet in the wild. You can get a sense of how huge the bud is by comparing it to the exit door in the first photo, and the child in the second. It grows only on the island of Sumatra and is extremely endangered with about 1000 of the plants left in the wild. The flower bud grows six inches a day, and when it blooms, the flower only lasts for 48 hours. There are two of these flowers at The San Diego Botanic Garden. Watch the first one bloom in a time lapse video below filmed by…

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Poems about Snow

Poems about Snow

Naturalist Weekly

A rabbit has stopped on the gravel driveway:

           imbibing the silence,
           you stare at spruce needles:

--Excerpt from Arthur Sze’s First Snow

I remember when I first learned that the Inuit have around 50 words for snow.  At that time, my understanding of snow was limited. It was cold, it was frozen, and if we got enough of it overnight, I didn’t need to go to school the next day.  Learning that there were many words to describe snow really challenged my perception of the natural world.  

To be able to identify at least 50 different variations of snow means that you are intimately connected to this mineral. (Yes, snow is classified as a mineral because it is a naturally occurring solid with a defined chemical composition.(1)). 

If you need to communicate the difference between snow that is crusted on the surface, tlacringit, and powdered…

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Stolen Annapurna Devi idol on its way back to Kashi after 100 years – Divya A.


Annapurna Devi of Varanasi.

Divya A.Repatriated from Canada, the Annapurna Devi idol will be taken from Delhi to Aligarh, Kannauj and Ayodhya, before being placed at the Kashi Vishwanath Temple in Varanasi on November 15th. – Divya A.

The ceremonial handing over of an Annapurna Devi image to the Government of UP was held at Delhi’s National Gallery of Modern Art by the Ministry of Culture. The idol, which was brought back from Canada recently, will be ceremonially installed at the Kashi Vishwanath Temple in Varanasi on November 15.

Besides Union culture minister G. Kishan Reddy, the event was attended by a host of Central and UP government ministers, including Housing and Urban Affairs minister Hardeep Singh Puri, minister of Women and Child Development Smriti Irani, minister of Education Dharmendra Pradhan, Minister of State in the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways and Ministry of Civil Aviation General V.K. Singh, Minister of State for…

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Britain can’t decide whether it should return its looted treasures back to their rightful owners – Luke McGee


British Museum

Luke McGeeNo matter how much the British government would prefer looted artifacts remain in the UK, critics say it’s already on the wrong side of history. – Luke McGee

Britain is once again reckoning with its imperial history during a week in which two ceremonies were held to mark the return of ancient looted artifacts to Nigeria from the UK.

On Wednesday, a college at the University of Cambridge staged a ceremony acknowledging the official return of a bronze statue of a cockerel to Nigeria’s National Commission for Museums and Monuments.

The cockerel, donated to the university in 1905 by the father of a student, is a Benin Bronze, looted during the 1897 British invasion of Benin city, in modern Nigeria, during which British forces burnt down the royal palace among other buildings and stole priceless artifacts.

French President Emmanuel Macron inspects a 19th-century royal statue representing King Ghezo, exhibited at the Quai Branly museum before it is returned to Benin.

The event at Jesus College was followed by a similar handover at the University of Aberdeen on…

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