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Category Archives: Froggy Foibles

Froggy Foibles

Tell us your Christmas TREEditions

Tree Frog Forestry News
December 6, 2018
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: Canada, United States, International

Tell us your Christmas TREEditions. We want to feature your forest-friendly family traditions in the Tree Frog News. Include a picture and watch for your story in the Frog! Send your story to sandy@treefrogcreative.ca

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Tuques4Trees

Tree Canada
December 5, 2018
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: Canada

Did you loose your toque on the train? Are you looking for the perfect Christmas gift for friends and family? We’ve got you covered. Tree Canada’s toques are good for the noggin and good for the environment! Warm, Stylish and Eco-Friendly toques will keep you warm this winter! With your contribution, you will receive an exclusive Tree Canada tuque and a charitable tax receipt in the full amount of your gift. One tree is planted for every tuque ordered. Do you already have one? Share your #Tuques4Trees selfie in support of green giving!

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National Building Code could see paranormal provisions for 2025 update

By Peter Kenter
Daily Commercial News
October 31, 2018
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: Canada

A rash of paranormal outbreaks in Canada and around the world could see some revisions to the National Building Code as early as 2025. The Standing Committee on Paranormal Phenomena, which reports to the Canadian Commission on Building and Fire Codes is preparing a policy position paper, Long-Term Paranormal Codes Development. Among the recommendations being considered: While it’s well-known that supernatural entities can pass through solid matter, the committee is looking at the use of specially coloured lights and pentagrams (five-pointed stars) as part of ceramic, concrete, wood or engineered wood flooring. Such patterns could also be incorporated into low-emission carpeting design at low cost. …Wooden stakes provide excellent protection against vampire assaults. The use of these hardwood stakes dovetails with “Wood First” construction policies adopted across Canada. Exposed wood beams could feature “breakaway” stakes to be used by building occupants to defend themselves. 

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Starbucks adds new ‘woodsy’ tree-inspired drink to holiday lineup

By Lindsay William-Ross
The Richmond News
November 1, 2018
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: Canada, Canada West

Pumpkin Spice Lattes are so over. That’s because Starbucks is getting into full festive mode with the return of their holiday drink lineup, along with new cups, and a brand new Northwest-y latte, and it all starts November 2. …For something completely new for 2018, Starbucks is debuting the Juniper Latte, a “woodsy” drink inspired by their Seattle Roastery (which explains the PacNW vibes) that goes along with “the smell of freshly cut trees, a cold breath of winter air, the sound of footsteps crunching on snow” you know from the holiday season, in their words. It’s got an “evergreen aroma” with “hints of sage.”

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Sasquatch gets the last laugh

By Les Leyne
Victoria Times Colonist
September 5, 2018
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: Canada, Canada West

There’s a lot of snickering and snide jokes about the B.C. Supreme Court decision this week to not recognize the sasquatch. But it doesn’t take an outdoor-education degree to tell who’s laughing the hardest — the sasquatch himself. …Based on this week’s ruling, he’ll continue lurking in the bush with no regard for modern-day wildlife expectations. You’d think a regulation-happy, process-oriented NDP government would be the first to recognize the need for a wildlife-management plan and lots more studies of these creatures. …But B.C. retaliated that his suit was unnecessary, scandalous, frivolous and vexatious. That’s an awful lot of adjectives to throw up against a guy just because he believes in Bigfoot. It said the case is based on assumptions and speculation and “lacks an air of reality.” That sums up every question period ever held in the legislature. But you don’t see the court declaring that MLAs don’t exist.

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Online map shows crabby crows dive bombing pedestrians in Metro Vancouver

Canadian Press in Vancouver Sun
June 6, 2018
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: Canada, Canada West

VANCOUVER — Cantankerous crows are dive bombing unwary pedestrians in Metro Vancouver as the annual example of avian helicopter parenting hits its height. Jim O’Leary, an instructor at Langara College in Vancouver, has been tracking crow-human interactions using an online map …and says the assaults are increasing. …O’Leary says the soaring number of reports this week suggests eggs have hatched and some of the chicks may even be fledging from the nest, making parents especially aggressive because their young can’t fly yet and are helpless on the ground for a day or two. …The attacks can be terrifying, O’Leary says, because reports on his site reveal they come from behind, without warning. ..“They are just protecting their young and they don’t realize that you, as a human, have no interest in climbing the tree and eating the eggs,” he says.

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Simons makes Beachcombers pitch

By Sean Eckford
Sunshine Coast Reporter
May 31, 2018
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: Canada, Canada West

As the legislature’s current session wound down this week, Powell River-Sunshine Coast MLA Nicholas Simons made a pitch to make all 360 episodes of the classic TV series The Beachcombers available online. “If you grew up in Canada in the 1970s or ’80s … you probably watched The Beachcombers,” Simons said during member’s statements on Tuesday.  “Everything about this show was unabashedly West Coast and unabashedly Canadian. It told our stories,” Simons told fellow MLAs. “The Beachcombers had a cast of contrasting characters. It told original stories about fishing, logging and the ecology. It explored land claims and other First Nations issues. There were even references to our ferry service. It showed the beauty of our precious coastline. One episode even centred around a proposed pipeline from Alberta through B.C.”

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A new East Coast tradition: Towering Christmas trees made of lobster traps

By Michael MacDonald
CBC News
December 5, 2018
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: Canada East, Canada

They first started appearing along Canada’s East Coast about 10 years ago: towering Christmas trees fashioned out of carefully stacked lobster traps. Adorned with colourful buoys, twinkling lights and evergreen boughs, they are becoming regular fixtures in fishing communities across Atlantic Canada. …Barrington, on Nova Scotia’s southwest coast… Last Sunday, about 150 people gathered for the lighting of the lobster trap tree. …Many of the colourful markers are inscribed with the names of fishermen lost at sea “I’m reminded every year that as each of the buoys is put on the tree, they can bring heartache and sadness to the community,” said Atwood. “But it’s the reality of fishing in Nova Scotia.”

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Montreal’s ‘Ugly Christmas Tree Village’ returns on November 30

By Tyler Jadah
The Daily Hive
November 19, 2018
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: Canada East, Canada

It’s important to laugh at yourself. And, that’s exactly what this year’s ‘Ugly Christmas Tree Village’ in Whoville Montreal will be doing this holiday season, literally. The 2nd edition of Le Village du Vilain Sapin will feature more than just an ugly, Charlie Brown-esque tree as this year’s evergreen will be ticklish. Yes. A ticklish Christmas tree. Motion detectors and built-in loudspeakers will be incorporated into this year’s Frankentree that will bellow out laughter when guests shake the bottom branches to tickle it. When guests stop tickling the tree, it will let out a great sigh of relief.

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Intense winds cause Quebec forest to ‘breathe’

By Cheryl Maria
The Weather Network
October 17, 2018
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: Canada East, Canada

A video taken in Sacre-Coeur, Quebec Tuesday, has captured Weather Network viewer’s attention. In it, strong winds push and pull at the forest floor, making it look like it’s ‘breathing’. 

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Mississauga driver pulled over with wood beams sticking out windows

CBC News
July 31, 2018
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: Canada East, Canada

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Scared by Spiders? Get Over It!

By Catherine Bartlett
Scientific American Blog
October 30, 2018
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: United States

Halloween is for celebrating the scary: imaginary monsters—ghouls, goblins and ghosts—along with real but scary-seeming creatures such as bats, black cats and spiders. …Although spiders are common houseguests year-round, during October they finally get their due, although it’s not necessarily favorable. With over 47,000 described species, around 3,400 of which live in North America, most Americans have spiders as roommates whether they like it or not. …These arachnids (part of phylum Arthropoda) eat billions of insects yearly—mosquitoes, for example. …Fortunately, spiders want nothing to do with humans. Over the last hundreds of millions of years of their evolution they’ve never once shown a propensity to take a blood meal from us, unlike ticks.

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The witch-hazel tree may be a fitting Halloween symbol

By Charles Seabrook
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
October 25, 2018
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: United States

Move over, pumpkin. There’s also another plant that some folks say belongs to Halloween — the witch hazel. …It starts blooming around Halloween and continues to do so through December. At the time when most autumn leaves have fallen and the forest is going into winter dormancy, the witch hazel puts forth its fragrant, scraggly, ribbon-like yellow blossoms — the last wild blooms of the year. Some people — the so-called “dowsers” — say witch-hazel is the best wood for their “magic wands,” or divining rods, which supposedly can detect underground water sources. …Old-timers also believed that the witch hazel contained magical potions, in part because of its astringency properties.

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Call it an acornucopia: Oak trees in our area are producing tons of seeds this year

By John Kelly
The Washington Post
October 10, 2018
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: United States

I like a conversation that begins with, “You’re witnessing one of nature’s weirdest phenomena that we still don’t fully understand.” And that’s exactly what Scott Aker said the other day when I rang him up at the National Arboretum, where he is the head of horticulture and education. …“We’re seeing a lot of white oaks now producing a bumper crop of seeds,” he said. It’s called a mast year. …“It’s called the predator satiation hypothesis,” said Michael Steele, a biology professor at Wilkes University in Pennsylvania. …Every few years, trees such as oaks produce an overabundance of acorns, so many that the predators can’t possibly eat them all.

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Win Free Beer For A Year By Finding These Medallions Hidden In National Forests

By Augusta Statz
Simplemost
September 29, 2018
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: United States

Busch Beer is giving beer lovers and nature lovers the chance of a lifetime. The brand is offering you the opportunity to go on a scavenger hunt in the woods — and the ultimate prize? Free beer for an entire year. Busch teamed up with the National Forest Foundation and, as part of the partnership, planted six medallions in different National Forest locations. One of those six medallions offers the winning prize of free beer for a year or the cash equivalent in some states. It’s similar to finding the “golden ticket” to visit Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory, but it’s the 21-and-older version. The scavenger hunt officially began on Sept. 25 when Busch started tweeting clues on its Twitter account. The beer maker released coordinates of where the medallions could be found — but of course, didn’t give away which set of coordinates held the winning medallion.

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‘Voice of the forest’: George the snail, last of his kind, dies at age 14

The Guardian
January 8, 2019
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: US West

As New Year’s Day broke in the Hawaiian Islands… George, the last snail of his kind and a local celebrity, was dead at age 14. The passing of George, a tree snail… epitomizes the decline of biodiversity on the Hawaiian islands, where climate change and invasive predators have taken a heavy toll on native animals and insects. …George, who never lived in an actual forest, was still a mascot for endangered Hawaiian snails. …Despite his celebrity status, George wasn’t the prettiest snail to look at. …Although scientists had hoped that George, a hermaphrodite, would have offspring, his solitary life ruled out that possibility. Despite the sad fate of the Achatinella apexfulva, the Oahu lab has thousands of native snails in residence, and scientists have begun re-introducing some of the adults into remote forests where they hope they will thrive.

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Weyerhaeuser Mansion – The Haunted House on the Hill

By Ellen Tsagaris
The Dispatch-Argus
October 31, 2018
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: United States, US West

The Quad-Cities has been home to many violent crimes and macabre deaths. …One of our most famous ghosts is the ghost from Augustana’s House on the Hill, once the mansion of the Frederick Weyerhaeuser lumber family and home to beloved Dean Betsey Brodahl. The protective spirit is allegedly Apollonia Weyerhaeuser Davis, a daughter of the Weyerhaeuser family. Apollonia was the last family member to reside there until she died in 1953. Some of the ghostly happenings associated with the House on the Hill spirits include locked doors suddenly hanging ajar, antiques moved and rearranged, and water running from faucets that weren’t turned on before. …In fact, paranormal investigators who visited the Weyerhaeuser Mansion claim to have found evidence of supernatural visitors.

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Christmas tree allergy is nothing to sneeze at

By Nancy Clanton
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
December 3, 2018
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: US East, United States

Does the thought of putting up the Christmas tree fill you with dread instead of excitement? Do you have visions of tissues and antihistamine instead of sugarplums dancing in your head? Christmas trees and other decorations can trigger allergies in many people. Tree sap, pollen and terpenes — compounds that give pine trees their scent — can all make allergy sufferers sneeze. …Live trees can be full of mold. A study last year at SUNY Upstate Medical University found 53 kinds of mold in live Christmas trees. Most of those molds are potential allergens and are known to increase the risk of wheezing, persistent coughing and allergic sensitization in infants. …If pollen is a problem, consider buying a Leland cypress tree. According to the National Christmas Tree Association, this hybrid is the most popular Christmas tree in the Southeast, and does not produce pollen or sap.

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Up to 25000 bugs could be on your Christmas tree. Here’s how to stop a home invasion

By Kaitlyn Alanis
Wichita Eagle
November 26, 2018
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: US East, United States

The bugs are creepy, they’re crawly and they could be living on that freshly-cut Christmas tree you plan to bring into your home. Oh, and there could be hundreds or thousands of those bugs on your real tree. Iowa State University Extension and Outreach says “several hundred” baby insects and spiders could be on one tree, and organic gardening manufacturer Safer Brand says up to 25,000 of those “common Christmas tree bugs” could be living on your tree. Whether hundreds or thousands of bugs, you might not realize they are on your tree until after you set up and decorate that perfect holiday piece. By then, you’ll have already welcomed any possible critters into your warm home. …If you want to avoid bringing the bugs into your home, there are a few things you can do that don’t include skipping the real Christmas tree this year.

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Why you shouldn’t buy your Christmas tree this weekend

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
November 21, 2018
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: US East, United States

The Thanksgiving holiday is upon us and this long weekend is one that millions of Americans use to select and purchase their Christmas trees. But… according to the National Christmas Tree Association, 27.4 million real Christmas trees were purchased in 2017 at an average cost of $75, along with 21.1 million new fake trees at an average cost of $107. According to a recent survey… the period between Black Friday and Cyber Monday is actually one of the most expensive times of the season to purchase a tree, with Black Friday itself being the most expensive day, an average, to bring one home.

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Seeking Bigfoot: Investigator believes Sasquatch lurks in North Carolina national forest

By WFMY
CBS News NC
November 2, 2018
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: US East, United States

TROY, N.C. – Follow the footsteps of a North Carolina legend. They’ll lead to dead ends, revealing more questions than answers in a mystery that has stumped even naysayers for centuries — the search for Sasquatch. That quest for clues often takes Bigfoot enthusiasts to Montgomery County. Nestled in the wilderness is an outlier on the outskirts of civilization — the Eldorado Outpost. …Cagle’s referring to the now-viral Squeaky Thermal footage, appearing to show a big creature peering into a campsite near the outpost. The man who captured it is a self-described avid camper-turned Bigfoot investigator.”It was the best night of my life, I guess!” recalled Michael Green. …I know what I saw. I don’t care if anyone thinks I’m crazy. 

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Climate change is coming for your beer

By Fiza Pirani
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
October 15, 2018
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: US East, United States

Last week, the United Nations warned that if governments don’t act on climate change within 12 years, there will be additional threats to the global environment. …Now,  a new study from climate researchers in the United States, China and Britain suggests a beer shortage is brewing. …Using a process-based crop model and an economic model, the researchers examined the effects of heat waves and drought… that will also affect where barley is grown. That means beer prices on average would double, even adjusting for inflation. …“Although not the most concerning impact of future climate change, climate-related weather extremes may threaten the availability and economic accessibility of beer,” researchers wrote. “Our aim is not to encourage people to drink more beer now,” says study author Dabo Guan.

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Ole Time Woodsman, a Maine fly dope from the 1880s, is back

By Aislinn Sarnacki
Bangor Daily News
August 7, 2018
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: US East, United States

Ole Time Woodsman, a fly deterrent with a story that spans back to Maine logging camps in the 1880s, has been resurrected and is now available for purchase online. With a pungent scent that is meant to mask the natural odor of a ripe lumberjack, the dark brown liquid is made from the same recipe as it was more than 100 years ago. “It’s a mixture of pine tar, petroleum distillates — like mineral oil and stuff like that — and essential oils,” Ken “Skip” Theobald III said. An angler, hunter and businessman from Prospect, Theobald purchased the company from his father and has recently worked with the Environmental Protection Agency in Maine to get it back on the shelves after a two-year hiatus. The story goes that a logging crew learned of the effectiveness of the “human scent camo” and placed an order, the rest is history.

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On NY’s rooftops, old-style wooden water tanks hang tough

By Thomas Urbain
Agence-France Presse in Yahoo
June 25, 2018
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: US East, United States

They are part of New York’s skyline and millions of people unknowingly depend on them: behold, the venerable rooftop water tank, made of plain old wood. And forget about technology and innovation and all that. …Here, any building higher than six stories must be fitted to pump water to the roof for the higher floors, where it is stored in a tank. …The Isseks Brothers [are] one of three companies that share the rooftop water tank market in the most populous American city. In total, there are around 10,000 tanks. The tools they use have evolved a bit, but for the most part, a water tank is set up today the same way it was in 1890, when the Isseks brothers, immigrants from Poland, founded their company. …Wooden water tanks … have lots of advantages over tanks made from other materials… Jack Hillman says he is confident that wood tanks have a future, as wood is in fashion these days.

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Seasonal allergy sufferers should stay inside this weekend thanks to ‘thunder fever’

By Vic Ryckaert
The Indianapolis Star
May 17, 2018
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: US East, United States

This is a bad time of year in Central Indiana for those with seasonal allergies and asthma. But this week, it might get worse thanks to “thunder fever.” “The high pressure coming in before a thunderstorm makes fungal spores swell, bust open,” said Dr. Carol Fosso, an allergy specialist and past-president of the Indiana Allergy and Immunology Society. …Scientific studies in the U.S., Canada and Britain have found a link between Alternaria mold, thunderstorms and an increase in severe and sometimes fatal asthma attacks.

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Invasive, Cannibalistic Tree Frogs Are Spreading Across the Gulf Coast

By Michael Isaac Stein
Earther
May 16, 2018
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: US East, United States

It is a cannibalistic, fist-sized frog covered in a noxious mucous secretion that burns your eyes. Its affinity for human structures leads it to clog drains and short-out the utility switches in which they lurk. They are spreading through the U.S. and we can’t stop them. Several message board commenters report that this proliferation is part of a communist invasion. …For decades, the only known established populations of Cuban Tree Frogs in the continental US were inside Florida’s borders. This changed in 2016, when the frogs were found at the Audubon Zoo in New Orleans some 430 miles away from the nearest known population. Now, experts say it’s only a matter of time before the species proliferates throughout the Gulf Coast. …the Cuban Tree Frog will eat anything it can get in its mouth, including native tree frogs …Experts agree that it is nearly impossible to get rid of the Cuban Tree Frog once it’s established. 

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Love to be comfortable? You need to try ORLY’s birch-fiber bedding

By Mark Myerson
Gadget Flow
May 9, 2018
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: US East, United States

In the northern hemisphere, most of us will recognize the trees with papery bark. Due to their abundance, birch trees have been used to make tar and tea, add flavor to food, and decorate churches. Today, many musicians only accept speaker cabinets made from birch plywood. So, it should be no surprise to find birch in bedding. That said, you wouldn’t know that ORLY sheets were made from wood. The birch fibers are intertwined with super-soft Supima cotton and antibacterial silver nano-beads. You also get a touch of tea tree oil, which offers a range of skin benefits. …Each ORLY sheet is composed of around 70% birch. The remaining 30% is Supima cotton. 

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People from all over the world are sending emails to Melbourne’s trees

By Margaret Burin
ABC News, Australia
January 16, 2019
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: International

The City of Melbourne gave 70,000 trees email addresses so people could report on their condition. But instead people are writing love letters, existential queries and sometimes just bad puns. …These emails were sent as part of Melbourne City Council’s Urban Forest Visual, an interactive map that allows the public to find out more about any tree in the council area. …But the response was completely unexpected. Since the project started it’s received more than 4,000 emails from around the world… people often think technology removes us from nature but actually the opposite can be true.

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World’s ‘loneliest’ frog gets a date

By Helen Briggs
BBC News
January 15, 2019
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: International

A frog believed to be the last of his kind in the world has been granted a reprieve from solitude. Romeo, known as the world’s loneliest frog, has spent 10 years in isolation at an aquarium in Bolivia. Scientists say they have found him a Juliet after an expedition to a remote Bolivian cloud forest. Five Sehuencas water frogs found in a stream were captured, with the goal of breeding and re-introducing the amphibians back into the wild. The five frogs – three males and two females – are the first Seheuncas water frogs to be seen in the wild for a decade, despite previous searches in the Bolivian wilderness. Romeo was collected 10 years ago when biologists knew the species was in trouble, but was not expected to remain alone for so long. He attracted international attention a year ago over his search for a mate, and was even given a dating profile.

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Frog sex in the city: Urban tungara frogs are sexier than forest frogs

Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute
Phys.org
December 10, 2018
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: International

In Nature Ecology and Evolution, researchers working at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute report that male tungara frogs in Panama City put on sexier mating displays than frogs living in nearby tropical forests. “Tungara frogs sound a bit like pinball machines,” said Wouter Halfwerk, assistant professor at Vrije University in Amsterdam, and visiting scientist at STRI. “To their simple tun sound, they can add extra elements like the sound, gara, to make complex calls: tun gara gara—hence their name. Some people call tiny tungara frogs the acoustic equivalents of peacocks. They are nothing to look at, but just like male peacocks have fancy tails to attract females, tungara frogs add extra sounds to their calls to lure females in.”

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Appetite for the bizarre: more trees ‘swallowing’ strange objects

By Tim the Yowie Man
The Sydney Mornng Herald
November 6, 2018
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: International

This column’s recent feature on the poplar tree in Commonwealth Park that over a period of 35 years ‘ate’ a garden rake has prompted readers to submit similar accounts of trees partially devouring objects. “Your article reminded me of a friend’s house in Petersham in Sydney, where, out the back, embedded into a massive camphor laurel tree was a concrete clay tennis court roller,” writes Brenda Croft. According to Croft, “whoever had last used the roller had left it leaning against the tree, and decades later much of it had disappeared inside the body of the trunk.” Other readers have uncovered photographic evidence of trees in various states of devouring objects. Here are my top 5.

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Can you match the autumn leaf to the tree?

BBC News
October 22, 2018
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: International

As the leaves fall, who doesn’t enjoy stepping on a satisfyingly crunchy leaf? But can you spot which type of tree an autumn leaf on the ground comes from? Take our quiz and see. How many trees can you identify from their autumn leaves?

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Fir real: how to eat your Christmas tree

By Felicity Cloake
The Guardian
September 17, 2018
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: International

You may be desperately clinging on to the last rays of summer but, with fewer than 100 days to go until Christmas, the food world is in full festive fig. Indeed, thoughts have already turned to the aftermath, with chef John Williams encouraging readers of the newly released Ritz London: The Cookbook to butcher the ceremonial tree for its “fragrant and spicy” needles. He says they lend a zesty kick to dishes such as his douglas fir and lemon verbena cream, and salt-baked celeriac with douglas fir sprigs. “Wouldn’t it be beautiful,” he said in 2010, “if families gathered after Christmas, festively removed the decorations and then cut off the tasty needles of the tree to flavour their food?”

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Cheers! It’s the wooden beer bottle

By Jon Coates
The Express
September 9, 2018
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: International

BEER giant Carlsberg will next year launch a “greener” alternative to glass bottles made from wood fibres.  The Danish brewer has developed a prototype “green fibre” bottle as a biodegradeable alternative. Glass bottles have to be recycled in the UK or washed for re-use up to 25 times in other markets. But as the process uses energy and water, a viable alternative is set to become hugely significant. Carlsberg is also ditching plastic ring multi-can holders which trap animals and clog up the oceans. …Spokeswoman Myriam Shingleton said: “We are thinking of a completely new packaging for bottles, which is a green fibre bottle that will be made from a controlled wood source, so a bio-base.”

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Kenyan school children using slingshots to plant trees

The Associated Press
July 22, 2018
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: International

NAIROBI, Kenya — School children in Kenya are helping to fight deforestation by planting seeds using slingshots. It’s part of an initiative by the company SeedBalls Kenya, which makes and sells seedballs globally. It encourages children to have slingshot competitions using the charcoal-covered seeds instead of stones. About 2 million seedballs have been planted in Kenya in the past year and a half in what has been called “guerrilla gardening.” Kenya’s government has recognized the threat from deforestation and earlier this year imposed a temporary logging ban that was extended in May by another six months. SeedBalls Kenya recycles coal dust it collects around the capital, Nairobi. It buys the seeds from the Kenya Forest Research Institute.

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There’s gold in them there trees

By Matt Birney
The West Australian
July 17, 2018
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: International

Classic Minerals and Australia’s federal scientific research outfit CSIRO have teamed up to study the potential correlation of tree size to gold mineralisation at Classic’s Forrestania Gold Project in Western Australia. The company said that in 2017, it had noticed a correlation between tree size and gold mineralisation at the project in the Goldfields region. Major deposits and prospects such as Lady Magdalene and Lady Ada were covered by large gum trees while barren areas were covered by typical Yilgarn shrubs and bush. …If proven to work, it will allow Classic to rapidly generate new targets without ground disturbing exploration. The project could help guide the company with geochemical sampling and geochemical data interpretation on the surface. …Whilst somewhat unusual, this is not the first time that trees have been thought to be a potential indicator of gold mineralisation.

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World’s Oldest Rain Forest Frogs Found in Amber

By John Pickrell
National Geographic
June 14, 2018
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: International

More than a third of the 7,000-odd living species of frogs and toads are found in rain forests around the world. But the fossil record for amphibians from these kinds of wet, tropical environments has been almost nonexistent, leaving paleontologists with few clues to their early evolution. Now, lumps of amber dating back to the Cretaceous period have revealed a set of four tiny tropical frogs that lived alongside the dinosaurs, making them the oldest frog fossils of their kind. The specimens include the remains of an ancient frog complete enough to be described as a new species, called Electrorana limoae. “It was exhilarating to hold these small fossils up to the light to reveal the frogs within,” says David Blackburn, a paleontologist at the Florida Museum of Natural History in Gainesville.

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Caterpillars take over tree and turn it into entire web of silk

By Jen Mills
Metro UK
June 13, 2018
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: International

Amazing photos show how caterpillars totally took over a tree and covered it in a web of silk. The cherry tree, on the banks of the River Wharfe, near Kilnsey, in North Yorkshire, is now the spawning place for an army of caterpillars while they undergo their transformation into moths. They weave the webs in a bid to protect themselves from predators. Paul Kingston, who captured these pictures, said: ‘It truly was a weird and wonderful sight. ‘It was like something out of a fantasy novel or horror film. ‘It is absolutely incredible to think that such tiny creatures are capable of creating something so huge and beautiful.’

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Why ‘South Park’ doesn’t understand climate change

By Ilana Strauss
Treehugger
November 28, 2018
Category: Froggy Foibles

“South Park” just ran a couple episodes about climate change. The show gets a lot right about the history of the problem, but it screws up a key factor of human nature in the process, one that could completely flip the future. …”South Park” sees the world as zero-sum: my win is your loss. In a zero-sum world, no one would ever sacrifice soy sauce to save the planet, or money to build roads. But climate change isn’t a zero-sum problem. Instead, it might be what economists call a “collaboration problem.” …This isn’t to say that government, or other groups, actually will take the steps necessary to end climate change. Just that we could.

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Original Winnie-the-Pooh map sets world record at auction

By Sian Cain
The Guardian
July 10, 2018
Category: Froggy Foibles

The original map of Winnie-the-Pooh’s Hundred Acre Wood by the artist EH Shepard has set a world record for a book illustration sold at auction, selling for £430,000. The 1926 sketch, which was privately owned and had been unseen for nearly half a century, introduced readers to the world of Christopher Robin and his friends in the original book. Purportedly drawn by Christopher Robin himself, the map is littered with spelling errors – “nice for picnicks” and “100 aker wood” – and is captioned “Drawn by Me and Mr Shepard helpd”.

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