Archives

C-141 in the air cloud seeding

Cloud Seeding

Drinkable water has become more scarce as demand and population size has increased.  We must look for other ways to increase rainfall.  Cloud seeding is a means of changing the weather that might help. Continue reading

Lava Rock and Pele’s Curse

Souvenirs are old as time. The desire to take home a small piece of paradise while visiting Hawaii is pretty common. No place on Earth is this truer than at Kilauea. However, a guest to Hawaii must remember that superstitions blow like a tropical breeze. One of the most well-known stories is about Lava Rock and Pele’s Curse.

Continue reading

Infrared image of city showing urban heat island

Urban Heat Islands Are Growing

Urban heat islands are growing in America, and we need to be aware.  As cities are sprawling out into the countryside these islands are growing.  An urban heat island is a metropolitan area that is significantly warmer than its surroundings. Continue reading

cloud plume of an atmospheric river on the west coast

What Is an Atmospheric River?

An atmospheric river is a long and narrow band of water vapor that forms over an ocean and flows through the sky.  Well, that should be simple to see.  But what are these fast moving abundant
plumes of moisture really up to? Continue reading

hurricane Fran off the coast of the Bahamas during a non EL Nino year.

An El Niño Hurricane Slayer

Here we go again.  Here comes hurricane season.  That time of year when people start looking forward to summer vacations and others start watching the waters around the United States.   This week is the start of hurricane season in the United States and the beginning of insurance companies beginning to pray for peace and quiet. Continue reading

What Makes the Weather?

Well, this is a question that is asked by several people several times a day, so let’s start with the basics.  Meteorology is known as atmospheric science or the study of the atmosphere and weather, not the study of meteorites.   Continue reading

Weather Needs Respect Around Dallas

The Journey Begins

The weather needs respect around Dallas, when on August 2, 1985, Delta Flight 191 crashes on final approach because of wind shear from a severe thunderstorm.  The media covered the story for days and a 12-year-old just moving to Dallas had his life changed forever.  Continue reading

Highest Tides in the World

 

Tide coming in at Noel Shore, Route 215

Tide coming in at Noel Shore, Route 215

 

 

Experience the highest tides in the world on the Bay of Fundy in Nova Scotia. About 100 billion tons of water move in and out of the bay twice a day.

Continue reading

Dallas Trout Lily Sightings

Dallas Trout Lily sightings are now being reported!  The delicate and small flowers are among the first Dallas Trout Lily Sightingsharbingers of spring. The species in the metroplex have exquisite nodding one-inch white flowers tinged with lavender.  The delicate petals re-curve upward towards the light.  The pointy lily-like leaf is only about 3-4 inches tall.

The lilies poke-up through the thick carpet of leaves on the forest floor and give surprising delight to the casual passerby.  Trout Lilies dwell in woodland habitats and appear before the trees bud so that they have optimal sunlight.  They thrive on slopes.

Continue reading

Junior Master Naturalist Program

North Texas Master Naturalist and students identifying bobcat skull.

The Perot Museum’s Junior Master Naturalist outdoor education program is a unique well rounded curriculum.  It is also one of the first of its kind in the United States.  Perot Museum staff educator Jessica Crowley, said “From day one, students participating in our kick-off season of the Junior Master Naturalist program have been super excited and engaged in the content.”  The program is a joint activity of Perot and highly trained North Texas Master Naturalists volunteers.

Nineteen students grades 4-6 gather one Thursday night a month in the Perot learning lab to study Texas geologic history, aquatic science, plant biology, and the biology and identification of mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles and invertebrates. They then follow-up each lab with a field trip on  specified Saturdays to local Dallas area nature parks to explore what they have learned in the labs.  Everything from collecting fossils, setting up game cameras, scat identification, planting seed balls to restore a Blackland Prairie and learning how to track animals in the field.  Both the labs and the field trips are extraordinarily well organized with expert educators who are adept a making learning fascinating.  The pilot program began September 2015 and will conclude June 2016, sign-up will begin July 2016 for the 2016/2017 year.

Continue reading

Educating Dallas Kids in Nature

Photo from top of West Rim Trail at Dog Wood Canyono of Joe Pool Lake

Beautiful view from the top of West Rim Trail of Joe Pool Lake

Educating Dallas kids in nature has never been easier!  Dogwood Canyon Audubon Center is an amazing place to easily give yourself a break and let kids of all ages be free to explore and have adventures.  Dogwood Canyon is unique in that it is the only true canyon in the Dallas area and is a mere 15 minutes south of downtown Dallas off 67 in Cedar Hill.

Toddlers thru Pre-schoolers safety while exploring

For younger children, Dogwood Canyon offers a specially designed natural play and picnic area.  It is enclosed so you can relax and watch your child do what is so inherent to their being – play in nature.  Called “Nature Play” the space has stump jumping, a climbing wall, a crawling tube and a sandbox.  The Dog Wood Canyon educators feature story time in Nature Play.  Currently a story is told featuring a turtle’s adventure while the staff shows a live turtle.  By March 2016 Dogwood Canyon will expand Nature Play to include a sensory garden and a small trail, where small children can feel like they are hiking.

Nature Play Area Sign

Nature Play area with rock climbing wall, multi-tiered sandbox and climbing tube

Nature Play area with climbing wall, crawling tube and multi tiered sand box

 

Continue reading

Cedar Ridge Preserves Nature and Minds

Cedar Ridge Preserves Nature and Minds

Imagine educating your kids in Dallas’ most beautiful nature preserves. Well you can. It may be just a few miles away but it’s hundreds of miles from the madness of carpools, appointments and over scheduled kids.

Picture of Cedar Ridge sign agains beautiful Texas sunset

Cedar Ridge Preserve Sign

While there are many nature options available, Cedar Ridge Nature Preserve is a Dallas treasure. Perched on the edge of the Edwards Plateau off Highway 67, it’s the ideal place where both parents and kids can truly take a breath, relax and revel in Dallas’ own slice of the hill country. Besides the views at an elevation of 775 feet, it’s where the Blackland Prairie meets the limestone escarpment of the plateau. It’s one of the few places in Dallas kids get to see native grassland, wildflowers, and spectacular hills all in one place. Not to mention, those incomparable Texas sunsets and coyotes serenading at dusk and morning!

 

Continue reading