Separation Anxiety? [via Tom Cacciatore]

Kudos to the guy who took these pictures! Just another 'average day at the office'?


Canopy Deploying

Pilot ejected!

 It was determined that what caused this mid-air break up was the main "longeron" (stringer) behind the cockpit failed due to corrosion.

This 'incident' caused the USAF to ground its entire fleet of F-15s.
Talk about being in the right place at the right time for the photographer..... and the wrong place at the wrong time for the pilot!


Getting Her Ducks in a Row [via Nina Reznick]

Dozens of common merganser ducklings following Mama on Lake Bemidji in Minnesota.CreditCreditBrent Cizek

Where she goes, they follow. All 76 of them.

A female duck in Minnesota has about six dozen ducklings in her care, a remarkable image that an amateur wildlife photographer captured on a recent trip to Lake Bemidji, about 150 miles northwest of Duluth, Minn.

“It was mind blowing,” the photographer, Brent Cizek, said in an interview. “I didn’t know that a duck could care for that many chicks.”

It’s not unusual to see many ducklings gathered together. Some 20 or 30 have been reported with a single hen. But 70-plus?

“It’s an extraordinary sighting,” said Richard O. Prum, an ornithologist at Yale University.

Experts say the photo, which has been shared among bird conservationists and featured on the National Audubon Society’s website, offers an extreme example of a somewhat common phenomenon in nature. Here’s a look at the story — and the science — behind the striking image.


Close Encounters with a Wild cheetah. Astounding Footage! [via Tom Cacciatore ]

Want to enter a different world for a few minutes?  Take a look!

This will blow you away / I’ve never seen such close-ups with a wild Cheetah...
What persistence this guy had and what a great story. Absolutely beautiful! 

Your nose knows what’s on the way. [via Vincent Atchity]

Image via Lucy Chian/Unsplash.

By Tim Logan, Texas A&M University

When those first fat drops of summer rain fall to the hot, dry ground, have you ever noticed a distinctive odor? I have childhood memories of family members who were farmers describing how they could always “smell rain” right before a storm.

Of course rain itself has no scent. But moments before a rain event, an “earthy” smell known as petrichor does permeate the air. People call it musky, fresh – generally pleasant.

This smell actually comes from the moistening of the ground. Australian scientists first documented the process of petrichor formation in 1964 and scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology further studied the mechanics of the process in the 2010s.


Petrichor’s main ingredients are made by plants and bacteria that live in the ground.. Image via Vovan/Shutterstock.

Petrichor is a combination of fragrant chemical compounds. Some are from oils made by plants. The main contributor to petrichor are actinobacteria. These tiny microorganisms can be found in rural and urban areas as well as in marine environments. They decompose dead or decaying organic matter into simple chemical compounds which can then become nutrients for developing plants and other organisms.

A byproduct of their activity is an organic compound called geosmin which contributes to the petrichor scent. Geosmin is a type of alcohol, like rubbing alcohol. Alcohol molecules tend to have a strong scent, but the complex chemical structure of geosmin makes it especially noticeable to people even at extremely low levels. Our noses can detect just a few parts of geosmin per trillion of air molecules.

During a prolonged period of dryness when it has not rained for several days, the decomposition activity rate of the actinobacteria slows down. Just before a rain event, the air becomes more humid and the ground begins to moisten. This process helps to speed up the activity of the actinobacteria and more geosmin is formed.

Before you see it, do you smell it? Image via Shutterstock.

When raindrops fall on the ground, especially porous surfaces such as loose soil or rough concrete, they will splatter and eject tiny particles called aerosols. The geosmin and other petrichor compounds that may be present on the ground or dissolved within the raindrop are released in aerosol form and carried by the wind to surrounding areas. If the rainfall is heavy enough, the petrichor scent can travel rapidly downwind and alert people that rain is soon on the way.

The scent eventually goes away after the storm has passed and the ground begins to dry. This leaves the actinobacteria lying in wait – ready to help us know when it might rain again.

Tim Logan, Instructional Assistant Professor of Atmospheric Sciences, Texas A&M University 

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

Bottom line: What is the smell of rain? It’s called petrichor.

Street Art and Graffiti Cats

Cats are inspirational- they've inspired many murals of all styles, sizes, and colors from diverse artists who have one thing in common: they know people love to see cats. Cats are showing up in public street art all over the world.

Henry Lipkis

David Zinn

Cat by C215
Cat by C215
Banksy Cat - photo
Banksy Cat – photo
C215 Cat Stencil
C215 Cat Stencil
See more