Post Number 500

by Carl Strang

Me as Fun Gus

In the past month this blog passed its two-year anniversary, and today’s post is the 500th. Perhaps it’s appropriate to reaffirm what my blog is about. The focus is on observable natural history from a scientific point of view. Science is not a Big Deal. It’s simply a formalization of everyday observation and reasoning. Some areas of science extend the senses with sophisticated instruments, and extend the concepts with advanced mathematics, but the essence of the process is within reach of anyone.

Most of my posts have reported the ongoing natural history of a 90-acre plot of land in the western suburbs of Chicago. My accounts of Mayslake Forest Preserve share my experience of monitoring the animals, plants, geology and history in that small area.

Other series of posts have shared my own nature-nerd obsessions with particular groups of organisms (especially singing insects), questions (e.g., how are our wintering Canada geese organizing their lives?), and more formal studies (experiments on the best manual removal methods for garlic mustard).

There have been some reflective series as well: species dossiers, which summarize my observations on organisms; reviews of the recent scientific literature; last year’s Winter Campfire series on science and spirituality; and this winter’s Prehistoric Life series on the grand story of the Earth and its life, with a focus on northeast Illinois.

When I started this blog I didn’t know what to expect in terms of response. I have tried to keep the posts short and readable. I have tried to keep to everyday language, though some of the stuff in here is cutting edge, believe it or not. WordPress informs me that there are 100-200 (sometimes as many as 250) readers each day, which amazes me. I am pleased that it often pops up in searches, especially with respect to subjects that haven’t been covered much elsewhere. Thank you for checking in!



  1. Hal Atherton said,

    December 2, 2010 at 9:35 am

    Hi Carl,
    Your humor is a nice attribute to your informative, thought provoking, interesting blog. I look forward to it every morning.

    Thanks, Hal

    • natureinquiries said,

      December 9, 2010 at 6:49 am

      Thanks, Hal,
      It’s good to know you are out there.

  2. jomegat said,

    December 2, 2010 at 8:51 pm

    I am one of those 200 people per day who read your blog. Thanks for taking the time to write it. I am very much an amateur naturalist, so I find most of your posts fascinating. Having not taken any biology since grade 9 (circa 1977-1978), it helps that you keep the language accessible.

    My own biological hobby is plant identification and phenology (which is a word I learned from you). I also like to id insects and would LIKE to learn to id birds (though I’m pretty bad at that right now).

    My hat’s off to you Carl.

    • natureinquiries said,

      December 3, 2010 at 6:55 am

      Many thanks. This is a good time of year to start on birds, if you are located in the North. Not so many to confuse, and with the leaves down it’s harder for them to hide. Of course, if your first love is plants, winter botany is a great study, too.

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