Thursday, March 19, 2015

A Barred Owl in New Hampshire


A large bird caught my eye as it landed on a tree branch in my winter wooded snowbound backyard.  I immediately recognized the bird's unique owl look and brown-and-white-striped plumage.  It was a barred owl. They can often reach 20 inches in height and have a wingspan of 43 inches.

Fortunately my camera was nearby and you will get to enjoy this one minute video.

You will hear the barred owl’s hooting call.  The experts say it sounds like “Who cooks for you? Who cooks for you-all?”  Me, well as you will hear it was not my imitation that attracted this owl.  I have indeed heard its hoot call many times.

Notice in one picture the left eye is wide open, while the right eye is somewhat closed.  Amazingly, many birds can essentially sleep with half of their brains - they keep one eye open and one side of their brain awake while the other side rests.  That may be what's happening here - the owl may be going to sleep (or just awakening) with its right eye and thus left brain.  Interestingly, I have outdoor enthusiast friends who also sleep like that!


Try and see if you can imitate the barred owl’s hooting call, “Who cooks for you? Who cooks for you-all?

References

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"Everyone must do something.  I believe I will go outdoors with family and friends"

Steve’s latest book, Outdoor Play "Fun 4 4 Seasons" is available as an e-Book at Kindle ($3.99) and hard copy at Amazon.com ($11.95)


Thursday, March 5, 2015

Re-using Outdoor Hand Warmers

I read a January 2015 Appalachian Mountain Club article on re-using outdoor hand warmers. Once exposed to air, the iron in the hand warmer package oxidizes and releases heat in the process - and you now have warm hands! 

Therein lays the crucial piece of information. In order for the reaction to occur, the hand warmer needs a supply of oxygen. If you cut off the supply of oxygen, the chemical reaction ceases. And to cut off the oxygen, all you need to do is put the hand warmer in an air-tight zip-lock bag.

I decided to experiment with the content of this article.  Not only did it work, BUT I successfully used the same two hand warmers two more times!



Certainly there is money saving here, but a hand warmer is not a big expense – generally about $1 a pair.  My message is that since hand warmers are capable of being reused you do not need to carry an excessive number of them.  Just be sure to save the used hand warmer in an airlock bag.

I recommend keeping the unused packaged hand warmers as emergency spares.

Go to http://tiny.cc/kr2zux and read the AMC hand warmer article. To join or learn more about the Appalachian Mountain Club go to Outdoors.org/

Try this outdoor handwarmer experiment for yourself!

See more OutdoorSteve.com tips at http://outdooradventurers.blogspot.com/

Re-using Outdoor Hand Warmers can also be seen on Bedford Community TV (BCTV).
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"Everyone must do something.  I believe I will go outdoors with family and friends"

Steve’s latest book, Outdoor Play "Fun 4 4 Seasons" is available as an e-Book at Kindle ($3.99) and hard copy at Amazon.com ($11.95)