Cash prizes offered in photo contest, & more items too good to miss

winner in Audubon photo contestCash prizes offered in Jamestown Audubon Society’s photo contest

The Jamestown Audubon Society’s Nature Photography Contest offers prizes in three categories and two divisions.

The youth division is for ages 8-18 or still in high school and the adult division  is for ages 18 and over or post-high school. Youth and adult winners in the categories of landscapes, plants, and wildlife will all receive a $100 cash prize as well as free photo finishing.

“Every winner receives a cash prize,” explained Audubon Center and Sanctuary Program Director Jennifer Schlick, “and being able to enter online makes it a very simple process.”

The entry deadline is June 30. See contest details.

Submissions for 2013 have already arrived from Australia, Canada, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and across the United States.

The photo above is “Wild Oats”by Ricardo Gilson, of Meadville, PA, the 2012 winner in the plants category of the adult division. See more images of winning entries from the 2011 and 2012 Nature Photography Contests.


Use rope to keep heron out of ponds; radio works for deer

keep heron out of pond with ropeHere’s a tip from Catherine Klein of Clarence, whose gardens we saw last week: String some rope around your pond to keep baby heron from eating your fish.

Baby heron won’t climb under or over the rope, Klein said.

Bonus tip: To keep deer out of your garden, turn on a radio. She says she keeps her radio on and the deer don’t bother her garden. (Her yard is big so the radio doesn’t bother neighbors.)

Photo by Connie Oswald Stofko


Flowers use electrical fields to attract bees

bee in Buffalo

Flowers need to attract bees, the pollinators that help them reproduce, so flowers spend precious energy on bright pigments, enticing fragrances and dazzling patterns.

Now scientists have found another element that contributes to flowers’ brand: their distinct electric field.

It turns out flowers have a slight negative charge relative to the air around them, according to a story on NPR’s Morning Edition. Bumblebees have a charge, too.

When a positively charged bee lands on a flower, the negatively charged pollen grains naturally stick to it.

Gregory Sutton and a team of scientist at the University of Bristol in the U.K. wondered whether the bees were aware of the electrical charge. In an experiment they found that when a bee lands on a flower, the plant’s electric field is changed.  When the bee leaves, the field stays changed for 100 seconds or so. That’s long enough for the altered field to serve as a warning for the next bee that buzzes by. She won’t stop to investigate a flower that’s already been visited.

The research was published in Science magazine.

Photo by Connie Oswald Stofko


2 Comments on “Cash prizes offered in photo contest, & more items too good to miss

  1. I just learned of flowers attracting bees by an electrical pulse they emit. I subscribe to Science and missed that paper on the 21st. I saw this on another blog. Interesting science.

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