Photo: Columbian ground squirrel wakes up, says ‘hey!’

Our photo of the day comes from Alberta, Canada.

What a face! This delightful shot taken by Tony LePrieur looks like it came straight from a cartoon. Columbian ground squirrels (Urocitellus columbianus) in Alberta, hibernate for as long as 250 days a year in underground burrows. It is for these long periods of rest that the squirrels have earned the nickname “Seven Sleepers,” since they hibernate for around seven months.

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Source Article from https://www.treehugger.com/slideshows/readers-photos/photo-columbian-ground-squirrel-wakes-says-hey/

Photo: Cedar waxwings select the juniper berries

Our photo of the day was plucked straight from a fairy tale.

Photographer Dhyana Kearly calls this one a “lucky shot” … in truth, it’s so perfect and delightful, it doesn’t even look real! Is Snow White just outside of the frame?

Dhyana notes that these gorgeous cedar waxwings flew in to take ripe juniper berries off a tree in the backyard. As it turns out, cedar waxwings eat mostly fruit all year; supping on serviceberry, strawberry, mulberry, dogwood, and raspberries in the summer. When the weather cools, they turn to mistletoe, madrone, juniper, mountain ash, honeysuckle, crabapple, hawthorn, and Russian olive fruits. With a diet like that, is it any wonder these birds are so picture perfect?

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Source Article from https://www.treehugger.com/slideshows/readers-photos/photo-cedar-waxwings-select-juniper-berries/

Tiny insect robot takes to the air, powered by laser beam (VIDEO, PHOTO)

The University of Washington research team that created the insect-inspired droids says they could be used for a range of jobs, including surveying crops and sniffing out gas leaks.

READ MORE: Sex dolls uncovered: The kinks, quirks and risks of building robolove (GRAPHIC VIDEO)

The fly-sized robots are too small to use propellers, so they work by fluttering their tiny wings. Previous attempts to create robo-insects were limited by the fact that the electronics needed to power and control their wings were too heavy for the machines to carry, so they had to be controlled through wires from the ground.

However, the engineers figured out a way to use an invisible laser beam to power the bugs.

“Before now, the concept of wireless insect-sized flying robots was science fiction. Would we ever be able to make them work without needing a wire?” asked co-author Sawyer Fuller, from the university’s Department of Mechanical Engineering. “Our new wireless RoboFly shows they’re much closer to real life.”

The engineers also added a microcontroller to its circuit to allow the robot to control its wings. “The microcontroller acts like a real fly’s brain telling wing muscles when to fire,” explained one of the researchers, Vikram Iyer. “On RoboFly, it tells the wings things like ‘flap hard now’ or ‘don’t flap.’”

The controller sends a series of pulses in rapid succession to make the wings flap forward swiftly. It also does this in reverse to make the wings flap smoothly in the other direction. The team will present its findings at the International Conference on Robotics and Automation in Brisbane, Australia, on May 23.

The current version of RoboFly can only take off and land, as once its out of the direct beam of the laser, it runs out of power. However, the team hopes to soon be able to steer the laser so that the robot can hover and fly around.

Future versions could be powered by tiny batteries or harvest energy from radio frequency signals that would allow them to be modified for specific tasks.

READ MORE: Humanoid robot Atlas can jump over obstacles and hunt you down (VIDEOS)

The tiny bot is the latest eerie example of scientific breakthroughs seemingly following the lead of the dystopian TV program Black Mirror. In the show, though, the insects were hacked and modified into killing machines that murdered thousands of people. Here’s hoping the RoboFly is more secure.

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Source Article from https://www.rt.com/news/426911-robot-insect-laser-brain/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=RSS

Photo: Pygmy pipehorse flaunts its frippery

Well, hello, curious little creature.

This is a Sydney’s pygmy pipehorse. A rare relative of the seahorse, members of this species (Idiotropiscis lumnitzeri) reach a whopping two inches in length. But what they lack in size, they make up for with their fabulous finery that helps keep them hidden in their watery habitat. Of which photographer John Turnbull proves the point, writing: “The pipehorse in focus is actually the furthest of a pair – the closest one is out of focus in the foreground.” See? We didn’t even see it at first!

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Source Article from https://www.treehugger.com/slideshows/readers-photos/photo-pygmy-pipehorse-flaunts-its-frippery/

Find the Perfect Image with the Free Photo Library

You’re finishing up a blog post and want to add a photo, but you don’t have the right image. There’s a solution right in your WordPress mobile app: the Free Photo Library.

As part of our never-ending mission to improve Media in the WordPress apps, you now have access to over 40,000 free, high-quality photos (courtesy of Pexels) right from the WordPress mobile app. It’s available to every WordPress.com member.

(Did we mention that they’re free? And so are the WordPress apps, if you still haven’t downloaded one!  They’re available here.)

How does it work?

To get started, make sure you’ve updated the WordPress app on your phone or tablet to the latest version (9.9). Once you’ve updated the app, you can find and add free photos to your library directly from the post and page editor, or from within the Media Library:

Adding from the Editor

Open the Editor by either creating a new post or opening an existing one. Once you’ve opened the Editor, tap the Add Media icon to open the Media Picker. You’ll see a few different options to choose from: device, camera, or WordPress media.

If you’re on Android, tap the Device Media icon ( Device Library ), and select “Choose from Free Photo Library” from the menu.

If you’re on iOS: tap the ••• icon, and select “Free Photo Library” from the options.

Next, search for a photo to add to your post. Select as many images as you’d like and tap the “Add” button on the bottom right of the screen. That’s it! The images are inserted  into your post or page, and they’re also added to your Media Library seamlessly. (Note: these images will count against your site’s media storage limits.)

Adding from the Media Library

To add from your Media Library, navigate to My Sites ( My Sites ) and choose your site. From there, navigate to “Media, tap the Add Media button in the top right corner, and select “Free Photo Library” from the menu.

From here, the process is the same: select as many photos as you want and tap “Add” to put them into your post or page and your Media Library.

Give Feedback and Get Involved

The WordPress mobile apps are free and available on both iOS and Android!

If you have any questions or feedback, reach out to our in-app support team by tapping Me → Help & Support → Contact Us.

If you’re a developer and would like to contribute to the project, learn how you can get involved.


Source Article from https://en.blog.wordpress.com/2018/05/09/free-photo-library/

Photo: Young peregrine dreams of flight

Is this juvenile peregrine literally dreaming of flight? I’m not an avian mindreader, so call the title poetic license – but soon she will take to the sky. Photographer DeeDee Gollwitzer writes of the scene:

Soon this young falcon will spread her wings and fly to become one of nature’s fastest, finest flying machines. This should occur by the end of this week. It will begin with a hop – jump and progress to longer hops and longer jumps until her wings can sustain her in flight.

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Source Article from https://www.treehugger.com/slideshows/readers-photos/photo-young-peregrine-dreams-flight/

Photo: Young foxes frolic in the field

Our photo of the day features two young foxes at play, photographed by Sam McMillan who was not only lucky enough to encounter this joyful scenario, but to have had his camera on hand. As Roman philosopher Seneca is reported to have said, “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity” … which would make Sam lucky indeed; though we’d never discount preparation … and camera skills!

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Source Article from https://www.treehugger.com/slideshows/readers-photos/photo-young-foxes-frolicking/

Photo: Watch this killer caterpillar flaunt its cute deadly tufts

Our photo of the day includes a video of this lethal larvae in the Amazon rainforest.

It’s kind of funny that caterpillars are so cute and charming; images of them adorn baby clothes and star in children’s books … yet some of them are downright deadly!

Exhibit A (above): Lonomia obliqua AKA the giant silkworm moth.

In this photo taken by Andreas Kay in the Amazon rainforest of Ecuador, we see a classic example of this spiny creature, a species of Saturniid moth from South America. Kay explains that the moth is most famous for its larval form because of the caterpillar’s defense mechanism: Articulating bristles that inject a potentially deadly venom.

Apparently, the venom really does kill people. Yikes. Kay adds, “Exposure to the caterpillar’s fur-like spines will lead to an immediate skin irritation characterized by a grid-like hemorrhagic papular eruption with severe radiating pain. The caterpillar is one bad insect you don’t want to mess with!”

And you can see it in action below. (Now … what’s the word for fear of caterpillars?)

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Source Article from https://www.treehugger.com/slideshows/readers-photos/photo-watch-cute-killer-caterpillar-action/