Nature’s Depths

Walking through nature with John Palka, a neuroscientist who loves plants and ponders big questions

Sandhill Cranes Flying

Magnetic Migration

Exploration

Our migratory kin travel south in the fall and back north in the spring. They do this over distances of hundreds or thousands, even tens of thousands of miles. How is this possible? Let us side-step the question of how different species manage to obtain enough energy to fly, walk, or swim for such distances and ask the other big question: How do they know in what direction they should be traveling?

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Yvonne's Heart

Winter Solstice

Rumination

For those of us who live in the Northern Hemisphere, the Winter Solstice is approaching. The days are gradually getting shorter while the dark of the nights is lasting longer. After December 21st, the shortest day of the year, the days will start to lengthen again, at first imperceptibly and then more noticeably.

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Monarch Wing Edge

The Dynamic Control of Colors

Exploration

More than anything, autumn is the season of brilliant colors, and most of us are immediately drawn to them. However, as much as we relish them, the colors can also prompt us to ponder. In one of the earliest posts on Nature’s Depths, “Our Brightly Colored World” (November 29, 2015), almost exactly four years ago, we asked, where do colors come from and how do we get to see them? Let’s look at that question again now, and then take it further.

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