ELi on Earth

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ELi on EARTH: Sweet Harvest

Monday, October 19, 2015

Photo: Pioneer sugar plant in Sebewaing, Michigan, in a photo taken by the author about two weeks ago.

The sugar beet harvest has arrived in Michigan just to the north and east of East Lansing. Driving by the areas where the beets are farmed, you can see huge piles of the beets piled in trucks and on staging pads across the region. The beets look like big, cream-colored turnips. One pile I drove by in Sebewaing two weeks ago was about 15-feet high, two lanes wide, and as long as a football field. (See below.)

Eli on Earth: Experience Wild Birds Up Close at the Burke Lake Banding Station

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Photo: Sharp-Shinned Hawk, the smallest species of hawk in North America. It was netted at the station on September 22nd 2014. Photo credit: Zak Pohlen


Ever wonder how wildlife biologists track bird migration, net birds, or determine their age? Look no further than the Burke Lake Banding Station.

Eli on Earth: Celestial Highlights for October and early November 2015

Monday, October 5, 2015

Illustrations from Sky Calendar are provided by Abrams Planetarium. Morning and evening twilight sky maps by Robert D. Miller.

During October and early November, there are exceptionally beautiful gatherings of planets in the morning sky. A waning crescent Moon graces the lineup of planets on Oct. 8-11 and Nov. 6-7. Except as noted, these spectacular sights through Nov. 10 will be well seen about an hour before sunrise.

Eli on Earth: Run with the Salmon on the Red Cedar!

Monday, September 28, 2015

Gier Park School "Salmon in the Classroom" release. Photo Credit: David Kenyon, Michigan DNR

Coho salmon are slowly swimming their way back to East Lansing and the public has the opportunity to run with them during the “Red Cedar Salmon Run,” an annual 5K on Michigan State University’s campus.

ELi on Earth: Total Eclipse of the Moon Sunday, Sept. 27

Monday, September 21, 2015

Image: "Eclipse 2010 cropped" by John Vermette 

UPDATE! We have a special offer for ELi readers. Be one of the first five people to identify yourself to the person in the ELi t-shirt at the parking ramp gathering on Sunday, September 27, and get a free ELi mug!

Sky watchers in the eastern U.S. have a chance to enjoy a total eclipse of the Moon on the evening of Sunday, September 27.

Eli on Earth: It's Actually Pretty Easy Being Green

Monday, August 31, 2015

Living sustainably, or being “green” reduces your use of Earth’s natural resources, and means changing how you look at many parts of your life including transportation, energy consumption and diet.

Interested in beginning a sustainable lifestyle or amping up what you already do? Below is a list of simple things you can do around the home to become a bit more “green.”

ELI ON EARTH: Bird Breath

Monday, August 24, 2015

Image: A hawk (probably sharp-shinned) in MSU’s Beal Gardens earlier this year.

Simply put, East Lansing birds, like the one shown above, breathe differently from East Lansing reptiles and mammals, including this author.

ELi ON EARTH: Perseids May Dazzle East Lansing

Monday, August 10, 2015

This promises to be an excellent year for the Perseid meteor showers in East Lansing. Sharp-eyed observers may see some early or late Perseids for a few weeks on either side of the shower’s peak, which is on the night-to-early morning of August 12-13. You can also read ELi’s coverage of the Geminids and the Lyrids.

ELI ON EARTH: East Lansing's Chilean Astronomical Connection

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Image: The author (on crutches) visiting the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter array high site at over 16,000 feet.

Nine astronomy educators were chosen to visit Chile this June for ten days as part of the National Science Foundation-funded Astronomy in Chile Educator Ambassador Program (ACEAP). They were sent to experience why Chile is one of the astronomy capitals of the world and I was lucky enough to be one of those educators.

ELI ON EARTH: Beekeeping, a delicious hobby

Monday, July 27, 2015

Bees are high-profile creatures these days, and one (tasty) way to help them to thrive is to become a backyard beekeeper.

At times referred to as the “angels of agriculture,” honey bees pollinate millions of crops per year and an estimated one in three bites of food you eat. Unfortunately, their populations have declined dramatically in recent years due to habitat loss, deforestation, industrial agriculture, parasitic mites, and Colony Collapse Disorder.

ELi ON EARTH: Female Mosquitoes Bite East Lansing Residents

Monday, July 20, 2015

Above: The author being bitten by a local mosquito.

More than nine inches of rain in June and continued rain well into July have created mosquito development habitat in the standing water of yards, fields, and nearly any upright container in town. The mosquitoes that hatch in the summer can turn over a new generation every two weeks as long as there is standing water for their reproduction cycle, and that means we in East Lansing have at least a few more mosquito-filled weeks left in the season.

ELi ON EARTH: More Efficient Recycling Coming

Monday, July 13, 2015

Image: The new recycling bins coming soon to East Lansing neighborhoods

Recycling in East Lansing is getting re-cycled! There has been a buzz in East Lansing about bigger bins, an expanded list of recyclables, changing collection schedules, and more. I reached out to Cathy DeShambo, Environmental Services Administrator for the City of East Lansing, for her insights into the changes residents can expect, and this is what she had to say:

How will the recycling program be changing?


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