#SundayFishSketch: Butterflyfish

This #SundayFishSketch comes from Ichthyologist, Rene Martin. Visit her shop on InPrint to see more of her artwork or to order prints!

Butterflyfish area group of around 120 species in the Family Chaetodontidae. The one in this weeks #SundayFishSketch is the Copperband butterflyfish.

Butterfly fish can be found in reefs around the world in the tropical and subtropical regions of the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian oceans. Butterfly fish are probably most recognizable for their disk-like body shape, pointed snout, and the striking patterns and coloration seen across most species in stark contrast with the blue ocean background. Many are striped with bold bands or circles around their eyes. Many have spots on the back of their top fin resembling the eyes of a much larger fish—much like what is seen in many butterflies or moths. Despite the vividness of their appearance, their bodies are equipped with perfect camouflage for life on the reef, though their appearance doubles as a communication method with other fish—similar to birds.

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Ask TWL: The Crested Caracara

This photo was submitted by a TWL reader who said “It landed on the road right in front of me and then was flying around and gliding in the wind. What is it? Is it like a vulture?”


Meet the Northern Crested Caracara

Order: Falconiformes, Family: Falconidae, Species: Caracara cheriway

The Northern Crested Caracara is a medium-sized raptor, smaller than a goose, but bigger than other birds in the Falcon family like the Peregrine Falcon.

The envy of the Bald Eagle, the Crested Caracara is, well, crested—which is sort of a way of describing a bird faux-hawk (pun-intended). However in the case of the Caracara it looks more like a slicked-back greaser hairdo or a business in the front, party in the back bird mullet.

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The Socks We Wear


When hiking, it is completely acceptable to be a little bit extra when it comes to attire and clothing because you are literally on your feet the entire day, and you want to be at least mildly comfortable. I am in no way claiming that all hiking is comfortable because if you believe that, you are in for some bad news. As hikers, we like to do what we can to be more comfortable, and we need to protect the most important hiking tool we have, our feet!

My favorite pair of socks for hiking.

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#SundayFishSketch: Whale Shark

This #SundayFishSketch comes from Ichthyologist, Rene Martin. Visit her shop on InPrint to see more of her artwork or to order prints!

Whale Sharks—are they whales or are they sharks? Whale sharks are the largest fish on the planet, which of course means they aren’t whales at all since whales are marine mammals. Much like a whale, however, these gentle giants gracefully glide through the ocean filter feeding on some of the tiniest creatures in the sea such as plankton, small fish, and crustaceans. They can reach lengths of around 65 feet and weigh more than 35 tons, or 70,000 pounds—more than 3 school buses!



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New to Hiking? We’ve Got You!

For most of my life, I have practiced the art of “sauntering”. I first discovered this term when studying Thoreau’s essay, “Walking”. It is essentially being present with yourself in nature and allowing the nature to guide you. As a child, I just did that, and as I grew up I learned to follow the trail. I am not asserting that one is better than the other, but today I am talking about hiking. Hiking is unique because it most usually follows a trail. For the sake of keeping the surrounding ecosystem pristine, it is not recommended that you leave a trail unless it is actually necessary. This is one of the many things you should know as you begin to add miles to your hiking experiences.

Me at Interstate State Park on the border of MN and WI in 2017.

I have created this list to assist you in starting to hike. So often, I am asked questions about hiking, and the following list contains these answers. Now, these answers are my opinion, and there will always be people that disagree. I will say that I learn from talking to people and asking questions all the time. So start here, and this brings us to our first item:

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