Bat Basics

Explore the Everyday Lives of Bats

In her upcoming book, Bat Basics, Karen Krebbs tells us how bats use echolocation, why they hibernate, and what they eat. Find out why they are essential to a healthy ecosystem.  Imagine that you can fly. Now, imagine that you are flying at night, through a forest, a desert, an urban area, or above a mountain ridge, and that you’re flying without using your eyes! A bat does exactly that! They “see” with their ears. They do this by echolocation—a biological system that has a lot in common with the sonar found on submarines. Just as subs send “pings” of sound to detect other vessels, bats emit special clicks from their mouths and use the reflected sound to gain information about their surroundings. This natural sonar enables the bat to maneuver, even in total darkness or crowded caves, and it also provides them with vital information about their prey! Better yet,...

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Perseids Meteor Shower

Perseids Meteor Shower: An Amazing Show in the August Night Sky

In celebration of the upcoming Perseids meteor shower, we are giving away five sets of Amazing Sights of the Night Sky playing cards. The deck of 54 playing cards features 52 individual images of amazing astronomical sights, plus 2 jokers. With their full-color images, a simple guide to pronunciation on each card, and suits organized by type of astronomical object, these cards are perfect for games or as flashcards. Stargazing is among the most peaceful and inspiring of outdoor activities. If you have a passion for astronomy, there are plenty of fascinating sights to be discovered in the night sky. But unlike the stars, the planets, and the moon, some celestial events are not always close enough to our location on Earth for us to enjoy. Comets, full solar and lunar eclipses, as well as meteor showers are much rarer sights; however, when they do occur, they are breathtaking events. The last...

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Arizona Banner

Arizona is an Amazing State. Find out Why!

We are excited about our upcoming book (March 2020) Arizona Day Trips by Theme! We asked the book’s author, Leigh Wilson, to share her thoughts behind the decision to make Arizona her home. Here is her story. I was born and raised in the Midwest, spent most of my adult years in Chicago, and lived in Seattle for three years. Moving is in my blood, so when I decided to leave my tech-company marketing job in 2017, the question was, “Where to?” The best way to decide this was to try a few places out. So, in August 2017, together with my Airedale Bailey, I set off on a road trip to find a new hometown. Requirements included mountains, low humidity, easy access to hiking trails, and a more reasonable cost of living than Chicago.  A few of the contenders included Salt Lake City, Flagstaff, and Tucson. After a couple of months...

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Frozen Blueberry-Key Lime Pie Recipe: Perfect for Parties

Adventure Publications Director of Sales Meredith Hutchins gave Julia Rutland's recipe for Frozen Blueberry-Key Lime Pie a try. She loved it, and so will you! This pie is great for parties when you end up spending a lot of energy on the dinner and need a no-fuss but impressive finale. Keep it frozen until a few minutes before serving—just enough time to clear the dishes off the table.  Almond-Graham Crust Combine 11⁄2 cups graham cracker crumbs, 1⁄2 cup chopped sliced almonds, and 1⁄4 cup sugar in a large bowl; stir in 6 tablespoons melted butter. Press into a 10-inch removable-bottom tart pan. Bake at 350° for 10 minutes.  Filling 11⁄2 cups granulated sugar 1⁄2 cup butter, cut into pieces 1 cup Key or Persian lime juice 1⁄4 teaspoon salt 4 large eggs 1 cup heavy whipping cream 11⁄2 cups fresh or frozen wild or purchased blueberries, divided  Directions Prepare crust; set aside. Combine sugar, butter, juice, and salt...

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Black Hills

This Summer, Spend a Long Weekend in the Black Hills

Adventure Publications colleague Ryan Jacobson enjoyed a long weekend in the Black Hills with his family. To plan his family’s getaway, Ryan used the Black Hills Family Fun Guide by Kindra Gordon; to be sure, fun was had by all! If you’re planning a summer trip on a budget, put the Black Hills at the top of your list. My family wanted a long (but inexpensive) weekend away from home. When my wife suggested Mount Rushmore, my first reaction was a yawn. Driving across two states to see a few giant heads sounded, well, boring. I’m happy to report that I was wrong! Four-Day Vacation The first tourist stop of our Friday-to-Monday trip was South Dakota’s Badlands National Park. We planned on a relatively quick drive through the loop. Instead, we discovered boundless hiking and climbing adventures. Honestly, if our vacation had ended there, I think our two boys would’ve been satisfied. We finally lured them...

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Greater Sage Grouse

Stan Tekiela Visits an Old Friend: The Greater Sage Grouse

Stan Tekiela recently spent three mornings studying the behaviors of the Greater Sage Grouse. He shares with us what he learned about these amazing birds. I am no stranger to getting up predawn, stumbling around in the dark, and searching out remote locations that I have never been to before. So it was “just another day at the office” when I recently went to Wyoming and Colorado to visit an old friend, the Greater Sage Grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus).  Sage Grouse adult male and female, taken in Colorado Sage Grouse are large and unique birds whose entire lives are directly connected to the sagebrush habitat of the American West. They are found in only 11 Western states, from North Dakota to California. They inhabit the sagebrush areas of the high desert. Often, they are found at 8,000-9,000 feet in elevation. The habitat is dominated by sagebrush, which is a woody plant with small...

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North Carolina Festivals

In North Carolina, Festivals Abound

Pick any month in North Carolina and you’re sure to find a festival to attend. There are beer festivals, food festivals, craft festivals, music festivals—even festivals celebrating Bigfoot, Mayberry, and NASCAR. It’s impossible to detail every festival, but Marla Hardee Milling, author of North Carolina Day Trips by Theme, shares a few with us. Carolina BalloonFest This festival offers eye candy with its colorful balloons floating inthe air. If you want to stay closer to the ground, try out a tethered balloon ride. The festival takes place over 3 days in October and features food, live entertainment, and more. The decision on whether to inflate the balloons is weather dependent. Admission and parking fees are charged; separate fees for balloon rides; ages 12 and younger free. Coon Dog Day Organizers of many North Carolina festivals ask you to leave your four- legged friends at home. That’s not the case for this annual...

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Identifying a Tornado and How to Be Safe

A tornado is often mistaken for clouds, but technically speaking, tornadoes aren’t a cloud type. Instead, tornadoes are a tight circulation of wind that emanates from the base of wall clouds. Often, what appears to be a cloud toward the lower portion of a tornado is actually dust and debris drawn into its path by its high winds. Tornadoes occur in thunderstorms with very strong updrafts. Updrafts, despite their name, draw air from all around a thunderstorm, rather than just below. Updrafts at the leading edge of a storm tend to be stronger and, therefore, can cause the entire storm to rotate. This rotating column of air will start to reach down on the rear side of the storm, in a feature called the rear flank downdraft, a process that creates a wall cloud. When that rotating column reaches the ground, a tornado is born. It’s difficult to predict the direction a...

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