by Jeff Stehm
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name:
"Now, Dasher! now, Dancer! now Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! on, Cupid! on, Donner and Blitzen!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!"
As leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky;
So up to the housetop the coursers they flew….
He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight--
“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”
Excerpt from “A Visit from St. Nicholas”
By Clement Clarke Moore
Christmas is approaching and with it, undoubtedly, comes a yearning in the hearts of master naturalists for a better understanding of reindeer. So here are some fun facts about reindeer to entertain the holiday crowds.
And did you know that Rudolf’s red nose is not an anomaly. Most reindeer have red noses as a result of a dense network of capillaries that carry blood to the nose and keep it warm in the cold environment as well as help regulate the reindeer’s body temperature.
Now if you really want to impress your holiday guests with the extraordinary depth of your master naturalist training, here are a few scientific points for recitation at Christmas dinner (be sure there is plenty of eggnog):
Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas!
Richmond Times-Dispatch, November 30, 2019 (BY DEVI LOCKWOOD, The New York Times)
(submitted by Charlene Uhl, Class X)
Physiologically, the hibernation period is the strangest, and the most compelling, to researchers. When a bear hibernates, its metabolic rate and heart rate drop significantly. It does not defecate or urinate. The amount of nitrogen in its blood rises sharply, without damaging the kidneys or liver. The animal becomes resistant to insulin but doesn't suffer from fluctuations in its blood sugar levels. To read the full article, click here.
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ORMN Class IX