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WDEL Blog: Eclectic Hobbies with Allan Loudell


Swiss broadcasting during WWII

For those of us who listened to international shortwave stations over our teen-aged years during the 1960's and '70's... Switzerland's overseas service (which became Swiss Radio International) was one of our favorite stations, with such programs as the "Swiss Shortwave Merry-Go-Round" with the two Bobs...
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One of the most beautiful Eastern U.S. moths seen on a Bear-area gas station pillar

Stopping for gas at an Exxon station along Route 273 this morning (a couple of blocks east of Route One), I noted a sphinx moth resting on a pillar next to one of the pumps...
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Extreme heat actually bad for butterflies, but Swallowtails resurging and Monarchs now flying here

Super hot afternoons actually tend to discourage butterflies from flying. After an early spring of butterflies emerging, we've actually seen a drop in the numbers of some species, beyond the normal seasonal fluctuations...
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Western shortwave broadcasters concede the world to China; Radio Canada International is the latest to leave shortwave

This past weekend, Radio Canada International became the latest Western global broadcaster to sign off the shortwave bands, and even to reduce its web presence...
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Black Widow Spiders in Delaware

As I was walking down a path along the C & D Canal, just off Dutch Neck Road south of Delaware City, and just some yards away from where some folks were fishing, I observed a female Northern Black Widow Spider on her web...
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Yes, non-venomous Snakes can rattle! And other observations from the outdoors

Walking around the serpentine barrens of Nottingham county park in Chester County, Pennsylvania (not far from the Herr's potato chips plant) this past Sunday, the distinct sound of a rattle seized my attention...
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Great Red Admiral butterfly emergence & migration

Driving from the WDEL/WSTW studios to Route 202 here in northern New Castle County, I noticed many, many medium-sized butterflies in flight on a warm Friday...
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Butterflies, moths emerging several weeks ahead of time

No question about it. The early warmth this year has accelerated the emergence of many butterfly and moth species (plus other critters). Saturday, April 14th, I observed two very fresh & spectacular Luna moths, plus a Rosy Maple moth, on the wall of a convenience store/bank south of Northeast, Maryland (on the way to Elk Neck State Park)...
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Immerse yourself in the world of Philately -- Postage Stamps: DELPEX 2012

If you or anyone in your family collects stamps - or would like to revive such a relaxing hobby from your youth - mark Saturday, April 14th. The Brandywine Valley Stamp Club will host the 2012 DELPEX Stamp Show & Bourse at the Nur Shrine Center along Route 13 (very close to the 13/40 split)...
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Sure sign of an early Spring: Early sightings of Butterflies

No question: It's been a very mild winter. Both flowers and weeds have popped up early. With the start of Daylight Time and warming temperatures, I put on one of my butterfly ties this morning...
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Great North American Radio Hobbyists' Conference - March 1st--3rd - Plymouth Meeting, PA

If you have a special fascination for nearly any facet of radio - domestic broadcasting; receiving distant broadcast stations (AM, FM, shortwave, TV); scanners; pirate stations; to a lesser extent, Citizen's Band & Amateur Radio - a radio hobbyists' conference kicks off at the start of March...
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Winter Moths

For those of us who are amateur lepidopterists, winter does not necessarily end all our activities. For lepidopterists who collect specimens, winter is a great time to properly mount all those butterflies and moths...
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A postage stamp which can be scanned with your Smartphone: Golden Earring's "Radar Love"

For years, postal administrations have tried to create excitement and generate revenue with novelty postage stamps. By the 1960's, several countries were issuing stamps in gold or silver foil; in unusual shapes; or in 3-D...
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In bid for new revenue, U.S. Post Office will honor living Americans on stamps. But previous policy was not that clear-cut!

You probably heard or read the stories in the general media that the United States Postal Service would end its long-standing rule that U.S. postage stamps cannot portray people who are still alive...
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Hurricane Irene's "gift": Exotic oceanic and tropical birds, potentially other exotic critters

No doubt about it. Hurricane Irene has represented a bonanza for Delmarva's birding enthusiasts. As The NEWS JOURNAL notes in a Page One story Wednesday, many unusual birds were spotted in Delmarva just after Irene blew through, including: Black terns; Royal terns; immature white ibis; Pomarine jaeger; White-tailed tropicbird; Sooty tern; Band-rumped storm-petrel; Bridled tern; Wilson's storm-petrels; Marbled godwit; Parasitic jaegers; etc...
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A big "yes" to Yes' 21st studio album: "Fly From Here"

When I wasn't listening to the radio on my recent road trip, I was listening to Yes' first studio album since "Magnification". (I actually picked up the CD at a Borders store in Tallahassee three weeks ago, just before the announcement of Borders' demise...
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Results of Delaware Nature Society/NABA annual Northern Delaware butterfly count

Here are the results of the annual northern Delaware butterfly census conducted by members of the Delaware Nature Society (and me) for NABA -- The North American Butterfly Association -- this past Saturday...
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Northern Delaware Butterfly Census this weekend

The Delaware Nature Society will conduct its annual butterfly census for NABA - the North American Butterfly Association - this weekend, and I'll be one of the participants...
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Early summer butterflies/moths out in big numbers!

The last couple of weeks - with many warm days - have brought out many of the region's early-summer butterflies and moths. For the far northern part of Delaware, and all around Pennsylvania, that means the tan to orange Great Spangled Fritillary, about the size of the Monarch...
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Finally, classic spring Butterflies & Moths emerge in significant numbers

With the exception of a few warm days in April, it seemingly took forever to get reliably warmer temperatures for spring, and many critters seemed to emerge a little late...
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