WDEL Blog: Eclectic Hobbies with Allan Loudell


Butterflies out signal the long-awaited Spring!

I don't know about you, but this past winter seemed to linger forever! Yes, we'd get a few warmer days, but then the overnight mercury would plunge again below freezing...
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Clash between public's favorite recent postage stamps and collectors'

The United States Postal Service recently released its list of the most popular stamp issues, based on the quantity of U.S. stamps saved rather than used...
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Register now for Radio Hobbyists' conference; relive history with Radio Prague's final shortwave broadcast

From time to time, I hear from people who've pulled an old shortwave receiver from the attic - or who'd like to purchase a new receiver. To be sure, many international broadcasters are now available on the internet, via satellite radio, or via public radio...
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Goodbye, Radio Prague, Radio Slovakia International, Radio Sweden (on shortwave)...

Once, as a teenager growing up in the late 1960' and early 1970's, international shortwave broadcasting was truly my window to the world. Often while doing homework, I'd have Radio Netherlands, Swiss Radio International, Radio Sweden, Radio RSA, Deutsche Welle, Radio Canada, the BBC World Service, or even the Voice of America playing in the background...
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Spectacular time for Butterflies

I've bumped into several regular butterfly observers in our region who marvel at what a spectacular butterfly season it's been. I agree. Compared to 2009, populations of some butterfly species have been huge...
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Album review: "Release Me" -- The Like

The latest disc by an up & coming alternative group in my car C.D. player: "Release Me" by The Like, a band which first came together in September 2001...
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Philately: (Somewhat Controversial) U.S. Mother Teresa stamp out this month

A standard U.S. 44-cent, commemorative postage stamp honoring Mother Teresa comes out this weekend. It will honor Mother Teresa's birth centenary. Doubtless, some Americans - inspired by Mother Teresa's life and work - will request the stamp at the nation's post offices...
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Eastern Tiger Swallowtails swamp annual northern Delaware Butterfly census!

Members of the Delaware Nature Society - and other naturalists - joined me in conducting our annual butterfly census for NABA, the North American Butterfly Association...
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Monarchs begin to appear... and the 2nd wave of the big, Silk Moths!

I saw my first Monarch of 2010 over the 4th-of-July weekend at Lums Pond State Park... and in my own backyard. Others have reported Monarch sightings even earlier in the Mid-Atlantic region...
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The Big Silkmoths are out!: Great time for observing Butterflies & Moths

All the big "showy" Silk moths have emerged in the Mid-Atlantic region about now. But you still have to LOOK for them, typically outside well-illuminated convenience stores and service stations in isolated woodland locations...
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Invasion of Red Admiral butterflies; U.S. Postal Service to issue 64-cent Monarch stamp

The dramatically colored, medium-sized, Red Admiral butterflies are prone to population explosions, migrating north in great numbers. 2010 is turning out to be one of those years...
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A warm day (and night) in the New Jersey Pine Barrens

I journeyed into the Pine Barrens with some members of the Newark (New Jersey) Entomological Society Saturday (which just happened to be the hottest day of the year!) As I've posted before, the Pine Barrens are a very special place, a sandy area of solitude in a highly urbanized state...
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Spring Butterflies appearing now in good numbers

Spring is a time for smaller whites, sulphurs, blues, and hairstreaks. The more "showy" swallowtails and Monarchs typically come a bit later, although I've seen some reports of Eastern Tiger Swallowtails - Delaware's state butterfly - already emerging in Maryland & New York state...
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Springtime for Nature

The last several days of mounting temperatures and sunshine have definitely brought out critters of all types. Delmarva's top amphibian/reptile expert, Jim White at the Delaware Nature Society, has seen or heard Spring Peepers, the New Jersey Chorus frog, the Southern Leopard frog, and the Wood frog...
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One of the more attractive recent U.S. stamps: The $4.90 Mackinac Bridge issue

Despite its financial woes (First quarter fiscal year loss ending December 31st, 2009: $297 Billion), the U.S. Postal Service still puts out some rather handsome postage stamps...
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Still time to register for DX'ers mid-winter conference

If you've tuned around the dials over the years - seeking out distant shortwave, or even A.M. (medium-wave), F.M., or T.V. signals - you're a DX'er ("D" stands for "distance", "X" stands for the unknown!)...
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Great Radio Hobbyists' Conference March 5th--6th about an hour from here!

If you have a special fascination for any aspect of radio as a hobby (shortwave, A.M. medium-wave, F.M., and TV DX'ing; scanning; pirates; global satellite TV; Q...
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Getting the Model Railroad back up & running

At some point, toy trains and model railroads became associated with the holiday season, I guess when parents would set up tracks around the Christmas tree...
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How to make Postal History fun!

If you've read my previous columns on stamp collecting, you know I take a rather dim view of the stamp companies which offer new-issue U.S. First Day Covers by subscription, often advertising in glossy, mass-circulation, national publications like USA Weekend...
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No shortage of possible subjects / themes for U.S. postage stamps

People may derisively refer to regular postal mail as "snail mail"; few people write personal letters anymore; and relatively few people request commemorative stamps when visiting the retail window at their local post office, but that hasn't stopped members of Congress from pushing particular subjects and themes on U...
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