WDEL Blog: Eclectic Hobbies with Allan Loudell


Northern Delaware Butterfly Count

I joined Jim White and Sally O'Byrne Sunday for the annual northern Delaware "butterfly count" for NABA, the North American Butterfly Association. Jim's specialty is actually herpetology: reptiles and amphibians...
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Sunspots Return after Long Absence!

After an unusually long wait, sunspots have begun to return to the solar surface. People ranging from astronomers & physicists to amateur radio operators and DX'ers waited for the spots to reappear...
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Comparatively Rare Hairstreak Butterflies in Serpentine Barrens

Since I worked here Friday, July 3rd, and also anchored WDEL's coverage of the Saturday night, Fourth of July fireworks from the Wilmington Riverfront, I had Monday July 6th off...
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Gateway to the North -- Ecologically & Spiritually!

I spent Sunday in the Pennsylvania game lands north of Ricketts Glen State Park in northeast-central Pennsylvania. I love it up there because the place just has the "feel" of upstate New York or Canada for a fraction of the driving...
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Great Day for "Hands Across the Brandywine", but NO Zebra Swallowtails!

I can recall some rainy "Hands Across the Brandywine" days, but Tuesday was NOT one of them! As usual, students from Warner and Highland elementary schools turned-out for the 17th annual event, which showcases the beauty of the Brandywine and promotes enviornmental awareness...
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Journey into New Jersey's Pine Barrens

One of my favorite ecological outings each spring: Going into the Pine Barrens in late April or early May with members of the Newark (New Jersey) Entomological Society...
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Springtime FM skip: Chinese "Classic Hits" Station from Hampton Roads

If you read my regular "hard news" blog, you know that I've posted frequently on the Chinese economic, cultural, and military challenge to the United States...
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Beer-Drinker-in-Chief a Boost for Beer during Recession?

Some folks in the beer industry believe it doesn't hurt the industry to have a President known to publicly consume the suds on occasion. In fact, they fervently hope folks "moving down" from expensive wines and mixed drinks during a recession may very well settle on beer...
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Brandywine Valley Stamp Show this Saturday

If you or family members have any interest in postage stamps, may I recommend the area's major philatelic event of the year - DELPEX '09. You can see the various stamp exhibits; check out various dealers; and meet fellow collectors...
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First Delaware Butterflies of 2009!

The 72+ degree temperatures in New Castle County part of Sunday afternoon (before the storms hit!) did the trick: I saw my first butterflies of the new year, strangely not in some state park or wildlife area, but just driving along the edge of the Valero refinery northwest of Delaware City, and in Red Lion, just north of Lums Pond State Park...
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Diversity in License Plates in Delaware

Spring is in the air, and in addition to the invigorating weather, budding blossoms, the return of butterflies, and so much more... as a license-plate collector, I welcome the chance to see more out-of-state vehicles with different license plates...
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Reflections on Global Communications - Technological Apartheid

I always come back from radio hobbyists' gatherings with mixed emotions. So it was with the annual Shortwave Winterfest in Kulpsville, Pennsylvania, which combined nostalgia with the coming "Brave New World" of telecommunications technology...
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Radio Hobbyists' Annual Conference March 13th-14th Just an Hour from Wilmington!

I periodically get calls and emails from folks with questions about long-distance radio listening (DX'ing). Perhaps you've found an old shortwave rig from your childhood, and would like to explore the international shortwave bands today...
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Beer Review: "The Beast" -- Avery Brewing Co., Avery, Colorado

Like Delaware's own Dogfish Head, Colorado's Avery Brewing Company pushes beer to its limits, producing bold, memorable brews. (In fact, Avery's "The Czar Imperial Stout" is one of my favorite Russian imperial stouts!) So when a clerk at Kreston's suggested I try Avery's "The Beast", I decided to bring home a bottle...
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Satellite radio conglomerate Sirius XM filing for Bankruptcy

I can't say I'm shocked to hear the satellite radio conglomerate, Sirus XM, is likely filing for bankruptcy. God knows terrestrial traditional media need new business models, but - in my view - satellite radio execs misread the economy and the marketplace...
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Canadian Postage Stamp Released with Delaware Connection

Canada Post has issued a postage stamp honoring an African-Canadian abolitionist who was actually born in Mill Creek Hundred, and collaborated with "Friends" (Quakers) in West Chester to rescue African-Americans from the South through the Underground Railroad...
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An Open Letter to Barack Obama about the Voice of America

I see the hobbyists' magazine, POPULAR COMMUNICATIONS, reprinted an open letter to then-President-elect Obama about the gradual dismantlement of the Voice of America in favor of regional targeted broadcasters...
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Trying for Unusual Long-Distance Radio Reception in the Dead of Winter!

The dead of winter is NOT my favorite time of the year; I eagerly await the promise of spring and some hiking through state parks and wildlife management areas...
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Beautifully Designed Arkansas License Plate for '09

The Game & Fish Commission for the state of Arkansas will issue its latest conservation license plate in 2009, with depictions of both genders of the Diana Fritillary, the Arkansas state butterfly...
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World Coins: A Dutch Coin with Layers of Design & Meaning

Of course, many people - young and old - just casually collect coins. For example, stashing away all the state quarters or Presidential dollar-coins they can find...
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