Animals in Winter

December 18, 2016
(was 12.20.2015)

Getting through winter requires mental and physical toughness, plus good central heating.  But animals have amazing strategies for surviving conditions that make humans whimper.  Today, winter survival strategies from our furred and feathered friends.  What could we learn from a walrus who spends the winter munching shrimp below 30 feet of polar ice?  Or from frogs who survive the entire season awake, but frozen solid? 

  1. Ingenuity of Animals in Winter

    Depending on where you live, winter can be tough to get through.  It’s cold, it gets dark early, the weather’s messy.  Naturalist Bernd Heinrich shares some amazing stories about the ingeniuous ways animals survive winter.

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  2. How Animals Sound in Winter

    Ok, some knowledge about animals surviving winter is good. But this is radio. How do animals SOUND in winter? For that we turn to Douglas Quin. He’s an award-winning sound designer and composer., and this is from his album called "Fathom”  -- underwater field recordings from the Polar regions of the earth.

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  3. The Reindeer People

    Piers Vitebsky is an anthropologist who studies the Eveny or Reindeer People of Siberia.  They depend on the reindeer for their survival.  They keep herds of them for meat -  but their connection goes even deeper.  Vitebsky says that they also have personal, consecrated reindeer animal doubles, which they believe will die for them.

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  4. Women Hunting

    Writer Kim Hiss discovered her own symbiotic relationship with animals in winter.  She was working as an editor for Field and Stream Magazine and it was her first hunt. 

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  5. Helen Macdonald recommends "The Dark is Rising"

    Helen Macdonald, author of "H is for Hawk" recommends the YA fantasy novel "The Dark is Rising" by Susan Cooper.

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  6. The Dutch Christmas Tradition of Black Pete

    What do you do when you’re an African-American filmmaker living in a country full of people who dress up in blackface at Christmastime?  You pick up a camera. Roger Ross Williams  talks about his new documentary,  "Blackface." It's about the traditional Dutch celebration of "Black Pete" -- a Santa's helper who dresses in blackface, an Afro wig, red lipstick and big hoop earrings.

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