nature

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Animal Wednesdays in April | NEW Nature, NOVA, Your Inner Fish

Every Wednesday in April on WETA TV26 & HD is Animal Night! Beginning this Wednesday April 9, deepen your understanding of animals with new episodes of Nature, NOVA, and a new series Your Inner Fish (and Reptile, and Monkey).

Nature: My Bionic Pet - Wednesday April 9, 2014 at 8pm
Learn about a unique way of helping animals in this new Nature episode. Left disabled without fins, flippers, beaks or tails because of disease, accidents or even human cruelty, animals are getting a second chance at a normal life thanks to engineering and technology advancements. From a pig with a wheelchair to an alligator with a prosthetic tail, meet inspiring animals and the remarkable individuals whose work has helped them live their lives again.

NOVA: Inside Animal Minds - Three Part Series
We have all gazed into a creature’s eyes and wondered: What is it thinking about? What does it know? Now, the revolutionary science of animal cognition is revealing hard evidence about how animals understand the world around them, uncovering their remarkable problem-solving abilities and exploring the complexity of their powers of communication and even their emotions. In this three-part series, NOVA explores these breakthroughs through the eyes of three iconic creatures: dogs, birds and dolphins.

NOVA: Inside Animal Minds: Bird Genius - Wednesday April 9, 2014 at 9pm

Crows bend and shape sticks to create custom-made spears for hunting grubs, and they are just one among a growing list of bird species whose impressive problem-solving abilities are shocking scientists and revolutionizing our understanding of animal intelligence. NOVA tests the limits of some of the planet’s brainiest animals, searching for the secrets of a problem-solving mind.

NOVA: Inside Animal Minds: Dogs & Super Senses - Wednesday April 16, 2014 at 9pm
A few animals like electrically-sensitive sharks have extra senses humans don’t have at all. From a dog who seems to use smell to tell time, to a dolphin who can “see” with his ears, viewers will discover how animals use their senses in ways we humans can barely imagine.

NOVA: Inside Animal Minds: Who’s The Smartest? - Wednesday April 23, 2014 at 9pm
Throughout the animal kingdom, some of the cleverest creatures—including humans—seem to be those who live in complex social groups, like dolphins, elephants, and apes. Could the skills required to keep track of friend and foe make animals smarter. NOVA investigates whether dolphins have a sense of self and can recognize themselves as individuals.

Your Inner... - Three Part Series
Your Inner Fish – Wednesday April 9, 2014 at 10pm

Our arms, legs, necks and lungs were bequeathed to us by a fish that lumbered onto land some 375 million years ago. The genetic legacy of this creature can be seen today in our own DNA, including the genes used to build the quintessentially human feature, our hands.

Your Inner Reptile – Wednesday April 16, 2014 at 10pm
Key events in our evolutionary saga began about 250 million years ago, when ferocious, reptile-like animals that roamed the Earth started the process of evolving into shrew-like mammals. Our reptilian ancestors left their mark on many parts of the human body, including our skin, teeth and ears.

Your Inner Monkey – Wednesday, April 23, 2014 at 10pm
Our primate progenitors had bodies a lot like those of modern monkeys and spent tens of millions of years living in trees. From them we inherited our versatile hands, amazing vision and capable brains — but also some less beneficial traits, including our bad backs and terrible sense of smell.


 

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New PBS Nature Episode | Parrot Confidential on WETA TV26

Nature: Parrot Confidential airs Wednesday November 13 at 8:00pm on WETA TV26 & HD!

With their high level of intelligence and amazing ability to communicate in any language, parrots have become one a popular pet throughout the world. Although millions of parrots share human homes, these animals have not been domesticated making life in captivity difficult. In the wild, parrots can survive for up to 80 years and by nature have a powerful need to bond. Unfortunately, the average parrot owner keeps them for only 2-4 years. With animal shelters struggling to house large numbers of unwanted birds, what happens to these animals when there's no more room? In this new PBS Nature episode, explore the difficulties of raising parrots and hear heartbreaking tales of those abandoned by their human owners. Join the most watched documentary film series on public television in examining the bittersweet relationship between parrots and humans in Parrot Confidential.

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WETA Around Town Events: August 9-11

Lots to do this weekend in the Washington, DC area including nature, art, music, and celebrations all around! Read on for our WETA Around Town event highlights for this upcoming weekend, August 9-11, 2013.

Calling All Butterflies
Are you or your little ones fascinated by butterflies? Bring your kids to Oatlands Historic House and Gardens in Leesburg for Gathering of the Butterflies. Oatlands is holding a parade to celebrate these fantastic flying creatures.  Crafts will be provided and everyone is welcome to bring their best winged costumes in honor of the butterflies! Oatlands is working to nurture and release monarch butterflies.
Saturday, 10am (rain date August 17)
Cost: Free
Oatlands Historic House and Gardens
20850 Oatlands Plantation Lane Leesburg, VA 20175

Talk with Tim Tate
Artist Tim Tate usually works in glass, but his latest work is the mixed-media exhibit Sleepwalker. Combining videos and other installation pieces, the exhibit probes the subconscious with dream-like imagery. Sleepwalker is on display at American University’s Katzen Arts Center until August 18, and on August 10 the gallery will be holding a talk with the artist himself! See the exhibit and hear Tate’s insight.
Saturday, 4pm
Cost: Free
American University’s Katzen Arts Center
400 Massachusetts Ave NW Washington, DC 20016

LUMEN8Anacostia Finale
The LUMEN8Anacostia festival, a visual festival featuring light-based exhibitions, has its luminescent grand finale Saturday evening. The festival features lots of live music, dances, and art that aims to illuminate all of Ward 8. In addition to the spectacular performances, food from Los Verracos and free massages from the Potomac Massage Training Institute are available. Plenty of gogo, glow, disco, and funk music is on display as LUMEN8 comes to a close. See the full schedule of events here!
Saturday, 6:30pm-11pm
Cost: Free
Honfleur Gallery
1241 Good Hope Rd SE Washington, DC 20020 at 6:30pm
Anacostia Arts Center 1231 Good Hope Road SE Washington, DC 20020 at 7:30pm

Images courtesy of the websites linked above.

Closing this week! Washington Art Matters 1940s--1980s at the Katzen Arts Center closes Sunday August 11! Check out the WETA Around Town review of the exhibit.

 

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WETA Around Town Events: June 28-30

There's always something going on in the DC area whether a festival, an art show, or a performance. For this weekend, we've found three great events that incorporate all three! Art, music, and education at Wolf Trap, festival of food and culture at Neighborfood, and a music and puppet performance at Strathmore. Read on for more about our featured events! Also be sure to check out what WETA Around Town segments we covered close this weekend!

Freezing Cold in June
Appreciate the summer weather with spectacular images of our planet’s coldest environments.Frozen Planet in Concert at Wolf Trap’s Filene Center presents a viewing experience for the whole family. The amazing images are scored with live and original music from the National Symphony Orchestra. Academy Award nominee George Fenton composes and conducts the performance. The event builds on the BBC Earth series that provided a gorgeous look at nature. Watch the trailer for Frozen Planet in Concert here!
Friday June 28, 8:30pm
Cost: $22-55
Wolf Trap’s Filene Center 1551 Trap Road, Vienna, Virginia 22182

Neighborfood
One of the best perks to living near a city like Washington, DC is taking advantage of all the diverse and delicious food options. This Saturday, the food festival Neighborfood is coming to H Street to give you the perfect opportunity to try great food and get to know the community! Hosted by Dishcrawl, Neighborfood will feature stops at eight restaurants in one of the city’s most thriving neighborhoods. Find your new favorite restaurant while getting to know the H Street Corridor. Dishcrawl is dedicated to helping the community so a portion of proceeds go to nonprofit organizations like First Book DC. Make sure to stop by and taste some of the best food that DC has to offer!
Saturday June 29, check-in 1:30-4pm
Restaurants serving from 2-5pm
Cost: General Admission Pass (1 food/drink ticket, 5 raffle tickets): $10 in advance, $15 day off
Additional Meal Tickets: $5 each
Check-in at Smith Commons, 245 H Street, NE

Photo: Billy Berks / Dishcrawl

Classic Entertainment

The marionette has a long history in children’s entertainment, dating as far back as 2000 BC. Since their early Egyptian roots, these string puppets have evolved from simple clay figurines into elaborately carved pieces of art. On Sunday, Strathmore presents Cashore Marionettes: Simple Gifts, featuring performances by veteran puppeteers set to famous classical music. For those curious, Cashore himself answers all questions about the entire puppet process in an audience Q&A. Watch this clip of the show!
Sunday June 30,  1pm & 3pm
Cost: $15
The Music Center at Strathmore 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda, MD 20852

 

Closing this weekend!

The Hampton Years at Theater J - Closes Sunday June 30

 

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New PBS Nature Episodes in May | Private Life of Deer & Great Zebra Exodus

Whether in our own backyard or across the plains of Africa, four-legged creatures have learned to co-exist with humans or migrate to safer pastures. In the new episodes of PBS’ Nature this month, we will explore The Private Life of Deer on Wednesday the 8th and The Great Zebra Exodus on Wednesday the 15th.

 

The Private Life of Deer

The Washington, D.C. area is home to many Whitetailed deer, which enjoy eating our gardens, hopping into oncoming traffic, and slipping into the woods of our local parks. In the past century, the deer population has increased from less than a million to almost 30 million as of today. In an effort to document this ever increasing species, footage was acquired in unique ways throughout the country. In one segment, residents of Cayuga Heights, NY were given video equipment to document populations in their area, while in another segment; small cameras were strapped to the backs to wild deer. The footage acquired provides unprecedented insight into the lives of our furry neighbors. Watch the trailer!

Nature: The Private Life of Deer airs Wednesday, May 8 at 8:00pm on WETA TV26 & HD. Also Airs Thursday, May 9 at 2:00pm.

 

The Great Zebra Exodus

Traveling with family can be complicated, especially when it seems like everyone’s moving in a different direction. But can you imagine voyaging with 20,000 of your closest kin? Follow the story of one zebra family, a stallion, his three mares and their offspring, traveling with the herd in Southern Africa’s biggest animal migration. Taking place every year across the Kalahari’s Makgadikgadi Pans, this trek to grass and water tests the social bonds that hold zebra families together. Watch the trailer!

Nature: The Great Zebra Exodus airs Wednesday, May 15 at 8:00pm on WETA TV26 & HD. Also Airs Thursday, May 16 at 2:00pm.

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Brand New NOVA | Australia: First 4 Billion Years

We’re taking summer vacation a little early with a trip to the ocean deep, the red hills, and the hot sun of Australia! We invite you to join us on this educational and breathtaking journey to the land where the formation of Earth itself began in the four part mini-series from NOVA: Australia: First 4 Billion Years. Scientists share some of the earliest life that inhabited the planet from giant kangaroos to deadly reptiles, and prehistoric crustaceans. See you Wednesdays at 9:00pm on WETA!    

Read the full article to watch trailers of the series!

 

Australia is most recognized for its unusual creatures and outback terrain but it is also home to some of the oldest remains of early life known to Earth. Awakening, part one, starts in Western Australia where scientists take a look at how the planet was transformed.  NOVA and host Richard Smith take us on a journey through the Land Down Under where we get acquainted with a bacterial slime that inhabited the continent and could be one of the earliest life forms known to the planet.
Watch NOVA: Australia’s First 4 Billion Years: Awakening airs April 10 at 8:00pm & April 11 at 3:00pm. 
 
In this episode of Australia’s First 4 Billion Years, host Richard Smith uncovers how creatures traveled from the ocean floor to dry land. Ancient fossils unveil how these prehistoric animals took over a once lifeless land and brought it alive. Armor-plated fish and invading arthropods were just a few of the unusual ocean dwellers that journeyed to the shorelines in order to help change the face of the Earth.  But not all creatures can live peacefully together.  Watch NOVA: Australia’s First 4 Billion Years: Life Explodes airs April 17 at 9:00pm & April 18 at 3:00pm.
 
Over 250 million years ago, Australia was a host for some of the largest and most perilous creatures to roam the planet.  In episode three, MonstersRichard Smith brings viewers up-close and personal with some of these prehistoric creatures in order to reveal why they were considered the monsters of their time. Kronosaurus was an aquatic creature that received its name from the greek god Kronos and had a skull twice as long as the Tyrannosaurus Rex, making it a top predator.  Scientists also reveal that these ancient reptiles were in fact not alone; mammals such as the duckbilled platypus shared the land as well. 
Watch NOVA: Australia’s First 4 Billion Years: Monsters airs April 24 at 9:00pm & April 25 at 3:00pm.
 
In the final episode of this series, NOVA and host Richard Smith uncover the true ancestors of Australia.  Smith reveals the last 65 million years that formed the Land Down Under into the lone but wildlife filled continent it is today.  Before humans and the formation of the Great Barrier Reef, strange creatures such as giant kangaroos, massive koalas and oversized wombats once roamed the land.  With their dominant size, these large marsupials truly exemplify the origin of Australia.  Watch NOVA: Australia’s First 4 Billion Years: Strange Creatures May 1 at 9:00pm & May 2 at 3:00pm.
 
  
 
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New PBS Nature Episodes | WETA Wildlife Shows

With spring finally here, what better way to get in touch with wildlife and the great outdoors than to watch two brand new Nature episodes?  First, we explore the secret life of plants and their ability to communicate in Nature: What Plants Talk About.  Then we plunge into the water for an episode about a mysterious and unknown creature from the deep in Nature: The Mystery of Eels.

Read the full article to watch trailers of these episodes!

 

Plants have been on Earth longer than almost any other organism on the planet.  They may not have a brain or eyes but in an all new Nature: What Plants Talk About, scientists discover that plants have the ability to engage with their surroundings as animals do.  Join Nature scientists as they perform a variety of studies revealing plant-to-plant communication, the ability to nurture seedlings, selection of hosts, and even violent defenses.  Watch Nature: What Plants Talk About on WETA and take a sneak peek into the underground world of plants. 
 
Nature: What Plants Talk About airs April 3 at 8:00pm on WETA TV26 & HD.
Also airs April 4 at 2:00pm, April 7 at 7:00pm

 

There is a lot more to the elegant eels than meets the eye. Writer and conservationist James Prosek takes viewers on a journey around the world to reveal how eels live out their lives.  Prosek travels from the Maori of New Zealand where eels are admired for being mythical guardians to the ocean deep of Maine, where fishermen have created a multi-billion dollar business from eel fishing.  But with the threat of over-fishing and obstacles that eels face for reproduction, is it too late to learn about this prehistoric aquatic creature?  Watch Nature: The Mystery of Eels to find out.
 
Nature: The Mystery of Eels airs April 17 at 8:00pm on WETA TV26 & HD. 
Also airs April 18 at 2:00pm, April 21 at 7:00pm

 

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Attenborough on WETA | Wildlife Specials in January

Get your full dose of nature from the expert himself, Sir David Attenborough, this January on WETA TV26 & HD. Attenborough has been a naturalist and broadcaster for around 60 years and is the best-known natural history film-maker today. We are proud to announce that his timeless BBC documentaries are here on WETA as well as special PBS Nature documentaries delving into the history of Attenborough’s life and works. Read on for more information about each documentary including when it’ll air on WETA.

 

David Attenborough introduces us to the most diverse group of animals ever to live on the Earth, 4,000 species which have outlived the dinosaurs and conquered the farthest places on earth all in the same biological class as humans. Repeats Tuesdays at 4:00pm

 

 

Monday January 7:   A Winning Design & The Insect Hunters
Monday January 14: Chisellers & Plant Predators
Monday January 21: Meat Eaters & The Opportunists
Monday January 28: Return to the Water & Life in the Trees
Monday February 4: The Social Climbers & Food for Thought

 

This three-part retrospective of his life and work airs on consecutive Wednesdays, January 23, 30, and February 6, 2013 at 8:00pm. The mini-series focuses on three areas that Attenborough believes have been transformed most profoundly during his time: filmmaking, science, and the environment. With distinctive eloquence and enthusiasm for his subject, 86-year old Attenborough recounts all the wonders of the natural world he has been able to share with audiences and reveals his unique personal reflections about nature and the earth. Repeats Thursdays at 2:00pm

Part one: Attenborough’s Life Stories: Life on Camera – January 23 at 8:00pm

Attenborough revisits key places and events in his career and shows how various technical advances in filmmaking allowed for showing new revelations about the planet and the creatures that inhabit it. Underwater photography, infrared film cameras, stabilizing camera mounts, remote controlled camera, time lapse photography, and digital slow motion cameras are just some of the innovations. 

 

Part two: Attenborough’s Life Stories: Understanding the Natural World – January 30 at 8:00pm

Attenborough shares his memories of the scientists and the breakthroughs that helped shape his own career in translating these discoveries into film. Animal imprinting, continental drifts causing volcanos, pluming birds, DNA fingerprinting, chimpanzee behavior and Charles Darwin’s theory of natural selection are some of these scientific breakthroughs.

 

Part three: Attenborough’s Life Stories: Our Fragile Planet – February 6 at 8:00pm

Attenborough reflects on the dramatic impact that humans have had on the natural world during his lifetime. Disappearing rain forests and coral reefs, endangered species, the creation of the World Wildlife Fund, the first international organization to spend money on conservation projects around the globe, sea ice melt caused by climate change are some of the positive and negative impacts we’ve had on the world.

 

Life in Cold Blood – Mondays at 9:00pm

In telling the epic story of the reptiles and amphibians, the most enduringly successful animals ever to walk on land, David Attenborough continues his overview of life on the planet. The very latest technology enables extraordinary and previously unseen behavior to be captured in intimate detail, overturning the myth that cold blooded life is slow, solitary, and primitive and revealing these creatures to be as dramatic, social, sophisticated, and passionate as warm blooded animals. Repeats Tuesdays at 4:00pm

Monday February 11: The Cold-Blooded Truth & Invaders of the Land
Monday February 18: Dragons of the Dry & Sophisticated Serpents
Monday February 25: Armored Giants 
 

 

JANUARY 2013

Nature episodes Wednesdays at 8:00pm & Fridays at 9:00pm

This PBS series consists of original, educational, natural history films. Episodes in January include: Cuba: The Accidental Eden, Magic of the Snowy Owl, Cracking the Koala Code, My Life as a Turkey, Animal Odd Couples, and the Attenborough Life Stories series.

 

FEBRUARY 2013

Nature episodes Wednesdays at 8:00pm

This PBS series consists of original, educational, natural history films. Episodes in February include: Cold Warriors: Wolves and Buffalo & A Murder of Crows.

Congo series Fridays at 9:00pm

To the west of the Serengeti and Lake Victoria, beyond the misty mountains of the Rift Valley, lies the second largest river system on earth: the Congo. This vast arena - the size of Europe - is home to an array of wildlife richer and more varied than any other region of Africa and yet it is hardly known. Today, parts of the Congo still remain inhospitable and virtually inaccessible. In a television first, the Natural History Unit has been given unprecedented access to film in this region.

Battle for the Elephants Wednesday February 27 at 8:00pm

The elephant, Earth’s most charismatic and majestic land animal, today faces market forces driving the value of its tusks to levels once reserved for gold. This groundbreaking National Geographic special goes undercover to expose the criminal network behind ivory’s supply and demand

Jungle series Wednesday February 27 from 9:00pm – 12:00am

Imagine being transported to a place with humidity above 90%, with more diseases than anywhere on Earth, and where every breath draws a cloud of insects. Charlotte Uhlenbroek takes up the challenge in this exploration of the world's rainforests. The rainforests of the Amazon, Congo, and Borneo contain half of the world's species of plants and animals. A combination of sheer adventure and the latest technology enables the viewer to experience the planet's most complex terrestrial habitat in all its glory.

 

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All About Ducks | Nature: An Original DUCKumentary

How many of Earth’s creatures are at home in THREE habitats? This along with many other fascinating facts makes the duck a very rare species. Find out all about these wonderful animals that we're lucky to have in our Washington, DC backyard on Nature: An Original DUCKumentary.

Confuting a long-standing reputation of being clumsy or awkward at times, the duck is born with innate skills and abilities to survive any conditions and surroundings his feathers and webbed feet encounter; he is just as adept in air as he is in the water. With more than 120 species of ducks, each boasts a special quality distinguishing him from the rest. However, all ducks are ambidextrous athletes, surreptitiously beating out the “seemingly” stronger opponents in the animal kingdom. Nature: An Original DUCKumentary explores the fascinating creature from how they survive to the vast variety of breeds.

So get your ducks in a row, duck out of any other obligations (last duck joke), and watch Nature: An Original DUCKumentary Wednesday November 14 at 8:00pm on WETA TV or WETA HD.

Watch it again on WETA TV26: Thursday November 15 at 2:00pm;  Sunday November 18 at 2:00pm;  Tuesday November 20 at 1:00pm

Watch it again on WETA HD: Thursday November 15 at 6:00am, 9:00am, 2:00pm;  Sunday November 18 at 2:00pm;  Tuesday November 20 at 1:00pm;  Wednesday November 21 at 3:00pm

 

Check out this in depth infographic from PBS about ducks! Click on the image to enlarge.

 

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Nature: Magic of the Snowy Owl

Our PBS wildlife series Nature invites you on a journey north to meet the intriguing snowy owl. Travel to Alaska to investigate these majestic birds without leaving your DC, Maryland, or Virginia home.

The Harry Potter sensation brought magical concepts and highly imaginative creatures to the surface including the grand and noble snowy owl as Harry’s companion Hedwig. There must be more to the snowy owl than a beautiful white coat, laser sharp eyes, and a job as a wizard’s mail courier.  Tomorrow night at 8:00 tune into WETA TV26 and WETA HD for a brand new Nature: Magic of the Snowy Owl. Get a close-up look at the species in its tundra home on the North Slope of Alaska and watch as the snowy owl and his family survive the harsh conditions of their natural habitat. A day in the life of this family of snowy owls revolves around getting enough food to make it til tomorrow…and it’s truly a family effort. The snowy owl may not have magic at the tip of his wing, but the beauty, intelligence, resourcefulness and fearlessness of the creature is mesmerizing. 

Tune into WETA tomorrow, October 24 at 8:00pm for Nature: Magic of the Snowy Owl.

 

Click image to englarge. Image courtesy of PBS.org

 

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