About The Roused Bear

Chief Poweshiek of the Mesquakie (a.k.a. Fox Indians) translated his name as “the roused bear” most of the time–the exception being when he sat for a portrait painted by Charles Bird King.

I have a website dedicated to a butterfly which was discovered in Grinnell, Iowa and described by a poet. The butterfly is Oarisma poweshiek, or the Poweshiek skipper.

The website can be found at http://www.poweshiekskipper.org.

I intend to have frequent short posts, with an occasional longer one.

Although a lot of the posts will be of a biological nature, I am not a professional biologist.  I am a government bureaucrat.

Hope you enjoy this site.

Harlan Ratcliff


10 Responses to About The Roused Bear

  1. Zahara says:

    Harlan, I’m shopping for a camera. What do you use? I want to be able to take super close-ups of bugs and landscapes and all things in between. Any suggestions?

    • Depends on how much you are willing to spend, and how comfortable you are with the manual settings. Many of the digital cameras in the $200 range do most of that stuff and do a pretty good job without much thought process. If you spend a little more you can go with a single lens reflex camera–for closeups I use a Nikon with a macro lens (Nikon calls them micro lenses, but all other camera manufacturers call them macro lenses). I went with Nikon because I had some film camera lenses that I thought would be compatible with the Nikon digital camera but I turned out to be wrong. Given a do-over I would have gone with Canon. The landscape stuff I took with a medium format film camera–a pentax 67. I don’t really do landscapes anymore because they are not as much fun with the digital cameras as they were with film. That process was a lot more expensive back then. The places that used to process my film went out of business–I think there are a lot fewer stores that process film now. Not sure I gave you a good answer but I did ramble a lot.

      • Zahara says:

        Thank you. Interesting, helpful info. Too bad about the landscapes! Good that you still have your pre-digital age photos and can publish them.

  2. Kristen Cuperus says:


    I am a student studying Animal Biology at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. One project that we are expected to do is to collect information and create a website on the snail that we were provided. I was assigned the Upland Pillsnail (Euchotrema fraternum). These websites will be available to the public for educational purposes. The page will remain online forever as part of MultipleOrganisms.net. I was wondering if I could use your photo Upland Pillsnail from Oct. 16, 2010 on my website? I would give proper credit of course by citing the photographer as well as the website’s citation. Please let me know what you think.

    Thank you for your time!
    Kristen Cuperus

  3. Finn Holding says:

    Hello Harlan,

    I think your blog is first rate. The commentrary is clear and easy to read and some of your images are superb, particularly your butterfly and dragonfly shots. And your pond sounds like a wildlife photographers paradise! Keep on posting.

    Finn Holding

  4. Cheryl M says:

    ”Although a lot of the posts will be of a biological nature, I am not a professional biologist. I am a government bureaucrat.”
    Made me laugh.

    Actually, I came here to find a place to exclaim about the exquisite beauty of the green fly covered in yellow pollen dust! Utterly…utterly…ahhhhh!
    Thank you!

  5. Raymond Harvey says:

    I have been considering the idea of kinetisynthesis for some time now and have come to the same conclusion about Dinoflagellates. Nature never presents a biological feature for no purpose. And it is obvious that that the Dinoflagellates are able to take energy from the medium that they live in or substrate they live on for their life cycle. The bioluminescence is essentially a waste product of a photosynthetic process being driven in reverse. I would maintain that this kinetisynthestic process has been taking place throughout the Earth biosphere for billions of years but has been masked by the photosynthetic process. Much more attention needs to be applied to this question. I would suggest culturing Dinoflagellates in a closed system in the dark. And monitoring the gas exchanges taking place. If the kinetisynthetic process can be shown to exist this would have important applications for the study of alien life in the universe. Especially life on the dark side of planets orbiting Red Dwarf Stars. We may have discovered the dominant life cycle in the universe.
    I give this to you freely as I have not the resources to pursue this myself. I too am not a trained biologist.
    Raymond Harvey South Australia/

    • Thanks. It is good to know that another crazy person walks the earth. I am hoping to publish a paper in the near future on this, but I am a total novice in the scientific publication realm.

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