Monthly Archives: October 2010

Random Insect: Brown marmorated stink bug

I spent the last few days at a tree nursery between Carlisle and Gettysburg in Pennsylvania.  The owner, a grower of young fruit trees, was telling me about an introduced species of stink bug that is starting to cause serious … Continue reading

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Random Plant: Gray dogwood

I recently stumbled upon this gray dogwood (Cornus racemosa, Cornaceae) along a ditchbank on the edge of a floodplain forest near Blissfield Michigan.  The white berries were quite striking against the deep red-purple fall foliage. The large number of white … Continue reading

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What a cute little snail…

You never know what you’ll find when you start poking around under rotting logs and leaf litter.  The other day the moist organic residue and clay soil of a floodplain forest yielded several of these tiny snails (class Gastropoda).  Their … Continue reading

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Random Plant: Osage orange

Osage oranges (Maclura pomifera, Moraceae) are interesting trees, mostly because of their large fruit.  Although native to Texas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas, they have been introduced over much of the United States and southern Ontario. The fruit are roughly the size … Continue reading

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Random Arachnid: Jumping spider

Jumping spiders (family Salticidae) seem to be everywhere right now.  They seem to be fond of crawling around on plants and waiting for insects to get close, and then pouncing, paralyzing, and feeding on them. This particular spider seemed to … Continue reading

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Random Plant: Bittersweet/climbing/woody nightshade

The nightshade above (Solanum dulcamara, Solanaceae) has a number of common names.  The most widely-used seem to be bittersweet nightshade, climbing nightshade, and woody nightshade.  The latter two terms seem the most descriptive; this plant is a semi-woody vine that … Continue reading

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Random Plant: Wild cucumber revisited

In early August I wrote about a wild cucumber (Echinocystis lobata, Cucurbitaceae) vine I found in a floodplain forest.  I revisited this site a couple of times since then and noted this plant’s progress though the season.  By the end … Continue reading

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