Monthly Archives: March 2011

Random Fungus: Morel mushroom

This is the very edible and very delectable morel mushroom (Morchella sp., Morchellaceae).  Every spring many mushroom hunters scour temperate wooded areas in search of these culinary prizes.  When sliced and sauteed in butter, the meaty, succulent flavor is distinct … Continue reading

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Random Plant: Purple deadnettle

Although it’s still late March, I recently started noticing more purple deadnettle (Lamium purpureum, Lamiaceae).  This cold-hardy herb can grow and even flower during mild winter weather. It’s called “deadnettle” since it superficially resembles nettles, but it doesn’t sting.  This … Continue reading

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Random Insect: Rove beetle

Although insects seem absent in the winter in temperate climates, they remain all around us.  Adult lady beetles and boxelder bugs often seek winter shelter inside buildings.  Many other insect adults survive the winter by hiding underground, deep in tree … Continue reading

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Random Fungus: Scarlet cup

With the snow gone (for now) and high temperatures consistently above freezing, new signs of life are starting to emerge.  In a local floodplain forest I found these bright red fungi peeking out from the leaf litter.  They’re in the … Continue reading

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Random Plant: American beech

There aren’t many deciduous trees that retain their leaves through the winter here in the temperate northeastern US.  Perhaps the best known are those of several oak species (Quercus sp., Fagaceae).  The family Fagaceae doesn’t just include oaks, however; it … Continue reading

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The June 6, 2010 Tornadoes near Dundee, Michigan revisited

With tornado season fast approaching, I thought this would be an appropriate time to revisit my area’s most significant spring storm of 2010.  In the early morning of June 6, three confirmed tornadoes moved through northern Lenawee and Monroe counties … Continue reading

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Random Plant: Eastern hemlock

In the winter when deciduous hardwood trees are barren and dormant, evergreens really stand out.  In the cool, damp hollows of the Hocking Hills region of southeast Ohio, one particular evergreen tree is abundant.  The eastern hemlock (Tsuga canadensis, Pinaceae) … Continue reading

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Moment of Zen: Waterfalls at Hocking Hills State Park, Ohio

There must be at least a dozen waterfalls in Hocking Hills State Park, located southwest of Logan, Ohio. Here are three of them. The first is at Ash Cave, the second is a minor one near Cedar Falls, and the … Continue reading

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The Geology of Hocking Hills State Park, Ohio

Hocking Hills State Park, located southwest of Logan, Ohio, offers some of the most beautiful geology in the state.  The geologic features in the park are all thanks to the weathering of the Black Hand Sandstone, part of the Cuyahoga … Continue reading

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A large, local herd of white-tailed deer

There’s a group of white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus, Cervidae) that frequently forage in a field behind my house in southeast Michigan. I normally count 12-20 individuals in the group, but over the last few weeks their number has been increasing.  … Continue reading

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