Monthly Archives: April 2011

Random Plant: White troutlily/fawnlily

White troutlilies/fawnlilies (Erythronium albidum, Liliaceae) can often be found in hardwood forests in east-central North America.  These spring ephemerals first appear in early April as single waxy and variegated leaves of red and green.  It’s at this stage that I … Continue reading

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This is why it’s called a “floodplain forest”

Today the television weather report for southeast Michigan said we’ve had the second-highest April precipitation on record.  We’ve experienced significant rainfall almost daily for two weeks, and this has lead to serious flooding. The River Raisin is the largest waterway … Continue reading

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Plant-Insect Interaction: Bee pollinating a white trillium

The other day I was checking out some white trilliums (Trillium grandiflorum, Liliaceae) in a hardwood forest here in southeast Michigan.  I was looking for insect pollinators, and found this little bee (superfamily Apoidea) hard at work collecting pollen. In … Continue reading

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Random Insect: Common midge

Flies (order Diptera) can be divided into two large groups, the Brachycera and the Nematocera.  The latter group includes mosquitoes (family Culicidae) and many other flies that resemble mosquitoes.  Among these mosquito-like flies are the common midges (family Chironomidae). There … Continue reading

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Random Plant: Wild onion

A pungent onion scent in eastern forests and meadows often indicates the presence of wild onions (Allium canadense, Liliaceae).  While superficially resembling grass, digging up these plants can reveal their identity.  Although there are several wild onions in this area, … Continue reading

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Random Plant: Various violets

Despite the name, violets come in several colors including violet, white, and yellow.  There are many different species, and the differences between those of the same color are often subtle.  One thing the plants in eastern North America have in … Continue reading

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Textbook Alluvial Fans

Alluvial fans are common geologic features in basin and range provinces like the one in the American southwest.  They’re composed of sand and gravel that has been eroded from mountains, transported by water, and then deposited in enormous fan-like shapes … Continue reading

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