Monthly Archives: March 2013

Random Insect: Winter stonefly

Some insects remain active during the winter, and among them are the winter stoneflies (Plecoptera: Taeniopterygidae). Young nymphs spend the season in cold, fast moving rivers and large streams feeding on plant material and organic detritus. By late winter or … Continue reading

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Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada

Located just 50 miles northeast of Las Vegas, Valley of Fire State Park encompasses over 40,000 acres of blazing red rock formations and Native American rock art in a desert ecosystem. Dedicated as Nevada’s first state park in 1935 and … Continue reading

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House Sparrow

One of the most common birds in North America is the House Sparrow (Passeriformes: Passeridae: Passer domesticus). These prolific birds are found almost exclusively near human habitation, preferring to make nests along the edges of buildings. After their first introduction from Europe … Continue reading

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American alligator

When my wife and I visited southern Florida last April one of our priorities was to see American alligators (Crocodylia: Alligatoridae: Alligator mississippiensis) in the wild. Our first stop was along the Anhinga Trail at Everglades National Park, and here … Continue reading

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Dark-eyed junco

During the winter dark-eyed juncos (Passeriformes: Emberizidae: Junco hyemalis) occupy a wide variety of habitats across most of the United States. Here in southeast Michigan I often see them hopping across lawns, fields, and other open areas foraging for seeds. In … Continue reading

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American robin

Although I saw my first American robin (Passeriformes: Turdidae: Turdus migratorius) of the season about three weeks ago, they really came out of the woodwork this past week. Now it seems like they’re everywhere, frequently in groups of a dozen or … Continue reading

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Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument

Spanning 1800 square miles, the San Francisco Volcanic Field has produced over 600 volcanoes in north-central Arizona. In this area along the edge of the Colorado Plateau, differences in crustal thickness disrupt the flow of material in the underlying mantle. … Continue reading

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