Monthly Archives: May 2013

This is cool you should watch it: America’s Wilderness

A short video produced by the U.S. National Park Service on the landscapes and ideas the 1964 Wilderness Act protects.

Posted in Botany, Culture, Ecology, General, Geology, National Parks, Vertebrate Zoology | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Random Insect: Spring fishfly

Yesterday I came home from work to find this impressively large spring fishfly (Megaloptera: Corydalidae: Chauliodes rastricornis) resting on my front door. As the standard US quarter above shows, this individual was about two inches in length. These insects have aquatic … Continue reading

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Random Plant: Dame’s rocket

Dame’s rocket (Hesperis matronalis, Brassicaceae) is a common sight along many roadways and fields in the late spring and early summer. The large, attractive flowers have made it a favorite garden plant since its introduction to North America from Eurasia … Continue reading

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Random Insect: Ichneumon wasp

Made up of perhaps 60,000 to 100,000 species worldwide, ichneumon wasps (Hymenoptera: Ichneumonidae) are one of the largest animal families on earth. Of all wasps I probably encounter these most often, and yet they’re easy to overlook. These insects are … Continue reading

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Yellow-rumped Warbler

A few weeks ago I noticed this Yellow-rumped Warbler (Passeriformes: Parulidae: Setophaga coronata) resting in a tree here in southeast Michigan. As the weather warms these birds migrate from the southern half of North America to Canada, the northeastern US, and … Continue reading

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Random Arachnid: American dog tick

Found throughout eastern North America and parts of the Pacific coast, American dog ticks (Ixodida: Ixodidae: Dermacentor variabilis) are well-known parasites of mammals. After hatching these arachnids go through three life stages from larvae to nymphs to adults. At each … Continue reading

Posted in Ecology, Entomology, Invertebrate Zoology, Organism Interactions | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

Random Plant: Pussy willow

A couple of weeks ago I came across several pussy willows (Salix discolor, Salicaceae) in various reproductive stages. These large shrubs are dioecious, with separate male and female plants. Both sexes produce flowers in elongated, slender clusters known as catkins. The … Continue reading

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