Monthly Archives: May 2014


Dunlins (Charadriiformes: Scolopacidae: Calidris alpina) are relatively common wading birds found along coastal areas of the northern hemisphere. In North America they spend their winters along the Atlantic and Pacific coasts, often foraging in large groups along tidal mudflats and beaches. … Continue reading

Posted in National Parks, Vertebrate Zoology | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Random Insect: Blue corporal

As “spring ephemeral” dragonflies, adult blue corporals (Odonata: Libellulidae: Ladona deplanata) can only be seen from March through May. Aquatic nymphs emerge early in the season, molt into adults, and take to the air. They complete their life cycle by mating, laying … Continue reading

Posted in Ecology, Entomology, Random Insect | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Random Plant: Canadian lousewort

Canadian lousewort (Pedicularis canadensis, Scrophulariaceae/Orobanchaceae) inhabits woodlands and clearings through much of eastern North America. This perennial features large whorls of tubular, two-lipped flowers. Flowers appear in April and May and can be predominantly red or yellow. Individuals exhibiting either color can … Continue reading

Posted in Botany, Ecology, Entomology, Organism Interactions, Random Plant | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Black rat snake

Capable of exceeding eight feet (2.4 m) in length, black rat snakes (Squamata: Colubridae: Elaphe obsoleta obsoleta or Pantherophis obsoletus obsoleta) are one of the longest native snakes in the United States. It’s more common for adults to reach only about six feet (1.8 … Continue reading

Posted in Vertebrate Zoology | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Happy Mother’s Day

In celebration of Mother’s Day:  Animal mothers with their babies! First up are these moose (Artiodactyla: Cervidae: Alces alces) my wife and I saw at Rocky Mountain National Park last August: Next is a Mourning Dove and squab (Columbiformes: Columbidae: Zenaida macroura) that … Continue reading

Posted in Culture, General, Vertebrate Zoology | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Arches National Park Revisited

Protecting over 2,000 rock arches and other natural features, Arches National Park preserves one of the most unique locations in the United States. A vast array of intricate red rock formations, deep green plants, blue skies, and distant snow-capped peaks compose colorful landscapes that are as … Continue reading

Posted in Geology, National Parks, Vertebrate Zoology | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

A family of Canada Geese

Abundant throughout much of North America, Canada Geese (Anseriformes: Anatidae: Branta canadensis) are most often encountered near bodies of water. In the spring they’re commonly seen in family groups, with young and vulnerable goslings sticking close to their protective parents. For … Continue reading

Posted in Vertebrate Zoology | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments