Monthly Archives: June 2014

Random Plant: Rue anemone

As a spring ephemeral, rue anemone (Thalictrum thalictroides, Ranunculaceae) flowers from March to June. This perennial buttercup takes advantage of thin leaf cover in the forest canopy early in the season, completing flowering, pollination, and reproduction before most trees have even leafed out. … Continue reading

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Tree Swallow

Tree Swallows (Passeriformes: Hirundinidae: Tachycineta bicolor) spend their summers breeding in the northern half of North America. They nest in tree cavities and wooden boxes provided by humans, usually near bodies of water. Ponds, lakes, and streams can produce large numbers of … Continue reading

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Random Insect: Twelve-spotted skimmer

Twelve-spotted skimmers (Odonata: Libellulidae: Libellula pulchella) are large dragonflies that can be found all the way from southern Canada to northern Mexico. Like other dragonflies they’re most often encountered near the lakes, ponds and streams that act as nurseries for their … Continue reading

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Plant-Insect Interaction: Katydid nymph on a sulphur cinquefoil

Katydids (Orthoptera: Tettigoniidae) are members of the grasshopper order, and like most of their relatives they feed on plants. They eat not only leaves and stems but flower petals and pollen as well. Today I came across a young nymph that was eating … Continue reading

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Random Plant: Large-flower bellwort

Native throughout most of eastern North America, large-flower bellwort (Uvularia grandiflora, Liliaceae) is typically found in damp and lightly-shaded floodplains, woodlands, ravines, and clearings. This perennial grows to 1-2 feet (30-60 cm) but the thin stems often lead to a “nodding” stature. … Continue reading

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American Redstart

All American Redstarts (Passeriformes: Parulidae: Setophaga ruticilla) feature contrasting light and dark plumage, but breeding males are the most strikingly-colored. They sport bright orange patches down the sides of their black wings and tails, with white feathers on their bellies. Redstarts use their … Continue reading

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Random Insect: Antlion

The larvae of antlions (Neuroptera: Myrmeleontidae) are ambush predators that wait patiently for prey to wander close. Those in the genus Myrmeleon have a special trick. They dig funnel-shaped pits in loose soil like sand, bury themselves at the bottom, and … Continue reading

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