Monthly Archives: October 2014

Random Plant: Sweet after death

Sweet after death (Achlys triphylla, Berberidaceae) gets its common name from the fragrant aroma that is released by its dead and dried leaves. This scent has been compared to vanilla, and as a result it’s also known as vanilla leaf. In spite … Continue reading

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Bald Eagle

The Bald Eagle (Accipitriformes: Accipitridae: Haliaeetus leucocephalus) has been an iconic symbol throughout United States history. Long sacred to several Native American cultures, it was adopted as the national bird of the United States in 1782. Since then it has appeared on … Continue reading

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Random Insect: Halloween pennant

Although I came across these Halloween pennants (Odonata: Libellulidae: Celithemis eponina) in late June, I thought I’d wait until a more festive time to post photos. The orange and black patterning does seem suggestive of jack-o’-lanterns. As with other dragonflies these … Continue reading

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Random Plant: Wild hollyhock

Wild hollyhock (Iliamna rivularis, Malvaceae) goes by a number of other common names including streambank wild hollyhock, mountain hollyhock,  streambank globemallow, and maple mallow. The flowers are similar in structure to other members of the mallow family and have five wide, overlapping petals. This … Continue reading

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California sea lion

California sea lions (Carnivora: Otariidae: Zalophus californianus) are relatively common inhabitants of the Pacific coast of North America. They breed in the summer along southern California and the Baja peninsula of Mexico. After breeding ends many migrate long distances, ranging from British Columbia … Continue reading

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Random Insect: Waved sphinx

Like most other sphinx moths, the waved sphinx (Lepidoptera: Sphingidae: Ceratomia undulosa) is a rather large insect. The individual shown here was about two inches (50 mm) in length, and wingspans typically reach 3-4 inches (76-102 mm). This species gets its … Continue reading

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Autumn comes to Michigan

Although the hardwood trees have begun to change color here in southeast Michigan, they haven’t quite reached peak color yet. For better color a friend and I drove north a few hours to Huron National Forest and spent a couple of days … Continue reading

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