Monthly Archives: May 2015

Random Insect: Fishfly

Fishflies (Megaloptera: Corydalidae: Chauliodes sp.) can be found throughout eastern North America wherever there are slow-moving rivers and floodplains. Their juvenile aquatic nymphs are omnivores, feeding on the decaying plant matter and small arthropods that litter these waters. After fattening up the nymphs … Continue reading

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Random Plant: Western skunk cabbage

Native to North America, western skunk cabbage (Lysichiton americanus, Araceae) can be found from Alaska to northern California and as far east as Montana. This species loves water and shade and appropriately inhabits swamps, marshes, stream banks, wet forests, and other moisture-rich areas throughout … Continue reading

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Random Insect: Ichneumon wasp

It’s estimated that there are 60,000 to 100,000 species of Ichneumon wasps worldwide, with approximately 5,000 to 8,000 inhabiting North America. They make up what may be the largest family of animals on the planet, and as a result they’re … Continue reading

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Common Mergansers

Although Common Mergansers (Anseriformes: Anatidae: Mergus merganser) inhabit much of North America, their range shifts with the seasons. They overwinter across a wide swath of the United States, then spend their summers breeding in forests from the northern United States through Canada. They … Continue reading

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Gray whales

Gray whales (Cetacea: Eschrichtiidae: Eschrichtius robustus) were once abundant throughout coastal waters of the northern Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Although hunted on a small scale for their oil, meat, and blubber for thousands of years, intensive commercial whaling in the late nineteenth century nearly … Continue reading

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Mount Hood, Oregon

If you’re ever lucky enough to fly into Portland International Airport (PDX) on a clear day, chances are you’ll be treated to a scenic view of Mount Hood. At 11,240 feet (3426 m) this stratovolcano is the highest point in the … Continue reading

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Random Plant: Arctic sweet coltsfoot

Arctic sweet coltsfoot (Petasites frigidus var. palmatus, Asteraceae) is a cold-hardy herbaceous perennial that is native to northern Asia, Europe, and North America. It prefers moist soil and shade and can often be found near streams and wet forests throughout its range. … Continue reading

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