Tag Archives: great basin

Seeking Solitude at Great Basin National Park

Great Basin National Park is located in east-central Nevada and is one of our country’s least-known and least-visited parks. Back in 2013 my wife, her friend and I drove a few hours north of Las Vegas to get a taste of what this remote … Continue reading

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Random Plant: Manzanita

Found throughout large areas of the North American west, manzanitas (Arctostaphylos spp., Ericaceae) are common inhabitants of chaparral and other arid shrublands and woodlands. Made up of dozens of species, these woody plants grow as bushes or small trees and can be … Continue reading

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Random Insect: False Blister Beetle

True blister beetles (Coleoptera: Meloidae) get their common name from their ability to produce cantharidin, a substance that can cause chemical burns. They produce this compound to ward off potential predators, including humans. A person who touches one of these … Continue reading

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Random Insect: Click Beetle

Click beetles (Coleoptera: Elateridae) are unique insects because of a special trick they can perform. When they find themselves stuck upside-down or alarmed by a potential predator, they can suddenly “snap” their flexible thoracic joints to create a “click” sound and launch … Continue reading

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Random Plant: Mule-ears

Mule-ears (Wyethia amplexicaulis, Asteraceae) are relatively conspicuous herbaceous plants found throughout much of the western United States. These sunflower relatives feature long, broad leaves that resemble mule ears as well as numerous large yellow flower heads. They inhabit the intermountain west and are most … Continue reading

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Marmot Crossing

Last week I spent a couple of nights camping at Great Basin National Park in east-central Nevada. One point of interest was a stretch of road near Baker Creek that was crawling with yellow-bellied marmots (Rodentia: Sciuridae: Marmota flaviventris). So many … Continue reading

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Great Basin National Park

Located in east-central Nevada, Great Basin National Park provides an excellent example of the disparity that exists amid the southwestern US basin and range province. Beginning in the tiny town of Baker in the eastern basin, the road into the park ascends … Continue reading

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