Tag Archives: plants

Goat’s Foot Morning Glory

Goat’s foot morning glory (Ipomoea pes-caprae, Convolvulaceae) can be found on tropical ocean shores around the globe. Also known as goat’s foot vine, railroad vine, bayhops, and beach morning glory, this evergreen perennial is one of the most widely-distributed salt-tolerant … Continue reading

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Happy Sixth Anniversary

6 years 11.7 GB of photos 745 posts 0.34 posts per day 182,610 views 95 mammals 86 birds 18 reptiles 10 amphibians 12 fish 288 insects 18 arachnids 3 gastropods 1 cephalopod 362 plants 106 trees 48 of 50 US states 8 countries 47 of 59 national parks in … Continue reading

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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 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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Random Plant: Cutleaf Toothwort

Appearing in eastern woodlands in April and May, cutleaf toothwort (Cardamine concatenata, Brassicaceae) exhibits the four-petaled flower arrangement typical of members of the mustard family.  Its large flowers and relative abundance early in the season make it a favorite of insect pollinators. … Continue reading

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Random Plant: Bloodroot

Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis, Papaveraceae) is one of many plants known as a spring ephemeral. Spurred into action by increasing day length in early spring, these plants complete their life cycles in just a few weeks. By the time deciduous trees have leafed out in May, these plants … Continue reading

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Random Plant: Yellow Trout-Lily

Found in moist woodlands of eastern North America, yellow trout-lilies (Erythronium americanum, Liliaceae) are one of many plants known as spring ephemerals. These plants germinate, grow, flower and reproduce in just a few weeks in early spring. Increasing day length and sun … Continue reading

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Plant-Insect Interaction: Bees on a Squawroot

Squawroot (Conopholis americana, Orobanchaceae) is a fascinating plant because it is a parasite of other plants. Found in eastern North America it feeds predominantly on nutrients produced by oaks and beeches (family Fagaceae). Since it does not perform photosynthesis and lacks the green … Continue reading

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Stopping by Ponds on a Sunny Evening

The other day on my way home from work I stopped at a nearby pond to find a number of Ring-necked Ducks (Anseriformes: Anatidae: Aythya collaris), Canada Geese (Anseriformes: Anatidae: Branta canadensis), and Red-winged Blackbirds (Passeriformes: Icteridae: Agelaius phoeniceus) hanging out around the water. The … Continue reading

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Random Insect: Half-Wing Moth

Winter has been gradually giving way to spring, and the other day I was greeted by this Half-Wing moth (Lepidoptera: Geometridae: Phigalia titea) resting on my front door. These insects are found mostly near wooded areas of the eastern US, and adults … Continue reading

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Redwood National Park Revisited

Back in 2013 a friend and I made a quick trip through Redwood National Park in northwest California. Our visit here was too short, so last summer when my wife and I were in the area we made a point to spend … Continue reading

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Winter Wetland Walk

Yesterday was relatively warm and sunny so after work I stopped for a bit at a local wildlife refuge. Throughout much of the year this area hosts a wide variety of waterfowl, songbirds, Sandhill Cranes and sometimes even Whooping Cranes. … Continue reading

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Lava Beds National Monument

Located within the Cascade Range in northeast California, Lava Beds National Monument preserves over 72 square miles (186 square km) of cinder cones, lava flows, and the largest collection of lava tube caves to be found in North America. These remarkable features … Continue reading

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Random Plant: Bigleaf Maple

Although I’ve seen bigleaf maples (Acer macrophyllum, Aceraceae) a number of times in the Pacific Northwest, it was their fallen leaves on my past trip that really caught my attention. Littering the ground east of Portland, Oregon they decorated the landscape with their … Continue reading

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Crater Lake National Park

Around 7700 years ago the Oregon volcano known as Mount Mazama exploded in one of the most devastating eruptions known to man. Blasting about 3000 feet (914 m) of material from its summit, the ash fell as far as western Wyoming … 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 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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The Least-Visited National Parks in America’s Lower 48 (and why you should visit them) Part 2

Last week I presented “The Least-Visited National Parks in America’s Lower 48 (and why you should visit them).” I later realized that most people focus on the “most” or “least” of something, and that often leaves out the “next most” … Continue reading

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The Least-Visited National Parks in America’s Lower 48 (and why you should visit them) Part 1

Although the United States has over 400 locations administered by the National Park Service, there are only 59 that are official “national parks.” Of these 47 are located in the lower 48 states and are relatively accessible. Most people know … Continue reading

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