Lymantria, Tramps, and Thieves: The Moth Wreaking Havoc on Northeastern Forests

LD moths* (Lymantria dispar) first came to North America in the late 1800s in Boston Massachusetts. Etienne Leopold Trouvelot, a french astronomer and naturalist, imported them from Europe in an attempt to find a new source for silk (1). Some eventually escaped his home and only ten years after their release, LD moths were alreadyContinue reading “Lymantria, Tramps, and Thieves: The Moth Wreaking Havoc on Northeastern Forests”

Awaiting Skunk Cabbage

The frigid disconsolate abyss that is wintertime in Michigan does not make for very compelling floral forays. Most of my winter outdoor activities involve peering at tree buds, admiring mosses, and trying (and failing) to get into birding. The silver lining of enduring a long winter is it makes you appreciate the beauty of spring.Continue reading “Awaiting Skunk Cabbage”

Identifying Goldenrods

Fall is in full swing and as the growing season winds to a close, one group of plants is still producing flowers and providing a last meal for pollinators preparing for winter. Many of the plants that bloom in the midwest this time of year belong to the sunflower family, Asteraceae. This plant family isContinue reading “Identifying Goldenrods”

Hair- it’s not just for mammals

Trichomes are plant hairs that can occur on any part of the plant including leaves, stems, petals, etc. These hairs can vary greatly in size, shape, abundance. They may be branched, unicellular or multicellular, and may vary with the plants age or environmental conditions. Often trichomes play an important role in defending plants against gettingContinue reading “Hair- it’s not just for mammals”

Best places to look at cool plants in Ohio

Best places to look at cool plants in Ohio I’ve spent the last three years living in Columbus, Ohio and getting outdoors whenever possible to look for cool plants, bugs, salamanders, etc. I recently moved away from Ohio and I have been reflecting on all the cool places I have visited during my time there.Continue reading “Best places to look at cool plants in Ohio”

I feel the need – the need for Milkweed: PART 2

I’m not done with milkweed yet. Out of the thirteen species that occur in Ohio, my last post featured five, plus a dogbane guest star. After making that post I have had the opportunity to photograph four more species plus a cool hybrid. Given my newly developed milkweed obsession and the fact that I haveContinue reading “I feel the need – the need for Milkweed: PART 2”

I feel the need – the need for Milkweed.

It is officially summer and many Milkweeds are in bloom here in central Ohio. Milkweeds are favorites of many botanists, gardeners, and insects, but did you know we have 13 species (not including hybrids) here in Ohio? Ohio Milkweed species range from extremely frequent to very rare. For example, Common Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) is foundContinue reading “I feel the need – the need for Milkweed.”

Michigan’s Jack Pine Forests

Jack pine (Pinus banksiana), also known as scrub pine, occurs in very dry, nutrient poor, acidic soils in northern Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, New England, and Canada. They often grow with northern pin oak and red pine. Understory plants like blueberries, bearberries, sweetfern, and lichen may occur on the forest floor. The most distinctive feature ofContinue reading “Michigan’s Jack Pine Forests”