Category Archives: plants

Readers’ wildlife photos

Let us have grasses today! We never get enough plants here, so I’m delighted to show these photos taken by reader Amanda Ingram. Her notes are indented: This loyal reader, a fellow William & Mary alumna (who also studied population genetics with Bruce Grant!), thought you might enjoy some wildlife photos from a charming but […]

The lichen story and the guy who revised it

A story I wrote in July of last year described a huge change in our understanding of one of the best known cases of symbiosis: the view that a lichen is a symbiotic partnership between a fungus and an alga. That happens to be true—the alga photosynthesizes, producing food for the fungus, while the fungus provides support, […]

Readers’ wildlife photos

How about some wildflowers today to remind us of the spring that is coming up in the Northern Hemisphere? These come from reader Mike McDowell, and his notes are indented (his website and gallery are here): Even during intense insect missions (tiger beetles, robber flies, etc.), I’ll take time to photograph interesting wildflowers whenever I […]

Readers’ wildlife photographs

We have photos from two disparate groups today. First, three diving ducks from reader Barbara Wilson: Both the Goldeneye [Bucephala clangula, shown in the first picture] and the Surf Scoter are diving ducks.  The Surf Scoter is probably the most commonly seen duck that’s visible from land on the Oregon coast. Young Surf Scoter (Melanitta perspicillata) on […]

Readers’ wildlife photos

We just had an animal post (below) and now some lovely ferns from reader Marilee Lovit: These are ferns I collected last summer into my plant press, and now have mounted on herbarium paper (using methyl-cellulose for glue). I photographed the mounted specimens before attaching herbarium labels. (I will attach labels with all the collecting […]

Readers’ wildlife photos

Reader Tom Hennessy send some insect photos a while back, and I misplaced them. Fortunately, he re-sent them, and here they are. His notes are indented; note that all these insects are all brightly colored and quite visible—likely examples of aposematic (“warning“) coloration because the sap of the milkweed contains toxic compounds, probably rendering the insects distasteful to […]

Readers’ wildlife photos (and video)

Today we have three contributions, two from readers and one from me. Readers’ captions are indented. The first is from Stephen Barnard in Idaho—a time-lapse photo of fog wafting through his area. He’s been experimenting with video, and I’m sure we’ll see more of these. Be sure to watch the video enlarged and on HD […]

Writer’s wildlife photos: The flowers of Singapore

Well, these aren’t necessarily endemics, but they’re all on view at the amazing botanical “pod” Gardens by the Bay in Singapore, which we visited yesterday. It’s a HUGE greenhouse that has a rain forest tower 7 stories high, completely covered with plants. You can go to the top and walk down. I’ve never seen so […]

Glass gem corn

Speaking of hybridization, my friend Nicole L’Or Reggia sent me some ears she grew of what’s called “glass gem corn,” which are gorgeous. I had no idea this stuff existed, though of course I’d seen less variegated “Indian corn” that appears around Halloween. Here are 12 ears: all of them are small: up to about […]

Fall photos

The leaves are beginning to turn here, and are falling from the trees into Botany Pond, right next to my building. They make the surface of the pond look like an Impressionist painting. The vegetation in this photo is nearly all reflections in the pond. Only the branch in the center, and a bit at […]