Fire-Starting Birds

Anyone who has observed or read about birds knows that they are highly intelligent. Corvids and parrots are among the most intelligent, able to solve complex puzzles and use tools. Other bird species have their strengths too. Among them are … Continue reading

Prairie Dogs

There are people out there who do not like prairie dogs. You know who you are. But I’m here to change your mind. Let’s start with the fact that they are not pests or disease ridden rodents. Like the rest … Continue reading

Is It a Crow or a Raven?

I’ve always been a fan of crows and ravens, mostly because they are part of the corvid family of highly intelligent birds. Corvids have large brains, can recognize human faces, use tools, and are incredible problem solvers. Yet unless crows … Continue reading

Predaceous Diving Beetles

On a hike this fall, once we reached our lakeside destination and ate lunch, I spent some time marveling at the view around me. Then my attention turned to the water. At first glance there was not much to see … Continue reading

Pika

I will readily admit that when I’m in the mountains above tree line that I’m always on the lookout for marmots. They are among my favorites. More recently, though, I’ve had a growing fondness for pika. These small mammals are … Continue reading

Zombie Fungus

I am not a big Halloween fan but figured it would be rather bah-humbuggy of me to ignore it altogether. Besides, what better to discuss on Halloween than zombie fungus? The first thing to know is it’s not the fungi … Continue reading

Moose

Moose are the largest animals in deer family, with males weighing up to 1800 pounds. And they’re herbivores. That, of course, had me wondering – how much does an animal of that size have to eat every day? They spend … Continue reading

Mushrooms, Take 2

Behold Ramaria largentii. I was drawn to this 6-inch high thing because it was a splash of bright yellow on a dark forest floor. It practically begged for attention. When I knelt down, I was further intrigued. It was like … Continue reading

Mushrooms

Mushrooms are one of those things that, aside from eating them, I hadn’t really given much thought to. Every once in a while along a trail I’ll notice a mushroom or two, maybe even take a picture. But on a … Continue reading

Flying Striped Yellow Things

We have been plagued by flying, striped, yellow things all summer. They have bullied the hummingbirds away from the feeder. They sting. They build nests in the compost. We mostly try to coexist. But the stings were kind of the … Continue reading