In my experience, people either love or hate raccoons. Those in the latter group claim that raccoons are disgusting, overgrown rodents. Truth is, they are not rodents at all, but are mammals that belong to the order carnivora – meat … Continue reading

Canadian Lynx

There is a little-known conservation success story in Colorado that deserves celebration – it is about the return of the Canadian lynx to Colorado’s mountains. While it is called a Canadian lynx, the feline is native to the Rocky Mountains, … Continue reading

It’s Bat Season!

It’s bat season and I’m not talking about baseball – I’m talking about the flying mammal. Every spring, approximately 1.5 million Mexican free-tailed bats return to the Congress Avenue Bridge in Austin, Texas (and others return to different places across North … Continue reading

Banded Tulips

Banded tulips are not spring flowers. They are marine snails! Their smooth shells, that may grow to as much as four inches long, are easy to identify. They are marbleized white and brown, with 4-8 distinct brown lines banding the … Continue reading

Acorn Barnacles

Barnacles are often thought of as crusty little creatures that wreak havoc on boat and ships. While that is true, there is so much more to the story. Of course there is. This should not be surprising to me. Let’s … Continue reading

How a Pearl is Made

I am not one to wear pearls, nor do I own any, but I am intrigued by how they are made. I’ve always been under the assumption that they’re made exclusively by clams. Well, we know what happens when we … Continue reading

Life of a Seashell

While collecting shells on the shore, it’s easy to forget that those shells were once homes to living creatures. The small, soft-bodied creatures who once inhabited the shells, called mollusks, include scallops, clams, whelks, conches, and more (note: there are … Continue reading


I will admit that, until very recently, whenever someone said “scallops” I immediately thought of a delicious meal. But as is often the case, with a closer look and a little research, I now have a new appreciation for those … Continue reading

Sand Dollars

Most people probably think of sand dollars as treasures found on a beach. They are usually white with an amazing and intricate five-point shape on the back that looks like petals of a flower (also known as a petaloid ambulacra). … Continue reading

Puss Caterpillar

This caterpillar was given its name because of its resemblance to a cuddly cat. It is furry and only about an inch long, giving it a mostly adorable appearance. But don’t touch it! The furry puss caterpillar is one of … Continue reading