Tag Archive | Nature Story

Six-legged Sex

Six-legged Sex

Stepping out my front door, I walk right into an orgy of sex. I am surrounded by couples attached abdomen to abdomen. Crawling entangled bodies writhe in a mass next to the front window of the porch. It is late summer in Florida and the love bug mating season is upon us. Love bugs are […]

The Last Big Harvest

The Last Big Harvest

Fall is the time of year when goldenrods brighten the fields and roadsides with showy yellow blossoms. It is the time for the last major harvesting of nectar and pollen by bees, wasps, migrating butterflies  and many other insects. Nectar gathered by bumblebees and honeybees will help these insects survive the winter. Pollen is also […]

The Desirable Wildflower

Black-eyed Susan is a native North American wildflower that thrives in sun lit prairies, fields and roadsides. It was originally thought to have spread from the Great Plains eastward, but recent research indicates it was native to colonial towns in Maryland. It was the colonists who named the plant black-eyed Susan featured in an English […]

Endangered in New York, Extirpated from Pennsylvania

Endangered in New York, Extirpated from Pennsylvania

Walking through a pine barren habitat where pitch pine, oak trees and heaths dominate the landscape, I came upon a disturbed area where the sandy soils were saturated with water and sedges, rushes and grasses dominated the opening. There were dozens of orange flowers on short stems along with sundews where the vegetation was less […]

The Plant with Many Names

The Plant with Many Names

It is called silverweed because when you dip its leaves into water the leaves show a silvery glow. It is called ladies ear drops because its flowers dangle like earrings from a girl’s ears. It is called jewelweed because the rain and early morning dew resemble jewels on its stems. It is called touch-me-not because […]

Eastern Prickly Pear Cactus

Eastern Prickly Pear Cactus

When I lived and worked in New York and visited beaches along the north shore of Long Island in the summer, the sheltered areas of the beachfront were dotted with the yellow blossoms of the prickly pear cactus. You normally associate cacti with deserts, but the sandy dry soils beyond the reach of high tides […]

The Unobtrusive Orchid

About thirty years ago, while conducting an environmental program for an elementary class, a strange plant caught my eye as I led the students on a trail through a freshwater wetland area in a state park preserve in New York. The plant was about eight inches tall, purplish brown with a spike of tiny blossoms […]