Brown Leopard frog

Why do leopard frogs come in two colors?

Feb. 18, 2020

The persistence of two colors everywhere suggests a balance of evolutionary forces I camped at Teal Lake in the Park Range to photograph fall colors, but I also enjoyed the ospreys that were hunting trout and the numerous leopard frogs at the lakeshore. Teal Lake is like many other lakes,...

A stemless four-nerve daisy growing from a sandstone crevice

Stemless four-nerve daisies have remarkable variation for growth form

Jan. 21, 2020

From the caliche soils of southeastern Colorado to crevices in bare sandstone on the Colorado Plateau, stemless four-nerved daisies show remarkable variation in growth form that I suspect is tied to site-specific adaptation.

Smooth Sumac Berries

Smooth sumac has edible berries and poisonous but medicinal leaves

Jan. 7, 2020

Smooth sumac and fragrant sumac have been shown to be sources of food, medicines, weaving materials and dyes. A thicket of smooth sumac retained some of its berries in January, though most of them were gone. Smooth sumac is well known for its brilliant red fall foliage and its deep...

Full rose in bloom at Chataqua meadow

Wild roses are nutritional, medicinal and aesthetic

Dec. 10, 2019

The Chautauqua Meadow put on a memorable display of wildflowers in late June and early July of this year, so I walked there several times just to enjoy the flowers, as did many others. Lupines were the most prominent and could be seen from Baseline Road, but if you walked...

Mountain goat in the Rockies.

Introduced mountain goats have colonized much of the land above the trees

Dec. 6, 2019

Is that good or bad? Depends on your perspective, but there is a cost to native plant and animal communities.

Sheep grazing at Crane Park Pond

Grazing on public lands alters plant communities

Nov. 14, 2019

Ranchers graze their sheep on public lands to make money—but at what expense to the land itself?

nutcracker

Helicoptering ponderosa pine seeds attract hungry mouths

Oct. 29, 2019

From birds to chipmunks, wildlife scrambling to harvest seeds.

aspen

Fall colors reveal clones of quaking aspen

Oct. 22, 2019

This year, aspen’s colors did not occur at the same time as in recent decades.

sunrise

A volcanic eruption in Russia causes purple sunsets in North America

Oct. 9, 2019

Now we know that natural and industrial emissions from one continent can be seen and felt on distant continents. Distant emissions become local visions and inhalations.

flower

Unique wildflower resembles Dr. Seuss’ fictional truffula trees

Sept. 17, 2019

With pendant urns, this perennial lofts its seeds with feathery plumes.

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