Coincidence of large cone crops and winds results in conifer blowdown

Sept. 5, 2017

I had chosen a dispersed camping site on the Uncompahgre Plateau for its proximity to a small reservoir and a large meadow. But when I drove into the site, I found it was littered, not with refuse, but with tops of subalpine firs.


Treehoppers’ environments are defined by their host species

July 21, 2017

An amplectic pair of treehoppers, Telamona monticola, was on a CU sidewalk beneath a swamp oak tree, Quercus bicolor. I surmised that they tumbled from the tree while delicately adjusting their positions. I collected the treehoppers to photograph them and 7 hours later they were still amplectic.


Let Your Light Shine: My Year As the Visiting Scholar of Conservative Thought at the University of Colorado

July 5, 2017

Visiting scholar's stump speech: "I miss liberalism. Real liberalism. Not this namby-pamby, afraid-of-your-own-shadow faint-hearted liberalism. What I miss is the rock-ribbed, truth-seeking, justice-pursuing, rights-defending, I-don’t-agree-with-you-but-I’ll-defend-your-right-to-say-it liberalism."

Desert moss, which covers desert soil, and its various adaptations

Microscopic structures on moss leaves collect water from humid air

June 27, 2017

Desert moss lacks many adaptations that allow plants to survive in the desert, so why is it so successful?


Writing an honors thesis: an empowering yet terrifying journey

June 9, 2017

Throughout this past year, as my social life slowly gave way to exhausting hours of laboratory work and even longer nights of thesis writing, the predominant question I was asked by my friends, peers and even myself was, “why?”

Ant Lion

An ingenious predator digs pit traps

June 2, 2017

Something was fluttering clumsily near my tent. That evening in Canyonlands was too cold for sustained insect flight, but nevertheless it repeatedly tried to lift off.

Jerusalem cricket

A startling creature in the sand

May 5, 2017

Jerusalem crickets are not crickets and do not occur in Jerusalem, so how did this common name come about?


The beetles in the cactus flowers are not pollinators

April 28, 2017

I was focusing on a claret cup when I noticed several beetles near the base of the stamens. They were moderately active inside the flower, but they did not venture onto the pistil, nor did I see any moving between flowers--they seemed content to stay deep in the flower.


In spring, we see colorful willows growing pine cones

March 24, 2017

I was treated to a colorful sunrise and later I noticed a marshy meadow bright with green, yellow, orange and red willows. Colors were born by stems, not leaves, so the effect was delicate and diaphanous against wind piled banks of snow.


Gregarious bushtits have arrived

March 15, 2017

When I approached this group of three (see the photo) too closely, they flew off. But they did not fly away, but at me, passing within a foot of my head. So I was buzzed by a gang of small but cheeky birds.