Lichen: Exploring Microecosystems in Your Backyard

Other Lichen Uses & Users Clothing, wound absorbent, diapers, model train shrubbery, and an ingredient in concrete, perfume, and deodorant. Some lichens are being studied as new sources of antibiotics and medicines. Camouflage for; lizards, moths, tree frogs and other insects.                   If you enjoyed this post, you might also like Bird’s … Read More

Bat – a Colonial Insectivore

Bats are the only flying mammals. Wing membranes are attached to their fingers. After rodents, they are the largest order of Earth animals.  Microbats live in California. they are insectivores and can eat their weight in insects daily. (Large bats, such as the Fruit Bat, also known as a Flying Fox, live in tropical climates.) Roost/Colony: Roosts, which can contain … Read More

Miniscule Mountain Beetle Turning Forests Red

“It’s about the size of a mouse turd,” says Diana Six, Professor of Forest Entomology/Pathology at University of Montana, when describing the Mountain Pine Beetle. Historically, the Mountain Pine Beetle contributed to a healthy forest by eliminating weakened trees, making room for new growth. Cold temperatures kept populations in check, only 20% of larvae would survive a winter. Beetle Lifespan … Read More

Sierran Tree Frog with Chemical Sensitivities

Even though it has ‘tree’ in its name, the Sierran Tree Frog is mostly found near the ground. Habitat Tree frogs live in bushes and grass. Their preference is for damp, moist areas. Behavior Large toe pads that allow it to walk on vertical surfaces. The toe pads are also useful for clinging to sticks and twigs. To avoid being eaten, the Sierran … Read More

Bird’s Nest Fungi – Spores Spread by Rain Drops

At first glance, they look like curious, minuscule insect nests. Tiny baskets, holding a collection of ‘eggs,’ clinging to a dead log at the edge of Deer Creek. Identification investigations revealed something more interesting than ‘just’ insects.  Bird’s Nest Fungi – Nidulariaceae, Cyathus stercoreus – mushrooms that use raindrops to propagate. Moving with the Rain Raindrops aren’t the only way they move from place … Read More