Miniscule Mountain Beetle Turning Forests Red

First published November 28, 2017 “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 …

Sierran Tree Frog with Chemical Sensitivities

First published July 9, 2017 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. …

Bird’s Nest Fungi – Spores Spread by Rain Drops

First published May 20, 2017 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 …