Like other deciduous larches, the subalpine larch, Larix lyallii, sheds its needles each year. The trees make a grand show up there near the treeline, with their yellow needles and often twisted form. Further down the mountains, they tend to be taller and grow straighter. Fresh new twigs have single needles, whereas older twigs have clusters of needles growing from a little raised knot along the twig. Cones are spherical with long bracts extending out past each scale, giving the cones a shaggy appearance. These trees grow along with their very close and very similar relative, Larix occidentalis, in the upper Rocky Mountains and Cascade range in the northwestern United States and nearby regions of Canada.

Larix lyallii subalpine alpine larch northwest canada united states trees treeline mountains deciduous needles

The Gymnosperm Database
The Wild Garden
Burke Museum
Virginia Tech

My Evening Primrose

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I feel very blessed to have a personal knowledge of this lowly little plant. It was one of the first wildflowers I got to know when I moved here to Texas, and it shows up in abundance in both my … Continue reading

The Yellow-Winged Bat — Lavia frons — forms a symbiotic relationship with a particular acacia tree in middle Africa, the notorious Umbrella Thorn Acacia, Acacia tortilis. Instead of flying out to pursue its insect prey, it roosts in the tree and during its waking cycle it moves about the branches, feeding on insects that would otherwise cause damage.

yellow winged bat cute sitting box nose ears cute lavia frons africa

More on the yellow-winged bat:
iNaturalist
Encyclopedia of Life
Animal Diversity Web

If they COULD read, dragonflies would do it almost 4 times as fast as we can! Their reaction time is so fast, they can fly out to catch something they see before we would even register any sight. Watch the short video below to learn more about the dragonfly’s super sense.

Dragonflies Speed Read?!

The Wrinkle Face Bat (Centurio senex) might just be the ugliest mammal alive! Click the links below the video to see some close-ups of that face!

Bat’s Wrinkly Face Improves Sonar
Animal Diversity Web
Encyclopedia of Life

Wrinkle Face Bat

Each video in the Eyewitness natural history series is roughly a half-hour long and describes one facet of the natural world such as birds, volcanoes, elephants, or the seashore. The link below is a 28-minute video from the Eyewitness Official Channel on YouTube, this one being on Insects. Click the link below the video to visit the Eyewitness Channel list of videos.

Eyewitness Offical YouTube Channel videos

The lowly wintergreen, Gaultheria procumbens, grows only 4 to 6 inches tall but features bright white nodding flowers that morph into bright red edible berries, and leaves that give us the familiar wintergreen flavor. A North American wildflower, it grows on the forest floor of most of the eastern half of the United States. Watch the video to learn to identify this plant with ease.

Range map & info
Gardener’s Notes!

Wintergreen

The St. Lucia or iSimangaliso Wetland Park in the southeastern corner of Africa features a wide variety of wildlife habitats including forest, inland lake, swamp, sand dunes, and coastal waters where whales make their annual migrations.

iSimangaliso Wetland Park

North Side, South Side

They SAY that moss usually grows on the north side of trees, but this is just because the north side tends to be out of the sun during the most drying part of the day — leaving more moisture behind for mosses to grow.

north south side moss forest field investigation nature hike walk explore activity
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My favorite animal of all time is the Rufous Sengi! How can anyone not be tickled by that long flexible snout and those huge black eyes?

This is just one type of elephant shrew
Find out more about this species

Rufous Sengi

Cup fungi can be black and long-stemmed!

plectania nanfeldtii black cup fungi fungus long stemmed stem

Plectania nanfeldtii on Sitka Photos

The Hoopoe reminds me of a woodpecker who uses his bill to dig.

Hoopoe Bird Digging

The acorn woodpecker, Melanerpes formicivorus, lives in family groups in the western USA and Mexico. They horde acorns in their colony’s granary trees.

melanerpes formicivorus acorn woodpecker west coast usa western horder hording granary tree social colonial species

Click the pic to visit WhatBird.com
— or visit these sites for more info:
National Geographic
Cornell’s All About Birds

Who doesn’t see this tree and think: AFRICA? Do you picture lions lazing about beneath its shady boughs?
What used to be called Acacia tortilis has recently been updated to Vachellia tortilis, the Acacia genus being split into more genetically appropriate divisions.
No matter, the Umbrella Thorn Acacia Tree will always be a symbol of the African savannah.

africa african tree umbrella thorn acacia tortilis vachellia classic picturesque savannah

Learn a little more about this classic species:
Siyabona Africa
Plantz Africa
Experiment: Tree Profile

Here’s a little clip from BBC Earth’s hard-to-find series, Wild Caribbean. It features acrobatic and highly intelligent capuchin monkeys in a coastal forest area of Costa Rica.

Caribbean Capuchins

A short video featuring the beautiful Pine Grosbeak and its call:

More on the Pine Grosbeak

Pine Grosbeak’s Call

Here is an edible weed that might just be covering a part of your yard!
The low-growing common chickweed tastes great in salad or boiled as greens.
Click the links below for chickweed recipes!

common chickweed stellaria media groundcover low growing plants edible salad

Eat the Weeds
Stellaria species
Edible Wild Food

Common Heather, Calluna vulgaris, is a dominant plant in European moorland, and can also be found in some bog areas and pine forests. This hardy species of heath has come to be naturalized in parts of North America and Asia and is often cultivated in rock gardens around the world. There are close to 1000 different cultivars of this once-humble species, varying in growth form, flower color, flowering time, and other features. The natural species has tiny scale-like leaves and mostly pink flowers, and blooms in late summer.

 
Calluna vulgaris common scotch heather heath flowers wildflowers moor europe

ARKive   —   Wikipedia   —   EOL
YouTube video   —   UCONN Plants
How to Grow Heathers and Heaths

The Chinese White Dolphin starts out grey, then is spotted, then white, then if it lives long enough it may even turn pink!

pink dolphin sousa chinensis chinese white dolphin baby mother swim indian ocean china marine mammals

More on this amazing marine mammal:
Sousa chinensis
Chinese White Dolphin

2010 full documentary:
Tarsier: The Littlest Alien

carlito syrichta tarsier night eyes eerie spooky animals videos documentary species philippines fauna wildlife