The Dragon’s Blood Tree (Dracaena cinnabari)
can be found only on Socotra — four islands
off the horn of Africa, south of the Arabian Peninsula,
in the Indian Ocean.

dracaena cinnabari dragons blood tree socotra endemic crazy unique arid umbrella roots

Photo by Rod Waddington on Flickr

Bird Tracks and Sign can be just as interesting and diverse as with mammals!

bird tracks and signs website link review nature tracking

 
Animal Tracks — Birds
 

The Pied Butcherbird, Cracticus nigrogularis, has an AMAZING song! And if that wasn’t enough for this Australian songster, he also copies songs of other birds and even imitates human sounds!

Cracticus nigrogularis pied butcherbird birds australia song melodious copycat black and white feathers

Click play to hear this bird’s amazing song. You may enjoy this duet! 😀

Read more on iNaturalist
Handbook of Birds of the World
Birds in Backyards
Critters of Calamvale Creek

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

The Pyrenean Desman, Galemys pyrenaicus, is one of only two species of desmans in the world. This small aquatic insectivore lives in Spain and northern Portugal, near the Pyrenees mountains. They use their long, sensitive, flexible snout to search for underwater prey — tiny invertebrates such as insects, snails, and small shrimp. Desmans are related to moles and share several characteristics with them, including poor eyesight. Desmans, however, have more powerful hindquarters for propelling them through water.

snout funny mole desman pyrenean Galemys pyrenaicus

ARKive: fun video! plus pics and info
The Mole Tunnel

Periodic Cicada Video

This interesting little European wildflower, Arum maculatum, is known by somewhere around 100 different names! Find out just some of these by clicking the picture and links below!

arum maculatum lords and ladies cuckoo plant pint uk united kingdom wildflowers europe

Wildscreen ARKive
A Modern Herbal
Easy Wildflowers
Wildflower Finder
Gardening Know-How

Kenilworth Ivy or Ivy-Leaved Toadflax, Cymbalaria muralis, was originally native to Mediterranean Europe but has been naturalized to the UK and parts of the USA for hundreds of years. It is widely planted in rock gardens and along garden pathways. This hardy snapdragon-like plant is an edible and a Stepable Plant that matures to just a few inches tall, but is often found creeping along or cascading over a stone wall or ledge, the whole plant being several feet long. The purple toadflax-like flowers have two lips with bright yellow spots on the lower one. Flowers draw back into the soil or rock crevice once fertilized.

Cymbalaria muralis climbing toadflax kenilworth ivy vine purple lipped wildflowers rock garden steps

Climbers by U of M
First Nature
Wild Plants of Malta
Get seeds on Amazon!

This strange-looking bird never outgrows his huge eye — this is not just an appealing baby face, but a full-grown Water Dikkop or Water Thick-knee of southern Africa!

water thick knee dikkop burhinus vermiculatus birds aves south africa wader

More Pics! (click the “Detail” tab for more info)
Vocalization (bird sound)
Beauty of Birds
Biodiversity Explorer

Check out this page of 22 Breathtaking Wildlife Pictures of Beautiful Foxes. My favorite is below, but if you like foxes, I’m sure there will be several that you will like on that page: check it out!

beautiful fox photos national geographic traveler outdoor scenes 2013 José Mingorance young fennec in Morocco

The Pine Grosbeak, Pinicola enucleator, is one of the largest of the true finches, Fringillidae. This fruit eating bird lives at the top of the world, in the subarctic reagions of Asia, Europe, and North America. In years where the fruit harvest is low, this species will adapt by extending its range further south to wherever enough fruit can be found, even as far south as the midwest and prairie states.

Pinicola enucleator pine grosbeak finch subarctic asia europe north america canada birds red

ARKive   |   Wikipedia
BirdWeb   |   All About Birds

As with many species of fungi, this one has no official common name. It is Lactarius uvidus, what I am calling the Purple-Staining Milkcap. This species thrives in North American and European forests around birch, aspen, spruce, and willow trees. The cap is either flat or indented, and it gives off a milky secretion that turns purple or lilac wherever it sticks on the fruiting body. Click the links below to find out more about this interesting fungus.

Lactarius uvidus lilac staining milkcap milky mushroom north america europe aspens birch willow forest fungi

Wikipedia   |   EOL
Mushroom Expert
First Nature
Rogers Mushrooms
Mushroom Observer

The nuthatch (Sitta carolinensis) often travels face-first down tree branches and trunks. He has a perky little “ank! ank!” call. 😀

 
nuthatch pictures information birds species sitta carolinensis arkive animals nature

 
Click the pic to visit Arkive, or visit:
Nuthatch on National Geographic
 

Did you know that only adult female flies are pesky? The males do nothing annoying, they just sip nectar and reproduce.

And of the 1550+ species of true flies (order Diptera), only about 40 species “bug” us humans at all!

Insect Order: Diptera

The Bat Eared Fox, Otocyon megalotis, is about the size of your average domestic house cat, and eats a diet of insects in the African savannah. Check out the video and links below for more on this endearing fox species.

Siyabona Africa
ARKive (fox kit pics!)
Animal Diversity Web
The Animal Files

Bat Eared Fox

Kaziranga National Park lies in the far northeastern portion of India, just south of the Himalayan Mountains. It is home to two-thirds of the world’s population of endangered one-horned rhinoceroses and has the highest density of tigers of all protected areas in the world. This area also protects Asian elephants, water buffaloes and swamp deer, along with thousands of birds. Check out the links below to learn more about this ecological hot spot!

kaziranga national park india rhino

Kaziranga National Park
Koyeli Tours and Travel
UNESCO listing
Wikipedia

Chimney Swifts cannot perch! Their tiny legs are only good for clinging to vertical surfaces.

chimney swift Chaetura pelagica babies look down inside

Learn more about this unique species:
Cornell’s All About Birds
National Geographic Birds
Audubon Guide to Birds
BioKids Inquiry of Species
ChimneySwifts.org

This furry little cup fungi is only about 1/4 inch wide, on a stem only 1mm wide. It grows on partially buried twigs of oak trees in Asia and North America.

microstoma floccosum hairy cup fungi minute tiny pezizales north america asia oak

Microstoma floccosum

Dwarf Mongoose “beds”

Dwarf Mongooses live in Africa. Wikipedia says they sleep at night in…

  • “disused” termite mounds
  • rock piles
  • hollow trees

… along with other such cubby hole hideouts in their part of Africa. Continue reading

The Eastern Screech Owl, Megascops asio, is one of North America’s most common yet most variable owls. This little 6 to 9 inch owl can be red, grey, brown, or a combination — with varying amounts of white as well! Screech owls are nocturnal carnivores that live in open forests throughout the eastern half of the United States and neighboring areas of Canada and Mexico.

megascops asio eastern screech owl grey morph north america tufts ears eared birds of prey

Wikipedia   |   The Owl Pages
All About Birds   |   Audubon
EOL (pics!)   |   BirdNote
Beauty of Birds