Category Archives: Bill’s Notes

Signs of Spring 12: Yellow-Bellied Marmots and an Update on Bats!

(If you prefer to listen to the audio version of this blog, please click here!) Yellow-bellied marmots (Marmota flaviventris) are one of the largest members of the “squirrel” family of rodents. They can be two feet long and weigh up … Continue reading

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Signs of Spring 11: Bold and Shy Elk

(If you prefer to listen to an audio version of this blog, please click on this link!) When Europeans began exploring North America in the Sixteenth Century they encountered great herds of large, reddish-brown deer. Because of this animal’s great … Continue reading

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Signs of Spring 10: Fungi

(If you would prefer to listen to an audio version of this blog, please click on this link!) In order to really appreciate fungi we need to understand at least an overview of their general structure. Most fungi are complex, … Continue reading

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Signs of Spring 9: Insecta vs. Vertebrata!

(If you would prefer to listen to audio version of this blog, please click on this link!) Beetles vs. Toads: Bombardier beetles are a diverse (500 species) subset of carabid (“ground”) beetles that are found on every continent except Antarctica. … Continue reading

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Signs of Spring 8: Mason Bees!

(If you would prefer to listen to an audio version of this blog, please click on this link!) Mason bees (Osmia spp.) are solitary bees that have very short life spans (only six weeks or so). These bees nest in … Continue reading

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Signs of Spring 7: Two Invasive Bugs

(If you would prefer to listen to an audio version of this blog, please click here!) The spotted lanternfly (Lycorma delicatula) is one of the latest species in a long line of destructive, exotic insects that have invaded our agricultural … Continue reading

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Signs of Spring 6: Snail Kites and Rapid Evolution

(If you would prefer to listen to an audio version of this blog, please click on this link!) (Great thanks to Ty Bauman for permission to use several of his photographs in this week’s blog. Ty and his wife Linda … Continue reading

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Signs of Spring 5: Skunks!

(If you would like to listen to an audio version of this blog, please click here!) The scientific name of the striped skunk is Mephitis mephitis. “Mephitis” is Latin for “noxious vapor” and is an extremely appropriate genus and species … Continue reading

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Signs of Spring 4: Wood Frog Day (year #6)!

(if you would like to listen to an audio version of this blog, please click here!) I am sitting at my writing desk on this first day of Spring watching the snow pile up in my back yard. It is … Continue reading

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Signs of Spring 3: The Evolution of Butterflies and Moths

(If you would prefer to listen to an audio version of this blog, please click this link!) (Thanks to Rob Bridges who passed along a newspaper article about these very interesting moth and butterfly fossils.) Butterflies and moths are collectively … Continue reading

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