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Spiders: Ever-Present, Rarely Seen

They are far more common than you think.

A spring flower of Hepatica

Herbalism and the Doctrine of Signatures

Do medicinal plants cure ills?

olives on a wooden spoon

You Can’t Spell “Olive” Without L-I-V-E

More than a delicacy, olives have a close relationship with the spread of Western civilization.

From The Dead, Springs Life

People envision healthy, natural forests as places full of green trees.  This is not accurate. In natural forests, the dead trees are not harvested for firewood, or any other reason. They remain in place, either standing or on the ground, for many years, or many decades. From our vegetation data set of the forest of Powdermill Nature Reserve, we learned that a standing dead tree, called a snag, is sometimes the second or third most common type of tree in a study plot. Each species is tallied separately if alive, all snags are tallied together regardless of species, so all dead trees together are a big number.

Spring: Whether it’s the Weather (or not).

Phenology is the study of when things happen, such as when trees leaf out after winter, or flowers bloom, or migratory birds arrive. March and …

Biophilia In Our Genes

Many of us remember our mothers saying “You kids, go outside and play!”  Some kids were happy to play outside, and others not.  Many lines …

Manioc Rocks

A Nigerian manioc farmer with roots from one plant. The leaves (behind her) are used in popular dishes. Most Americans are familiar with the prepared …

A Doberman dog

Come, Sit, Stay. Domestication of Animals

It is hard to imagine our lives without domesticated animals. We have our partners who share our homes, such as dogs and cats, and then …

Who put the Smile in Smilax?

First published June 14, 2021 by Carnegie Museum of Natural History. The genus Smilax is one of our most common woodland plants. Known as greenbriar, sweetbriar, or catbriar, …