Monthly Archives: September 2010

Ants on the Beach at the Wells Reserve, Maine

A sunny stroll on the beach turned up a bunch of winged ants or small wasps crawling around in the wave wash zone.  I really haven’t had lots of opportunities to goof off on the beach, so this was a new observation for me. At this particular spot, these ants were associated with a series... Continue reading »
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Dos Palmas, CA

The San Andres Oasis trail is located on the northeast side of the Salton Sea in southern California.  I recommend this area as a great place to view a wonderful stand of Washington fan palms in a desert spring/oasis setting.  The site is also a great place to study lots of interesting phenomena associated with... Continue reading »
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The Scour Grotto

I wonder how the sand pile got into this tiny streamside grotto? My tentative working hypothesis gives two possibilities.  First, the sand came down the stream channel and was deposited here by a backwater eddy current.  Second, the sand was eroded from a layer in the soil behind the bank and washed in via a... Continue reading »
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Sediments from Worm Activity

When I see things in the woods that I can’t immediately explain, I mentally pigeon-hole them for future consideration.  One long-standing pigeon-holed topic has been that of small amounts of sediment coatings on fallen leaves in habitats that do not seem to be subject to alluvial sedimentation.  I have often wondered where these sediments came... Continue reading »
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Woodpecker Diner

 When I asked him for red-cockaded woodpecker (RCW) information in the late-1970’s, Dr. Jerry Jackson, then at Mississippi State University, told me that one could generally distinguish a pileated woodpecker hole from an RCW hole in a live pine tree because the cavity excavated by the pileated would typically be rectangular in outline while a... Continue reading »
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Scalloped Pine Snags

What has happened here?  Some apparent observations are: 1) the central remaining “column” appears to have a flat upper surface (as a result of saw activity?); 2) the outer bark appears to be intact; and, 3) 4 to 8 inches of the outer woody material is gone. The habitat is a pine stand on US... Continue reading »
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Thoughts on Algae Features

Algae features that are currently used as field indicators of the presence of wetland on a site have to start their development sometime.  I suspect that these submersed “wispy” algae features are relatively “young”. At some later stage of development when growth rates are much higher, these “gas bubble mats and clumps” emerge and float... Continue reading »
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