Posts by sprigglys

What’s in a Mushroom

Only the Tip of the Fungus   To most, the sight of a mushroom is not a memorable event. Scattered throughout our gardens and properties, mushrooms can be found in abundant quantities all over the world. Because of this, the mushroom can be easily overlooked as a mundane regularity. I intend to assure you that…

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The Surprising Benefits of Pest Damage

Plants are masters of chemical pest control Throughout their lives, plants are constantly creating chemical concoctions and storing them in their cells. Commonly referred to as phytochemicals, these chemicals come in a wide variety of types, from the aromatic and ant-warding menthol made in mints to the alkaloids present in lupins that make them too…

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Water’s Journey from Cloud to Groundwater

A vital resource worth protecting        Most are familiar with the water cycle- the process through which water in surface collections like lakes and oceans evaporates and rises to become clouds, which can travel long distances before raining down on another part of the planet. The water cycle ensures that water is transported…

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Insect doppelgängers

Defensive tactics
 One of the most powerful survival strategies in nature is the ability for certain animals to be poisonous or venomous. Both of these employ chemicals that make the creature toxic to others. Poisonous creatures generally use their toxins in a defensive nature- for example, many toads secrete toxins and are harmful when consumed.…

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The ants around us

It takes a village     There are over 700 ant species in North America. Nature’s premier recyclers, they constantly mix nutrients and decaying matter into the soil to be readily broken down. They aren’t working alone, however. The small mound at the entrance of an ant colony hides a labyrinth of interconnected tunnels home to…

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The Wondrous World of Wasps

Why wasps are important When the word wasp is thrown around, the image that usually comes to mind is an ornery insect armed with a stinger and angry friends. While this is true in some cases, stinging social wasps are the rarity among their kind. The overwhelming majority of wasps are docile, solitary insects and…

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Pollen’s Peculiar Path

More complex than you think Beginning every spring, plants of every size, shape, and color throw countless pollen spores into the atmosphere. Whether by accident or design, plants release a huge amount of pollen during their lifetime. From spring to fall pollen makes up a surprising amount of the air we breathe. This is a…

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The Many Microscopic Communities of Soil

Where did soil come from? When thinking about the most valuable natural resources, the first things that come to mind are usually oil, gemstones, precious metals, and other similar commodities. You may be surprised to hear that one of the most important and truly priceless natural resources is soil. The soil is thought to have…

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Plants are picky, but for good reason…

Attracting pollinators is key As far as flowering plants go, pollination is absolutely critical to the health of current and future generations. Pollination among plants allows for the creation of seeds, larger fruit, and increases genetic diversity, leading to a greater resistance to environmental stressors. In order to achieve the most efficient pollination possible, some…

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Solar fields and pollinators

The situation for solar fields and pollinators  Although more and more homes in the United States are utilizing solar fields, the majority of solar field projects are utility-scaled, requiring huge tracts of land that are made into barren areas virtually unlivable to most wildlife. Some solar companies are beginning to try and change that, however,…

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