Posts by sprigglys

Plants in Space

Star Gardens   ‘Plants in Space’ sounds like it could be the title of an upcoming science fiction blockbuster or a lost David Bowie track, however the study of how plants survive space travel is a bustling field at the moment. Advances in space travel have made it possible for our continued steps in exploring our…

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Cardinals

Loyal Neighbors The jovial cardinal is a common sight in winter landscapes. Forming close-knit groups during the colder months, these scarlet songbirds easily stand out amongst the whites and browns of a chilled backyard. While it may seem like cardinals are only in the area during winter, they do not migrate at all and are…

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Our Atmosphere

The movements of underwater creatures can sometimes appear to be more labored than those of land lubbers. This is due to the fact that the water they are moving through is generally a thousand times more dense than air. However we’re constantly engulfed by a sea of sorts as well- our atmosphere. Except for during…

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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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