It’s a start!


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Tulip Tree (Liriodendron tulipifera)

My daughter and I came upon this tree in a park near our home. This tree is estimated to be 100 years old. Leah was impressed with the tree’s height and impressing her is hard to do! A goal for this new year is to work on my tree identifying skills.



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Snowy Owl (Bubo scandiacus)

There have been many Snowy owl sightings this year so I decided to bring my daughter down to Jones Beach and look for her first. Luckily we spotted this beauty and it wasn’t being harassed by photographers. We kept our distance because Leah didn’t want to wake it up from its nap. We also got buzzed by roughly 100 snow buntings. Two great birds for a three year old to add to her life list!



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Tree Burl

If you have ever taken a hike in the woods, you probably have seen one of these growing on a tree. It’s called a burl. A burl results from a tree that is undergoing some form of stress. The stress can come from an injury, virus, or insects.



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Pennsylvania Smartweed (Polygonum pennsylvanicum)

Not many colorful plants still out there. This is all over and and quite beautiful. Many animals rely on this plant for food, plus Native Americans had many uses for it.


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White Clover (Trifolium repens)

This well recognized flower was introduced from Europe. It was brought over as a food source for livestock.


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Seven Angled Pipewort (Eriocaulon aquaticum)

This is a strange flower I found a couple of weeks ago in a old cranberry bog. The flower is quite small, and after discovering a few I noticed that the bog was actually covered with these. There are tiny nectar glands near the tip of each petal that attract pollinators.


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Fragile Dapperling (Leucocoprinus fragillissimus)

I found this solitary mushroom growing in the woods at the Nags Head Ecological Preserve in North Carolina a couple of weeks ago. Its name is quite appropriate because it seemed like a strong breeze would of knocked it over. I love the ring on the stem.


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Clymene Moth (Haploa clymene)

I found this moth a couple of weeks ago in my backyard. I was so excited because I had never seen anything like it. The dark marking on its closed wings resembled a cross or dagger. Instantly I thought this was a moth getting ready for the Crusades! They happen to be common in the Northeast, and active during both the day and night. I had to wake my three year old daughter up from her nap to show her this beauty! You never wake a three year old up from a nap, but it was worth it.


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Scaly Pholiota (Pholiota squarrosoides)

Identifying mushrooms is new to me. I never realized how incredibly diverse the fungi world is. This species is apparently common and can be found in large clusters on living trees or dead hardwood stumps. I’ve read mixed information on whether it is edible or not. I’d say not!



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