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Episode 255: Bruce Spanworm Moth

While many of you may find the name “Bruce spanworm” to be new, I’m sure most of you are familiar with at least their larvae. When very small in the early spring, they are bright green with light stripes down their flanks and everyone refers to these little caterpillars as “inchworms.”

Episode 254: Phenology Scavenger Hunt

The exciting and obvious seasonal changes of late summer and early fall appear at first glance to be at a standstill. No more obvious flocks of birds moving south, lingering wildflowers or pollinators, sunshine that warms bare skin. But there are always signs of the continuous cycle of nature out there.

Episode 252: Oak Apple Galls

Oaks and beech trees both hang onto their leaves a bit longer than our other deciduous trees, like maples, so the top layer of leaf litter where oaks grow is likely to be predominantly oak leaves. In these places, there’s a special little prize you can find on the freshly fallen oak leaves. Oak apple galls are spherical growths attached to the occasional oak leaf and they’re always a treat to come across.

Episode 251: Witches’ Brooms

Witches’ brooms can form on a large variety of different trees, from lilacs and willows to spruces and firs. They are characterized by an abnormally dense growth of branches that are much shorter and thinner than the branches of the rest of the tree, looking very much like a bundle of twigs attached to a handle.

Episode 249: Nannyberry

There is an obscure Viburnum that is ripe right about now across our area in moist edges and bottomlands whose flavor and texture is completely unique among our wild foods: nannyberry.

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