Author Archives: gingkochris

Sagebrush Ecotone

A biome is a distinct biological community that has common characteristics for the environment they live in. Worldwide there are five major biomes – aquatic, desert, tundra, grassland and forest. On a smaller scale, biomes may refer to areas where … Continue reading

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Howell’s Marsh Marigold

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Howell’s marsh marigold (Caltha leptosepala) is a “snowbank” flower, blooming early in the season as soon as the snow melts. The buds of this native perennial are produced in the autumn and remain dormant over the winter. Flowering commences once … Continue reading

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Ponderosa Pine Regeneration

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Ponderosa pines (Pinus ponderosa) are considered one of the most fire resistant conifers in the west because of their seedlings’ propensity to benefit from mineral soil seedbeds and open habitats created by wildfires. This fire resistance increases as the tree … Continue reading

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Small Enchanter’s Nightshade

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There is no good explanation for the species name and the common name of small enchanter’s nightshade (Circaea alpina). A native perennial, small enchanter’s nightshade is not related to either the deadly nightshade (Atropa) or the European nightshades (Solanum). So … Continue reading

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Rare Visitor

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In nearly 40 years, Leonard only saw a red crossbill (Loxia curvirostra) on our property one time. That was until last week, when a solitary male crossbill was in the hybrid poplars next to the house along Modoc County Road … Continue reading

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Obligate Hibernation

Animals exhibit many different types of dormancy. One of them, hibernation, refers to inactivity and metabolic depression associated with low temperatures or food deprivation. Hibernation is characterized by low body temperature, slow breathing and reduced heart rate and a low … Continue reading

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Lemmon Ceanothus

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The genus, Ceanothus, has over 45 species in North America. Lemmon  ceanothus (Ceanothus lemmonii) is named for John Gill Lemmon (1832 – 1908) who along with his wife, Sara, collected plants throughout the American West for Asa Gray. A native … Continue reading

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