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Month: February 2018

Praying mantis egg mass

Praying mantis egg mass

If you look closely at bare twigs and stems in the winter, you may come across a hard papier-mâché-like blob approximately an inch across. This is a praying mantis ootheca, a type of egg mass laid by a variety of species, including mollusks and cockroaches, as well as mantises. The word “ootheca” is a combination of the Greek words “oon” meaning egg, and “theca” meaning cover or container. The ootheca material is produced from a pair of accessory reproductive glands…

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Partridgeberry (Mitchella repens)

Partridgeberry (Mitchella repens)

Generally speaking, in the plant world, one flower will produce one fruit. Partridgeberry (Mitchella repens) is one of the two exceptions. Partridgeberry, along with only one other species of plant native to Japan, are sometimes referred to as “twinberries” because each fruit is the product of two adjacent flowers. In June, pairs of fuzzy four-petaled white or pink flowers bloom at the end of each stem. Each pair of flowers is comprised of one with a tall pistil and short…

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Owl pellets

Owl pellets

Although for many this past weekend stands out as “Super Bowl” weekend, for me it was a “Superb Owl” weekend. In addition to seeing three Snowy owls (Bubo scandiacus) on Duxbury Beach, I was also able to locate Long-eared owls in Lexington. Long-eared owls (Asio otus) are known to roost in areas of dense foliage, so it made sense when I was told about a group of them roosting in a thick stand of pines at the Dunback Meadow property…

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