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N 25 B 270 C 3 E Jul 4, 2020 F Jul 9, 2020
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Northern Pacific Rattlesnake (Crotalus oreganus) - Alameda Costa county, California, USA

Sheltering under a log by a cattle pond, perhaps waiting in hopes of catching one of the killdeer that were walking the perimeter of the pond.

Tags:   Crotalus Crotalus oreganus Alameda California snake reptile rattler rattlesnake wildlife herpetology

N 27 B 533 C 6 E Jun 20, 2020 F Jun 24, 2020
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Leafless Wintergreen (Pyrola aphylla) - Mendocino county, California, USA

When you see a plant that is lacking any green pigment or leaves, you know something weird is going on... it must be getting its nutrients using some method besides photosynthesis. With no green pigment its likely lacking chlorophyll (what makes plants green) and is essential for photosynthesis. Kind of a weird concept considering that as early as elementary school we learn of plants as producers or autotrophs - capable of producing their own food from sunlight, but as always there are exceptions to the rule. Plants that are heterotrophs and must get their nutrition by consuming other sources are carnivorous and parasitic plants. This is an example of a plant whose roots connect to mychorrhizal fungi that are symbiotic with the roots of other plants - I don't know for sure but in this case I suspect redwoods as they were the only other plants nearby. The roots of the parasitic plant connect to the roots and symbiotic fungi of the host plant and funnel nutrients away. This allows the heterotrophic plant to grow in a spot that is unsuitable for most other plants, in this case in a shaded part of the redwood forest that doesn't get much light.

Initially I thought this was a coralroot species but as it turns out its actually a Leafless Wintergreen (Pyrola aphylla) endemic to western North America. Definitely looking forward to finding more of North America's parasitic plant species in future!

Tags:   Leafless Wintergreen parasitic plant flora botany california nature flower flowers Pyrola aphylla

N 300 B 9.2K C 18 E Apr 18, 2020 F Jun 12, 2020
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Soil Centipede (Strigamia sp) & Offspring - Contra Costa County, CA

A female centipede attends her young, 1st guarding the eggs and cleaning them to keep them from being overtaken by microbes and fungi. And now she remains with them as they hatch.

Tags:   centipede macro CA california parental care strigamia chilopoda animal behavior nature

N 10 B 580 C 0 E May 16, 2020 F May 18, 2020
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Northern Pacific Rattlesnake (Crotalus oreganus) - Alameda county, CA, USA

A rattlesnake partially hidden in a rodent burrow and in dense vegetation is safe and concealed from nearly any threat. However enough sun gets through the tangled vegetation that its still able to thermoregulate and bask.

Tags:   crotalus organus crotalus viper rattle snake reptile herp herping nature california CA wildlife laowa

N 31 B 1.2K C 6 E May 14, 2020 F May 15, 2020
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Northern Pacific Rattlesnake (Crotalus oreganus) - Contra Costa county, California, USA

A basking rattlesnake from the California hills, this was a large and calm individual that allowed for a close (and safe) approach with a wide angle lens. Actually quite a tricky image to get due to the constraint of keeping limbs a safe distance away but good practice for more in situ wide angles.

Tags:   crotalus oreganus rattlesnake rattler snake reptile herp herping herpetology viper basking nature


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