Category Archives: Plants

Amazing Video of Pollinators

I have fallen a little behind in responding to questions, but hopefully, I’ll start catching up in the next few days, but I wanted to share some amazing slow motion, time-lapse and close-up video of pollinators by filmmaker Louis Schwartzberg.

He talks for about three minutes about why he films flowers and their pollinators, but if you want to skip ahead to the actual video, go to 3:00. My favorite part is the incredible spiral aerial acrobatics of a hummingbird chasing an insect at about 3:50. Also, in connection with recent butterfly questions, just after 6:00 there is time-lapse video of a monarch butterfly coming out of its chrysalis and then video of two mating monarchs flying together.

What is this Trinity Alps wildflower?

The Question: On a recent mid-July trip to the Trinity Alps in Northern California we saw many of these 2′-4′ tall plants, most just starting to show emerging flower heads. I thought they were so common that ID would be a cinch, but no such luck. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Submitted by: Marianne, California, USA

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What is this Strange Root?

strange rootThe Question: I was kayaking in a wetland area off a chain of lakes in northwestern Wisconsin this weekend, and I paddled by this. Do you know what it is? The water on the lake/wetland is really high right now due to lots of rain. When we tried to pick this up, it seemed like it was attached to the bottom of the lake/wetland, but this part easily broke off. The inside was white, soft, and pulpy.

Submitted by: Jen W., Wisconsin, USA

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What is this Adirondack wildflower?

The Question: I’m hoping you can help identify this plant. It has us stumped! We were hiking in Adirondack flowerthe Adirondack Mountains and caught some of the early wildflowers. Spring beauty, trout lily and trillium are blooming. This one had buds but no blooms, but I figured it would be easy to identify by the distinctive leaves. What is it?

Submitted by: Gillian, New York, USA

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What is causing this vinegar smell?

The Question: Whenever I walk by this certain house, there’s a noticeable smell, like vinegar, but more chemical. Very hard to pinpoint the source. Now at the same time, they had a giant white oak cut down, and some of the 5-foot diameter rounds from the trunk are still in the yard, freshly cut. Is it possible that the wood is the source of the smell?

Submitted by: Tom, Washington, DC, USA

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