This is the story of two guys who enter the woods looking for Arisaema triphyllum, the graceful woodland wildflower known to many as Jack-in-the-pulpit. Not only is it beautiful to behold, but this member of the Arum family has a fascinating natural history; it can switch its sex, fool midge flies, and cause botanists to have heated debates about subspecies. During the episode, Steve makes a contribution to botanical history by coming up with the best alternative common name Bill has ever heard (see title), and we wrap things up with Bill eating some of this toxic plant. Listen to the end to see if Bill dies. Enjoy!
The great salamander migration has begun! ...and ended... Every spring there is a small window of time when adult spotted salamanders emerge from their subterranean homes and mate in nearby seasonal wetlands. Bill, Steve, Rich, and Donna venture out to find these elusive critters.
The first half of the episode takes place at Beaver Meadow Audubon center and is recorded in the typical style (...we see one salamander). The second half takes place at Donna's property and is much more free-form than usual (AND we see more salamanders than we can count). Enjoy!
It's not a skunk... and it's not a cabbage... This month, Steve and Bill discuss Skunk Cabbage. The guys go over the spathe, spadix, contractile roots, and thermogenesis, among other things. We also pose maybe too many questions to our audience:
1. Is Skunk Cabbage a clonal species?
2. Can Skunk Cabbage have multiple inflorescences?
3. Do warblers nest in Skunk Cabbage spathes?
4. Does Skunk Cabbage heat up to to promote cross pollination?
Enjoy (and help us answer these questions)!
Today we begin the first of many future episodes about spring ephemeral wildflowers. During this episode, Steve and Bill talk about Coltsfoot's adaptations, life cycle, use as a cooking spice, and toxicity. Unfortunately, the guys never figure out what the species name, farfara, means... if you know, share the love. Enjoy!
Can one specimen of a native plant be more "native" than another? For those ecologists who are working to restore damaged ecosystems, whether or not they should use local ecotypes is an important question to consider. In this episode, Bill and Steve hit the road to visit Sonnenberg Gardens and the NYS Parks staff working to help restore ecosystems with an emphasis on natives and local ecotypes.
Steve and Bill start off 2018 with an episode about Eastern Screech-owls. The guys talk about the Eastern Screech-owl's dichromatism, adaptations for hunting at night, and even call one in during the podcast. Make sure to wear headphones for this one- the birds calling in the distance aren't always easy to hear. Steve also gets really nervous about being killed by a bobcat for some reason... Enjoy!
We hope you're ready for a bonus episode all about Cooper's Hawks in cities. We teamed up with The Urban Wildlife Podcast for this episode's topic, so make sure that you go check them out. We also announce an artsy relationship with Always Wondering Art, as well as a tasty relationship with Boxerbar Energy Bars. You should go show them all some support. We hope you enjoy the episode!
This episode is all about the Hemlock Woolly Adelgid (HWA)! Steve and Bill explain this insect's history, biology, and it's negative effects on Eastern and Carolina Hemlock. The guys dive into what damage has already been done, what damage is still projected to happen, and what we're currently doing to stop the spread of this destructive asian hemipteran! We hope you enjoy!
Eastern Hemlocks are a staple of northeastern US forests. During this bonus episode, Steve and Bill make some tea and dive into what makes this tree so special. Historically, Hemlock has experienced 3 major declines, with the most recent happening right now. The culprit is an introduced hemipteran from Asia. Later this month, the guys will release a regular episode on that insect. But for now, enjoy this primer for episode 23!