Saturday, August 18, 2018

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Woodland Ties: Golden-cheeked Warbler, Ashe's Juniper and Bastard Oak
Ashe's juniper (Juniperus ashei), bastard oak (Quercus sinuata var. breviloba), golden-cheeked warbler (Setophaga chrysoparia)

Endangered golden-cheeked warblers breed only in central Texas, building their nests in dense oak and juniper thickets from strips of Ashe's juniper. (Mary Burns, 2018, watercolor)

Bio Community at 12,000 feet 
mountain thistle (Cirsium scopulorum), American pika (Ochotona princeps), broad-tailed hummingbird (Selasphorus platycercus), bee (Bombus sp.), fly (Diptera sp.)

A pika harvests the leaves of a mountain thistle while a broad-tailed hummingbird, fly and bumblebees pollinate its flower. Pikas, which don't hibernate, store thistle in an underground cache to use as food during in the winter. (Randy Raak, 2017, watercolor)

The American Beaver 
eastern cottonwood (Populus deltoides), North American beaver (Castor canadensis)

North American beavers and eastern cottonwoods share habitat near rivers, lakes or ponds. The soft wood of this tree provides food and shelter for the large, water-loving rodents. (Lynn Bruskivage, 2017, colored pencil and watercolor.)

Nectar Protector 
American pasqueflower (Anemone ssp.multifida), ant (Formica sp.) 

The more ants that visit a pasqueflower for its nectar, the more pollen the plant produces; in their quest for food, ants help pollinate the plant. (Leslie Crosby, 2018, colored pencil)

Helianthus cv. with Bombus nevadensis
sunflower (Helianthus cv.), Nevada bumblebee (Bombus nevadensis)

Drawn in by sunflowers' bright and showy blooms, Nevada bumblebees find a banquet of nectar and pollen in the central disc, which is made up of hundreds or even thousands of tiny florets. (Cathleen Harrington, 2018 watercolor)

Starter Home 
eastern cottonwood (Populus deltoides), bald-faced hornet (Dolichovespula maculata)

Bald-faced hornets nest in shrubs or trees such as the eastern cottonwood. They chew on bark to create a papery nest, then attach the nest to the branches of the same tree. (Helen Hasting, 2018, ink)

Clay-Colored Sparrow
narrowleaf willow (Salix exigua), carpenter ant (Camponotus sp.), clay-colored sparrow (Spizella pallida)

Carpenter ants feed on "honeydew," a sticky substance released by aphids and other insects enjoying the sap of the narrowleaf willow. In turn, clay-colored sparrows gobble up the ants. (Christine Hubbell, 2018, colored pencil and acrylic.)

 Peonies and Ants
Chinese peony (Paeonia lactiflora 'Shirley Temple'), ant (Formica fusca)

Before the frilly, multilayered blooms open, peony buds release sap rich in sugar, protein and other nutrients. This sap attracts ants, which deter other pests from invading. IDawn Leopardi, 2018, carbon dust and graphite)

Views from Grizzly Peak 
old-man-of-the-mountain (Hymenoxys grandiflora), Edith's checkerspot butterfly (Euphydryas editha
Old-man-of-the-mountain, an alpine aster, is distinguished by its short, hairy stems, each supporting a single blossom. Cold-blooded checkerspot butterflies alight on the sun-facing flowers in the early morning to bask and absorb heat from the sun. (Martha Narey, 2017, ink, gouache and gold leaf)

Desert Lavender 
desert lavender (Condea emoryi), monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus

The fragrant violet-blue flowers of desert lavender attract pollinators, including monarch butterflies. The native Tohono O'odham people gathered desert lavender in baskets like this to prepare a soothing tea. (Catherine Bailey, 2018, colored pencil and ink)

Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher 
narrowleaf willow (Salix exigua), blue-gray gnatcatcher (Polioptila caerulea)

In the American West, tiny blue-gray gnatcatchers can be found in willowy scrublands near water, where they snap up insects midair, a foraging technique called "hawking." (Christine Hubbell, 2018, colored pencil, acrylic and watercolor)

Burren Green Moth and Purple Moorgrass 
purple moorgrass (Molinia caerulea), burren green moth (Calamia tridens)

The grass-green color of nocturnal Burren green moths resembles the brilliant emerald-colored stalks of purple moorgrass, where the moths hide and rest during the day. (Michael Campbell, 2018, colored pencil and graphite)

bees (Apis sp.), willow (Salix sp.) 

The hollowed-out cavity of a tree makes the perfect hive for bees: It is cool, dark and defensible against predators, and in most cases, the presence of bees does not hurt the tree. (Randy Raak, 2015, ink, scratchboard)

Amaryllis (Hippeastrum 'Red Lion'), Amaryllis borer (Brithys crini), carpenter bee (Xylocopa caffra)

Larvae of the Amaryllis borer moth feast on Amaryllis leaves and bulbs, eventually destroying the plant. (Lesley Switendick, 2018, colored pencil and watercolor pencil)

Chokecherry Mouse 
chokecherry (Prunus virginiana), white-footed mouse (Peromyscus leucopus)

Prolific small red berries are the hallmark of the shrubby chokecherry, and many birds and animals take advantage of the harvest each autumn, including the white-footed mouse. (Randy Raak, 2015, scratchboard)

Sword-Billed Hummingbird and Passion Flower 
northern banana passionfruit (Passiflora mixta), sword-billed hummingbird (Ensifera ensifera

The sword-billed hummingbird and the northern banana passionfruit have coevolved in South America's montane cloud forest. With its near 4" bill, this hummingbird is the only species able to reach the sweet nectar at the base of the passion flower. (Charlotte Ricker, 2018, colored pencil and watercolor).

Lichens Are Fungi That Have Discovered Agriculture 
lichen (Cladonia sp.) 

Lichens are made up of fungi and algae living in symbiosis. Fungi supply the shade and moisture for algae to thrive, and the algae produce sugars which feed the fungi. (Suzanne Stutzman, 2014, ink and watercolor)

The Aspen and the Swallowtail 
quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides), western tiger swallowtail butterfly (Papilio rutulus)

Female tiger swallowtails lay their eggs on the underside of aspen leaves, which become food for the larvae when they hatch. Later, the caterpillars spin their cocoons from the branches of the tree and emerge about 15 days later. (Rebecca Swain, 2017, watercolor)

White Tree Nymph Butterfly 
orchid (Cymbidium sinense), white tree nymph butterfly (Idea leuconoe

The caterpillars of the White Tree Nymph feed on plants with bitter-tasting alkaloids, which they store in their tissues to deter predators from eating them. Here, the adult butterfly is resting on an orchid. (Valerie Teska, 2018, colored pencil)

Twig with Moss and Lichen 
apple (Malus sp.), lichens 

In nature, there is a delicate and important relationship between the living and the dying; here, lichen grows and flourishes on a dried and decaying apple twig.  (Joanna Webster, 2018, colored pencil and watercolor)

Forest Floor
Engelmann spruce (Picea engelmannii), fungus (Boletus edulis), Colorado chipmunk (Neotamias quadrivittatus

By eating boletus mushrooms near Engelmann spruce, Colorado chipmunks spread the mycorrhizal fungi around the tree’s roots and aid in the spruce’s survival. (Susan Willis, 2018, colored pencil)

Lunch at the Parrot CafĂ© 
tulip (Tulipa 'Green Wave'), honeybee (Apis sp.)

With buds that initially appear green, the 'Green Wave' tulip eventually unfurls to reveal its fringed pink interior and welcomes honeybees to lunch. (Valerie Teska, 2017, colored pencil)

Gambel oak (Quercus gambelii), Colorado hairstreak butterfly (Hypaurotis crysalus)

Male Colorado hairstreak butterflies seek out receptive females in the branches of Gambel oak. The females lay the fertilized eggs in the branches of the host tree, whose leaves will feed the caterpillars when they emerge in the spring. (Amy Wendland, 2017, ink, acrylic paint, herbarium specimen)

blanket flower (Gaillardia × grandiflora), wasp (Cerceris sp.)

When it comes to pollinators, many people first think of butterflies and bees. However, wasps are the primary pollinator for many flowers. (Susan Willis, 2016, graphite)

Venezuelan Harmony 
rose of Venezuela (Brownea ariza), golden-tailed sapphire hummingbird (Chrysuronia oenone)

The startlingly beautiful, round inflorescences of the rose of Venezuela may not be fragrant, but they produce an abundance of nectar, attracting pollinators such as the dazzling golden-tailed sapphire hummingbird. (Penelope Yerigan, 2018, colored pencil)

A Thistle Benefit: Painted Lady Butterflies
musk thistle (Carduus nutans), painted lady butterfly (Vanessa cardui

Known as "thistle butterflies," painted ladies lay their eggs on thistles. What the larvae don’t eat, they incorporate into their silk cocoon. (Linelle Zimmer, 2018, colored pencil, watercolor, graphite)

Crabapple Bees 
crabapple (Malus 'Branzam'), red-belted bumblebee (Bombus rufocinctus

Red-belted bumblebees are not experiencing the population declines seen in many other North American bees; here, the small, short-tongued bee pollinates Brandywine™ crabapple blossoms. (Susan Willis, 2017, colored pencil)