What is aposematic coloration?

The natural world is filled with beautiful colors. If you’ve ever been stung by a bee, then you know that not all colors mean good things. Many plants, animals, and fungi actually have bright colors to say “stay away.” Scientists call these warning colors aposematic coloration or aposematism. But how does it work in the first place? Let’s explore the …

Why do bugs bite?

Almost every time I pick up a bug to show someone, they ask me the same question. “Does it bite”? Bug bites are certainly one of the most realistic downsides of spending time outdoors. For example, dangers like bear attacks and snake bites are far less common than people think. However, mosquitoes and other insects can be a real annoyance …

18 awesome facts about tigers

With their terrific strength, mysterious nature, and stunning beauty, tigers have fascinated people for thousands of years. These incredible predators are the epitome of wild, and inspire awe and admiration worldwide. But how well do you really know tigers? With this Wildlife Spotlight post, you can become a tiger superfan by learning these 18 awesome tiger facts. 1. Their orange …

Are ticks active in the Fall?

While spending time outdoors has many benefits, biting bugs are always an unwelcome reality. While mosquitoes and other biting insects are most active in summer, we tend to imagine that we’re safe from pesky bites in the Fall and Winter. But what about things like ticks? I often hear people explain that the first frost kills ticks off, leaving us …

What is biodiversity?

The science of nature can be intimidating for beginning nature-lovers thanks to the many specialized terms and words it uses. One of the words that naturalists and scientists throw around all the time nowadays is biodiversity. But what exactly is biodiversity? What does that term mean in the first place? Let’s find out in this Deep Stuff post. Stuff that’s …

11 tips for visiting America’s National Parks

America’s National Parks have been a quintessential getaway for city-weary tourists since their establishment more than a century ago. From Yosemite and Yellowstone to Acadia and the Everglades, these parks include some of the most beautiful natural places on the continent. Getting the most of your National Parks visit requires some careful preparation and knowhow. Before you go, check out …

What’s the difference between hawks and eagles?

The difference between hawks and eagles comes up often when I take people birding. Dazzled by some large bird of prey, we’ll admire it through our binoculars for a while. Sooner or later, someone asks, “”well, is that a hawk or an eagle?” or, when I answer, they ask “well how did you know that?” As you’ll see, it’s not …

Why do bugs like light?

Many interesting bugs are night-flying or nocturnal, becoming active after dusk. If you’ve ever left a porch light on or had a campfire in the summer, you also know that nighttime bugs are attracted to light. Expressions like “like a moth to the flame” show that people have seen this happen for a long time. But why do bugs like …

What are galls?

In late Summer and Fall, you may find strange shapes on the stems of plants or tree leaves. These odd growths come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and sometimes even colors. Upon closer inspection, what you might think are fungi or insect pupa appear to be somehow part of the plant itself. You’re looking at galls! These bizarre plant …

Why do we need forests?

Forests are perhaps the most iconic and recognized biome on Earth. When most people hear the word nature, a forest is what comes to mind. And with good reason! Forests make up around 1/3 of all the land on Earth. Meanwhile, all of those trees are the foundation of many land-based food chains. At the same time, people all over …