Explore Nature ...

Nature is everywhere … Enhance your understanding of the plants, insects, animals & complex interactions by reading about the ORCA & other natural areas.

‘Tis the Season

‘Tis the biannual Season for lovebugs (Plecia neacrtica). Lovebugs mate and swarm, annoyingly, in the spring (April/May) and in the fall (August/September). They do not bite, but their sheer volume can be daunting and damaging to vehicle paint. University of…

Darling Daisies

Along Oslo Road – along with lyreleaf sage (Salvia lyrata) and narrowleaf blue-eyed grass (Sisyrinchium angustifolium) – oakleaf fleabane (Erigeron quercifolius) is now full of flowers. The dime-sized flowers are held atop tall stalks (to +12′) and, like nearly all…

Bees Love Bidens

European honeybees (Apis mellifera), native bees, and other pollinators love common begarticks (Bidens alba). This native but weedy annual wildflower grows throughout the Oslo Riverfront Conservation Area (ORCA) in sunny disturbed spots. A member of the daisy family, Asteraceae, common…

Lovely Lichen

At a quick glance it looks like a white paint ball blotch, but it is not. With its white brightness, wreath lichen (Cryptothecia striata) stands out on the trunks of lancewood (Nectandra coriacea) on the east-west trail that leads away…