Category Archive: Plants

Wild Lupine

Wild Lupine Lupinus perennis By permission of the land owner (thank you Mr. McCarthy), Leslie Wood Mummert and I were fortunate to observe a large colony of wild lupine at peak bloom on… Continue reading

What’s in Flower During the Last Week of August and First Week of September

I performed environmental studies on a large tract of land in southern Maryland for three days during late August and early September of 2018.  The study area had three types of natural areas… Continue reading

What’s In Flower During Mid-August?

I designed a compensatory wetland mitigation project that was constructed in 2017, and now is in it’s first year of a Maryland Department of the Environment and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, 5-year… Continue reading

Milkweeds and their Natural Plant Communities

The Maryland Native Plant Society hosted a presentation on Milkweeds and their Natural Plant Communities on Tuesday, July 31, 2018, which I attended.  The speakers were Rochelle Bartolomei and Becky Melzer.  Rochelle Bartolomei… Continue reading

Black Bear Sighting

While on vacation to Nags Head, North Carolina, we did an inland day trip to allow our sun burns to mellow.  We made an appointment for a select guided tour of the 152,000-acre,… Continue reading

Jug Bay Fishing

Time to fish the fresh tidal Patuxent River at Jug Bay.  Joining in were Tom and Nick D’Asto, and Nick’s girlfriend Alix, from Jacksonville, Florida. We launched at the peak of low-tide/slack-tide and… Continue reading

Twist and Shout!

While performing wetlands/waters delineation work in Lebanon County, Pennsylvania, I happened upon a loose aggregate of an autumn flowering orchid called Nodding Ladies-Tresses (Spiranthes cernua). The bright white of these small orchids helps… Continue reading

Closed Gentian

While performing a multi-day wetland delineation of a military installation in the ridge and valley mountains of Lebanon County, the Home of Hershey Chocolates, I came across Closed Gentian, aka Meadow Bottle Gentian… Continue reading

Meadow Beauty

How to Tell the Difference Between Maryland and Virginia Meadow Beauty? Rhexia virginica Virginia Meadow Beauty has bright purple flowers, a square stem with wings, and the leaves are egg-shaped to oval and… Continue reading

Mid-August Wildflowers and Things Nearby

Natural History Observations for mid to late August. Slaty Skimmer (Libellula incesta). Blue Dasher (Pachydiplax longipennis). Blue Dasher (Pachydiplax longipennis), alternate view. Silver-Spotted Skipper (Epargyreus clarus) on a monarda. Sachem (Atalopedes campestris) feeding… Continue reading

Wolf’s Milk Slime Mold

While working at a stream restoration job site in Indian Head, Charles County, MD, I happened across some Wolf’s Milk Slime Mold, Lycogala epidendaum, growing from a rotting log. The following is an… Continue reading

Basic Oak-Hickory Forest Community

I was charged with performing a rare plant survey for the federally endangered Harperella Ptilinium nodosum, also known as Piedmont Mock Bishopweed, an obligate (OBL) wetland plant that likes rocky riverbeds, rocky and… Continue reading

Walnut Creek

Dave Knorr and I were investigating a site for suitability as an area for compensatory wetland creation.  Important for consideration are non-forested locations that have positive hydrology indicators. Arriving to the site in… Continue reading

True Forget-Me-Not

While working on my Saturday “honey-do” list, I was trimming invasive vines (Oriental bittersweet and multiflora rose) along a section of stream that runs through our property, and took a break for some… Continue reading

Pointed Blue-Eyed Grass

I did a wetlands/waters delineation near Waldorf, Maryland, of a tributary of Mattawoman Creek (Piney Run).  Early in the morning near where I parked my truck, I noticed several patches of Blue-Eyed Grass… Continue reading

Climate Science


Good Friday Fishing on the Pocomoke

It’s becoming a tradition to take-off and fish each Good Friday prior to Easter, and this year was no exception. As usual, Dave Knorr and I went to Shad Landing State Park on… Continue reading

European Corn Salad

This One Took A While To Key Out Valerianella locusta (European Corn Salad) Observed 4/13/17 at the Kettering SWM facility as an aspect dominant of the basin and side slopes.  This plant is… Continue reading

Kerr Lake Weekend

Michelle and I spent the weekend with Dan and Patti Betz, at their Kerr Lake waterfront property in Henderson, North Carolina. I took my DJI  Mavic Pro and took a few aerial photos. … Continue reading

The Orange Octopus

A gall known as Gymnosporangium juniperi-virginianae is the plant pathogen that causes cedar-apple rust. In virtually any location where apples, crabapples and eastern red cedar coexist, cedar-apple rust can be a destructive or… Continue reading

Virginia Pennywort

Obolaria virginica Virginia Pennywort is an uncommon spring ephemeral and native perennial that occurs in the southeast, from Pennsylvania, south to Florida and west to Texas.  In Maryland, this plant is only found… Continue reading

Round-Lobed Hepatica

I’m working on an upcoming presentation for the Nature Conservancy and an energy company, where we are considering particularly sensitive ecological restoration practices when installing utilities through natural areas. I’ve managed two similar… Continue reading

A 75-Degree February Friday!

Observations from the Field. The fall line.  This is the last set of rock outcrops and grade drop on the Piedmont of the Patuxent River in Laurel, Maryland, and is the location of… Continue reading

Blonding of Ash Trees

Another gentleman and I performed a wetland delineation of a forested wetland (PFO1A) on February 10, 2017.  The site was in Bowie, Maryland, on an unnamed tributary of Collington Branch, which ultimately flows… Continue reading

Giant Cane

Giant Cane  Arundinaria gigantea (FACW) Our firm is beginning the concept design work for a stream restoration project in Glen Burnie, Anne Arundel County, Maryland.  While in the field Dave Knorr noticed a… Continue reading

Marsh Fleabane

How to tell the difference between Saltmarsh Fleabane and Camphorweed. Three species of Pluchea occur in Maryland and are: Pluchea odorata ( Saltmarsh Fleabane, FACW ) Pluchea camphorata ( Camphorweed, FACW ) Pluchea… Continue reading

The Natural Communities of Maryland

In August of 2016, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Wildlife and Heritage Service, Natural Heritage Program released The Natural Communities of Maryland, 2016 Natural Community Classification Framework (Publication #03-662016-597).  The purpose of… Continue reading

Dawn Search For Black Bear

Mark, Jena, Michelle and I booked a private driving tour of Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge, located in Manteo, North Carolina, with two U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) biologists.  Our obligation was… Continue reading

Flying Through the Wetlands

Howard and Anne Arundel County, MD. Leslie, who did a fantastic job with the initial design, and I, are the process of building a seven-acre created wetland (compensatory mitigation) abutting the Patuxent River,… Continue reading

Purple Martins About To Fledge

This blog entry is just as much about a lens test, as it is about migratory Purple Martins. I have had three, 14-cavity nesting boxes in my back field for 15 years now,… Continue reading

What’s in Flower for the Third Week of July?

While working a job-site in the headwaters of Hawlings Creek, which flows to the Triadelphia Reservoir (Patuxent River) in Montgomery/Howard County, I observed the following flowering species: White Vervain, Verbena urticifolia. Horse Nettle,… Continue reading

Fringed Loosestrife

While working on a jobsite today in the Slaughterhouse Branch forested steam valley in Baltimore, Leslie and I observed a plant species in bloom that neither of us have seen before. I knew… Continue reading

Plant Urination

Maryland has two Osmorhiza plant species. While working on a jobsite in the Slaughterhouse Branch forested floodplain in Baltimore, I noticed an aggregate of Aniseroot, also known as Long-Styled Sweet Cicely (Osmorhiza longistylis). … Continue reading

The Black Gray Squirrel

Where did Maryland’s black squirrels come from? I took these two photos of a black eastern gray squirrel at a location on Foxhall Road, in northwest Washington, DC. on May 27, 2016.  I… Continue reading


Puttyroot Orchid (Aplectrum hymale) All native orchids are special, and most are uncommon to rare, threatened and/or endangered.  Some of the more “common” orchids to Maryland include cranefly, rattlesnake plantain and puttyroot. The… Continue reading

Deer Preferences Promote the Spread of Non-Native Invasive Plants

Selective browsing by white-tailed deer likely is promoting the spread of some invasive plant species in northeastern U.S. forests, as deer avoid eating vegetation they find unpalatable. This study provides evidence that deer… Continue reading

16 Days of Rain!

We have had sixteen days of rain, with the likelihood of two more days, before it all clears out.  According to Washington, DC weather records, it’s been one of the coolest and rainiest… Continue reading

The 2016 Wetland Plant List

On April 18, 2016, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers published the final 2016 National Wetland Plant List (NMPL).  The NMPL is used to determine whether the hydrophytic vegetation parameter is met when… Continue reading

What’s in Flower this Week?

I like when I have more field days than office days, in any given week, which was the case this week.  I therefore had a chance to see a goodly number of plant… Continue reading

Coville’s Phacelia

Coville’s Phacelia, Phacelia covillei While working at a job site this week, Jim and I discovered several locations where Coville’s Phacelia occurred. Coville’s Phacelia is Maryland State Rare (S2), State Status Endangered. The… Continue reading

Large-Seeded Forget-Me-Not

Large-Seeded Forget-Me-Not, Myosotis macrosperma While working at a job site this week, Jim and I discovered dozens of locations where large-seeded forget-me-not occurred. Large-seeded forget-me-not, a facultative plant (FAC), is Maryland State Rare… Continue reading

Spring Coralroot

Spring Coralroot, Corallorhiza wisteriana While working at a job site this week, Jim and I discovered two locations and a total of thirty spring coralroot stems. Spring coralroot, an upland plant (UPL), is… Continue reading

Patuxent Wildlife Refuge

The early spring ephemeral wildflowers of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, North Tract – Patuxent Wildlife Refuge, in Laurel, MD.  It was a cold Saturday, where we had spitting snow in the… Continue reading

Church Creek

It has been a very cold late March and early April, which in turn has been suppressing wildflower development.  I had a job on a nontidal reach of stream that flows to the… Continue reading

Holy Saturday Fishing

I have taken-off from work to go fishing every Good Friday for many years, but this year it rained, shifting Good Friday to Holy Saturday fishing. Dave and I went to Shad Landing… Continue reading

Climbing Fern

Jim and I performed a field survey for the Maryland highly state rare (S2) climbing fern (Lygodium palmatum) at a 15-acre location in Anne Arundel County, MD.  The notable features of the threatened… Continue reading

A New Apple Predicted to Succeed Honeycrisp

The New York Times reports that breeders in Washington state, the apple growing capital of North America, are predicting a successor to the highly popular ‘Honeycrisp’ apple that has shot to the top… Continue reading

Map of Species By County or Watershed

With one click of the interactive maps, you’ll learn where federally listed rare, threatened and endangered (RTE) plant and animal species occur.  Discover what species are at-risk in your county or watershed. Click… Continue reading

A Big-Picture View of the Invasive Plant Problem

Invasive plants are increasingly altering the structure and function of our natural environment, and now researchers have determined how far-reaching the problem has become. According to a study conducted by U.S. Forest Service… Continue reading

Vernal Pool Design/Build

We have a client that requested the design-build of a vernal pool for herpitological (“herp” short for amphibian and reptile) breeding and habitat diversification.  The selected site was formerly a utility hub building,… Continue reading