In the dark the gills luminesce! Descriptions of this vary by source, but I've seen it with my own eyes! Since I couldn't look at the above patch in the dark, I took three caps home and turned out the lights. They didn't glow as much as I had expected, but once my eyes adjusted to the dark, the gills stuck out as if they were a white object (the first things you see when your eyes adjust to the dark). The stem and the top of the cap were black. It was clear to me there was some kind of interesting magical activity going on. I look forward to investigating this further the next patch I see!
Check out the queen honeybee amidst the workers. She's a bit bigger and frequently dips her abdomen into a honeycomb cell to deposit an egg. The hive is busy with winter preparations at Nixon County Park, York, PA.
Mile-a-Minute is a non-native invasive plant in PA originating from India, China, Japan and other parts of Asia. Mile-a-Minute was introduced from a York County, PA nursery when a seed accidentally shipped with holly seeds from Japan in the 1930's. Since then, the vine has spread over 300 miles.
The stems and leaves of Mile-a-Minute vine are covered in recurved barbs, making them physically harmful to humans and wildlife. As the vine quickly grows, it easily covers understory plant life stealing sunlight and other resources from native plants (environmentally harmful). The blue berries are eaten and dispersed by birds, ants, chipmunks, squirrels and deer.
The light green triangular shaped leaves, bright blue berries, and recurved barbs make it easy to identify. Remove Mile-a-Minute when you see it in your community!
Virginia Creeper has five palmate leaflets which turn beautiful colors and fall off in autumn. Beautiful blue berries grow in clusters where flowers once bloomed. Berries are a winter food source for wildlife like overwintering birds.
This year we tagged 100 Monarchs as they passed through Lancaster, PA!
On our top day we tagged 81 monarchs in 2 hours! They came through an abandoned lot so fast we had to put them in a holding container because we couldn't work fast enough!
Holding the butterfly gently near the body. When it's wings are closed it calms down. The tag (sticker) is placed precisely where recommended by Monarch Watch (monarchwatch.org). Then the butterfly is released to continue on its way!