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Archive for the ‘Plants’ Category

Flowers from the US Fish & Wildlife Service Digital Library

Posted by Laurie Frost on April 8, 2011

It’s April, so how about some flowers? The US Fish & Wildlife Service Digital Library is the source for all of these. Each image is accompanied by a lot of information, like file size, height, width, and full resolution size. I’m giving you the common and botanical name of the plant and the image’s ID number, in case you want to download copies directly from the site. Dr. Thomas G. Barnes of the University of Kentucky photographed these plants in the 1980s.

Credit lines should read as follows: Credit: Dr. Thomas G. Barnes/US Fish and Wildlife Service or Credit: Dr. Thomas G. Barnes/USFWS

Rocky Mountain Columbine [Aquilegia coerulea]. IMG0059.jpg.

Royal Catchfly [Silene regia]. IMG0071.jpg

Spotted Jewelweed [Impatiens capensis] . B1IMG0028.jpg

Wyoming Paintbrush [Castilleja linariifolia]. B1IMG0007.jpg

Adonis Blazingstar [Mentzelia multiflora]. B1IMG0064.jpg

Creeping Phlox [Phlox subulata]. B1IMG0021.jpg

Dwarf Larkspur [Delphinium tricorne]. B1IMG0032.jpg

Green Milkweed [Asclepias viridiflora]. B1IMG0062.jpg

Posted in Fish and Wildlife Service, Plants | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Flowers from the US Fish & Wildlife Service Digital Library

You Asked for It: Mangroves

Posted by Laurie Frost on June 29, 2010

A reader requested a hi-res shot of a mangrove, so I had a look around. On each of these sites there are at least a few — and often many — more images to choose from.

Here are a few from the US Fish & Wildlife Service’s National Digital Library:

WO3690 Black Mangrove Swamp in Texas

Volume1\5CD6962D-A3E0-D2A3-F39EC675A2151B94.jpg (Full Resolution Volume and Filename)

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Fish and Wildlife Service, National Park Service, NOAA, NOAA Photo Library, Places, Plants | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on You Asked for It: Mangroves

Louisiana’s Wildlife Refuges Before the BP Oil Assault

Posted by Laurie Frost on May 25, 2010

Deepwater Horizon 24Hr Trajectory Map Icon 2010-05-24-2000A good source of information about the areas in Louisiana where the BP oil spill has reached is the US Fish and Wildlife Service [FWS]. They have links to NOAA’s Emergency Response pages, which include PDF maps released daily showing the spread of the spill. To the right is a photo of one of these, not much use in itself, but if you go to this NOAA page, you’ll be able to download the PDF. There are some pictures at these sites of what is happening, but what I have today are images of what is being lost at a few of the 32 refuges FWS manages. 

The brown pelicans of Breton Refuge suffered from the natural disasters of Tropical Storm Arlene and Hurricane Katrina in 2005; what progress had been made in re-establishing their populations will likely be entirely lost by this manmade disaster.

Young brown pelican in nest. Breton National Wildlife Refuge. FWS photo by Donna Dewhurst. Item ID SL-03554

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Posted in Animals, Fish and Wildlife Service, Places, Plants | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Louisiana’s Wildlife Refuges Before the BP Oil Assault

CIA World Factbook: Flags, Part 2. Flora and Fauna

Posted by Laurie Frost on October 29, 2009

Continuing to look at the public domain images of flags in the CIA World Factbook , this time we’re moving on from birds to other animals, along with plants, on a selection of flags.

Lions often appear in coats of arms, which are widely included in flag designs. Bermuda’s is one of the more unusual. I can’t figure out how the body parts of this lion hang together, let alone why a sinking ship is what a red lion would want on its shield.

Compare that lion to Sri Lanka’s flag’s:

The Cayman Islands’ also has a lion, but I’m more attracted by its turtle.

Another coat of arms, this one with a sheep, is displayed on the Falkland Islands’ flag:

Then there’s Bhutan’s dragon and Mayotte’s seahorses:

Now look at this one for South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands. A seal and penguin support a shield featuring a lion and topped by a reindeer. A reindeer?  On Antartic islands? Well may you ask. But they’re there, descendants of  herds brought by Norwegian whalers in 1910.  The motto at the base of the coat of arms, LEO TERRAM PROPRIAM PROTEGAT, means Let the Lion Protect its Own Land. I suppose the lion must mean the UK. Certainly there are no lions in these islands, which are also claimed by Argentina.

And here’s another rather odd coat of arms, on the flag for the Turks and Caicos Islands. The light brown thing is fairly obviously a lobster. The pink thing is a conch shell, and once you’re told that, you can probably agree it is one. But what is that black and red thing? A cactus, of course. I’m not making this up. The CIA Factbook says so.

So I had a look for why the coat of arms for these Caribbean islands would feature a cactus, and discovered that there is such a thing as the “turks head cactus.” Here’s a picture of a variety found in Arizona from the Fish and Wildlife Service. There’s a picture of one that more closely resembles the thing on the coat of arms over at the Turks and Caicos National Museum website, but it isn’t in the public domain, so you’ll have to go here to see it.

credit: USFWS

More trees than you might expect appear on national flags. Canada’s maple leaf is a familiar plant design on a flag, but here are a few more:

The coat of arms of Equatorial Guinea has a a silk-cotton tree at its center.

Here’s another with some kind of vegetation on a coat of arms, but you might have trouble figuring out what you are seeing. Fiji’s flag:

You got the lion, dove, and palm tree, but how about the others? Give up? Try sugarcane and bananas. As for what the lion is holding, the CIA Factbook didn’t help me. But the website for Fiji High Commission says it’s a cocoa pod.

The Factbook wasn’t much help in figuring out the Pitcairn Islands’ coat of arms, either, other than that a shield with an anchor was part of it.

So I went over to the Picairn Islands website’s store and found that “Surmounting the shield is a helmet crested with a Pitcairn Island wheelbarrow carrying a flowering slip of miro (a local plant).” The territory’s homepage summarizes its history: “With a population of only around fifty, the people of Pitcairn are descended from the mutineers of HMAV Bounty and their Tahitian companions.”

Finally, a few simple designs. A bauhinia flower is the inspiration for Hong Kong’s flag. A lotus is at the center of Macau’s.

Lebanon has a cedar, and Norfolk Island, a Norfolk pine.








Credits for all images of flags: The CIA World Factbook.

Posted in Flags, Places, Plants | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

From the Image Gallery of the Agricultural Research Service, USDA: Part 2

Posted by Laurie Frost on October 27, 2009

Small farm near Ames, Iowa

Last time I showed examples of public domain images of fruits and vegetables from the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Image Gallery. Here are some other examples from its nine categories of pictures; visit the site to download 640 pixel images. Catalog ID numbers and photographer, if available, are listed at the end. All images courtesy ARS-USDA.

Fire lily

Asian beetle


Wind turbines

Sunflowers in Fargo, North Dakota

Selectively bred carrots

Selectively bred carrots


Fire lily, a Cyrtanthus hybrid. K5547-10. Photo by Scott Bauer.

Barn. K7862-1. Scott Bauer.

Flower of bird-of-paradise. K9054. Scott Bauer.

Asian beetle, Harmonia axyridis. K7033-20. Scott Bauer.

Sunflowers. K5751-1. Photo by Bruce Fritz.

Wind turbines. K5474-13. Scott Bauer.

Carrots. K11611-1. Photo by Stephen Ausmus.

Charleston hot peppers. K5047-1. Scott Bauer.

Posted in Animals, Food, Plants, USDA ARS | Tagged: , , , , , | Comments Off on From the Image Gallery of the Agricultural Research Service, USDA: Part 2

National Parks: Ansel Adams

Posted by Laurie Frost on October 9, 2009

If you watched episode 5 of Ken Burns’  The National Parks: America’s Best Idea, you may recall that the renown landscape photographer Ansel Adams (1902 —1984) once worked for the National Park Service. Prior to that assignment, Adams was with the Sierra Club, and in that capacity, he lobbied Harold Ickes, Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Secretary of the Interior, to preserve Kings Canyon, a remote area east of Fresno, California,  as a national park.

Kearsage Pinnacles, Kings River Canyon (Proposed as a national park), California, 1936. ARC Identifier 519921

Adams’ work for the NPA focused in particular on the Western National Parks, especially Yosemite, Yellowstone, and Grand Canyon, Grand Tetons, Great Rocky Mountains, and Glacier. The Ansel Adams Gallery and the NPS Yosemite National Park site include biographies of Adams, and his life was the subject of another production for PBS’s American Experience production, Ansel Adams: A Documentary Film, written and directed by Ric Burns, Ken Burns’ brother.

For the most part, Ansel Adams’s work is not in the public domain. However, the National Archives holds 222 copy negatives of Adams’s work for the government, and these 222 images are. According to the Archival Description for “Ansel Adams: Photographs of National Parks and Monuments,”

The original negatives were retained by Ansel Adams. Reproductions of items in this series are made from copy negatives produced by the National Archives. The photographic prints in this series are in the public domain. In correspondence dated August 18, 1942, from Adams to E. K. Burlew, First Assistant Secretary, Department of the Interior, Adams states that the photographs are the property of the U.S. Government.

All images in the post are by Ansel Adams, all courtesy of the National Archives.

View from river valley towards snow covered mountains, river in foreground from left to right, Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming. ARC Identifier 519905

View with rock formation in foreground, Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona. ARC Identifier 519881

View from North Rim, 1941, Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona. ARC Identifier 519901

Full view of mountain, Going-to-the-Sun Mountain, Glacier National Park, Montana. ARC Identifier 519866

Mountain partially covered with clouds, Glacier National Park, Montana. ARC Identifier 519860

View of cactus and surrounding area Saguaros, Saguaro National Monument, Arizona. ARC Identifier 519975

Old Faithful Geyser Erupting in Yellowstone National Park. ARC Identifier 519994

“The Giant Dome, largest stalagmite thus far discovered. It is 16 feet in diameter and estimated to be 60 million years old.” Hall of Giants, Big Room, Carlsbad Caverns National Park, New Mexico. ARC Identifier 520029

Posted in Historical, National Archives, National Park Service, Places, Plants | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Are We There Yet?

Posted by Laurie Frost on September 4, 2009

Today’s images are all from the National Archives.

Before you leave home this holiday weekend, consider all options:


Poster circulated in Philadelphia in 1839 to discourage the coming of the railroad. It reads in part: “Philadelphians, your RIGHTS are being invaded! regardless of your interests or the LIVES OF YOUR LITTLE ONES. THE CAMDEN AND AMBOY with the assistance of other companies without a Charter, and in VIOLATION OF LAW as decreed by your Courts, are laying a LOCOMOTIVE RAILROAD! RALLY PEOPLE in the Majesty of your Strength and forbid THIS OUTRAGE!” 30-N-46-1957. (american_cities_096.jpg)

Maybe they were right, considering the scene less than 60 years later.


 Horse-drawn wagons and carriages, an electric trolley car, and pedestrians congest a cobblestone Philadelphia street in 1897.30-N-36713. (american_cities_100.jpg) [Archives]

This happy couple has chosen a gentler means of travel for their 1886 Washington tour. Would you call this a quadcycle?


Archives 77-RP-7347-4. (american_cities_056.jpg)

Here’s another shot from 1886. These folks are in Loup Valley, Nebraska. No indication of where they started from or how long they’ve left to go.


Archives: 69-N-13606C

In 1912, covered wagons shared the road with automobiles in Nebraska.042

Covered wagon with jackrabbit mules encounters an automobile on the trail near Big Springs, Nebr. By A. L. Westgard, 1912. 30-N-9OO6. [Archives]

Don’t forget to pack a picnic. Rifle optional.


Officers and guests lunch under giant cactus near Fort Thomas, Arizona. February 18, 1886. 111-SC-83730

Posted in Animals, Historical, National Archives, Places, Plants, Transportation | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Are We There Yet?