ander, Plethodon electromorphus. This is a relatively "new" species actually. It was separated from the old "Ravine Salamander," P. richmondi, now known as Southern Ravine Salamander, in the last decade or two. Northern Ravines are different from their Southern Ravine cousins in their protein composition and their distribution. As a result, information on them seems rocky. Most of the studies done in the 1900's at some point may have included mixes of both species, or one, or the other, so info on Northern Ravine Salamanders is lacking, to say the least. Now that they know it's a new species maybe new research will start separating our knowledge of the two.
These are the flowers of the White Snake Root, Ageratina altissima. This is a poisonous herb. It contains the toxin tremetol, which can poison humans through an interestingly process. Cows will sometimes eat this plant, and as a result ingest the toxin. This makes the milk and meat of the cow poisonous. Humans would drink the milk, and if they ingested large enough quantities of the toxin, would consequently get tremetol poisoning. Before we knew snake root was the cause, we used to just call the subsequent poisoning "Milk Sickness." Back in the frontier days, it killed thousands of settlers, many of them in the Ohio River Valley. Abraham Lincoln's mom Nancy Hicks was actually a victim of Milk Sickness. Finally, in 1928, the official link between Milk Sickness and White Snake Root was pinned down.
Alright! That's all I have for this post. Stay tuned for another post really soon over a couple of "fuzzy" caterpillars I found on this trip.