Explore Nature ...

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

Orange Julia

When the Florida Medical Entomology Laboratory began its Volunteer Nature Stewardship Program for the Oslo Riverfront Conservation Area (ORCA) in 1998, julia butterflies (Dryas iulia) did not range as far north as Indian River County. The first sighting at ORCA…

Handsome Heliotrope

Sometimes in sunny spots at the Oslo Riverfront Conservation Area you will find scorpionstail (Heliotropium angiospermum). Coastal hammocks & strands, the edges of salt marshes, and ruderal (disturbed) areas are its home in south Florida, south Texas, the Caribbean, and…

Florida (Endemic) Grape

Florida grape (Vitis shuttleworthii) is native to peninsular Florida. You will find it growing in pinelands and hammocks throughout Indian River County including at the Oslo Riverfront Conservation Area. Other common names for this endemic plant include leatherleaf grape, Calusa…

‘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…