Happy Halophytes

Halophytes are plants that are adapted to growing in salty conditions, in, for instance, mangrove swamps and salt marshes. Oslo Riverfront Conservation Area (ORCA) includes more than 250 acres of such coastal wetlands. Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge (PINWR), where we visited on 3-1-2018, is […]

Weeds of Wednesday: Splendid Sonchus

Looking down from the Viewing Platform at Pelican Island National Wildlife on March 11, we saw a striking and substantially sized specimen of spiny sowthistle (Sonchus asper), an elongate pyramid thriving in the rich marshy soil. Spiny sowthistle can grow up to be 6 feet […]

Pretty in Pink: Sea Pink

Sea-pink, salt marsh pink, annual rose gentian, and marsh pink are among the many names given to the pretty pink wildflower of coastal marsh places pictured above. Rose-of-Plymouth is the preferred common name according the the University of south Florida plant atlas and belies its […]

Weeds Of Wednesday: East Indian walnut or lebbeck tree

On our field trip to the Captain Forster Hammock Preserve on 3/3/18, it was heartening to see that nearly all of the invasive East Indian walnut trees (Albizia lebbeck) had been cut down and treated with herbicide. This Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council Category #1 […]

Captain Forster Hammock Preserve Post-IRMA – Whites!

The day — 3/3/2018 — was windy for a group walk at Captain Forster Hammock Preserve, and the fronds of the Florida royal palms (Roystonea regia) were blowing about with signs of salt scorch lingering from Hurricane Irma evident. Below is the group at the beginning […]

Black Beauty

The last session of the 2018 Florida Medical Entomology (FMEL) Volunteer Nature Stewardship class featured FMEL researcher Dr. Nathan Burkett-Cadena and Florida Atlantic University Wilkes Honors College Professor Dr. Jon Moore. Their sustained willingness to share their knowledge with the class is most appreciated. A […]

Completely Connected: Coontie & Atala Butterfly

Dr. Zak Gezon, Disney’s Butterfly Conservation Manager, gave a great talk at the fifth session of the 2018 Florida Medical Entomology Laboratory (FMEL) Volunteer Nature Stewardship Class on 2/17/2018. Part of his talk focused on the awesome atala butterfly (Eumaeus atala) and Disney’s ongoing efforts […]

Life in the Treetops – sort of

Though participants in the 2018 Florida Medical Entomology Laboratory (FMEL) volunteer nature stewardship class were looking for mosquito larvae in holes of the great Atlantic land crab (Cardisoma guanhumi) and in native tank bromeliads (Utriculata sp.), some Lepidoptera — moths and butterflies — attracted attention. […]

Not Life in the Pits or Treetops … but Gaudy

At the third session of the 2018 Florida Medical Entomology Laboratory (FMEL) Volunteer Nature Stewardship class, Life in the Pits & Treetops, a bit of life in shrubs commanded a great deal of attention. Tom Wilson spotted a camouflaged critter … This chunky caterpillar about […]

Weeds of Wednesday: Virginia Creep-er

Is it redder this year? Is the increased coloration due to our cooler temperatures? To increased exposure to wind due to Hurricane Irma? Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia) is native vine that folks either love or hate. Though it leaves are held in groups of 5, […]

Welcome to the Class of 2018!

Welcome to the 2018 Florida Medical Entomology Laboratory (FMEL) Volunteer Nature Stewardship Class for the Oslo Riverfront Conservation Area (ORCA), shown above the south ORCA entrance near the FMEL Boathouse. Special thanks to FMEL Director Dr. Jorge Rey for welcoming the class to the FMEL and […]

Happy National Squirrel Appreciation Day!

Today — 1/21/2018 — is National Squirrel Appreciation Day. Not everyone loves squirrels. Clearly, they are crafty and eventually out-smart almost every squirrel excluder device erected to protect a bird feeder. Wildlife photographer Bob Montanaro loves squirrels. The squirrel photographs in this post are his […]