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

Marvelous Milkweed

After we being plagued by a miserable amount of mosquitoes in the hammock area at the South Oslo Riverfront Conservation Area (SORCA) on our orchid stroll on June 18, 2022, we ventured in the sunnier and scrubbier part of the…

Gorgeous Galls!

When we visited the South Oslo Riverfront Conservation Area (SORCA) on 6-18-2002 to check out the blooming Florida butterfly orchids, we also saw this collection of small, round galls growing on Chapman oak (Quercus chapmanii). These adorable galls are the…

Orchid Outing

Florida butterfly orchids (Encyclia tampensis) are easy to overlook. They are not the large gaudy orchids of prom corsages of bygone days. We saw lots of Florida butterfly orchids at the south Oslo Riverfront Conservation Area when we visited on…

Flowers & Fruits

When we visited south Oslo Riverfront Conservation Area on 6-18-2022, we saw blooming Florida butterfly orchids (Encyclia tampensis), the focus of our walk, as well as other plants with flowers and/or fruits, including …

Adventitious

Tall cabbage palms (Sabal palmetto) form a canopy along the St. Sebastian River at the South Prong Slough where we visited on 5/15/2022. Long ago these palms shed their boots (bases of old leafstems), as all cabbage palms do as…

Bitter Pecan

Water hickory, swamp hickory, and bitter pecan are all common names for Carya aquatica, a large, deciduous tree of floodplain forests. It ranges from southern central Florida to the eastern Carolinas and westward to eastern Texas. We saw this tree…

Fern Friday: Downy Maiden

Downy maiden fern (Thelypteris dentata) was volunteering along the foundation of the Ryall house at the South Prong Slough when we visited on 5/15/2022. Also known as downy shield fern, this attractive tropical/subtropical fern is naturalized throughout Florida, including along…

South Prong Stroll

In 2006 Indian River County purchased 10 acres on the south prong of the St. Sebastian River for conservation and public enjoyment. Known as the Ryall property for its former owner, this property includes a house that will be home…