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 […]

1-1-2018 Happy New Year Walk at ORCA

Despite dismal weather and some sputters of rain that caused a few folks to turn back, a group of us made it to the Oslo Riverfront Conservation Area (ORCA) Observation Tower on 1-1-2018. Gorgeous Gwen poses center in the midst of Diane Morgan, Don Schuster, […]

Throwback Thursday: Pink Mother’s Day Flowers

Growing at the entrance to the Oslo Riverfront Conservation Area (ORCA) hammock loop trail near the Herb Kale Nature Trail plaque, seemingly in honor of mother’s day, was pink wood sorrel (Oxalis debilis).  On our New Year’s Day nature walk, we saw this pretty plant […]

Weeds of Wednesday: Siam weed?

Hurricane Irma coupled with the disturbance associated with the extensive professional invasive plant control work at the Oslo Riverfront Conservation Area (ORCA) has allowed jack-in-the bush (Chromolaena odorata) to display its weediness dramatically. This subtropical plant, a member of the daisy family, Asteraceae, is native to […]

Holiday Halophyte

Donna Winter (Class of 2016) sent this photo of gorgeous glasswort (Salicornia sp.) growing amongst sea oxeye daisy (Borrichia frutescens) and white mangrove (Languncularia racemosa) and showing its Christmas color. Like Christmasberry, glasswort is succulent and is a halophyte, a plant that grows in saline […]

Weeds of Wednesday: Tag-A-Longs

Delta Dawn, our puppy, was mortified to get covered with the seeds pods of creeping beggarweed (Desmodium incanum) when she visited the Florida Medical Entomology Laboratory adjacent to Oslo Riverfront Conservation Area (ORCA). Plants in this genus have developed a quite effective way to hitch-hike […]

Merry Christmasberry!

Christmasberry (Lycium carolinianum) is so named for its lustrous red berries that mostly appear in the early winter months. Hurricane Irma seems to have stimulated significant flowering/fruiting this year at the Oslo Riverfront Conservation Area (ORCA). Carolina desert-thorn is another name for this succulent shrub […]