1-1-2018 Happy New Year Walk at ORCA

Oslo Riverfront Conservation Area

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, Karen Schuster, Ralph Johansen, Edel Livermore, Liz True, Dorene McLeod, and Gayle Lafferty.

Immediately after Hurricane Irma a surprising number of hammock plants like wild coffee (Psychotria nervosa) and beautyberry (Callicarpa americana) were full of berries. Often, these fruits, especially the fruits of beautyberry, are present in the winter months, but not so this year. Likely, they already have been consumed by birds and other wildlife.

On the hammock loop the ferns, flourishing from the substantial rains this year,  look especially fabulous including the widespread maiden fern (Thelypteris kunthii)

In the scrubby pine flatwoods, the east coast Florida endemic large-flowered false rosemary (Conradina grandiflora) is full of flowers …

… as was the ground-dwelling tooth petal false reinorchid (Habernaria floribunda) …

Some plants were “confused” into flowering by Hurricane Irma. The salt marsh succulent sea oxeye daisy (Borrichia frutescens) usually flowers in the spring and early summer, but some plants flowered immediately after Irma. And, a few individuals are still flowering now …

Near the wetland crossover bridge Donna Winter pointed out flowers on the sweetscent (Pluchea odorata), also known as camphorweed. This plant usually flowers in the summer and fall.

White twinevine (Sarcostemma clausum) was growing over the wetland crossover railing …

Our goal was to find Christmasberry (Lycium carolinianum) for Edel, and we found fruits on a number of plants, as shown below stabilized for a photo by Ralph …