Wildlife photographer Bob Montanaro enchanted us with his updated program, The Secret Life of the Florida Scrub-Jay, on 11/10/2018. He explained that Florida Scrub-Jays require open, sandy areas with scrub oaks from 3 – 6′ tall and only 1 or 2 tall trees per acre, which explains why the south Oslo Riverfront Conservation Area (SORCA) property, though dry, is not suitable for these endemic birds. It is very overgrown now, as you can see from the picture above.
A number of us, nonetheless, enjoyed a stroll at SORCA afterward where we saw signs of Florida Fall: Not yellow leaves but yellow flowers …
Coastalplain goldenaster (Chrysopsis scabrella) was in full flower where the main trail curves westward for a short distance but was struggling to grow through the dense cover of scrub oaks. As you would guess from its common name, this member of the daisy family, Asteraceae, has yellow flowers.
Its genus name, Chrysopsis, comes from the Greek words chrysos (golden) and opsis (appearance). Its species name, scabrella, refers to its rough (scabrous) foliage.
We also saw sweet goldenrod (Solidago odora var. odora) growing in the sunshine in the center of the trail.
Narrowleaf silkgrass (Pityopsis graminifolia) was growing on the edges of the trail and was reaching toward the sunshine.
Without fire or roller-chopping, the wildflowers will dwindle at SORCA.