Piles & piles of propagules

Piles and piles of mangrove propagules are mounded up on the mosquito control dikes at the Oslo Riverfront Conservation Area (ORCA) and elsewhere. Propagules are the “live young” of mangroves. They are not seeds because they are not dormant. They fall from the “mother” plant […]

Wet, wet, wet trail conditions on 10/8/17

Yes, the trails at the Oslo Riverfront Conservation Area (ORCA) were flooded on 10-8-2017, when Steve Goff (Class of 2006), Judith Filipich (Class of 2016), Gayle Lafferty (Class of 2012), and Janice Broda took a walk to the Observation Tower. The hammock loop is underlain […]

Weeds of Wednesday: Flowering Rosary Pea

Good Golly, its flowers are pretty. They stood out on our first post-hurricane IRMA group walk on 10-8-2017 at the Oslo Riverfront Conservation Area (ORCA). Pictured above are the flowers of rosary pea (Abrus precatorius), a Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council (FLEPPC) category #1 invasive […]

Weeds of Wednesday: Groovy “Florida” Grapes?

Some people consider “common” muscadine grape vines (Vitis rotundifolia) to be weeds, especially along edges where these vines can engulf other plants as shown above where the grape vine is soon to grow atop the fruiting saw palmetto (Serenoa repens). Bullace, scuppernong, and southern fox grape are […]

IRMA-ed #4: Resilient & Brave Berries

Amazing to see to beautiful berries remaining on native plants scorched by the searing winds of Hurricane Irma at the Oslo Riverfront Conservation Area (ORCA). Pictured above is beautyberry (Callicarpa americana) and slightly scorched wild coffee (Psychotria nervosa). The wild coffee along the Herb Kale […]

Throwback Thursday: The Once Awesome Pine

“Until white men with little foresight changed the situation, the plants and animals of the area were adjusted to the physical forces and formed many remarkable ecosystems, according to the descriptions by the earliest naturalists. True, there were many storms, droughts, and fires that left […]

IRMA-ed #2: Pines versus Oaks

The south Florida slash pines (Pinus elliottii var. densa) at the Oslo Riverfront Conservation Area fared well in Hurricane Irma. The needles of the pines remain bright green, un-scorched by the searing winds of Hurricane Irma that scalded the leaves of many oak trees, scrubs, […]

Weeds of Wednesday: Invasive Plants Intact after Irma

Wish that I could say that Hurricane Irma damaged the invasive pest plants at the Oslo Riverfront Conservation Area (ORCA) significantly. Yes, some Brazilian pepper (Schinus terebinthifolia) is scorched by salt and wind as are exposed oaks and even mangroves. Many leaves and small branches are […]

IRMA-ed #1: Cabbage Palms & Oaks

Hurricane Irma, a strong storm of epic size, battered Indian River County on September 9 and September 10. The good news: The large live oaks (Quercus virginiana) at the Oslo Riverfront Conservation Area (ORCA) stood strong, unlike in 2004 when the sinister “sister storms” — […]

Throwback Thursday: Hurricanes & Hammocks

Hammocks & all habitats in Florida are hurricane-adapted. The plants at Oslo Riverfront Conservation Area (ORCA) weathered Hurricane Matthew in 2016 with little damage, save the loss of leaves & small limbs on live oaks (Quercus virginiana), the time-tested hurricane adaption of these iconic hammock […]

Galls – Intimate Interactions

Galls are a long-evolved interaction between a plant and a gall-maker. The gall-maker could be an insect, mite, bacteria, fungus, virus or nematode. Gall-makers generally are “tied” to one species of plants or a genus of plants and tend to be associated with a particular […]