All posts tagged: Oslo Riverfront Conservation Area

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.┬áSpecial thanks to FMEL Director Dr. Jorge Rey for welcoming the class to the FMEL and […]

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 […]

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 […]

Throwback Thursday: The Wettest Year … 2016

2016 was the wettest year at the Oslo Riverfront Conservation Area (ORCA) since the preserve was purchased in 1991. During the seasonal fall high tides, the trail usually floods near the coastal wetlands — but not at the junction of the hammock loop trail and […]

Weeds of Wednesday: Nootropic or Weed?

Herb-of-grace (Bacopa monnieri) is a sprawling succulent herb of wet places — both fresh and brackish — that comes and goes in different places at the Oslo Riverfront Conservation Area (ORCA), depending upon rainfall. The photo above shows herb-of-grace growing in brackish water on the […]

Weeds of Wednesday: Once There Was One in Every Yard

Queensland umbrella tree (Schefflera actinophylla), once upon a time, seemed to be planted in every new local Florida landscape for the exotic, tropical appearance of its large, shiny palmately compound leaves. Most frequently, this easy-to-grow tree that reaches more 25’+ tall was planted beneath the […]

Throwback Thursday: Potatotree?

Once upon a time, there was a potatotree (Solanum erianthum) at the Oslo Riverfront Conservation Area (ORCA). It is gone now, likely the victim of overzealous trail widening. Potatotree is native to the southern U.S., the Caribbean, Central American, and northern South America. It is […]

Weeds of Wednesday: A Tale of 2 Leaves

The nightshade family, Solanaceae, is quite diverse and includes many economically important plants — that we love or hate — such as tomatoes, eggplants, tobacco, bell peppers, chili peppers, potatoes, and petunias. Members of this plant family are found on every continent except Antartica. The […]

Partly Parasitic

Piedmont blacksenna (Seymeria pectinata) now grows profusely along the xeric scrub trail at the south Oslo Riverfront Conservation Area (ORCA) near the entrance on Oslo Road just to the east of the Florida Medical Entomology Laboratory. This trail was bush-hogged to widen it last year, […]

Weeds of Wednesday: Whitesnow in Your Yard?

Drymary, West Indian chickweed, tropical chickweed, and whitesnow are common names given to the ubiquitous weed, Drymaria cordata, pictured above. The genus name, Drymaria, is derived from the Greek word drymos meaning forest. The species name, cordata, means heart-shaped and refers to the shape of […]

Throwback Thursday: Dry, dry, dry

2017, until recently, has been very dry in Florida with more than 65% of the state experiencing drought conditions. The Throwback Thursday photo above was taken in February of 2009 from the top of the ORCA Observation Tower, not recently as you might imagine. As […]

Memorial Day Walk 2017: Looking Up

Dick Atkinson (Class of 2005), Gayle Peters (Class of Winter 1999), John Warner (Class of 2012), Diane Morgan (Class of 2012), Gorgeous Gwendolyn (second ORCA “group” walk), Doreen McLeod (Class of 2010), Trich Kruza, Gayle Lafferty (Class of 2015), Bob Bruce (Class of 2012), Susan […]