Saturday, January 25, 2014

Out of the Way and Out of This World

Queens Island Preserve 65F Sunny

The Preserve is just of A1A on Hutchinson Island, north of Fort Pierce.  This small preserve provides Indian River Lagoon access amongst some large state preserves, which are, paradoxically, inaccessible to the public.

I saw my second Bobcat during this visit on Thursday, January 23. It flatly refused to have its photo taken! And the answer to "whose tracks are those?" from several days ago......the BEST Bobcat tracks ever at D J Wilcox Preserve. Sadly,  no prize has been awarded.

Thankfully, flowers can't run.  This one looks a lot like Sneezeweed-several species occur in Florida. But it isn't. It is another Southeastern specialty with scattered distribution throughout the state.

And what a lovely long name: Coastal Plain Honeycombhead, Balduina angustifolia.

Snags (standing dead trees, in this locale mainly Sabal Palms) make great homes for woodpeckers.  The very vocal Red-bellied Woodpecker, and the very large Pileated both showed up on the same tree.

Many other birds showed up here, including a number of  Painted Buntings (which would NOT be photographed, no no no).  

I realized when I saw it, that I had not one decent photo of Florida's State Bird. This one posed when I called to it:)  Why would someone want to kill one, Harper Lee??

Over the last week, I have had help identifying 3 flowers- two from Blowing Rocks Preserve on Jupiter Island, and one from the Oxbow Center.  They are very interesting plants, as two have edible/pharmaceutical interest, and the third just looks good.

Thank you, thank you Green Deane. Check out his website at:

and George Rogers, Professor of horticulture and botany at Palm Beach Sate College, tree-hugger, and general nature-bug:

They have been generous with their assistance with identification.

The first flower is
Creeping Cucumber, Melothria pendula

The second has many common names, as it is a most interesting plant with wide distribution throughout the globe. It is Bitter Gourd, Momordica charantia. Read about it on Green Deane's Website:

And the third is another southerner, a very attractive plant with bright red berries.  Look, but don't taste. This berries are not edible. Rouge plant, Rivina humilis is a member of the Pokeweed family.    It is a true southerner, not found in the Florida Panhandle, just in the southern counties.  It is also found in south Texas and in the Caribbean.

On Wednesday January 22, a very cool sunny day, I visited the Kiplinger Preserve in Martin County. Hearing a rustling beside the trail, I crouched down and waited in the brush beside the trail, and was rewarded with a decent photo of a very shy species, an Armadillo,

Have a good night.