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Found at Fairchild: The Azolla Event

Thursday, July 3, 2014

In summer and fall a fascinating little plant covers much of the shorelines of Fairchild's lakes. It's a lacy green and pink-edged aquatic fern. Yes, a fern that lives completely in water! It's in the Azolla genus. I believe it is the native Azolla caroliniana, aka mosquito fern, though conservationists are on the lookout for an invasive Old World mosquito fern, Azolla pinnata.

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Bromeliad Show and Sale

Saturday, March 1, 2014

The 36th annual show and sale of the Bromeliad Society of South Florida is exhibiting some remarkable plants, from wispy, silver tillandsias to the armed Neoregelia “Hanibal Lector;’ some bear brilliantly colored inflorescences, others have simply elegant shapes and not a flower in sight, such as Quesnelia marmorata ‘Tim Plowman.’  “What big teeth you have”, said Little Red Riding Hood when she saw Hohenbergia edmundoi with its fierce armor and spines. Where there is color, it is seldom demure: Neoregelia ‘Donna’ has a startlingly bright fuchsia center; Aechmea tessmanii waves its yellow and red inflorescence like a beacon in the night.

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Spectacular Orchid Flower: 'Big Bull'

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Blc. Pamela Finney 'Big Bull' may be a horrible name, but the flower on this orchid is spectacular. The flower is 9.5 inche tall by 8 inches wide. It is a cross between Lc. Irene Finney x Blc. Pamela Heatherington. Both parents are old-time cattleyas.

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Atala Butterflies in the Garden

Monday, February 10, 2014

Atala  butterflies were flitting around the garden this morning, and the Long John tree (Triplaris cumingiana), which has been in bold red flower for some time now, was their nectar source of choice.

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Everglades Winter Birds

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Ospreys, once known as fish hawks, return to the same nest year after year. Likewise we return to the same birding spot year after year. With great satisfaction, we can report that the pair of osprey in Eco Pond in Everglades National Park has again successfully produced a youngster. Maybe more than one, but we only saw one small head rise above the sides of the huge and high nest. The remarkable thing about these birds is that the soles of their claws are spiny and the front outer talon is able to move forward or back to better hold a fish.

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Sunday in the Park

Monday, February 3, 2014

Super Bowl Sunday in Everglades National Park’s Shark Valley: Arriving at 8:45 a.m. (Shark Valley doesn’t open until 8:30), we secured a spot along the canal to practice our bird photography. Black-crowned night-herons are said to be reclusive birds, nesting and in hidden colonies and fishing at night, but today, four night-herons – two juveniles and two adults – were in plain sight fishing from perches on the drainage canal that originally was built for oil exploration.

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Chocolate Festival—Day Two

Sunday, January 26, 2014

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Pupating lady bug larva

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Three of these larvae are on my Jamaica capers. I never before have seen a lady bug larva pupate. Look closely and you will see the wrinkled larval skin scrunching up towardthe top of her head. ....

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