Saturday, February 21, 2015

Lupine Seedlings Keep Coming

I was pleasantly surprised today to find two more seedlings in one of the wild lupine areas some distance west of the 2008 planting area.

One of the yearlings will appears healthy. If it survives, it may bloom and put out more seeds in a year or two.

There are few mature plants in any of the areas at the moment, but I noticed today that at least one of them is forming buds, which means flowers should start appearing within a few weeks.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Gopher Tortoise May Have Moved In

I found a burrow that appears to be a young Gopher Tortoise, origin unknown.
There are many abandoned burrows here, but no resident population.
I have seen two tortoises here in the past 13 years. One dug a burrow, but was only here briefly. I also found one dead once near another burrow.
I have not seen the critter yet.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Lupine Seedling Survey Under Way

The Scrub Lupines are popping up everywhere.
The folks from Bok Tower are flagging them as they find them.
A handful from last year's crop are still alive.
There are only a couple plants mature enough to bloom this year.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Lupines Coming Up

I have been checking for new Scrub Lupine seedlings and have not been disappointed.
I've flagged about 60, but most of the work will occur next month when the crew from Bok Tower comes in for the annual survey.

Some are still popping up outside the original planting area, but few of the ones that popped up last year made it.

I've been clearing Natal grass along the edges and watching for seedlings, which sometimes come up in the middle of a patch of this invasive grass. I have to take care not to disturb the root system, which is very sensitive.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

It Looks Like An Early Spring

It has been a mild winter.
January, the coldest month of the year at this latitude, is nearly over and no freezes are in sight.
February and March freezes are not unheard of, but December and January weather usually sets the tone.
This weekend I noticed Shiny Blueberry in full bloom and a few Pityopsis in flower even though they normally don't bloom until spring.

Equally puzzling is the fact that I saw Blue Curls, which blooms in mid-autumn, still blooming earlier this week. Today I saw a bud on one plant.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Raiding The Air Potatoes

There was a great turnout today for the Great Central Florida Air Potato Raid, despite the weather.

We got more than 300 pounds of air potatoes, which aren't really much of a problem here. Along the way I discovered some Brazilian Pepper that needs attention and found some trash that I picked up in the afternoon.

I also met with Bill Parken to check out the new path through the south tract.

It was a good day.

The only thing I didn't have space to collect was all of those Corona beer bottles one of the neighbors keeps lobbing over the fence.

I also flagged some more Scrub Lupine seedlings.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Got Monotropa?

I finished my several weeks survey of Indian Pipes (Monotropa uniflora) in the south tract of Lake Blue  Scrub near Auburndale.

The botany books describe this species as "occasional, " which what my  experience has been with this species.

This year was different.  I have flagged 43 of these plants within  a couple of acres of the preserve.

I don't know whether this is unusual, but it's worth recording in case it is.