Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Full Field Trip Saturday At Lake Blue

This Saturday will be the second field trip at Lake Blue Scrub during Polk's fledgling Central Florida Naturefest.
Last year's tour was an intimate affair. Only two people signed up. Festival planners asked if I wanted to cancel. I said no. If someone took the trouble to sign up, they should get a tour.
This year will be different. I received  word the tour is full, which means there will be about a dozen people here.
FWC has promised to have the fire lane mowed by Saturday so there will be no wading through waist-high weeds.
The only downside of scheduling the festival this late in October is many of the wildflowers that were blooming earlier in the month around the date for last  year's festival are declining or absent. There will still be plenty to see, though. I also plan to bring the site's signature beetle.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

As Fall Arrives, More Colors Appear

Fall has arrived and the composition of the wildflowers is
gradually changing. The Balduinia, which is rife in many portions of the preserve, has peaked and is now declining.
Lopsided Indian Grass is blooming. So is Blue Curls. In late afternoon, the scrub species of Blue-eyed Grass blooms.

I spotted a new moth, Schinia fuller, and a new butterfly, Twin Spot Skipper.

I have a field trip coming up in  a few weeks. I'm not sure what will be left by then.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Wireweed At Peak Here

One of the least ubiquitous rare plants at the preserve is Polygonella basiramia, aka Wireweed.

 It is blooming now in the few spots where it is found, though in one spot this year it is quite abundant. Today I counted more than 300 plants.
Scrub Blazing Star (nee Sand Torch), Liatris ohlingerae is still blooming, too, along with several more common species.

Fall is wonderful in this place if you enjoy color.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Soldier In The Scrub; Sunset

I was checking the trail for interesting wildlife the other evening when I encountered a Soldier, a relatively uncommon species of butterfly, resting on the branch of a Bumelia bush.
That brings the butterfly species list here to 52, which is impressive in such a small space.
It was late afternoon and dusk was coming as I was leaving.
This place offers a great view of the westering sky.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Weeding The Lupines Again

It is that time of year again.
The Natal grass was starting to build up in the second lupine planting area.
Last year I wasn't aware there was a problem and didn't get to it until later in the season and it took several visits to complete.
 Today I got the bulk of it cleared out in about four hours.
The weeding revealed how few surviving plants there are.
I also saw one Scrub Blazing Star in the patch. I can't remember whether there any last year.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Getting Rid Of Truck Problem

This week the County Commission approved a measure to ban truck parking on First Avenue.

That might  eliminate some of the problems that have been occurring.

There was the recent problem with our gate, but these vehicles have also damaged the pavement.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

One Path Clear, More To Go

I finally finished work yesterday on removing the mass of Natal grass from the central trail through the preserve.

I now have a relatively easy task of clearing  branches away from this and other paths, which will involve loppers and shouldn't take more than a single visit.

The fire lane still lies unmowed despite pledges to get the work done. It remains an eyesore, an exotic weed sink and a fire hazard.  Also, when it's mowed it's easier to find the trash the neighbors have tossed over the fence.

Meanwhile, my next major project is to work on the trail on the south tract in preparation for Nature Fest and to make it easier for me to get around the property.