Sunday, May 22, 2011

Ranging all over Florida

I'm afraid my Ridge Ranger impulses don't end when I'm on vacation.

This week I spent a couple of days helping with butterfly surveys in the Homestead/Key Largo area.

We found plenty of butterflies, including the rare and endangered Schaus Swallowtail, but also found some natural areas had been trashed.

When I left Sunday morning, I collected what I could, but on the way home I noticed one of the Sun Ray tracts had been burned and figured it was a good time to patrol for trash. As you can see from the photo, I found a lot of bottles etc. on top of the stuff I had collected in South Florida preserves, which had included a car door.

Actually, there's plenty of trash in preservation areas in Key Largo, some of it brought in by the tide and some dumped there before it was conservation land. That would make a heck of a cleanup; project and would require a vehicle larger than my truck, much larger.


Sunday, May 8, 2011

Blues vs. Buckeyes

I went out Saturday for one of the periodic butterfly counts in the north tract.

Numbers have been down everywhere as the result of the last year's freeze and the current drought, perhaps.

The predominant species in this habitat are Ceraunus Blue and Common Buckeye. The question at the moment is which one will be more numerous.
The Blues won 35 to 32.
Other species were Gulf Fritillary, Variegated Fritillary, Barred Yellow, Cloudless Sulfur, Zebra Swallowtail and Zarucco.

I also found some trash while I was wandering around.