Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Beetles & More

I checked to see whether more Polyphylla beetles were showing up at the preserve. Only one came to my light, along with some click beetles, an ant lion and some moths and smaller insects.

I did find one new moth, which has been confirmed.

Maybe next year the population will be more numerous.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Towhees In The Lupines

I found the source of the agitation a pair of Eastern Towhees in the area where I was checking on Scrub Lupine seedlings. There was a nest in a thicket near the planting area. I finally found the nest hidden in some moss.
Towhees are one of the few bird species that appear to nest here, so I like to keep track.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Still More Lupines

I found more lupine seedlings around the planting area and adjacent this morning.
This afternoon I was pleased to find three seedlings in one of the areas where plants popped up from an old seed bank in 2010 after the gyrchopping.
Maybe one of those plants will produce more seeds.
The lupines are certainly expanding in seedlings. If the adults follow, this could work well.
In the meantime, I'm culling the Natal grass around any areas containing lupines to give them a chance.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Lupine Surprise Explosion

I was cleaning out some of the Natal grass near the first planting area today when I discovered a lupine seedling, then another and another.
By the time I looked around with the light failing as darkness approached, I had found and flagged 15 new Scrub Lupine seedlings.

This was surprising. I'd found a handful of new seedlings at the 2d tract after the initial search, but this was extraordinary. I suspect I might find more as I work the edges and remove more Natal grass.

I will finish this weekend if the weather cooperates.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Cleaning the edges again

Over the weekend I continued my Great American Cleanup efforts along Holt/Holton Road area. I found a lot of older trash I'd missed in an earlier foray a few years ago and found some new stuff. It seems Heineken is the favorite beer of neighborhood litterbugs.

I also found part of an old bed frame, a small section of cast iron pipe, three tires and an old shoe.
There's lots of concrete debris, too. Maybe that can be formed into something.

Lupines 'n grass

I think I've finally found the last of the elusive  Scrub Lupine seedlings from the latest sprouting.
By elusive, I mean some were in unexpected locations, such as within patches of Natal grass or a few feet outside the planting areas behind bushes and in other unlikely locations.

A paper has been published about the dispersal, since until this experiment began, there wasn't much known about the dispersal of planted lupines because no one had ever planted any.

My contribution has also been to  clear some areas adjacent to the planting areas of  Natal grass.

Ryan Kordek from Lake McLeod said the problem with Natal grass is that if lupine sprouts in it, it may not get the air and lack of dryness that could cause  the plants to die because their are subject to disease.

Moths, Beetles and Bullbats

I was out Friday night with some fellow bug enthusiasts, including Paul Skelley from UF and lighting technician extraordinaire Roy Morris.

We were primarily looking for the presence of Auburndale scrub beetles. Paul found one.
Roy set up his generator powered light set and that brought beetles, moths and some other insects to investigate.

Some of the moths were new to me.

It was a fun three hours.