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.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

A Collectible Among The Castoffs

During my recent Indian Pipes quest--I found about 25 plants--I also found some trash piles from previous encampments.

Among the debris was a Teem bottle. I could tell it was old because it mentioned that you could turn it in for a deposit, which has not been possible in Florida for decades, despite attempts by environmentalists and others to return to the practice.

I finally got the majority of debris hauled out this morning, thought there's still a mattress frame I have to extract when I bring in the tools to do it.

I flagged more Indian Pipes this morning. They're popping up like winter mushrooms. I wonder if this year's high rainfall was a factor.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Indian Pipes Continue

It's winter, but there are Indian Pipes all over the .western half of the south tract of the preserve.

Wunderlin describes this species as "occasional" in summer and fall.

Small thought there were two or three species, one in Florida scrub, though today the systematics are clearer.  He was vague on timing of appearance.,

I found more today when I was walking along the newly mechanically cleared path  while I was working on a multiple-day trash removal operation to collect and remove debris I found while I was looking for  Indian Pipes in the eastern section of the tract.

I have marked every Indian Pipes I could find with blue flags to allow me to check next year to see whether this was an overlooked annual occurrence or an unusual event I will have to wait to see a repeat.