Our Natural Places

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Header Image: Black-crowned Night Heron Florida has a unique combination of heat and humidity which can wilt the best of us at times. Late August typically provides us with afternoon thunderstorms which can help cool us down a bit, but at the expense of maintaining very high humidity. Wiping optics lenses for half an hour each morning becomes a reflex. In our area of central Florida, we average 115 days a year… Read More

Header Image: Carolina Redroot (Lachnanthes caroliana) Wait. Don’t you mean “Escape FROM The Swamp”?? We review the news from around the corner and around the world. Local roads and businesses are packed with people. Drama inserts itself into our lives unexpectedly. A dirt road leads into welcoming green pine forests where we soon encounter a small stream flowing under an old bridge. Cicadas buzz in a cacophonous wave which washes over our… Read More

Header Image: American Kestrel (Female) The sun had been up for half an hour as we made our way along the crushed shell road. Summer. We miss the numbers of migrating birds which spend winter with us but relish the sights and sounds of our local avian residents as they go about the routine of courtship, mating, nest building and rearing a family. Northern Cardinals seem to be everywhere! Florida’s long warm… Read More

(Header image: Peace River swamp.) “The Butcher Bird’s been busy!” This was the third insect Gini had spotted stuck on a fence barb. The Butcher Bird is a nickname for members of the shrike family, in our case it’s the Loggerhead Shrike. They will capture a bug and impale it on a fence barb or thorn to make it easier for them to eat. It is not unusual to find caches of… Read More

Anticipation. One dictionary definition describes it as “pleasurable expectation”. As my memory cells fade into unreliability, a few still meld and conjure up examples of “pleasurable expectation”. Fishing trips. When I was very young, Dad would come home on a Friday afternoon and walk around the boat, check the level in the gas tank, put the tackle in the truck – “Want to go to Panasoffkee in the morning?” Anticipation. Now I… Read More