Lake Wales Rails-to-Trails: A Safe Harbor for Invasive Species

The Lake Wales Rails-to-Trails program has missed one of its three most important targets: the removal of invasive, non-native species. The Lake Wales “Rails-to-Trails” program is great in conception. Convert a short section of unused railway into a trail to be used by citizens. The program’s site is in the heart of the Lake Wales …

Johnny Butterflyseed Finds Scrub Plum (Prunus geniculata) Seedling in the Wild

Johnny Butterflyseed has found a Scrub Plum (Prunus geniculata) seedling in the wild, an exceptionally rare occurrence. Scrub Plum seedlings are so rare that determining the causes of their rarity was the central focus of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s recovery plan (USFWS, 1999). In annual censuses of ~900 scrub plum plants from 2002 …

Swallow-tailed Kites Observed Eating Plant Material

Swallow-tailed Kites (Elanoides forficatus) are a migratory raptor who split their time between the southeastern US, and South America. They migrate to the Central Florida are by passing over (or sometimes around) the Gulf of Mexico. In the past, Johnny has been lucky enough to observe a large flock of Swallow-tailed Kites arrive to Florida …

Flower Fly Nectaring on Dahoon Holly in a Highlands County Florida Baygall

While Johnny was gathering Dahoon Holly (ilex cassine) in a Florida Baygall to give as specimens for the USF Atlas of Florida Plants herbarium, a Flower Fly (Ocyptamus Fascipennis) wandered in for nectar from the Dahoon’s tiny, white flowers. Less than 1cm long (closer to 7mm), he likes to play hide-and-seek behind the leaves. It …