Over the course of millions of years of evolution, it is inevitable that some species will incorporate the life cycle of others into their own and use it to their advantage. This time, we’re focusing on a particular type of dead organism and its various uses: dead trees.
What excites you about the natural world? What is the sort of thing that you might see or hear that would get your blood pumping and your excitement building? For me, it’s the opportunity to witness something I’ve never noticed before and think about what it means.
We have a lot of blue colors here in Florida. The water and the sky are ubiquitous, of course, but some of the most striking examples are among our birds. This includes such regulars as the great blue heron and the blue jay. We also have the belted kingfisher and the male painted bunting.
As many of you are probably aware, the monarch butterfly, Danaus plexippus, was recently classified as Endangered. These beautiful creatures are a frequent sight in Florida and have been under increasing pressure over recent years.
Right now, we are in the middle of one of my personal favorite ‘seasons’: sea turtle nesting season. In particular, July is the time when some of the earliest laid nests of the season are beginning to hatch, so we are in the overlap time of both nesting females and emerging hatchlings.
I like to emphasize that all too often we think about nature as a nebulous concept or a distant wilderness. But that is not at all how things are. Nature is all around you, often right outside your door. We like to think of ourselves as separate because we have altered the landscape so much.
What's that sound? Just a woodpecker making a racket. We have 8 different species of woodpeckers that live in Florida, and all of them are adept at being loud when they want to be.
You’ve probably had a close brush with ferns. Ferns are everywhere. More than likely, each of you reading this is not far away from a living fern plant right now. The distinctive shape of the fern frond is so well known that they can be recognized at a glance.
The rainy season is starting to get in gear. This time we’re going to be talking about a species that undergoes one of the most dramatic changes of them all.
The term ‘vulture’ has gained numerous negative connotations in our language. However, some earlier cultures actually venerated vultures and I think that much more appropriate, as they provide a vital ecological service.