Saturday, November 29, 2014

A Quick Survey of my Backyard

Between the twin trunks of this large oak is the most perfect spot to sit, enjoy nature, and clear my mind

Really, it's my LL's backyard and I am lucky to have access to such a place. The property is bordered by a river, so it is pretty much all wetland - you can see the high water line on the trees in the above photo (let your eyes wander out of focus a bit). The water is very high right now after a soggy cold front stalled right over central Florida earlier this week. The area in the photo above (which was taken last weekend) is now under about two feet of water. The water is flowing - it is part of the river. The following photos are all from the "yard" taken within the last week or so including some of its inhabitants. 

Short boardwalk/bridge (after a storm)

Cypress knees and duckweed

Greenfly orchid (Epidendrum magnoliae) is a native epiphytic orchid and the only one to also occur north of Florida. Everything I've read (including FL based information) says their peak bloom time is usually summer, but here, this particular population of orchids say to hell with that - they bloom between November and January. Pictured here is one of the early bloomers, the others I saw were still developing their buds. 

At least this much jibes with the literature - it is perched here on a live oak. 
Resurrection fern behind it.

Megalodacne fasciata, the Pleasing Fungus Beetle 
(yes, that is its real common name)
Unsurprisingly, pleasing fungus beetles eat fungus.

This one is sadly deceased, perhaps a victim of the last cold snap. (Locally, it was in the 30s, even in Florida I think I can rightfully call that a cold snap ;) 

Cast-off cicada shell 
(the Genji geek in me must tell you its true name: utsusemi)

A tiny Mario mushroom
Really, I don't know what species it is, but doesn't it look like it belongs in a Nintendo game?

Mantid on cabbage palm

Look closely you are being watched...

Its friend took a wild nose dive into the water as I approached
They were between two and three feet long

The Eastern Phoebe (Sayornis phoebe) overwinters in Florida. Smart bird, this is hands down the most glorious time of year.

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