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Signs of the Times: Early April in SW Florida

April 6, 2017

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In late March and early April there are many natural signs of the changes that occur during spring. Flowers bloom, some animals breed and bird migration increases. I was pleased to see a young sweet bay magnolia plant blooming at Wildflower Preserve. These ancient blooms represent the early stages of flower evolution where a single […]

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Birds Do It: Falling in Love

April 2, 2017

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    While waiting for my wife who was at a dental appointment at an office on Clark Rd in Sarasota, I noticed some parrots flying by and making loud calls. At first one and then another settled on a wire and an interesting interaction emerged between them. These are feral Nanday conures, or black-hooded […]

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Raising Orange-Barred Sulphur Butterflies

March 29, 2017

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It has become popular for butterfly gardeners to raise monarchs in protected circumstances on tropical or giant milkweeds and release them into the wild. It is much less common for other local butterflies to be reared in captivity. Gulf fritillaries and zebras require toxic passion vines for their caterpillars. The sulphur butterflies require cassias/sennas , […]

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A Paddle Across the Myakka Estuary to an Explosion of Flowers

March 21, 2017

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  Allain Hale from the Sierra Club organized an exploratory paddling trip for four of us across the Myakka River from Campbell Rd in North Port to the riverside campground in Myakka State Forest. This was an adventurous loop of about 3.5 miles starting in a large quarry, continuing down a narrow creek with extensive […]

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The Remarkable Birth of a Monarch Butterfly

March 9, 2017

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One of the most amazing transformations that occurs in nature is the metamorphosis of a monarch caterpillar into a pupal chrysalis and then into an adult butterfly. What makes it even more exceptional is that you can observe this in detail after growing the caterpillars on milkweed plants. We planted Caribbean giant milkweed in our […]

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