Bluestripe Ribbon Snake

Ribbons snakes are non-venomous, however just like every living creature they still bite, even with a cute face like that! I see a lot of these snakes killed as a result of being run over by vehicles.

 

I was very fortunate for this one spending some time with me to take some photos as well as recording some video. What a great model!

Bluestripe Ribbon Snake | March 11 | Alice Mary Herden
Bluestripe Ribbon Snake | March 11 | Alice Mary Herden

These snakes are only found in Florida within prairies, hammocks, marshes, and pinelands habitats.


Links:

https://www.floridamuseum.ufl.edu/herpetology/fl-snakes/list/thamnophis-sauritus-nitae/

 

Osmia Chalybea

Osmia Chalybea- Mason Bee… or as I call it, a blue metallic mason bee. These are bigger than the little sweat bees you see.

 

 

What trip watching these bees burrow up and down gathering up pollen! This is the best opportunity to get your macro lens out and shoot as many photos as you can!

Blue Metallic Mason Bee 3
Osmia Chalybea Bee | March 11 | Alice Mary Herden

 

 

Identifying bees can be confusing.  Each classification has its own unique characteristic, behaviors, and locations in the country.

There is a close relative, Blue Orchard Bee but not located here in Florida. (Link: https://www.discoverlife.org/mp/20q?search=Osmia+lignaria&mobile=close&wep=0)


Links:

https://www.discoverlife.org/mp/20q?search=Osmia+chalybea&guide=1&flags=col2:&res=640

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Osmia_chalybea

https://bugguide.net/node/view/103986

https://bugguide.net/node/view/261275

 

Striped Mud Turtle

This is the time of year where every creature, little or small, is moving. So it is  important to watch where you are going especially in areas where you can drive through. Caught this one crossing the limestone road.

Striped Mud Turtle | March 11 | Alice Mary Herden
Striped Mud Turtle | March 11 | Alice Mary Herden

This turtle doesn’t grow very big.. maybe 3-5 inches and can easily be mistaken for a pinecone. So again, it’s important to look ahead when you are driving in places like Chassahowitzka WMA. 

Striped Mud Turtle | March 11 | Alice Mary Herden
Striped Mud Turtle | March 11 | Alice Mary Herden

From the above photo, you can see the three stripes along the back of its shell. This one looks like it has been here for a while. Let’s hope this turtle can live for many more years.


Links:

https://myfwc.com/wildlifehabitats/profiles/reptiles/freshwater-turtles/striped-mud-turtle/

https://www.virginiaherpetologicalsociety.com/reptiles/turtles/striped-mud-turtle/striped_mud_turtle.php

http://srelherp.uga.edu/turtles/kinbau.htm

Little Wood Satyr

If you are hanging around shaded swamps and woodland areas, you are guaranteed to see these little ones fluttering around. They are perfectly hidden amongst the brown decaying leaves.

Little Wood Satyr | March 11 | Alice Mary Herden
Little Wood Satyr | March 11 | Alice Mary Herden

If you look closely you can see an iridescent silvery purple tint on the hind wings and slightly on the ridge of the fore wings, depending on the angle and the light. Super cool how the wavy lines on the fore and hind wings match up perfectly when folded.

Host plants are orchard and centipede grass.


Links:

https://www.floridamuseum.ufl.edu/wildflower/completeButterflyData.asp?id=42

https://www.butterfliesandmoths.org/species/Megisto-cymela

Orange Milkwort

The Orange Milkwort grows in wet pine uplands or bog habitats. (Bog: a wetland area of soft, spongy ground consisting of decaying plant matter, peat. source: https://www.nationalgeographic.org/encyclopedia/bog/)

 

Orange Milkwort | March 12 | Alice Mary Herden

There are a few variations of this of a flowering plant, but the ones that look similar are the Yellow Milkwort and Candyroot. Candyroot flowers are yellow and blooms are close to the ground.

 

 


Links: https://flawildflowers.org/?s=milkwort