Today is Earth Day

Earth Day is not just about taking action to protect the earth, it’s also about protecting the species that live in it and why we need to protect them.

Florida Panthers to Trees to Bees to Sea Turtles…

Florida Panther
Florida Panther | Alice Mary Herden

Find out what you can do:

Earth Day Network

Something special

Sometimes nature just gives you an unexpected surprise now and then, sometimes nature gives you a rarity

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Black-eyed Susan | Alice Mary Herden | April 16

In nature photography, you are always looking for something out-of-place, something that catches your eye.

With Black-eyed Susan in bloom, I look for a variety of insects to photograph in macro, well upon approaching this particular flower I noticed something odd, it was strange, fantastically strange.

Black-eyed Susan | Alice Mary Herden | April 16
Black-eyed Susan | Alice Mary Herden | April 16

Yes, you are seeing this correctly, a double bud! I was totally surprised and to actually think I was going to turn around and go somewhere else, but something inside said to keep going.

 

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Black-eyed Susan | Alice Mary Herden | April 16

 

So this double budded Black-eyed Susan is dedicated to my sister Tara. May you always listen to your inside and keep moving forward because there is always something fantastic ahead!


Links:

http://gardeningsolutions.ifas.ufl.edu/plants/ornamentals/black-eyed-susan.html

https://www.almanac.com/plant/black-eyed-susans

It’s the most wonderful time of the year

Spring is in the air and the insects are out and about!

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Golden Tortoise Beetle | Alice Mary Herden | April 8

Check out this lovely couple… sharing some quality time together. They have an amazing metallic golden/copper color that glistens in the sunlight. Super small, not even a half an inch.

It would be very interesting to photograph or even better to video them while when they transform into their defensive colors, red with black spots.


Learn more:

https://cornerofthecabinet.com/2014/08/26/invertebrate-of-the-week-8-golden-tortoise-beetle-charidotella-sexpunctata/

http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/veg/potato/golden_tortoise_beetle.htm


 

 

 

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!

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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

 

Swollen Bladderwort

Along Cow Creek Rd. in Goethe State Forest are areas of flowing water that is filled with beautiful spectacles of yellow. The swollen bladderwort, a Florida native plant, is another species in the bladderwort family as well as an aquatic carnivorous plant.

Swollen Bladderwort | March 28 | Alice Mary Herden
Swollen Bladderwort | March 28 | Alice Mary Herden
Swollen Bladderwort | March 28 | Alice Mary Herden
Swollen Bladderwort | March 28 | Alice Mary Herden 

Great video about the Swollen Bladderwort, it’s such a neat plant!


What really would be neat if people would contain their trash!Swollen Bladderwort 2.jpg There’s nothing like coming across the beauty of nature and seeing how humans diminish that beauty.


Links:

Click to access swollen-bladderwort.pdf

http://plants.ifas.ufl.edu/plant-directory/utricularia-species/

https://www.freshfromflorida.com/Divisions-Offices/Florida-Forest-Service/Our-Forests/State-Forests/Goethe-State-Forest

https://plants.usda.gov/core/profile?symbol=UTIN

 

Snakes, Plants, Insects and more!

Fall Photo Blitz is Saturday October 27 at Chinsegut Conservation Center.

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The event begins at 10am…

Chinsegut Conservation Center
23212 Lake Lindsey Road
Brooksville, FL
352-754-6722

Bring your camera, photo, water, bug spray and please wear closed-toed shoes. Learn about Florida Nature Trackers and what you add to projects helps biologist with documenting plant and animal species around your area.


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Black Racer a non-venomous snake and good to have around! They eat a wide variety of prey including insects, lizards, snakes, birds, rodents, and amphibians.