Wild Florida Photo
Nature Photography by Paul Rebmann
On groundhog day 2003 this whale was spotted heading north off the coast of Volusia County, Florida - a sign that winter is drawing to a close.
Eubalaena glacialis females give birth in the winter off the coasts of Georgia and Florida. Then in the spring they rejoin the male northern right whales - who go somewhere else in the winter - near Cape Cod and then on to the summer spawning grounds in Canada's Bay of Fundy and the nearby Scotian Shelf. Some individuals are not found in these groups and are believed to return to the historic whaling grounds off the coasts of Greenland and Iceland and have been known to travel as far as Norway before returning to North American waters.
Although this wading bird can be found in wetlands thoughout the Gulf and Atlantic coastal states, Egretta caerulea is listed as a Florida Species of Special Concern (SSC) due to wetlands loss and possible competition with cattle egrets for nesting sites.
Little Blue Herons have a commensal
relationship with White Ibises. The ibises stir up food as they walk, increasing the number of prey available to the Little Blue Herons.
This distinctive Florida native is named after 18th century English naturalist Mark Catesby who travelled to the Carolinas and the Bahamas in the 1720's.
Although he apparently never actually visited present day Florida, Catesby published Natural history of Carolina, Florida, and the Bahama Islands, a two volume collection of his paintings of the flora & fauna he found.
Lilium catesbaei is a threatened species in Florida.
In fall the GROUNDSEL TREE goes to seed creating showy white-capped bushes along roadsides throughout much of Florida.
Ironically, this Florida native is an invasive plant in Australia. Introduced to the island continent as an ornamental, it can displace the Melaleuca tree (Melaleuca quinquenervia - a problem invasive in Florida) in its native habitat.
One of the few epiphytic orchids occurring outside of the southern tip of the state, the FLORIDA BUTTERFLY ORCHID
is found growing on palms and other trees throughout much of the central and southern peninsula.
This rare plant is only found in Putnam County, Florida. Previously known to exist in a only a few locations within or near the Etonia state forest - where this photo was taken - it has recently been discovered on state property east of the St. John's River.