Wild Florida Photo
Nature Photography by Paul Rebmann
A frequent plant of disturbed sites throughout many Florida counties north of Lake Okeechobee.
The range extends from Texas to Minnesota and eastward to the Atlantic through all states except Vermont, and also into Ontario.
Bluejacket flowers are made up of three symetrical blue-violet (rarely white) petals having six stamens with hairy filaments. The filament hairs are made up of a chain of single cells that can be seen with low magnification. The flowers are ephemeral, opening in the morning and fading in the afternoon. The apices of the three sepals have hairy tufts and there are one to three leaflike bracts below the cluster of drooping flowers. Tradescantia ohiensis blooms appear all year in Florida.
The leaves are linear to lanceolate, folded lengthwise and arched, giving the plant the appearance of a spider , leading to one of its common names - spiderwort. The stem stores water, allowing spiderwort to thrive in dry habitats.
Great egrets are mostly found wading slowly in shallow waters and marshes though much of Florida, sometimes foraging in nearby upland habitats.
The diet consists mainly of fishes, amphibians, snakes, snails crustaceans, insects and small mammals.
A year-round resident of Florida and many other coastal areas of the Americas, extending inland through the southeastern coastal plain and up the Mississippi River during breeding season. Can be seen in other parts of the United States and into southern Canada in the warmer months. The range of Ardea Alba includes all of the continents except Antartica.
With the exception of the great blue heron white morph, the great egret is the largest of the white herons. The great egret has a very long neck, a long, straight, pointed yellow bill, and long black legs and feet. In contrast, the white form of the great blue heron has yellowish to buffy-gray legs. During the breeding season long plumes extend beyond the end of the tail.
This attractive ground cover can be found on coastal dunes and in landscapes along the east coast of Florida from St. Johns County to the keys.
The two subspecies with decumbent stems have limited ranges, Helianthus debilis debilis on the east coast of Florida and H. debilis vestitus on the west coast from Pinellas to Lee Counties.
H. debilis cucumerifolius has erect stems and ranges from the central peninsula through the panhandle, west into Texas and up the Atlantic coast to Maine, plus West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Michigan.
Each flower is borne on a long stalk and consists of yellow ray florets surrounding a head of reddish-purplish disk florets. Blooms appear all year. The alternate leaves are entire to shallowly and fairly evenly toothed.
Walter's groundcherry is a low growing herb of beach dunes, coastal strands, coastal grasslands, pinelands and disturbed sites - both coastal and inland - throughout much of Florida.
The range extends through the southeastern coastal states from Louisiana to Virginia.
Physalis walteri has alternate, petioled, ovate to spatulate leaves with star-shaped hairs on the lower surface. The flowers are nodding, solitary and bell-shaped. The greenish-yellow petals are fused and have small dark areas around the center. The mature fruit is enclosed in a papery husk derived from the calyx. This photo shows the 'cherry' visible though the disintegrating husk.
This large bug has a distinctive semicircular, vertical crest on the thorax that resembles a cog or gear having from eight to 12 teeth.
This is the only insect in the United States with such a crest.
Occurring throughout all of Florida, Arilus cristatus is the only species of this New World genus that occurs in this country, ranging from Rhode Island through Iowa and Nebraska to California and south into Mexico and Guatemala.
Like other members of the assassin bug family, wheel bugs can inflict a very painful bite with their prominent, curved beak. If disturbed, they extend a bright orange scent sac from the rear of the abdomen. The overall length is 2.5-3.2 cm (1 to 1-1/4 in.) and the abdomen extends laterally beyond the folded wings. The front femora are thicker than the other leg segments.
Of the two Chauliognathus species found in Florida, and 19 species in North Amerca, C. pennsylvanicus is one of the more commonly seen of the soldier beetles.
Goldenrod soldier beetles are frequently seen during the summer and fall in meadows on flowers, such as the coastalplain tickseed shown here.
Coreopsis gladiata is an occassional annual found in low, wet pine flatwoods and the edges of woods and ditches in three areas of Florida. Throughout most of the central and western panhandle from Wakulla to Okaloosa County, in northeast Florida from Marion and Volusia Counties north to Nassau County, and in an area roughly between Lake Okeechobee to Tampa Bay. The range extends through the southeastern coastal states from Louisiana to North Carolina.
The flowers of coastalplain tickseed consist of yellow ray florets and dark disk florets. Blooms occur from late summer into the winter. The heads are large and stalked with short lanceolate outer bracts. The spatulate leaves are alternate, entire and reduced upwards, with the lower leaves stalked.