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PRETTY FALSE PAWPAW

Beautiful pawpaw, as this plant is also known, is found only in Florida, primarily in flatwoods and disturbed sites in Lee and Charlotte Counties.

There are also a few populations in Orange County, typically open sites that have been burned or mechanically cleared, such as powerline right-of-ways.
A small woody shrub only growing up to 30cm (about 1 foot) tall. Single flowers appear in the leaf axils, usually in April and May. The flowers are made up of two series of similar white or pale pink linear recurved petals. Both the foliage and flowers are fragrant.
While some have listed white squirrel-banana (another of this plant's common names) as Deeringothamnus rugelii var. pulchellus - a variant or subspecies of Derringothamnus rugelii - most biologists maintain that these are separate species.



FIRST FULL MOON OF SPRING

Here we see the first full moon after the vernal equinox of this year(2007).

While the first full moon of spring is used to determine the date(with exceptions for some sects) of the Easter holiday, spring celebrations occurring on and around the vernal equinox and the following full moon were common among many ancient people, predating modern religions.



SMALLFLOWER PAWPAW

A frequent shrub or small tree of wet hammocks, mesic woodlands and floodplains throughout the panhandle and the north and central peninsula of Florida.

The range of Asimina parviflora extends through the southeastern coastal states from Virginia to Texas, plus Arkansas.


The inconspicuous maroon flowers with a fetid aroma are less than 2 cm (about 3/4 in) wide on peduncles less than 1cm long. Smallflower pawpaw blooms from February through April. The leaves are alternate, simple and entire from 6-15(20) cm (about 2-1/3 to 6 inches) long. New leaves on flowering branches are often held erect and distinctly different in appearance from mature leaves. The fruit is a fleshy, greenish-yellow berry 3-7 cm long.


Smallflower Pawpaw by Paul Rebmann

GREAT HORNED OWL

Great horned owls range throughout North America from northern Alaska and Canada, south through Mexico to Nicaragua.

Also found in parts of South America. Habitat is typically woodland, from dense forest to city parks and vacant lots.

One of the larger owls, adults are 46-63 cm (18-25 in.) in length with a 1 - 1.45 meter (40-57 in.) wingspan and weighing 910-2500 g (2-5.5 lbs.). Florida owls are of the eastern variant.
Prey include mammals, birds and reptiles, up to several times heavier than itself.

This photo, titled "Don't Mess With My Chicks", won third place in the Florida's Birds! category of the Orange Audubon Society's 2007 Kit & Sidney Chertok Nature Photography Contest.
Visit Paul Rebmann's Fine Art Photography blog to read about how this photo came about.
Purchase Don’t Mess With My Chicks by Paul Rebmann



WALTER'S VIBURNUM

with

WEEVIL

This shrub or small tree of floodplain forests, streambanks, swamp margins and hammocks is common throughout most of Florida.

Viburnum obovatum ranges into the coastal plains of South Carolina and Georgia, plus one county in Alabama.
The flat topped clusters of small white flowers appear in February and March, making this the earliest blooming of the Viburnums. Fruits are ellipsoid drupes from 6 to 10mm (1/4 to just under a half inch) long, initially red then turning black as they mature. The simple leaves are opposite, typically wider beyond the middle, sessile or short petiolate, and smaller than other members of the genus. The early flowering season and attractive fall fruit make Walter's viburnum a popular native landscaping plant.
There is a tiny weevil on one of the flowers - probably a member of the Curculionoidea, or snout beetle family. Click here to view close-up photos of this weevil.



ECHO MOTH and eggs

The range of Seirarctia echo extends at least through parts of Florida, Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi.

The moth pictured here was in a scrubby coastal habitat along the Atlantic coast of Florida.
Larval food plants include coontie.