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SPARKLING JEWELWING

Sparkling jewelwings are members of the Calopterygidae family of broad-winged damselflies, large damselflies that are usually found along streams as seen in this photograph. Calopteryx dimidiata range through the southeastern states, mostly in the coastal plain, west into Texas, to Kentucky and up the Atlantic coast into New England.

Having a length from 37-50mm (1.5-2in.) and clear wings. Males have dark wingtips, females usually have a white spot called the pterostigma on the leading edge of the wings, and also sometimes have dark wingtips.



Rainbow over Tomoka

One advantage to being caught out in the rain while taking photographs is getting a wonderful shot of a rainbow.

This was taken late one afternoon in Tomoka State Park.



BLACK SWALLOWTAIL

Black swallowtails can be found in the vicinity of wet prairies, roadside ditches, disturbed sites and urban areas throughout Florida.

The range extends from central and eastern Canada, through most of the eastern and central United States, into the southwestern states, through Mexico, Central America and into the northern regions of South America.
Papilio polyxenes asterius is a fairly large black butterfly with tails and predominately yellow markings on the wings. This is one of Florida's smaller swallowtails, having a wingspan of from 6.9 to 8.4cm (2-3/4 to 3-1/3in). On the upperside of the hindwing females have a blue band between the yellow bands while males may only have a hint of this blue . On the underside of the hindwings both sexes have varying degrees of blue in this area and orange mixed into the yellow bands. The body is black with yellow spots.
Host plants include many herbs in the Apiaceae (carrot) family. The female black swallowtail pictured here is on Bidens alba.



POTTS' PLUME ORCHID

The subdued light when a cloud passed in front of the sun really brought out the true color of these little flowers in this photo.

This recently discovered terrestrial orchid is known from only one Florida county, becoming the second species of this genus to occur in the United States. Pteroglossaspis pottsii is shorter and has smaller flowers than P. ecristata, and seems to prefer a slightly higher and dryer habitat than the wider ranging species.
The dusty rose colored flowers are in a terminal raceme, twisted around the upper part of the scape. Most flowers do not appear to fully open. The fruit is a five-ribbed ovate capsule. Plants are 60-80 cm (24-31.5 in.) tall with acuminate leaves 30-50 cm (12-20 in.) long and 1-1.5 cm (0.4-0.6 in.) wide. Flowers number from 6-29 and appear from late July through October.



LOGGERHEAD

Loggerheads are the most common sea turtle in Florida.

They mate in the shallow waters off the coast then come ashore to lay eggs in the dunes above the high tide line. The nesting season starts in May and continues through the summer. The eggs incubate in the sand for about 45-60 days before the hatchlings emerge and crawl to the sea. Both the laying and hatching usually occur at night. The hatchling pictured here apparently decided to beat the rush, and come out alone before its nestmates. Usually most of the hatchlings emerge from the sand nest all at once and typically number around a hundred. In Flagler and Volusia Counties the volunteers of the non-profit Turtle Patrol mark and monitor the nests and assist wayward hatchlings. In Volusia County endangered and threatened sea turtles are rehabilitated at the Marine Science Center Caretta caretta is listed as threatened by both the state of Florida and the federal government.
Photography Prints by Paul Rebmann



STOKES' ASTER

An occasional to rare perennial of wet flatwoods and savannas, bogs, wet ditches and seepage areas of the central Florida panhandle plus Escambia, Santa Rosa and Nassau Counties.

The range extends through the southeastern coastal states from Louisiana to North Carolina.
Stokesia laevis has petiolate, elliptic basal leaves from 15-20 cm long. The showy blue or lavender terminal flowers are on stems with alternate, clasping lanceolate leaves that are dentate near the base and entire towards the apex. This is the only species in this genus.