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Heading Out To Sea

This photograph of a loggerhead hatchling won First Place in the Florida - Beyond Birds category of the Orange Audubon Society 20th Annual Kit & Sidney Chertok Nature Photography Contest.

The winning photo was first featured on this site in September of 2007, days after it was taken. The hatchling shown was the only turtle that dug its way through the sand to exit the nest that morning.

 

Homer & Bart

This photo of Black Skimmers took an Honorable Mention in the Florida's Avian Wonders category of the same contest

Homer & Bart

The adult and chick are standing side by side just days before they took flight to leave the area of Daytona Beach where the chick was raised in the summer of 2007. Homer and Bart, as they were named by the construction worker who first discovered the nest on a beachside construction site, were featured on this site in August 2007.

An article about the 2007 nesting black skimmers by Halifax Audubon President and Conservation Chair David Hartgrove appears in the July/August 2008 issue of Birdwatcher's Digest.
Purchase prints of Heading Out To Sea by Paul Rebmann Purchase Homer and Bart by Paul Rebmann



RAIN LILIES AT THE BEACH

These lovely little flowers generally known as rain lilies are actually the non-native species Habranthus robustus or copperlily.

This native of Brazil has escaped cultivation in several central Florida counties in the area known as the I-4 corridor and can now occasionally be found in moist disturbed sites.
It can take close observation to note that the copperlily flowers are zygomorphic. The stamens are of four different lengths.
One of the native rain lilies in Florida is the atamasco lily.



FLORIDA SCRUB-JAY

The Florida scrub-jay is the only species of bird restricted entirely to Florida.

It is dependent on scrub habitat with particular characteristics dependent on periodic wildfires. Optimal habitat consists of palmetto scrub with scattered oaks from one to three meters high and some unvegetative, sandy openings. They can also live in scrubby flatwoods if the pine canopy is open. Aphelocoma coerulescens is considered imperiled due to wildfire supression allowing excessive plant growth in what was naturally scrub and loss of habitat from development.
Purchase Scrub Jay with Acorn by Paul Rebmann



COASTAL ROSE GENTIAN

This short-lived perennial is frequent throughout much of Florida in floodplain forests, flatwoods and pond margins.

The range extends throughout the southeastern coastal plain from Texas to Virgina, and can also be found in Cuba.
The flowers have six or more white to pink petals with a yellow eye in the center and are on pedicels over 1 cm long. The uppermost branches of Sabatia calycina are usually alternate and the overall height ranges from 10-30 cm (4-12 in.).



BLACK-BELLIED WHISTLING-DUCK

This distinctive waterfowl can be a year-round resident of Florida, present both in the winter and during breeding season.

Ranging mostly from Mexico to Brazil, they can also be found in southern Texas and during the summer in southeastern Arizona and southern Louisiana.
Black-bellied whistling-ducks usually nest in unlined tree cavities, but will sometimes nest in a scrape on the ground or a bowl of woven grasses if there is protective vegetation overhead.
Dendrocygna autumnalis is a medium sized duck with pale pink legs, long neck, and red bill. The belly is black, face grey and the chest and back are rufous, extending in a thin dark band up the back of the neck and over the crest of the head. Numbers of this species are increasing in the United States.



WILD BLUE PHLOX

A rare perennial herb of Florida, being found in slope forests, bluffs and calcareous hammocks of only four panhandle counties.

More common throughout the range of central and eastern North America.
Pale lavender flowers are made up of five open, loose petals and a calyx of five linear lobes. The stamens do not extend beyond the opening of the corolla tube. Elliptic to lanceolate leaves are opposite, usually in four pairs along the stem.
This photo was taken at Torreya State Park near the Apalachicola River in the Florida panhandle.