Wild Florida Photo
Nature Photography by Paul Rebmann
Osceola wild turkeys range throughout most of the Florida peninsula, but not reaching the very southern tip of the state.
Similar in appearance to the eastern wild turkey, but smaller and darker in color.
The Osceola, or Florida wild turkeys have less white veining in the wing quills and the dark bars are more prominent.
Feathers of this subspecies tend to show more iridescent green and red colors, with less bronze than the eastern.
Females are duller and lighter than the males, with dark wing feathers.
Reproductive cycles for the Osceola wild turkeys are only slightly earlier than the turkeys in the southeastern states, although they may gobble during warm spells as early as January. Egg laying is mainly in April with peak hatching occurring in May, when this photo was taken of an adult bird with poults.
Florida's most common squirrel is typically found in hardwood and mixed woods, parks and towns, especially in and around oak and hickory trees throughout much of Florida.
The range extends from Texas to North Dakota, all states eastward and into the southern parts of the adjoining Canadian provinces.
Eastern grey squirrels are grey above and white below, in the summer the head, legs and sides are tawny brown. The eye rings and edges of snout are yellowish to light brown. The long bushy tail is mostly grizzled black and white.
Populations of Sciurus carolinensis that are nearly all white can be found in and around Ochlockonee River State Park, Alligator Point, the Tallahassee Museum and recently in central Florida. These are not albinos, but simply color variants with white fur over most of the body and tail, often with light gray on top of the head, neck and back. Photos of one of the white squirrels at Alligator Point can be seen on the Wild Florida Photo Sciurus carolinensis page.
This rare plant of the Dade and Monroe County pinelands is also found in Cuba, Hispaniola and the Bahamas.
A slender, herbaceous perennial growing from 15 - 76 cm (6 - 30 in.) tall, often branching near the top, with opposite, linear-oblong revolute leaves from 2.5 - 5 cm (1 - 2 in.) long and 1 - 1.3 cm (3/8 - 1/2 in.) wide. Bright yellow flowers can appear all year, singly or a few at a time. The trumpet shaped flowers are 2 - 3 cm (3/4 - 1-1/4 in.) long and 2 cm (3/4 in.) wide with ovate calyx lobes and lacking any appendages on the tips of the anthers.
Like many other members of the dogbane family, the sap can be a severe eye and skin irritant.
Golden-silk spider with imperial moth trapped in web.
These spiders are often found in late summer and fall on large webs spanning openings, such as trails in woods and citrus groves - often quite high - throughout all of Florida.
The range extends through the southeastern United States from Texas to North Carolina, the West Indies, Mexico, Central America and South America into Argentina.
Golden-silk spiders are one of the largest spiders in North America, along with Argiope aurantia and Araneus bicentenarius. The adult females range from 24-40mm (1 to 1-2/3 in.) with the males much smaller and usually only noticed hanging out near a female on the web. The large females are distinctive, with a silver carapace and a large dull orange or tan abdomen with light spots. The legs are orange, varying from yellow to brown, with dark hairy bands on the rear and front two pairs of legs.
Captured prey, like the imperial moth shown here is moved to the hub of the web, which is typically off-center, and wrapped for storage. These spiders will usually only bite if handled, with the bite being painful, but otherwise harmless to humans.
This rare milkweed is found only in Florida, growing in the leached white sand of scrub, sand pine scrub and scrubby flatwoods habitats.
The range is mostly through the central peninsula, with a northern extent in Clay County, and a also in the south Florida counties of Martin, Palm Beach, Broward, Collier and Lee.
Asclepias curtissii is a long-lived deciduous perennial that annually dies back to its rootstock. The single stem is minutely pubescent with opposite broadly ovate to oblong leaves, 3-5 cm (1-1/8 - 2 in.) long, glabrous or nearly glabrous, and with short petioles. The flowers have the appearance typical of many milkweeds, growing in umbels. In Curtiss' milkweed, the corolla lobes are greenish-white, 5-6 mm long and reflexed. The 4-4.5 mm long hoods are lanceolate and white with purple lines.
The species name honors Allen Hiram Curtiss, a Virginian who came to Florida in 1875 and settled in Jacksonville. In 1880 and 1881 he traveled through the keys, and after 1900 he botanized in other southern states and the West Indies. In a seven year period Curtiss collected nearly 1500 species. At least a dozen Florida species or subspecies bear the name curtissii.
Instead of spinning a web, flower spiders sit and wait for insects to come to the flower where the spider catches them.
Members of the Misumenops genus can be differentiated from several similar genera by having hairs on the body and legs.
Also, of the two rows of four eyes, only the center two eyes of the second row are easily seen, giving the appearance of having only six eyes.
Rayless sunflowers are a frequent plant of wet flatwoods throughout much of the panhandle, the north and central peninsula, plus Collier County. The range of Helianthus radula includes the southeastern coastal states from Louisiana to South Carolina.
The distinctive brown-purple disk floret on a stem typically a meter (39 in.) or more tall, usually has no ray florets, or if it does, they are typically few in number, small and yellow. This plant has well developed basal leaves that are hairy and rough in rosettes, the lower stem leaves are opposite and elliptic to ovate, greatly reduced above, with the upper stem leafless.