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The featured photo is a view from above of three flowers of horned bladderwort. This plant was seen in great profusion in a low periodically wet area of the Okaloacoochee Slough State Forest during a Florida Native Plant Society conference field trip in May, 2014.

Utricularia cornuta - HORNED BLADDERWORT

A frequent small plant of pond and lake margins and bogs throughout most of Florida. Horned bladderwort can be found, although sometimes in few locations, in all of the states east of the Mississippi River, plus Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Minnesota and Washington. In Canada it occurs mostly near the Great Lakes and coastal areas, and not in British Columbia nor the territories.
The leaves, stems and bladders of this terrestrial herb are underground, with only the flowering scape appearing above ground. Utricularia cornuta has 2 to 5 yellow flowers on a 4 to 10 inch long leafless stalk. The lower expanded flowers reach up to or exceed the unopened buds above them (example). The corollas are two-lipped, with the lower lip at least 1/2 inch long, a downward pointing spur 1/4 - 1/2 inch long and an elevated palate.
Purchase prints of Conquistador Helmets #1 by Paul Rebmann Purchase prints of Conquistador Helmets #2 by Paul Rebmann


I call this image 'Brown Velvet' for the darker areas towards the base on the upperside of the forewings. This dark area is androconium, scales with a tiny gland at the base which emit pheromones to attract females. This characteristic can help differentiate the males of this species from the recenty described H. intricata.

Hermeuptychia sosybius - CAROLINA SATYR

Hermeuptychia sosybius are found in shaded, grassy areas such as hammocks and shrubby disturbed sites throughout Florida. These butterflies range throughout the southeastern United States as far west as Texas and Oklahoma, north into Missouri, Illinois and Indiana, and eastward south of the Ohio River into Maryland.
Host plants of Carolina satyrs are grasses including St. Augustine grass, signalgrass, and sour paspalum.
Read about how I learned about androconia and the new butterfly species on my blog.
Brown Velvet by Paul Rebmann


This lone palm stood out along the Sopchoppy River while I was kayaking past on a cool, gray winter day.

Sabal palmetto - CABBAGE PALM

Florida's state tree is found throughout much of the state and is common in savannas, hammocks and swamps. The range extends through mostly coastal areas from Louisiana into North Carolina.
Cabbage palms are a straight-trunked tree growing to about 60 feet tall. The leaves are fan shaped, 3 to 6-1/2 ft. long, deeply divided, shiny green above and gray-green below with numerous threads hanging from the segment margins. The petioles are smooth and up to 6-1/2 ft. long. The junction of the petiole and leaf (hastula) is long and v-shaped. Flowers are white, tiny and numerous in large branching inflorescences. Fruits are round and black in long drooping clusters.
The round shape formed by this tree's leaves is the natural shape of a healthy cabbage palm. To learn about proper palm pruning, please watch How to prune a palm with Dr. Doug Caldwell from the University of Florida
Sopchoppy Palm by Paul Rebmann

St. Augustine Lighthouse #3

On a spring morning heading when I did not have a photo pass for early entry to the St. Augustine Alligator Farm, I arrived uncharacteristically well before the doors opened, so I stopped by Lighthouse Park for some images of the lighthouse.

St. Augustine Lighthouse #3

The brick and iron lighthouse stands 165 feet above sea level and was completed in 1874. For more history and an interesting animation showing the changing coastline of St. Augustine inlet, visit the St. Augustine Lighthouse & Museum website.
St. Augustine Lighthouse by Paul Rebmann St. Augustine Lighthouse #2 by Paul Rebmann St. Augustine Lighthouse #3 by Paul Rebmann


During a spring campout at Suwannee River State Park this redbud tree was in full bloom in the campgound, along with dogwood and southern dewberry.

Cercis canadensis - EASTERN REDBUD

A frequent small tree of mesic hammocks, rich woods, roadsides and yards in northern Florida south to Hillsborough and Polk Counties. The range extends throughout the eastern United States as far north as New York and Massachusetts, west to Wisconsin, Nebraska, Kansas and New Mexico, plus Ontario.
Redbud is a small tree, growing to about 26 feet tall and short-lived, typically less than 20 years. Distinctive when in bloom, with numerous small dark magenta to purple flowers appearing in spring before the leaves. Clusters of 4 to 8 flowers are on peduncles. The uppermost petal of redbud flowers is in front of the lateral petals. The heart-shaped leaves are alternate.
Spring Redbud by Paul Rebmann


Melanerpes carolinus - RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER

Red-bellied woodpeckers are the most common woodpecker in Florida. The range extends throughout most of the eastern United States.
They are medium sized woodpeckers at 9-1/4" long with a wingspan of 16 inches. Bodies are a very pale brown with a pale red lower belly and a striking red nape (back of head and neck). Wings and back are black and white barred, the rump has a white patch with black speckles. Females lack red on top of the head. In south Florida red-bellies have less white on the rump and the males have a brownish patch on the forehead.
Red-bellied Woodpecker by Paul Rebmann Red-bellied Woodpecker #2 by Paul Rebmann