|String lilies are common in Florida's wetlands.|
Several kayaking field trips are offered as part of the program for the FNPS conference in May in Jacksonville. This one, about the Kayak Amelia Island, could apply to most of the others. Space is limited for the field trips so register sooner, rather than later, to reserve your spot.
By Kat McConnel
Northeast Florida has its share of valuable and beautiful tidal marshes; there are numerous meadows of brackish and freshwater marsh vegetation. As marshes are best observed from the water, paddling provides the best opportunity to access this overlooked aquatic natural community.
|Spartina grasses intercept the waves at the shoreline.|
|An egret behind a fringe of rushes.|
With such a high quality of habitat comes a rich diversity of animals: small fishes come into the marsh streams on a flood tide, hiding and feeding on insects and other small invertebrates in the vegetation along the edges. Marsh rabbits feed on the rushes and, in turn, become food for raptors, alligators and snakes. Great blue herons, roseate spoonbills, various egrets, and ibis regularly comb the grasses and rushes. Tidal estuaries provide abundant opportunity to observe wildlife within a diverse plant community.
If you'd like to register for the conference and for one of our kayaking field trips got to www.fnps.org/conference. Thanks.
|Join your FNPS friends-old and new-on a kayaking field trip in May.|
Thanks Kat for this highlight of the NE Florida waterways.
Posted by and photos by Ginny Stibolt.