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Showing posts from March, 2013

Kayaking in NE Florida

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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.

Between high and low marsh, inches, not feet, cause a dramatic difference in vegetation community composition. Low salt marshes are regularly flooded on each high tide typically dominated by salt marsh cordgrass, (Spartina alterniflora). Other salt marsh plant species, such as needlerush (Juncus romerianus) cannot tolerate as wet a habitat, so they grow in slightly higher elevations along the fringe of waterway…

"The Palmetto:" the FNPS magazine. Part 2

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In the first post about The Palmetto, we talked about the process that editor Marjorie Shropshire goes through to put the magazine together. We left off with the process of Marjorie's sending the file of the designed publication to the printer. Now we'll talk about what happens then.

The printing company is Hartley Press, a family owned company in Jacksonville, FL. They have been printing and mailing out the Palmetto magazines in full color for FNPS since Marjorie become the editor and designer in 2006. The previous rendition of The Palmetto included only partial color on slick paper, which was a step up from the first Palmettos. Those were printed in black and white on rough newsprint type paper. While the content has always been good as you can see on our Palmetto archive page on the FNPS website, we've come a long way over the years.

I took a tour of the facilities at Hartley Press a few weeks ago to learn more about how The Palmetto is produced.

Annette Watson, the FN…

"The Palmetto:" the FNPS magazine

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Marjorie Shropshire is an FNPS behind-the-scenes treasure! She's a longtime FNPS member, and since 2005, she's the one who puts together our slick little magazine filled with science, plant highlights, gardening, and more. While it's only sixteen pages, it is crammed full with useful and interesting content and it's a lot of work to put it together.

This particular issue from last year, with Dick Workman's instructions on how to make a basket out of one palmetto leaf, sparked a flurry of activity after it was posted on the FNPS Facebook page. It was shared more than 100 times and several people joined FNPS right then so they could receive this issue of the magazine with their new membership package. And now Dick will be running a hands-on workshop at the upcoming conference. It's limited to 25 people, so if you wish to join in, register today, because the workshop is filling up.
Building a magazine Here's a rough outline of the process:
1) She gathers the …

Evolution of a Herbarium

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by Travis MacClendon

What is it?
In the early '90s I walked out of my apartment in Melbourne, Fl and became transfixed by a display of gorgeous yellow flowers in the nearby shrubbery. My immediate thought was, “what are those things?!”

Let me digress. I believe that some people are born with a “need for names” gene, myself among them. I simply cannot see an unfamiliar star, beetle, or snowfall without feeling compelled to know its name. It never ceases. “What is it?” is practically my mantra. It often takes me twice as long as others to read a book or article because I am constantly accessing my smart phone to look things up using Google and/or Bing. And thank you, thank you STEM for that Droid, which has freed me of the burden of toting paper, pencil, and an unabridged dictionary.

Back to Melbourne… That afternoon I purchased Walter Kingsley Taylor's little masterpiece of 1992, “The Guide to Florida Wildflowers”.  After some discovery effort within those exciting pages, LO! Th…

Film premier: Florida Wildlife Corridor Expedition Documentary

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By Ed Murawski, FNPS Heartland Chapter

Florida Wildlife Corridor Expedition: Everglades to Okefenokee Documentary Film 

On Sunday March 3, 2013, the Heartland Chapter attended the Tampa premiere of the documentary film, Florida Wildlife Corridor Expedition: Everglades to Okefenokee, produced by Elam Stoltzfus. This film documented the 100 day, 1,000 mile trek across the state of Florida from the southern edge of the Everglades to the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge at the Florida-Georgia border. The journey was documented by photographer Carlton Ward Jr., filmmaker Elam Stoltzfus, conservationist Mallory Lykes Dimmitt, and bear biologist Joe Guthrie. The expedition team hiked, paddled, and rode horseback along their journey.

The premier took place at the Cotanchobee Park next to the Tampa Bay History Center.  Over 500 attendees braved the very cold and windy conditions to be the first to see this wonderful film.  I have to say, we just about froze solid, but it was well wort…