Showing posts from May, 2016

A Butterfly Journey

Story and Photos by Ryan Inskeep COMMENT Collage of Native Florida Butterfly Wings I will always remember the day my journey started , just five years ago.I was strolling through the nursery on a typical hot summer day when a  beautiful native milkweed plant caught my eye. At the time I was drawn to the blooms alone (not realizing the many benefits this one plant would  soon provide). It was not long before the female Monarch butterfly flew in to lay her eggs on the Milkweed. Suddenly, my entire outlook on gardening  changed.  If this one plant could bring in so much life, imagine what would happen if more native plants were added. I began by incorporating  butterfly larval host plants and adult butterfly nectar plants. Implementing both host and nectar sources allows the butterflies to  complete their entire lifecycle in my small urban garden.  (Top left to right: Black Swallowtail on Cirsium horridulum, White Peacock on Bidens alba, Horace'

Going North? Four Places to Visit North of Daytona Beach

Submitted by Donna Bollenbach If you are like me, if you are travelling to Daytona Beach for the FNPS Conference, you may plan to stay a few extra days, or make a few stops on the way there or home. Here are a few parks and preserves, a short distance North of Daytona Beach that you may want to check out. Click on the name of the park for more information and fees. Tomoka State Park 8 Miles N Sunset over the Tomoka River. Photo by Donna Bollenbach Tomoka State Park is only 8 miles north of the Daytona Beach Resort. The 900-acre peninsula offers several short hiking trails, including a mile long paved multi-use trail and a one and a half mile interpretive trail that winds its way through a hardwood hammock. Legend of Tomokie monument Photo by Donna Bollenbach When we camped there one winter, my husband and I really enjoyed exploring the park's lagoons and rivers, and spending evenings watching the sun go down over the river. A short walk takes you to a legendary

Cayo Costa: Two Views

An Essay by Devon Higginbotham and A Poem by Donna Bollenbach Cayo Costa, a Native  Journey  by Devon Higginbotham          West of Fort Myers, past the shopping malls, gas stations and fast food restaurants, is a place constantly shifting, and yet, frozen in time. Cayo Costa is a barrier island off the coast of southwest Florida, an hour by ferry from the hamlet of Bokeelia, accessible only by boat. It is a state park, one of 161 in our great state, and this one has camping, cabins for rent, miles of empty beaches, hiking trails, plenty of wildlife and native vegetation but no electricity, hot dog stands or hot water.  This is one place where you don’t want to forget anything.  Donna Bollenbach To get there, several concessions offer daily round-trip transport for around $45, camping gear included. We took the Tropic Star ferry, which takes you past Little Bokeelia Island (population, two caretakers). It was previously owned by Charles Burgess, of th

Biocontrol: A Success Story!

Mexican Petunia is a Category 1 invasive species in Florida.  by Megan Weeks, Cuplet Fern Chapter of FNPS Florida’s biodiversity is made remarkable by the plants and animals that depend on one another for survival. This delicate yet imperative relationship maintains a healthy natural environment, where the population of plants and animals are balanced. When new species are introduced, natives can be outsourced and the natural balance risks being disrupted[1]. Biocontrol is one method to help restore a balanced environment. Exotic species have been introduced to Florida both accidentally and intentionally. Most threatening to the natural balance are plants from tropical and sub-tropical regions which are suited to Florida climate and often “take root” in this foreign land[1]. These non-native species do not serve as a significant food source for Florida organisms and are able to outcompete native plants for resources[1]. When an exotic species that is not affected by predat