Showing posts from August, 2016

Evil Weeds

By Devon Higginbotham, Suncoast Native Plant Society (originally published in the Plant City Observer ) Spanish Needles is NOT a weed. It is native, a great pollinator plant and edible! “Is that a weed?”  That’s my sister, Candi.  She lives in one of those golf communities where the maintenance crews mow and primp everyone’s yard as well as all the common areas.  I think they allow her a 3 square foot area to “garden”. “No, that’s a Spanish Needle.  It’s a native plant that’s edible and the pollinators adore the flowers”, I replied, sounding a bit defensive.  “Oh” she replied.  She was trying to sound chipper but I knew what she really said was, “I’m not eating any weeds!” She’s my big sister which should explain everything.  Her house and yard are always spotless and manicured, whereas my yard is 15 acres in the middle of nowhere. Anywhere farther than 10 minutes from the nearest grocery store was nowhere to her.  Even her dog smells good, whereas, mine smells li

Exciting Things are Happening at FNPS...

In case you missed it, the FNPS Board Meeting and Council of Chapters Meeting was on August 13 at the  FFS Leadership Training Center in Haines City.  If you want to know more about what the Society is doing on the state level to support chapters and further our mission, or if you want to make a meaningful contribution to the society, please consider attending one of the quarterly retreats. Here are some of the  highlights  of what  we discussed and accomplished. To read t he complete summary, along with additional topics, click  here .  Submitted by Donna Bollenbach     FNPS Meets the Wild West…. The venue for the 2017 FNPS conference (May 17-21, 2017) was unveiled and approved by the board, and the winner is  Westgate River Ranch Resort & Rodeo.  In a secluded location just south of US Hwy 60 on the Kissimmee River, Westgate River Ranch is centrally located between the Atlantic and Gulf beaches within Polk County, Florida. Lodging options include ever

Keeping a Nature Journal: Understanding your environment through observation, writing and drawing.

Submitted by Donna Bollenbach. Journal Drawings by Marjorie Shropshire There is no better way to connect with nature than by keeping a nature journal: a collection of observations, interpretations and feelings that describe or illustrate your personal view of the natural world. Nature journals are most commonly in the form of writing, drawing or photographs, or a combination of these.  Nature Journaling is rewarding for both children and adults. It is a great a learning tool, as well as a way to develop a deeper understanding and appreciation of nature by recording and sharing memories. What is a Nature Journal?  Marjorie Shropshire, 2012 A Nature Journal is a personal record, but it is not a diary. A diary is generally about you and your relationships to other people, while a Nature Journal is about your relationship to the natural world-animals, plants, seasons and climates. While you may not want anyone to read your diary, many people enjoy sharing their nature

In Case You Missed It...Noteworthy highlights from the speakers at the FNPS 36th Annual Conference, May 18-22, 2016

Submitted by Sid Taylor The conference was at Dayton Beach Resort right on the Atlantic Ocean.  Surf temp was a warm 78 degrees.  There were Least Terns on the beach. Tom Hoctor. Photo by Vince Lamb Dr. Tom Hoctor, Director of the University of Florida Center for Landscape Conservation Planning , updated us on the status of the Florida Wildlife Corridors and habitat preservation.    With the loss in oversight of growth management at the state level, we need to step in with science to help local governments understand the impact of decisions in new building projects and sprawl.  He quoted Frank Egler:  Ecosystems not only are more complex than we think, but more complex than we can think.  Panthers need a population of 240 individuals to be delisted by the Federal Government as an endangered species.   The Florida Black Bear was delisted four years ago but it still needs corridors for connectivity and exchange of genetic information for healthy offspring.  They have