• Florida,  Travel & Places

    Oh, Florida.

    This isn’t Craig Pittman’s Oh, Florida! This is I have no words for what is likely to happen to my favorite state, our friends, our former coworkers, our favorite places and spaces, and everything we love in Florida. Harvey was literally in my backyard and yet this feels so much more personal. It doesn’t help to see pictures coming out of the BVI of what Irma did there. I went to Tortola and Virgin Gorda with my parents and brother in 1996 for my parent’s 20th anniversary so those places have memories for me as well. I didn’t—couldn’t—watch the tv coverage from Harvey. I suspect I won’t be able to…

  • Florida,  Ghost Orchids,  Outdoors,  Travel & Places

    Swamp Walk

    Remember that trip to Florida I took last March while still in my first trimester of pregnancy? Well, I took a bunch of short videos in our ghost orchid slough and meant to make a video a year ago. Well, I finally got around to putting it together tonight! It’s only a little over three minutes but it gives a fun glimpse into the slough and several great shots of healthy ghost orchids, which were unfortunately not blooming at the time. Below this video is a link to Chris’ video from when we got the sphinx moth pollinating/visiting a ghost orchid back in 2007. We got a good laugh at…

  • Florida,  Outdoors,  Travel & Places

    Bletia purpurea | Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park

    Digging through my Florida photos from last March still. This post had been sitting in my drafts folder for months and months. I was able to steal a few moments while Forest was sleeping to process the photos and get this up to share. This lovely little orchid was very accessible and growing by the side of the road. Sometimes you don’t have to dig too far in Fakahatchee Strand to come up with something so lovely.

  • Florida,  Outdoors,  Travel & Places

    Cyrtopodium punctatum | Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park

    The first time I saw a cigar orchid was on private property at my job in Florida. I had walked by it without realizing it was an orchid until I walked back by it later on and it registered that it was a cigar orchid. They aren’t all that common but since seeing that first one I’ve gotten the chance to see a few others in Fakahatchee as well as the specimen that is probably the most well known down in Everglades NP.

  • Florida,  Outdoors,  Travel & Places

    Janes Scenic Drive Ramble | Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park

    Zebra longwing butterfly, Heliconius charithonia A weedy but beautiful native, Bidens alba. Firebush, Hamelia patens Northern needleaf bromeliad, Tillandsia balbisiana On our last day of our swamping trek through Fakahatchee Strand back in early March, I spent most of the morning hanging out at the parking area on Janes Scenic Drive at the East Main Tram gate. Chris was going out into the swamp with a few of the others that morning and I was not up for another morning in the swamp. I was still dealing with some mild morning sickness and general malaise at that time and preferred to just soak in the time spent at the cabin…

  • Florida,  Outdoors,  Travel & Places

    Ionopsis utricularioides | Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park

    I’m digging through the last of the Florida photos from March and have several orchids I want to share with you, this species being one of them. This is a tiny, epipyhytic orchid with small purple flowers resembling the purple utricularia, a species of carnivorous plant that lives in the water, hence the species part of its name. There’s some other interesting information about this orchid in the Dade chapter of the Florida Native Plane Society’s newsletter here if you scroll down about 3/4 of the way. It’s a sweet little orchid that is easily passed by if you aren’t looking for it.

  • Florida,  Travel & Places

    Swampin’ in Fakahatchee | Part II

    Old logging scars…what a shame, they cut the tree down but couldn’t haul it out. On our second day of swamp walking in Fakahatchee Strand we went to a completely different section of the central slough, coming in from Janes Scenic Drive, the main dirt road that winds up through the park. This would be a bushwhacking adventure instead of the easy walk like the previous day. We also did not end up hiking with Mike this day as he had a group of other volunteers and was leaving from a little bit further down the road than we were. Theorhetically our destinations were the same, a large and deep…

  • Florida,  Hiking,  Outdoors,  Travel & Places

    Swampin’ in Fakahatchee | Part I

    Lots of photos in this post! Our first day in Fakahatchee for the yearly Central Slough Survey, we joined park biologist Mike Owen and several other botany and plant enthusiasts for a slow slog down Mink Slough. The best thing about walking through this slough was the generally it was fairly easy walking with little bushwhacking. The Central Slough Survey is conducted by Mike and some other trusted folks who are on the lookout for rare plants. Some plants on the radar are those that are thought to be extirpated from the park. Back in the 40s and 50s the swamp was logged and throughout the swamp logging trams were…