Northern Tooth Fungus Causes Tree-snap

Climacodon septentrionalis, or the Northern Tooth Fungus, is considered inedible because of its bitter taste and rubbery texture. It is a parasite of living hardwood trees, showing a preference for maple, beech, and ash. There is no cure for an infected tree. In fact, by the time you see the elegant fungal leaves, significant damageContinue reading “Northern Tooth Fungus Causes Tree-snap”

Trees Infected by Spirits (or Cancer)

I was captivated by these trees, which have a mystical, storybook quality. This spirit tree appears to have flowing hair. It spreads its arms and blesses the world. However, this many-eyed tree is a quiet observer. What do you see? I see an old man’s face growing from this tree, although the tree itself isContinue reading “Trees Infected by Spirits (or Cancer)”

Turkey on the trail

Recorded at Tillie K. Fowler Regional Park, Jacksonville, FL (7000 Roosevelt Boulevard) Transcript: That was an unusual experience. I’m near the junction of the [second] spur trail and, to my right, maybe 10-15 feet away, a wild turkey was sleeping in the sun. And it was just dozing. And when it realized I was here,Continue reading “Turkey on the trail”

Alligator Tales

As I was walking the Brown Trail at Newnans Lake State Forest (Gainesville, FL), I heard a growl. This is why I have a deep respect for alligators… Tales of my experiences at Taylor Park (Largo, FL). Transcript: I see some foam on a little twig, and we are near water so I’m assuming thoseContinue reading “Alligator Tales”

Black Vultures: Clever Carrion-eaters and Hunters

Although Black vultures feed on carrion, they also hunt slow, injured, or newly-born animals. I once  saw three vultures surround a large pond turtle, which strayed too far from the water. First they ripped off its legs, and then they devoured the body. I’ve also seen them loiter around a doe and her newly-born fawn,Continue reading “Black Vultures: Clever Carrion-eaters and Hunters”

It’s May and wild birds are nesting at the Jacksonville Zoo (Florida)

In spring, Wood Storks, Great Egrets, and Black-crowned Night-Herons nest in the mature oaks and bamboo stands of Jacksonville Zoo (370 Zoo Parkway), so be sure to take binoculars while visiting. Black Vultures can also be seen year-round.

Something Prehistoric Along the Trail

As I was walking, I noticed a pile of greenish black, jellylike globs. It looked like plant parts had been stirred together and left to rot, but there was no odor of mildew or fermentation. I took a few more steps and saw another pile, and then another. I then realized they were all connected.Continue reading “Something Prehistoric Along the Trail”

12 Facts About Moon Jellyfish (Aurelia aurita)

Predates dinosaurs. Can survive in waters having low salt content. Eats planktonic animals, small fish, small crustaceans, and mollusk eggs. Eaten by sea turtles (especially Leatherback Turtles), birds, and fish. Adults live up to a year in the wild; 18 months in captivity. Can sense light, chemical changes, and touch. Can also orient themselves spatially.Continue reading “12 Facts About Moon Jellyfish (Aurelia aurita)”

Alligator body language: a short photo essay

It was March at Sweetwater Wetlands Park (Gainesville, FL), and bull alligators were defending their territories. This bull alligator had just crossed the pond, where an even larger male sunned itself in the company of a much smaller female. He parked himself near the embankment, crossing the tip of his rival’s snout, which was pointedContinue reading “Alligator body language: a short photo essay”