An inspiring video for lovers of fungi and macrophotography

When I was in 7th grade, my science teacher gave the class several project options, one of which was to collect specimens of fungi. I liked being outside, and was keen to do this particular assignment. Mom helped by suggesting a trip to Philippe Park in Safety Harbor (FL). Philippe Park is now manicured, butContinue reading “An inspiring video for lovers of fungi and macrophotography”

Red-shouldered Hawks – Monogamous and Opportunistic Florida Residents

The Red-shouldered Hawk (Buteo lineatus) is one of my favorites to watch, particularly during breeding season. This is when pairs circle together, heavily‑banded feathers stretched wide. The Red-shouldered prefers mature forest adjoining small areas of open land. My own neighborhood adjoins a section of forest, and Red-shouldereds routinely fly through the closely packed trunks andContinue reading “Red-shouldered Hawks – Monogamous and Opportunistic Florida Residents”

The Hairy Fungus That Wasn’t

I found this interesting, hairy fungus during a trek at Tillie K. Fowler Regional Park. Except it isn’t a fungus. It’s Myxogastria stemonitis, or Hairy Brown Slime Mold, or Chocolate Tube Slime Mold, or Pipe Cleaner Slime.  Hmm. But molds are fungi! True, but slime molds were only differentiated from fungi in the late 1800s.Continue reading “The Hairy Fungus That Wasn’t”

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.

Three Bird Calls

The bird in the foreground is a Cardinal. Someone once described it to me as sounding like a ray gun. In the background, a White-eyed Vireo is also heard. The remaining background calls are made by another Cardinal and a Carolina Wren, which sometimes sound like a car alarm. Photo by theSOARnet with Pixabay