Thursday, April 29, 2010

Clay Island

The canals on Clay Island are full of alligators, most are large and crusty. One 15 footer crossed the path but was too far away for my camera.

ClayIsland is a peninsula in Lake Apopka. It used the be the site of muck farms because of its rich soil. After generations of taking water from the lake for irrigation and putting it back in with phosphates and nitrates from fertilizing and toxic residue from spraying, people had to move because the became sick and the Lake had died.

St. Johns River Water Management District bought the land and is restoring it. right now, it is a wetlands with long canals and abundant wildlife.
Great blue heron

Butterflie on pickerel weed

In addition to adding aluminum sufate as a floccating agent, the residue from NuRF is sprinkled on the ground in order to prevent leaching of nutrients back into the water. Tehre is no fancy machine from Germany, but the area is very large which helps in restoring water quality. Unfortunatley, Lake Apopka's watershed does not provide clean water. There is still a long way to go to clean up this lake.
The hill in the background is Sugarloaf Mountain, the second highest mountain in Florida. It is part of the "ridge" that runs down the middle of Florida and peters out north of Lake Okechobee
The ridge is the remnant of ancient sanddunes that separted the gulf of Mexico from the Atlantic Ocean when most of Florida was under water.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Marshall Swamp Trailhead

If you didn't know yet: a swamp has trees, a marsh has grasses and sedges. This swamp is east of Ocala and south of Silver Springs State Park.
Before the Civil War, there was a sugar plantation in this area. The swamp was percolating with gasses from decaying leaves.
Tillandisa city on this tree. Tillandsias are epiphytes related to bromeliads and pineapple.
The dipnet found these black fish.

Aa native carnivore pitcher plant.
Several bridges lead across areas that have permanent water or muck.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


While we were hiking out there in mosquito-laden swamps and sundrenched marshes, yelling excitedly when we saw a bobcat from afar, my neighbor Maggie stayed home and took this photo right out of her Floridaroom. Way to go Maggie!

By the way, he is staring at Maggie's Persian cat who is staring back. Sorry the first photo is fuzzy.

Monday, April 26, 2010


Where the water flows back into the canal.
The water is much clearer here. More water plants grow and more fish live here. Fishing for bass is important here for tournaments that bring in needed tourist money.
The racer stopped right behind the lock, moved his boat to the side and started fishing.
I googled him: It's Michael Howard from Nashville, Arkansas, and he is listed as a sports fisherman.

Thursday, April 22, 2010


Charles Fedunek's pet alligator
It has a soft belly. When the alligator becomes too big for Charles' office, it goes to Gatorland.

Charles also brought a rat snake which he handed to Leslie.

Teresa Watkisn brought a carnivore pitcher plant.

A male gopher tortoise.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Hickory Point

The citrus orchard is right next to the swamp. It must have been a feat to establish it there.
The giant swallowtail likes citrus blooms.

Duck potato, edible tubers in the water

Royal Fern

The skeletonizer has eaten all the green off the palm leaf.
The precise work of a woodpecker.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


Hardwood SwampSpanish Moss

Bald Cypress

Cypress knee with brown anole

Cypress Swamp

Cypress Knee
Air Potato

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Micanopy 1

Micanopy's museum flies the colors of the nations who once established settlements in Florida: Spain, France, the United Kingdom, the USA and ?

Next to the museum, a little country store
with a front porch

Old farm implements and their gardian

Grist mill
Sugar mill


Soda machine