• Did Dr. Seuss take a walk in Boca?

    By / May 17, 2009

    About a year after we redid the landscape at our house, Florida native style, the landscaper we worked with sent Eric the classic book on environmental thinking for the young: Dr. Seuss’s The Lorax. You remember it, I’m sure: truffula trees, brown bar-ba-loots, swomee-swans, all cavorting in a pre-development paradise. Well, one of the things… Read more

  • Wet season = swim season

    By / May 17, 2009

    The rainy season began last week in south Florida, a full 10 days ahead of schedule. But the swim season, which coincides pretty closely with the rainy season, officially began this weekend, courtesy of our friends Jennifer and Mark, their backyard pool, and their collection of pool toys. Everyone’s first swim can be tough, but… Read more

  • Cubans in Florida

    By / May 16, 2009

    With Fidel Castro’s health in serious decline the last few years, the media here in south Florida are waiting with bated breath to hear of the long-reigning leader of the island nation, and its communist government, to expire. Waves of human and animal exodus from the island have marked Florida, though. I discovered one in… Read more

  • The wet season is upon us!

    By / May 15, 2009

    After a long, dry winter, it looks like the rainy season has come to south Florida a bit early. May 21 is the median date of onset of the summer season, with a good chance of it being up to 10 days early or late. Yesterday the house rain gauge showed nearly a tenth of… Read more

  • Limbless lizards

    By / April 28, 2009

    It was a dry winter here in subtropical Florida, with quite a bit less rain than normal since November. The temperatures haven’t been too unbearable, but the weekend before Easter brought a taste of summer: mid-80s, humid, and plenty of sun. That weekend also happened to be one of the few that I had time… Read more

  • Science, big and small

    By / January 14, 2009

    Aaron E. Hirsh’s guest column yesterday in The Wild Side, one of the New York Times‘ science blogs, touches on a subject near and dear to my heart: the Audubon Society’s Christmas Bird Count, one of the longest-running experiments in Citizen Science this country has ever seen. I’ve participated in the last 5 years of… Read more

  • What’s in a name?

    By / December 9, 2008

    Really, I’m asking. What is in a name?¬†Tarflower is a beautiful plant of Florida’s scrub and pine flatland areas. It’s a large wildflower or good-sized shrub in the Ericaceae, or heath, family. The flower is distinctive, with its 7 pinkish white petals, completely free (i.e., not joined together), arrayed around those central pistils. The common… Read more

  • Petals, golden. Leaves, shiny.

    By / December 4, 2008

    Today at Fern Forest I was able to confirm the identity of yesterday’s mystery wildflower: Crotalaria pallida. And today’s gallery has a few more pictures of it, along with some more familiar friends: Golden Aster and that perennial party-pooper, Toxicodendron radicans. Poison Ivy. See the gallery below.

  • It rained yesterday

    By / December 3, 2008

    at Fern Forest. And when you visit this place after a recent rain, you have to be ready for anything: resurrection ferns bursting out all over the place, in various stages of rebirth:

  • Park substitutes

    By / December 2, 2008

    Broward County parks are closed on Tuesdays, so Fern Forest is off limits. On my intermittent searches for a substitute park, I’ve run across some pretty nice places. Windmill Park, on Lyons Road just north of Atlantic (less than a mile from Fern Forest, actually), is OK. Today, though, I went back to the first… Read more

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