Posted by Pamela Breitberg on July 28, 2014
Warm, moist habitat provide ideal conditions for atypical plant growth. Typical of elementary science learnings, plant growth does not always follow the same path for success. The Strangler Fig (there are several varieties) tree shown in these images is an example of a rule bender.
Once upon a time, deposited high up in a host tree, perhaps by a passing bird, a sticky seed began to grow. This Strangler Fig seed used the moist tropical air to grow, sending roots downward, eventually reaching the ground. The earth-bound roots were able to allow the seed to grow into a self-sufficient tree, sending many roots and branches around its host tree. Though the Fig did not exactly strangle its host, it did grow large enough to take over the water, sunlight, and air (CO2) supply resulting in the host tree’s demise and eventual departure from the scene.
Heart shaped Fig roots, copyright 2014 Pamela Breitberg
Strangler Fig roots copyright 2014 Pamela Breitberg
Posted in Garden, Nature, Ocean beaches and Florida nature, Photography | Tagged: atypical, fig, growth, host, life, Photography, roots, seed, strangler, tree, tropical, unnormal | 2 Comments »
Posted by Pamela Breitberg on July 27, 2014
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Posted by Pamela Breitberg on July 26, 2014
Last summer I posted a request for help with identifying this oft seen flowering vine along the shore of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. The flower resembles a petunia, but the leaves do not seem to belong to the flower I know by this name. My appetite for learning about this environment, so different from Chicago, has me slowly concocting a Southern Florida reference section to our library. In spite of seemingly limitless internet reference sites, I find I still turn to old-fashioned BOOKS as a way to double-check my online learning. (Besides BOOKS are great when one is not “connected”). Now my job becomes matching my observations to specific referenced species.
Meet the Railroad Vine a native to southern Florida beaches, unlike myself. This plant is actually a variety of Morning Glory. The long vine and succulent leaves help this plant thrive amidst the strong winds and inconsistent moisture of beaches and dune. Blooms, typical of its family, open in the morning and last only one day. However, this vine is prolific in flower production, so each morning new flowers open to bring tropical color to the otherwise neutral beach setting.
Railroad Vine copyright 2014 Pamela Breitberg
Railroad Vine on beach, copyright 2014 Pamela Breitberg
Posted in Nature, Ocean beaches and Florida nature, Photography | Tagged: beach, book, color, dune, internet, joy, learn, learning, morning, ocean, petunia, Photography, reference, research | 6 Comments »
Posted by Pamela Breitberg on July 19, 2014
I try not to use age-old sayings in my post titles, but I am unable to resist this inclination today. An Anole Lizard joined us by the pool this morning. Always trying to get closer I pushed my luck in the first image which caused him (her?) to flee to the more distant rail.
“Leapin’ lizards” was a catch phrase from the comic strip Little Orphan Annie by Harold Gray.
Resting Anole lizard, copyright 2014 Pamela Breitberg
leaping Anole lizard, copyright 2014 Pamela Breitberg
Anole lizard by pool, copyright 2014 Pamela Breitberg
Posted in Garden, Nature, Ocean beaches and Florida nature, Photography | Tagged: Annie, jump, leap, lizard, Photography, pool, reptile, water | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Pamela Breitberg on July 14, 2014
I am finding that the saying “if you don’t like the weather than just wait a little while” is true by the Atlantic Ocean. This has been a daily routine, varied only by the time of day.
Morning storm and sun over beach at Lauderdale by the Sea, Florida; copyright 2014 Pamela Breitberg
Posted in Nature, Ocean beaches and Florida nature, Photography | Tagged: Atlantic, change, Florida, Lauderdale, morning, ocean, Photography, sea, storm, sun, sunrise, wait, weather | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Pamela Breitberg on July 8, 2014
Halloween Pennant dragonfly, copyright 2014, Pamela Breitberg
The Halloween Pennant‘s habitat ranges from Canada to Florida. The one in this image I caught (with my lens) on a Ft. Lauderdale beach yesterday afternoon. It would be fitting to see the dragonfly in Florida, yet sighting this one on the Atlantic Ocean’s beach was a surprise. Halloween Pennant dragonflies inhabit FRESH water areas: ponds, streams, rivers and marshes. They lay their eggs in fresh water. Like myself, this dragonfly was merely visiting the beach yesterday.
A source of amusement for myself is pondering the creative thinking behind the naming of species. Common names for a plant or animal are often regional and therefore one species may be referred to by several common names, and one common name may be connected to more than one species. Scientific names remain the key identifier. This dragonfly has the common name of Halloween Pennant. “Halloween” references the orange and brown colorings similar to pumpkins and fall foliage. The “pennant” portion of its name reflects its routine of resting atop tall grasses or reeds, therefore resembling a pennant flapping in the wind. Coincidentally these creatures are skilled at maneuvering in wind, unlike most insects, which was beneficial for its encounter with sea breezes yesterday while away from their preferred environment.
See also “Observations From Hunting On The Prairie” 07/20/2011 made of the same species in a Chicagoland area prairie.
Posted in Garden, Nature, Ocean beaches and Florida nature, Photography, Prairie | Tagged: alien, dragon, dragonfly, environment, habitat, ocean, Photography, Prairie, sea, summer, visitor | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Pamela Breitberg on July 4, 2014
I’m unsure if the stringy fuzz on the Lead Plant and the Lily are spider webs or Cottonwood tree seeds or both. Either way I felt an impulse to dust the garden. I did manage to control the impulse!
Lead Plant, a native prairie plant, with ?, copyright 2014, Pamela Breitberg
Lily with ants and ?, copyright 2014 Pamela Breitberg
Posted in Garden, Nature, Photography, Prairie | Tagged: clean, cleaning, cottonwood, dust, dusting, native, Photography, Prairie, spider, summer, web | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Pamela Breitberg on July 4, 2014
Purple Spirea, copyright 2014 Pamela Breitberg
Macro of Spirea in bloom, copyright 2014, Pamela Breitberg
Spirea details, copyright 2014 Pamela Breitberg
Posted in Garden, Nature, Photography | Tagged: beauty, close up, detail, garden, intricate, macro, Photography, shrub, summer | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Pamela Breitberg on June 27, 2014
Sundrops aka Evening Primrose aka Oenothera is one of the first yellow flowers that appear in my otherwise shades-of-purple perennial garden.
Sundrops in bloom, copyright 2014 Pamela Breitberg
Posted in Garden, Nature, Photography, Prairie | Tagged: evening, garden, Nature, perennial, Photography, primrose, sun | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Pamela Breitberg on June 25, 2014
Eyeing these in a lawn can make girls giggle as they recognize the lovely ingredients for a summer chain necklace. An annoying weed is how many adults refer to Whte Clover (Trifolium repens). Upon purchase of our first home and lawn, my mother passed on her learned wisdom from her grandfather: “Clover in the lawn is good, it’s a sign of nitrogen in the soil”.
Macro image of White Clover, copyright 2014 Pamela Breitberg
White clover bloom, copyright 2014 Pamela Breitberg
Posted in Garden, Nature, Photography, Prairie | Tagged: chain, clover, flowers, fun, lawn, necklace, pest, Photography, summer, weed | Leave a Comment »