Geckos are very common in Florida. They scatter under your feet as you walk down suburban sidewalks. You always have a fear of stepping on one, but they seem to navigate your footfall with ease. They climb our window screens looking for prey, mostly mosquitoes. Click on the image for a larger view.
I am not sure the type of wasp, but we found the remains just on the inside of our window. It is missing two of its wings, but apart from that, it is it good shape. At first appearance, it seem rather plain, but under closer inspection, the markings and structure are beautiful. As with most insects, this wasp also has three primitive eyes between its larger primary compound eyes. Click on the image for a larger view.
One facet of life in Florida is sharing the land with the American alligator. This sign is in the park in our residential subdivision. About 100 ft from this sign was an alligator laying in the reeds along the bank of the pond—wise words of caution. Continue reading
We were visited by a Northern Mockingbird this afternoon. While the plumage of this bird is subdued, its song is complex and beautiful, giving it its latin name, Mimus polyglottos, the many-tongued mimic. It serenaded us for several minutes while feeding. Continue reading
The Pacara earpod tree gets its name from its distinctive and prolific seed pods. A native of Costa Rica, this shade tree has made its home in Florida. The large crop of seed pods allows it to colonize the landscape in groves. Birds also carry the seeds, making single specimens sprout. Click on the image for a larger view.
This Sunday, when Naomi and I stepped out of the house, we saw the SpaceX Falcon 9 spacecraft head towards orbit—Cape Canaveral is about a two-hour drive from here. I grabbed a shaky photograph of its ascent. The rocket was carrying a spy satellite or some other secret payload. Click on the image for a larger view.
The remains of an orange grove. Orange trees can produce fruit for up to 50 years, making them one of the most productive fruit trees. The sandy soil and climate in Florida makes citrus an ideal crop. I do not know the history of this particular grove, but, from the area of land it occupies, it must have been fairly large. Click on the image for a larger view.
Since moving to Florida, I have found the Pacara Earpod Tree, Enterolobium contortisiliquum, fascinating. I have photographed it several times: here and here. These are the seed pods that give the tree its name and are about 7 cm in diameter. Not surprisingly, the tree is a member of the pea family. And being a member of the legume family, this tree is a huge nitrogen fixer. It is, however, an invasive species. Click on the image for a larger view.
I have photographed this tree under visible light before. Click on the image for a larger view.