Range Tracking

South ORCA Scrub Report

Took a walk with Janice Broda, of the Oslo Riverfront Conservation Area (ORCA) blog, this morning through part of the South ORCA scrub in Indian River County, Florida. Two things were immediately evident:

1. the wildflowers are in glorious bloom along the trail due to all the rain we have been having lately

2. the Sun beating down into the scrub is like a blast furnace, especially when there is little or no wind and no shade

Additionally, there were few birds about, and the overgrown scrub cries out to be burned as a way of bringing the scrub back to its natural state. The best indicator of the scrub’s baleful condition is that all the Florida Scrub-jays left or died off once the scrub grew into a tangled thicket, since without fire to maintain healthy scrub it is the end of the road for Scrub-jays. And now for some wildflowers from along the trail:
Morning dew on Silkgrass (Pityopsis graminifolia).
Close-up of Partridge Pea (Chamaecrista fasciculata).
Insect in a Partridge Pea flower.
Bees attracted to the flowers of Sunshine or Powderpuff Mimosa (Mimosa strigillosa).

Thank you to Janice Broda and the Florida Native Plant Society blog for the plant identifications.

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