Monthly Archive: July 2015

Ghost Crabs… raiders of the night

  For locals along the coast ghost crabs are as common as mockingbirds and mourning doves. Before Ivan, when the dunes were larger and closer to the road, viewing the white crabs scouring across the road at night in your headlights forced all into defensive driving maneuvers. And for those who have ever tried to …

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The Sweet Sound of Summer – Cicadas

I was sitting on my back porch late in the afternoon this past week enjoying the breeze and the sunset when the familiar sound of the bugs some call “locust” began their buzzing songs. Not all would agree with me but I really enjoy the sound of these animals. They remind me of camping and …

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Hermit Crabs Add to Summer Fun At North Florida Beaches

Summertime in north Florida is good. Among the premium experiences are leisurely hours at the beach. For many this is a period of relaxation and the opportunity to casually examine what the surf has thrown on the beach. It can be the culmination of a summer vacation or a weekend reprieve from the contemporary insanity …

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The Osprey: Apex Predator and Master Angler

In north Florida water sports are a supreme pastime in summer. Fishing is among the most popular activity for all ages in this recreational realm. Human anglers are not the only competitors seeking to land a trophy specimen. Ospreys, the local avian apex fisher, are literally plucking the fish from every river and body of …

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Florida’s Rangeland Agriculture and the Environment: A Natural Partnership

Most of us living in panhandle Florida recognize that our farmers and ranchers are committed to sustainable production of food, fiber, and fuel for generations to come, but how will farmers continue to be productive while sharing natural resources with an ever growing population and an intricate environment? How will Florida’s agricultural lands, rangelands, and …

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Things are Getting Hot on the Island… Discovering the Florida Panhandle – Barrier Islands – July

The air temperatures are in the high ‘90’s and the heat indices are reaching over 100°F; heck the inland water temperatures are in the high ‘80’s – it’s just hot out there! But our barrier island wildlife friends are doing okay, they have had to deal with this many times before. Deep burrows and nocturnal …

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Looks like a Typical Year for the Gulf of Mexico Dead Zone

What is the Gulf of Mexico Dead Zone you ask? Well…it’s a layer of hypoxic water (low in dissolved oxygen) on the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico. It was first detected in the 1970’s but reached its peak in size in the 1990’s. The low levels of dissolved oxygen decrease the amount of marine …

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Dodder: Vampire Plant or Nature’s Own Genetic Modification Organism?

Vampires of all types and genetic modifications are hot topics these days, and a common, but uncommon looking and acting Florida weed may have combined the two subjects. Dodder, a native invasive, parasitic plant, reproduces by seed but does not have enough leaves or chlorophyll to feed itself. Its thin, golden vines and tendrils must attach …

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What You Need to Know About Vibrio Bacteria in Gulf Waters

After the recent report of a fatality due to the Vibrio bacteria near Tampa many locals have become concerned about their safety when entering the Gulf of Mexico this time of year. So what are the risks and how do you protect yourself?   What is the Flesh Eating Disease Vibrio? Vibrio vulnificus is a …

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