Using Water Wisely in the Panhandle

It’s a struggle to manage our Panhandle landscapes, especially over the late spring-summer months. Just remember, small adjustments can mean significant impacts in conserving water. Some homeowners are not aware that watering plants too much can have as much of an ill effect as not watering enough. Shallow rooted plants, as well as newly set …

Continue reading »

Restoring the Health of Pensacola Bay; what can you do to help? Introduction

Humans have inhabited the shores of Pensacola Bay for centuries. Impacts on the ecology have happened all along, but the major impacts have occurred in the latter half of the 20th century.  There has been an increase in human population, an increase in development, a decrease in water clarity, a decrease in seagrasses, and a …

Continue reading »

Septic systems: What should you do when a flood occurs?

Approximately 30% of Florida’s population relies on septic systems, or onsite sewage treatment and disposal systems (OSTDS), to treat and dispose of household wastewater. This includes all water from bathrooms and kitchens, and laundry machines. When properly maintained, septic systems can last 25-30 years, and maintenance costs are relatively low. In a nutshell, the most …

Continue reading »

Is it Seagrass or Seaweed?

For many, it really does not matter. But is there a difference? Yes… there is.  Seagrass is what typically washes ashore on the Sound side – seaweed is what we typically see on the Gulf.   So what is the difference?   Seagrasses are actually grasses. They are true plants in the sense they have …

Continue reading »

Which Local Creatures Eat Venomous Snakes?

In my job, I get many calls about snakes. Most people want to know how to tell a venomous from a nonvenomous one and how to keep them out of the yard.  I was recently reading a new book out by Dr. Sean Graham entitled American Snakes and in the chapter on snake defenses, he …

Continue reading »

Panhandle Ecotourism: Blackwater River State Park

Spring has sprung and it is time to get outside and explore this great Florida Panhandle area.  In neighboring Santa Rosa County, a terrific destination for a variety of outdoor activities is Blackwater River State Park.  Visitors can canoe, kayak, tube, fish and swim the river.  Hikers can enjoy trails through nearly 600 acres of …

Continue reading »

“Ice Age” Tree in Peril: Florida Torreya

Having just completed the Okaloosa/Walton Uplands Master Naturalist course, I would like to share information from the project that was presented by Ann Foley.   The Florida Torreya is the most endangered tree in North America, and perhaps the world! Less than 1% of the historical population survives. Unless something is done soon, it may …

Continue reading »

The Beautiful, but Invasive, Mimosa

It is easy to notice the display of bright pink puffs erupting on low-growing trees along roadsides. This attractive plant is the Mimosa tree, Albizia julibrissin. These once popular small trees are commonly found in the yards of older homes in Florida where the display of prolific blooms starts up as the weather warms. This …

Continue reading »

Bats in a Building: What Can You Do?

All 13 species of bats that live in Florida sleep during the day and feed on insects throughout the night. Most of these bats sleep in natural structures such as trees and caves. But when the natural structures these bats prefer are limited or vandalized, the bats may move into buildings. Bats are a great …

Continue reading »

Grass Carp – A Biological Control “Tool” to Manage Invasive Aquatic Plants

Spring is only days away.  Everywhere you look, plants of all kinds are awakening to recent rains, longer days, and fertile soils; and this includes aquatic plants as well!  Florida has hundreds of aquatic plant species, and they are an often-overlooked feature of Florida’s landscape.  Overlooked that is, until the growth of non-native (or even …

Continue reading »

Older posts «

» Newer posts