Wild Florida Photo
Nature Photography by Paul Rebmann
These are called flower spiders because instead of spinning a web, they sit and wait for insects to come to the flower where the spider catches them.
Members of the Misumenops genus can be differentiated from several similar genera by having hairs on the body and legs.
Also, of the two rows of four eyes, only the center two eyes of the second row are easily seen, giving the apperance of having six eyes.
Spotted beebalm, or horsemint, grows up to four feet tall, often in clumps. It has opposite, petioled, lanceolate leaves with toothed margins. The small two-lipped flowers are white or yellowish, with purple spots and are much less noticable than the colorful leaflike bracts below each globular cluster of flowers.
Despite the ghostly appearance, this actually is a plant.
Since Indian pipe lacks chlorophyll it cannot photosynthesize.
Instead, a shared fungal-root association with nearby trees provides nutrients.
The fungus obtains nutrients from the tree roots, providing the tree with minerals in the process.
Monotropa uniflora pulls some of these sugars from the fungus.
The plant is white, turning black with age. A single flower curves over at the top of each stem, turning upright at maturity.
The other member of this genus, M. hypopithys or pinesap, grows taller, has multiple flowers and is usually red or yellow.
This perennial grows to around 4 feet tall with showy terminal flowers consisting of yellow drooping ray florets and reddish-brown disk florets in a cylindric to conical shape.
The glabrous stems help differentiate Rudbeckia nitida from other coneflower species. Also known as St. John's Susan, this rare plant of wet flatwoods is found in scattered locations thoughout its range of Florida, Georgia & Alabama and is listed as Endangered in Florida. Much of this plant's habitat has been converted to pine plantations, leaving most populations confined to roadside ditches and powerline rights-of-way where they are subject to road widening, clearing, mowing and herbicide spraying.
In Florida hand ferns are almost always found in the humus at the leaf bases (frond boots) of sabal palms.
The range of this once common small fern extends from the central peninsula south into the Everglades. It is now rare due to overcollecting and extensive drainage of natural wetlands from development and water diversion projects.
One of the characteristics that distinguish this poisonous snake from others in the genus are the dark dots inside the dark crossbands along the body and a wide dark cheek stripe.
The two dark vertical stripes on the snout help identify this subspecies found throughout the state. The only part of Florida eastern cottonmouths are found is the extereme western panhandle. Older adults appear mostly black while juvenile Florida cottonmouth snakes closely resemble copperheads in coloring.
One of the larger owls found in Florida and one of the more likely to be seen during the day.
The distinctive "who cooks for you, who cooks for you alllllll" call can often be heard beginning around dusk in the woods of Florida and is a pleasant refrain when camping around the state.
Barred owls are found mostly in the eastern portion of the United States, but the range now extends into Mexico and Canada and overlaps the range of the closely related spotted owl in the northwest.