Dagny Johnson Key Largo Hammock Botanical State Park. Take a stroll through a tropical forest and find the quiet that being in nature brings. Many visitors to Key Largo enjoy discovering the coral reefs, but often miss this gem. During the spring months, a visitor might still explore this tropical hardwood hammock without mosquitoes, but be prepared with insect repellent, just in case. Long sleeves and pants are recommended as we get closer to the wetter summer season, when mosquitoes are more likely. There is a self-guided nature walk, which includes a native plant butterfly garden and a picnic table for your enjoyment (please pack out your trash). An additional 6 miles of backcountry trails are yours to explore simply by completing a backcountry permit at the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park Ranger Station.(read more)
Thanks to my friend Ernesto for his help and company with thousands of mosquitoes today!!
" Fifty nine names have been given to the colors forms of the Florida Liguus, many of them based on very subtle distinctions. For the most part, these forms are distinguished by colors ans patterns rather than by shape or texture. The basic Liguus are shades of yellow (including orange, brown, and black), gray and pink with occasional blues. Many of the spiral lines are green or bronze."
"The reasons for the extinction or reduction of the tree snail coloniesin most of the hammocks are evident. The actual instances ofextinctionare owing to one or the other, or a combination, of the following: (1) Complete destruction of the hammocks either by clearing, building of roads or houses, or removal of soil and rock. (2) Profound modificationof the hammocks floor resulting from burning or from deposition of rock, sand, or other material, either by man or natural agencies. (3)Reduction of the population below an undetermined critical point or reproduction by removal of snails by amateur or professional collectors, natural enemies, or fire. In general, natural factors are of little or no significance in regard to the rapid reduction and extinction which has gone on in recent years." Frank N. Young, April27, 1951
Liguus fasciatus SSC (Species of Special Concern) has a significant vulnerability to habitat modification, environmental alteration, human disturbance, or human exploitation which, in the foreseeable future, may result in its becoming a threatened species unless appropriate protective or management techniques are initiated or maintained.(pdf)
The giant swallowtail, Papilio cresphontes Cramer, is a striking, wonderfully "exotic"-looking butterfly that is very abundant in Florida. The adult butterfly is a welcome visitor to butterfly gardens and to general landscape plantings. The larval or caterpillar stage can be considered a pest because of its habit of feeding on the foliage of most Citrus species. A few "orangedogs", as the larvae are commonly called, can quickly defoliate small or young plants. However, larvae can be tolerated on large dooryard citrus trees in order to enjoy the soon-to-develop magnificent adult butterfly stage.(read more)