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Monthly meetings/programs are held at 7 p.m on first Tuesday of the month at
Harry P. Leu Gardens, 1920 N. Forest Ave., Orlando, FL 32803
Tarpaper - January 2016 Edition
     
January 3rd: Meeting and Program
Only in Florida: A Photographic Look at Endemic Plants of Florida
Presented by: Paul Rebmann 
 
      This program will feature the spectacular photography of Paul Rebmann - showcasing mostly plants (but also a few animals) that are endemic to Florida. Florida ranks as the fourth highest state in the number of endemic species. His presentation will include information about each plant, including where they are found and how are they different from their more wide-ranging relatives. Some of the species that will be covered include Orange County's own Deeringothamnus rugelii pulchellus (pretty false pawpaw), other endangered species such as Nemastylis floridana (celestial lily), Warea amplexifolia (clasping Warea), panhandle endemic Harperocallis flava (Harper's beauty) and many more.

Check Out Paul's Photography page and come join us for this presentation!
Extended Biography
Please Note the date of meeting as January 3rd 
The date was announced incorrectly as January 10th at the December meeting.
January 14th Field Trip                  By Pete Dunkelberg
We are going to Flat Island in January. Where is Flat Island? Right in the middle of the peninsula, in Lake County. So of course it is preserved by the Lake County Water Authority, and Florida Trail Association maintains the trails. It is called an island because it is surrounded almost entirely by the Okahumpa Marsh. We will see a different ecosystem and plant community than most of us have seen in a long time, if ever. More information can be found in the brochure. 
                                                                                                                                                                                       
 
When: Plan to arrive by 9 A.M. Saturday morning (January 14th).
Directions: (from John Cento in an ancient Tarpaper) Take the Turnpike north to the Clermont/Leesburg exit #285 then go north on US 27 for about 14 miles. Turn left onto CR 25A, then make an immediate right. Continue north on 25A to Owens Road. Follow Owens right to the parking lot, as shown on the brochure.

 
Bring water, camera, snack, bug repellent and curiosity.
Extra treat: Afterward we will visit the famous Yalaha Bakery and Restaurant.
It is quite an interesting place. Don’t miss it!
December Field Trip: Black Point Wildlife Drive         by Cecilia Catron
The field trip to Black Point Wildlife Drive was spectacular. The weather report must have scared everybody off since there were only four people and our field trip leader, Pete Dunkelberg. Several normal field trip attenders came down with colds, as many people do in December, and there was Christmas shopping to do. Siberian winter was expected on the coast, but it warmed up to 70 degrees with cheerful, blue skies. Black Point during a polar vortex is like the cold, windy plains of the Mongolian steppes. Luckily the goddess of Spring visited with dry sunshine and warm air.
     Generally, native plants are in a vegetative state by late fall to early winter. However, the coast is wetter, warmer and saltier than inland, which changes plants and their habits. On the east side of the St. Johns River plain, bright stalks of yellow seaside goldenrod (Solidago sempervirens), and narrowleaf yellowtops (Flaveria linearis) lined the road. Yellowtops’ corymbose flowers tinted the low, bushy winter landscape muted yellow. The crushed leaves smelled herbal to minty, like the mountain herb, yarrow (Achillea sp.). It seemed like the last blooming goldenrod of the year, but Seaside goldenrod blooms all year, thus its species name, sempervirens, meaning "always green".
     At Black Point, bountiful Baccharis halimifolia bushes were past their autumn peak but still covered with remnant fluffy blossoms. Several climbing aster vines (Symphyotrichum carolinianum), growing out of fresh water, were covered with light purple blossoms at the visitor center and on the wildlife drive. One purple seaside gentian flower (Eustoma exaltatum) was found on the drive. It blooms January to November. And there was a patch of blanket flower (Gaillardia pulchella), which blooms all year. The dominant foliage, cordgrass (Spartina bakeri), glasswort (Sarcocornia ambigua), and the most tree-oid plants at the preserve, white, red and black mangroves (Laguncularia racemosaRhizophora mangle, and Avicennia germinans, respectively), look nearly the same year round (sempervirens...).
      The main attraction at Black Point is birds, especially during the winter when northern migrants are resident. The Preserve's one-way road on berms between large, shallow ponds was an outdoor museum of migratory and permanent waders, ducks and peeps, and occasionally songbirds, raptors and a few alligators. Wilson's Snipe, a small shorebird, were abundant, which is unusual. They must have been swept south ahead of the strong cold front the night before. There were also numerous big Reddish Egrets, Greater and Lesser Yellowlegs, Short-billed Dowitcher and Coots, as usual, and some Red-breasted Mergansers. A little Green Heron squawked to a safe a perch and another one squatted in the sparse mangroves on the bank between the road and the water, head drawn into its neck trying, unsuccessfully, to hide.
At the Cruickshank overlook platform at the halfway point, a dozen Roseate Spoonbills flew from a roost in the mangroves on the east to a pond hidden in mangroves a few feet west, gliding, one by one, about twenty feet in front of the platform blind within easy binocular range. They seemed calm, as if not bothered that people were close by. Their plumage was brilliant pink and red because it is breeding season, when they are at their most colorful. Spoonbills were hunted almost to extinction along the US coasts from Texas to Florida between 1850 and 1890. Hunting them has been illegal since 1918 but they are still listed as a threatened species in Florida, almost 100 years later. They are not common in Florida, but there's a good chance to see them at Black Point.
     Pond levels are raised and lowered around the berms to manage mosquitoes. One week a pond might be at the right depth for dabbling ducks, such as Blue-winged Teal and Northern Shovelers, and the next week drawn down to a few inches, which attracts petite shorebirds such as Yellowlegs and Dowitchers, but not ducks. So the Preserve constantly changes. There were miles of wide ponds, but one big pond after the Cruickshank overlook platform was full of hundreds of diving coots and six or seven species of dabbling ducks for a square mile, including American Widgeon and Blue-winged Teal. Fifty or more large Northern Pintail ducks were tipped upside down with their back half pointed straight up and the front half underwater. They looked like fat, white pyramids in the sky-blue water, mixed between the other ducks and Coots.
     The last part of the trip was the newly-opened Scrub Ridge Trail, a one mile loop closer to the ocean than Black Point Wildlife Drive. There are Florida Scrub-Jays (FSJ) there, a rare bird now due to habitat loss. It is the only bird endemic to Florida. FSJs must live in trees such as myrtle oak (Quercus myrtifolia), which burn often enough to be kept fairly short in height. Until recently it was called just "Scrub Jay" but that designation was split into three species: the Western Scrub-Jay of the western U.S. and Mexico (which has 10 subspecies), the Island Scrub-Jay found only on Santa Cruz Island off the coast of California, and the Florida Scrub-Jay found only in central Florida. FSJs are not loud and raucous like other jays, but they are curious and let gentle people get close to them. Pete was able to get close enough to get a picture of one in flight. Myrtle oak, palmetto and sand pine can be seen in the picture, all dry, fire-adapted species.
It was a pleasant field trip. It turned out to be such a beautiful day, not deadly cold as forecast. It was good to see plants in that ecosystem when it's cool outside. The eastern St. Johns River plain and points east have much different plant life than Orlando, including coastal scrub. When it’s hotter it may be very botanically interesting, too, though much buggier. But that's a tale for a different day.
Photo Credits: 1) Picture of Black Point Wildlife Drive entrance by Cecilia Catron and 2) Blanket Flower (Gaillardia pulchella) 3) Green Heron
4) Florida Scrub Jay in flight - all by Pete Dunkelberg.
January Events



For more information on class schedule, instructors, field trip locations, and to register please go to http://www.masternaturalist.ifas.ufl.edu/Select
Current Course Offerings”,
Freshwater Wetlands, Orange County
                            
What is Birdapalooza? A celebration of the rich diversity of birds and other wildlife that make their home on the north shore of Lake Apopka, Florida’s fourth-largest lake, including:
  • Free birding/nature tours of the Lake Apopka North Shore area led by veteran guides
  • Nature photography hike
  • Live entertainment
  • Food trucks and other refreshments
The event is sponsored by one of our partner organizations - Orange Audubon Society.

 
Learn more about BioBlitz Initiative
Volunteer Opportunity -  January 21, 2017 9:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.

BioBlitz

What is BioBlitz
BioBlitz is an event that focuses on finding and identifying as many species as possible in a specific area over a short period of time. At a BioBlitz, scientists, families, students, teachers, and other community members work together to get an overall count of the plants, animals, fungi, and other organisms that live in a place.
Orange County Locations:
@ Blanchard Park - 2451 Dead Road, Orlando, FL32817
@ Savage Christmas Creek Preserve - 22001 E Colonial Drive, Christmas, FL 32709
In Memory of Kathleen Hale
On December 14, 2016 long time Tarflower Member Kathleen Hale passed away. For Tarflower Chapter members, Kathy will be remembered for all the plant salvages she organized.  As the Environmental Consultant for the Orlando International Airport, she was able to get the chapter access to the property. This access resulted in the rescue and relocation of many plants (including pitcherplants) to UCF and other natural areas.

A memorial service will be held in her honor on December 28th at Woodlawn Funeral Home.

In lieu of flowers, please consider donations in her name to any of the organizations:
Tribute to Kathy
February 7, 2017:
Florida's Native Pollinators: Ecology and Identification
Presented by: Joshua W. Campbell, PhD
Dr. Josh Campbell is a native pollinator expert and focuses on how habitat changes can affect their diversity and abundances. Growing up in Alabama, he attended Auburn University for his undergraduate studies and obtained his PhD in entomology from the University of Georgia. Dr. Campbell has studied native bees and other pollinators in a variety of ecosystems, including southeastern forests, grasslands, and cropping systems. Currently, he works as a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Florida where he focuses on ways to enhance blueberry and watermelon pollination by augmenting native bees and other pollinators.
     Come join us in  February to learn more about pollinators and the work that Joshua and his peers are doing to help mend the complex, interconnected relationships between native plants and the pollinators that rely on them.
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Want to Become a Member?
 
      Included in Membership
  • The Tarpaper - our monthly newsletter!
  • The Palmetto, our quarterly magazine, is filled with educational information on native plants, gardening, conservation of native habitats, and more.
  • Sabal Minor, our bi-monthly newsletter that will keep you up to date on FNPS news and activities
  • Annual Conference discount (Held in May of each year)
  • Native plant gardening and landscaping tips from your chapter volunteers!
For more information regarding membership visit www.fnps.org
or call (321) 271-6702.
Volunteer Hours 
 
In an ongoing effort to capture all the work that FNPS Tarflower Chapter members do and how they contribute to our surrounding community we are continuously working to gather volunteer information.

This information helps the pushers and movers who are uneducated about the native plant cause understand just how critical our organization is, and the services we we provide to our communities. 

If you have volunteered at any of our Tarflower Chapter Events including plant sales, work days, and time spent weeding at Mead -  please take a moment to report your hours. 
Look for a Volunteer Hour Recording Sheet at the sign in table at the monthly meetings.
Join FNPS
VOLUNTEERS NEEDED!
 
To help at one of the upcoming events, contact Jim Erwin at 407-454-3882 or email
To contribute to the Tarpaper, contact Cayce Salvino, email
To participate in our workdays at Mead Garden, contact Catherine Bowman at 407-761-7109 or 
email.
For general questions and inquiries about Tarflower happenings, contact Amanda Martin at 352-219-5381 or email.
See the events calendar for details of upcoming events and volunteer opportunities.

Whether you have an hour or a day, and no matter your skills, Tarflower Chapter has a place for you!
Copyright © 2016 FNPS Tarflower Chapter, All rights reserved.


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