Category: Nature

Fall Foliage in South Florida?

There is no better display of fall foliage than in the northeastern USA (New England) in October each year. Vermont and New Hampshire have lots of great spots to view the changing leaves.

I have visited New England 4 times and if I had to pick one spot to re-visit I would choose the Kancamagus Highway in northern New Hampshire. The hillside views, the reflections of the colors in the river, the waterfalls and the covered bridges are all worth the drive into the White Mountains.

Here in south Florida we do not have enough cold days to produce the vibrant colors of New England. However there are a number of maple trees here that undergo color change at this time of year. I have visited a few local parks in search of maple trees and here are the more colorful ones.

MapleTree-FernNatureCtr_TH8021 MapleTree-FernNatureCtr_TH7515
MapleTree-QuietWatersPark_TH7916 MapleTree-TreeTopsPark_TH7559


The first two photos were taken at Fern Nature Center in Coconut Creek, the third was taken at Quiet Waters Park in Deerfield Beach and the last was shot at Tree Tops Park in Davie.

Burrowing Owl at Central Park

I saw 2 roped-areas for Burrowing Owls at Central Park. I did not know if both are active so after waiting at one I checked on the one where I saw owls previously. I was pleased to see this little creature willing to pose for some very close-up images.


International Migratory Bird Day is Saturday May 10 2014

International Migratory Bird Day

International Migratory Bird Day (IMBD) celebrates and brings attention to bird migration, one of the most important and spectacular events in the Americas. IMBD began in 1993 and is now hosted at more than 600 sites from
Canada to Argentina. Environment for the Americas, with the collaboration of international sponsors and partners, fosters bird conservation education in the Western Hemisphere through International Migratory Bird Day.
When is IMBD?

Though IMBD can be celebrated any day, the official day in Canada & the United States is the second Saturday in May. In Latin America & the Caribbean it is usually celebrated the second Saturday in October. Because birds do not migrate on one single day, we encourage organizations to celebrate when it is best for their schedule and when birds are present. Prompting annual activities is one aspect of IMBD, but encouraging year-round awareness and education is the goal. Every day is Bird Day!



A Small Prairie at Fern Forest Nature Center

Prairies are vast stretches of flat grassland with moderate temperatures, moderate rainfall, and very little trees. The grasses on prairies usually have long roots that reach water very far down under the surface. The deep roots of prairie grasses hold the soil firmly in place and greatly reduce soil erosion.

Most prairies are found in mid-America in states like Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Texas and Colorado, and the Canadian provinces of Alberta, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan. Many of these prairies or “Great Plains” are used for agriculture to grow wheat, oats and rye. (Source: National Geographic)

Fern Forest Nature Center in Broward County boasts a small prairie. It is not comparable to the huge grasslands in northern states but the characteristics of a prairie can be seen in this area. Here are images of this local prairie:

PrairieFernForest_TH4266 PrairieFernForest_TH4275 PrairieFernForest_TH4273

Burrowing Owls at Broward Parks

I saw burrowing owls for the first time at Brian Piccolo Park in Cooper City about 4 years ago. I also saw some at Central Broward Regional Park in Lauderhill in August 2012. A few weeks ago I saw one at Vista View Park in Davie.

The first picture was taken at Central Broward Park and the second at Vista View Park.




Burrowing Owl is about 7 1/2 – 10 inches tall with a wingspan of 21 – 24 inches, and weighs 4 1/2 – 9 ounces. Unlike most owls, the male bird is slightly heavier and has a longer wingspan than the females.”

“This owl is found in dry, open areas with low vegetation where fossorial mammals (i.e. ground squirrels) congregate such as grasslands, deserts, farmlands, rangelands, golf courses, and vacant lots in urban areas. It was once distributed broadly throughout western North America, but has found itself declining in numbers throughout all historic ranges in the last 30 years. The burrowing owl also occurs in Florida, Central America, and most of South America.” READ MORE