Gary

Exotic Butterflies in Maryland

Tropical rainforest butterflies float over flowerbeds seeking the sweet nectar the blossoms produce. Morpho butterflies, iridescent sky blue above and brownish below land on a tray with rotting fruit to sip the salts and nutrients from soft bananas, pears and watermelon. Owl butterflies with large eye spots to scare predators also enjoy the produce. Zebra […]

Ghost Plants of American Forests

A peculiar wild flower grows in many forest throughout North America. It is a strange plant because it has no chlorophyll, the substance that gives plants their green color and is critical in the production of food for the plant through photosynthesis. It is totally white – stems scale-like leaves and flowers. It depends on […]

The Grapes of Cocoa Beach

During a recent trip to Cocoa Beach, Anne and I walked from our small suite to the Atlantic Ocean beach front. Our short hike took us through a dune community dominated by a dense growth of sea grapes, a tree flattened by sea breezes and thriving in the dry sandy soils. Large rounded green leaves, […]

Florida Drought 2017

  It is May 2017 and the Southwest Florida Water Management District has issued Phase 3 water shortage restrictions limiting the use of water for watering lawns and washing cars. The below average rainfall this winter has contributed to the dearth of water. Lakes are receding into shallow ponds concentrating fish, frogs and other aquatic […]

When Gators Roar

In the headwaters of the Florida Everglades, two ten foot male American alligators confront each other on a hot and humid day in May. One male bellows at his opponent. The other arches its back and shows its gaping mouth. In an instant, tumultuous splashes expose the aggressiveness of the gators as they battle to […]

Creature From Down Under

During a recent walk near Lake Tsala Apoka, Anne spots a strange creäture clinging to the edge of the sidewalk. I look down to see an insect with large eyes and claw-like legs. This weird-looking bug is a cicada nymph that just crawled out of the ground. Cicadas are those insects you hear buzzing from […]

A Surprise and Welcome Visitor!

  I always enjoy watching wild birds come to my backyard feeders. Regal cardinals, petite black-capped chickadees and tiny chipping sparrows are just some of the many birds that come to eat sunflower seeds, millet and safflower. Today, Anne shouts to me, excitedly, “What kind of bird is that? It’s beautiful!” I dart across the […]