Trees and Shrubs

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, […]

A Breather from the Holiday Rush

Anne and I decided to take a break from holiday shopping and preparations by riding into the central Florida countryside. We drove past cattle ranches, long leaf pine farms, orange groves and a vineyard. When we reached Clermont, we discovered a U-Pick Orange Grove and decided to check it out. A short walk from the […]

Attractive, but a Pest!

Along the edges of the lakes and swamps in Florida is a bush with magnificent yellow flowers that are in full bloom in October.  Once a native of Central and South America, its alluring, showy blossoms attracted gardeners who planted it here in Florida and other southern States. This plant is called the primrose willow. […]

A Hint of Autumn in Florida

Unlike the trees up north  live oaks, cypress and hickory trees are still a deep green here in central Florida  in mid October. I scan the woodlands alongside Lake Tsala Apopka looking for some sign of fall. Alas I find a hint of autumn with the leaf changes of the southern fox grape, a vine […]

Red Mulberry – An Excellent Food for Wildlife

Walking out on my daughter’s balcony in her Maryland townhouse, I am careful not to step on the dozens of berries that fell onto the deck from the branches of a Mulberry tree that tower over the veranda. The tree is laden with ripe black-purple berries that dangle from the tree’s branches. Tufted Titmice, gray […]

Elderberry – A Shrub With Many Uses

WARNING – do not .eat berries from trees, bushes, or plants unless you absolutely have a positive ID on the plant. People die from eating poisonous fruits and berries! For example, to the amateur botanist, poison hemlock is  plant that grows in similar habitats as elderberry and has flowers that look similar to elderberry, but […]

Leaves of Three… Leave Them Be

The sun’s rays penetrates the morning mist in the red maple- black gum wetlands along a river on Long Island one spring day. Yellowthroat warblers sing from high-bush blueberries and catbirds “meow” from the forest canopy. A white-tailed deer, its fur a rich brown, browses on plants on the forest floor. It raises its head […]