Tuesday, May 27, 2008
Monday, May 26, 2008
If you are a visitor to our beaches, you may not be familiar with jetties. According to Merriam-Webster, a jetty is a structure extended into a sea, lake, or river to influence the current or tide or to protect a harbor. Definitions aside, a jetty is a great place to fish or lean against the rail, gaze out over the ocean without getting wet, and contemplate life. This jetty at Sebastian Inlet State Park is a real beauty!
Saturday, May 24, 2008
The other story discussed the declining loggerhead population and efforts to have the loggerheads that nest along Florida beaches listed as a group separate from the rest of the loggerheads worldwide and to be officially ranked as endangered. Some interesting information in the story, and if you missed it, you can read it at http://www.floridatoday.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080524/NEWS01/805240325/1006/news01&referrer=NEWSFRONTCAROUSEL
Thursday, May 22, 2008
The class presented Cindy Doloway from the Sea Turtle Preservation Society with a plaque and a poster. The plaque looks really neat - a metal sea turtle containing all of the things that are harmful to sea turtles. I'm checking to see if they sell the plaques.
You can read the whole story at http://www.floridatoday.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080520/NEWS01/805200323/-1/SEVENDAYS
Sunday, May 18, 2008
A slideshow of small thumbnails runs automatically on the blog. Rolling the mouse over a thumbnail causes a slideshow control panel to appear below the thumbnail.
Clicking on a thumbnail brings up a Picasa web page (in a new window) that shows an enlarged view of the thumbnail. From there, you can view the images one at a time by clicking on the next or previous buttons.
If you click View Album at the left end just above the large image, you get a thumbnail view of all the images in the album.
Clicking on Slideshow at the left end above the thumbnails gives an automatically running slideshow with original-sized images. (Press Esc to get out of it.)
Moving the mouse anywhere causes a control panel to appear before the large image. You can pause, adjust dwell time, etc.
Saturday, May 10, 2008
Once inside, visitors were amazed at the beautiful artwork, the captivating interactive displays, and the attention to detail. (As soon as I figure out how to get a slideshow into this blog, I'll upload a better selection of photos.) From the graceful "wave" sign inside the front door, to the back observation deck, this Center is a jewel not to be missed, especially if you have children.
The artwork for the exhibits in the Center was created by Melbourne Beach graphic design artist and scientific illustrator Dawn Witherington, and is simply stunning in its beauty and detail.
Manager Ray Mojica is a computer whiz, and it shows in the wonderful interactive displays that entertain as well as instruct.
Leslie Sprague and her volunteers have created a gift shop that is a treat in itself. And don't miss Donna Lee Crawford's simple but elegant plant arrangement at the Welcome Desk. Grace and the children's activity center will ensure that learning is great fun at the same time. So much good stuff in one tidy building!
The Barrier Island Sanctuary Management and Education Center (Barrier Island Center) is an educational center located in the heart of the Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge, a major nesting site for sea turtles. How this Center came to be a reality is a story of cooperation between agencies and organizations - The Brevard County Environmentally Endangered Land Program (EEL), the Caribbean Conservation Corporation, and the Richard K. Mellon Foundation. The Mellon Foundation donated the 34-acre parcel to Brevard County, the EEL Program developed and now manages the Center, and the Caribbean Conservation Corporation has partnered with the EEL Program to conduct the educational programs offered at the Center.
The Center offers visitors a variety of sea turtle-related exhibits and educational activities, including guided hikes and turtle walks. It is fully handicapped-accessible.
The Center is located on A1A, 14 miles south of the Melbourne Causeway (192), and 3 miles north of Sebastian Inlet State Park. Hours of operation are 9:00 a.m to 5:00 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday. For more information, or to sign up for turtle walks in June and July, call 321-723-3556.
Wednesday, May 7, 2008
Residents and visitors alike should take extra care to follow the basic rules - close drapes of beachside windows at night, no flashlights or flash photography on the beach, shield or turn off beachside lights, limit night walks on the beach, and stay away from turtles, nests, and hatchlings.
Saturday, May 3, 2008
Excerpt from "In Days Agone: Notes on the Fauna and Flora of Subtropical Florida in the Days When Most of Its Area was a Primeval Wilderness," by Willis S. Blatchley. This particular excerpt was titled "Cape Sable and Key West in 1919."
Wednesday, February 26, 1919.-The cook at the Club House has a garden two miles east in the grounds surrounding an abandoned house. Dr. King took the mule and wagon and drove up there for turnips and beets, the only things left growing after the heavy frost of a month ago. I rode up with him and walked back, collecting on the way. The tracks of coons and wild cats were very plentiful along the roadway, and also in places those of a much larger cat, probably the Florida panther.
One of the vilest trailing or sprawling herbs on these prairie flats is the "poor man's plaster," or "stickleaf," Mentzelia floridana Nutt. It grows to a length of 6 feet, has very brittle stems, alternate ovate lobed leaves and bright yellow flowers nearly an inch in width. The whole plant, including the seed pods, is densely clothed with minute barbed stinging hairs. If one touches it or walks near it all parts of it break away and cling tenaciously to clothing and shoes; in fact so tightly that they cannot be scraped off, but remain until they wear away. The plant occurs frequently in open places in South Florida and also in the Bahamas.
And here is the ultimate one, found on a website about geocaching:
Ode to Poorman’s Patch
Waiting in the tranquil morning mist,
Listening to cardinals and crickets sing,
Conspiring with neighbors, steady with a patient look.
Branches of green and flowers so yellow,
Appear so harmless and innocent;Pure and uncorrupted by evil?
Until the passer-by brushes against its furred foliage
And touches the hairy leaves in haste
The poorman’s patch grows irate
And leaves behind a wretched and sticky gift!
Who hath been cursed by the Mentzelia floridana?
Fate doom’d the hike of every strider in its path.
The smart sufferer must not launder thy attire, No!
Instead, fear it, but first allow thy garb to dry for days,
Until the poorman dessicates and becomes waterless.
Then with a knife, ye must scrape the wretched leaf;
Chafe and rasp and scour and scratch and scuff,
And the once wicked leaf will be never more.
Handsome as a primrose and incapable of giving pain,
Yet one soon comes to avoid him swiftly.
Perhaps first appearing in the Botanical Gazette, Feb. 1879, in an
article "A Visit to the Shell Islands of Florida," by A.H. Curtiss.