Friday, April 13, 2012

Spring Across the Panhandle

After a non-existent winter, we're now blessed with a prolonged spring. Low humidity, cool nights and mildly warm days. You can't ask for much more! 

At the end of February my master naturalist class visited the St. Joe Buffer Preserve which is a classical mix of wet lands and upland habitat. The Buffer is home to a number of rare and/or endangered species of plants. The Chapman rhododendron is only found in 3 places in Florida. 

An unusual characteristic of the Chapman is they grow in pine flatwoods instead of the shaded hillsides and ravines that many of it's cousins prefer.

In March I was invited to visit Spring Canyon. A private oasis in the steephead and ravine country of North Florida, featuring a number of rare species of plants.

The head of an active steephead with spring eroding a ravine.

Mountain laurel

Coral honeysuckle

Florida anise

Flame azalea

If these sights and habitat interests you, Torreya State Park is nearby and offers similar habitat.