Nature’s Reflections – Living with Alligators

Nature’s Reflections – Living with Alligators

Keep your distance and NEVER feed them   Florida’s official state reptile is the American Alligator (Alligator mississippensis). This largest North American reptile is a common site in Florida’s waterways. Our state is home to 1.3 million of them. People are intrigued by alligators, but they are dangerous creatures if someone attempts to handle or […]

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Nature’s Reflections – Nine-Armed Sea Star

Nature’s Reflections – Nine-Armed Sea Star

Once called a starfish, although it is not a fish   Sea stars are Echinoderms (Echinodermata) —a group of animals whose name means “spiny skin,” which includes sea urchins, feather stars, sand dollars and sea cucumbers. About two thousand species exist exclusively in oceans worldwide. None are found on land or in freshwater. Sea stars […]

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Nature’s Reflections – The Green Anole

Nature’s Reflections – The Green Anole

One of Florida’s best natural pest control experts   This lively little garden critter is the Green Anole (Anolis carolinensis), pronounced uh’no-lee, of the Iguanidae family. It is the only anole native to Florida and not to be confused with the non-native Brown Anole. Its long-pointed snout and smooth skin distinguishes it, as does its […]

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Nature’s Reflections-Pileated Woodpecker

Nature’s Reflections-Pileated Woodpecker

The Pileated Woodpecker, (Melanerpes carolinus) is the largest and most famous of Florida’s seven woodpeckers. It was the inspiration for the cartoon character Woody Woodpecker. A mature bird is fifteen to nineteen inches tall and weighs about twelve ounces.   This woodpecker is easily identified by its bold black and white striped head and neck, […]

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Nature’s Reflections-Florida’s Cattle Egret

Nature’s Reflections-Florida’s Cattle Egret

The Cattle Egret (Bubulcus ibis), native to Africa and Asia, is believed to have traveled across the Atlantic to South America in the late 1800s. From there, it migrated north to the US in the early 1940s. Over the next fifty years, it became one of the most prolific herons in all of North America. […]

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Nature’s Reflections-West Indian Manatee

Nature’s Reflections-West Indian Manatee

A Unique Native Floridian   The West Indian manatee, (Trichechus manatus), is found throughout Florida’s shallow, slow-moving rivers, estuaries, saltwater bays and coastal areas. This large aquatic mammal with its innocent looking face reaches ten feet in length and weighs more than a thousand pounds. It has two flippers and a round elongated body that […]

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