Exploring

Recently, we’ve been exploring the Upper Pithlachascotee River Preserve. It’s a small park with walking trails and a boardwalk through a cypress swamp. I’m fascinated with the cypress knees – you can see them poking up in the right of the picture – they look like skinny, short¬†stumps.

treehugger

This is the first time I’ve really gotten close to cypress trees. And, the park has the 8th largest bald cypress tree in Florida. Neat!

Here’s a closer view of some other cypress knees.

cypress knees

Scientists aren’t sure¬†why the cypress trees have these… perhaps for stability.

Tree Frog on My Window

This little guy showed up this afternoon and stayed for quite a while. He’s just over an inch long (I was able to measure without scaring him away) and according to my Florida field guide, he’s a Squirrel Treefrog. He can turn brown! I wonder why he’s out right now… they’re supposed to be nocturnal. Click the picture for a larger version.

Squirrel Treefrog

I wonder what that is, above his eye? It looks like a little bit of dirt but I’m not sure.

Baby Lizard

Today when we got home from our walk, we spied this little guy on our aloe vera plant. The leaf he’s on is maybe 2″ wide at the most. I saw him again on my way to the store and he was light brown. I think he’s a brown anole – an invasive species from Cuba. Apparently they eat green anoles, which is one of our native critters. Gah!

Baby Brown Anole

Neat Spider

I was out in the yard the other day and happened to look in the pool, and this is one of the creatures I found! I just love how his legs dent the water. Here’s more about how fishing spiders walk on water.

Update! I sent this picture in to What’s That Bug? and here’s the reply I got:

Hi Emmy,
Of all the species of Fishing Spider, the Six Spotted Fishing Spider, Dolomedes triton, is probably the one most associated with water and fishing. Your photo is truly wonderful and a study in symmetry.

Spider on water