Journal archives for May 2022

May 02, 2022

CNC 2022 Observation Period Ends Tonight at Midnight!

It is the last day of City Nature Challenge! We are well on our way to beat last year's numbers but let's get a final big push in to see how high we can get. All observations taken today up to midnight will count. You can upload them tomorrow but all observations must be in before May 8th to be counted for CNC 2022. We would like to thank all our partners who were out with us and everyone who participated whether it was in a group or on their own. Let's finish CNC Strong!

Photo by Sandra of a Jamaican Caper tree during our Leffis Key Bioblitz. A big thank you and shoutout to our volunteers and supporters during CNC 2022!

Posted on May 02, 2022 07:36 PM by sarasota_manatee_ecoflora_sean sarasota_manatee_ecoflora_sean | 0 comments | Leave a comment

May 06, 2022

Reminder to Upload Photos and New Ecoquest/Upcoming Bioblitzes

If you have not already please upload your photos for CNC 2022 by May 8th with winners being announced by May 9th. We have already gotten over 20% more observations and double the participation as last year!

Most of us are familiar with the sight and taste of cabbage, broccoli, kale, radishes, turnips, and mustards on our dinner plates, but did you know that these vegetables–collectively known as cruciferous vegetables–are all related? These plants are members of the Brassicaceae family, which is comprised of approximately 4,060 different species. Many of them have been cultivated for agricultural purposes and are staple foods in diets across the world. All members of the Brassicaceae family are characterized by cruciform (“cross shaped”) flowers that are usually yellow or white. Hence the name cruciferous!

Spotted by Chaseyb this Jointed Charlock exemplifies the cruciform or cross shaped flowers.

This month’s EcoQuest will focus on members of the mustard family that grow in our own backyards, some of which are also edible! There are six native mustard species that have been documented via preserved specimen collections in Sarasota and Manatee counties:

Coastal searocket (Cakile lanceolata)

Pennsylvania bittercress (Cardamine pensylvanica)

Western tansymustard (Descurainia pinnata)

Virginia pepperweed (Lepidium virginicum)

Florida watercress (Nasturtium floridanum)

Southern marsh yellowcress (Rorippa teres)

These species inhabit a variety of habitats. Coastal searocket can be found in coastal dunes while Florida watercress grows in springs and swamps. Florida watercress is our only endemic mustard species, meaning that it is both native and only found in Florida!

Our native mustards inhabit a variety of habitats. Coastal searocket, for example, grows in coastal dune ecosystems, while Florida watercress grows in spring and swamp ecosystems. Florida watercress is also our only endemic mustard species, meaning that it is not only native to Florida but is only found in Florida.

The Coastal Searocket is a beautiful albeit uncommon native to many of our barrier islands in Sarasota and Manatee counties spied by Chaseyb.

One of the most common Florida native Brassicaceae species, Virginia pepperweed, is likely growing in your neighborhood or a disturbed site nearby. Not only is Lepidium virginicum edible to humans, it is also a host plant for both the checkered white butterfly (Pontia protodice) and the great southern white butterfly (Ascia monuste).

There are five non-native species that have been documented in the two counties as well:

India mustard (Brassica juncea)

Lesser swinecress (Lepidium didymum)

European watercress (Nasturtium officinale)

Wild radish (Raphanus raphanistrum)

Charlock mustard (Sinapsis arvensis)

All non-native species that have been introduced to Florida ecosystems are edible! Most have been grown as agricultural crops, so it is likely that they originally spread by escaping from cultivation. European watercress is specifically grown as a crop in Florida to supplement the supply for other states who cannot grow it during the winter months.

Please join us for the bioblitzes listed below as we forage for our local mustard species! Have your weeds and eat them too!

Upcoming Bioblitzes
May 10th - 9am - 12pm Rocky Ford 4000 Knight’s Trail Rd. Nokomis, FL 34275
June 3rd - 9am - 12pm Lazy Dollar 4000 Knight’s Trail Rd. Nokomis, FL 34275
June 15th - 9am - 12pm Anna Maria Island 316 N Bay Blvd, Anna Maria, FL 34216
May 27th - 9am - 12pm Robinson Preserve 1704 99th St NW, Bradenton, FL 34209

Also if you have not uploaded your City Nature Challenge observations of anything during April 29th to May 2nd please do so before May 9th where the final numbers will be submitted and winners announced!

You can learn more by going to selby.org or emailing us at ecoflora@selby.org or asking below!

Posted on May 06, 2022 07:45 PM by sarasota_manatee_ecoflora_sean sarasota_manatee_ecoflora_sean | 0 comments | Leave a comment

May 10, 2022

May 10th Bioblitz Rescheduled

Hello EcoFlora Participants,

Due to a quick turnaround and lack of signups for tomorrow's bioblitz for Rocky Ford May 10th at 9AM Bioblitz is rescheduled we are rescheduling it to May 23rd to allow for more time for everyone to get there. Below is the updated bioblitzes for the May and June time period.

Upcoming Bioblitzes UPDATED
May 23rd - 9am - 12pm Rocky Ford 4000 Knight’s Trail Rd. Nokomis, FL 34275
May 27th - 9am - 12pm Robinson Preserve 1704 99th St NW, Bradenton, FL 34209
June 3rd - 9am - 12pm Lazy Dollar 4000 Knight’s Trail Rd. Nokomis, FL 34275
June 15th - 9am - 12pm Anna Maria Island 316 N Bay Blvd, Anna Maria, FL 34216

Please email or call if you need anything or have any questions and thank you for your patience!

Sean Patton

EcoFlora Coordinator

Posted on May 10, 2022 12:36 AM by sarasota_manatee_ecoflora_sean sarasota_manatee_ecoflora_sean | 0 comments | Leave a comment

May 13, 2022

2022 City Nature Challenge Final Results and Winners!

Thank you to the 156 observers and 359 people who participated in this year's City Nature Challenge!

We are pleased to announce the top 10 volunteer observers of the Sarasota-Manatee City Nature Challenge (CNC). Overall, we had 5,934 observations of 1,494 species. This beat out last year's 4,373 observations of 1,184 species by over 1,000 observations and 300 species! The top five most observed species were brown anoles (64), American alligators (39), cabbage palms (37), and a three-way tie for fourth with 36 Virginia creepers, 36 lubber grasshoppers, and 36 white beggar ticks.

The Brown Anole Anolis sagrei was the most observed species in this year's CNC, photo by elprofer.

Our Top Ten list for observations in the Sarasota-Manatee CNC for 2022 are as follows:

  1. crowleymuseumandnaturecenter with an astounding 832 observations of 486 species!
  2. lazynaturalist came in second with 629 observations of 270 species.
  3. elprofer was new to this year's challenge and came in third with 541 observations of 249 species.
  4. ceherzog with 434 observations of 353 species.
  5. joe_cripe with 370 observations of 166 species.
  6. yukonfl with 364 observations of 252 species.
  7. phaynes with 224 observations of 172 species.
  8. miriinthewild with 211 observations of 137 species.
  9. Carol418 with 204 observations of 125 species.
  10. sandrae34242 with 161 observations of 137 species.

Marie Selby Botanical Gardens the sponsors of our local Sarasota Manatee EcoFlora Project and of our CNC 2022 entry specialize in orchids, bromeliads, gesneriads, and epiphytes. Pictured here by this years winner crowleymuseumandnaturecenter is an uncommon ground orchid native to Florida, Spring Ladies' Tresses Spiranthes vernalis.

A special thanks to our top identifiers with over 1,000 ID's, including Jayhorn, hunter196, and coolcrittersyt as our top three.

The rarest plant found during CNC 2022 was Xyris stenotera flowering here, photo by Damonmoore.

We also noted 284 observations of 58 species of federally or state listed threatened plants and animals, with the American alligator being the most common animal at 39 observations and the giant airplant the most common plant with 19. Some of the rarest observations include Xyris stenotera, the West Indian manatee or Trichechus manatus, and the piping plover or Charadrius melodus and more all at one observation. Some threatened species seen in larger numbers include the less common cardinal airplant Tillandsia fasciculata with 11 observations and the gopher tortoise Gopherus polyphemus at 17 observations! Other fun facts include great blue herons as the most observed bird at 27 observations, Caesar weed the most spotted invasive at 26 observations, and the most popular post was of a group of baby Io moths hatching on a white mangrove leaf. The 2022 CNC also helped support our year-round Sarasota-Manatee EcoFlora Project with 3,783 plant observations of 904 species.

An amazing shot of the adorable Piping Plover Charadrius melodus by gloriamarkiewicz during CNC 2022.

Thank you all for participating this year. We will reach out to the winners about how to collect their prizes, and we hope to see you out regularly at our Sarasota-Manatee EcoFlora Project hikes year-round!

Posted on May 13, 2022 08:16 PM by sarasota_manatee_ecoflora_sean sarasota_manatee_ecoflora_sean | 0 comments | Leave a comment

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