Beautiful Eyed Elator Click beetle

Eyed Elator  Click beetle

a Beautiful Eyed Elator Click Beetle graced my Lanai door this afternoon.   

These beetles are 1  1/2″ long.

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a Dingy Flowered Star Orchid – in bloom

Epidendrum amphistomum

On April 2-3  I was on the boardwalk at Corkscrew for two wonderful overcast days meandering in an occasional slow drizzle as storms moved across the landscape.  As I wandered and paused along the 2.25 miles of trail I scouted trees for birds that were new to me, as well as for elusive orchid sign..    I was walking-along-very-slowly-quietly-taking everything in, listening..   when I spotted high up in a Cypress tree at Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary  a large Orchid clump – in bloom.    

I was sooooo elated to see this one colorful clump high up in a Cypress!  I was .texting all over my find…   What species?   I learned this is Epidendrum amphistomum or “the Dingy Flowered Star Orchid.”  The species is pollinated by male night moths, specifically: Eucereon carolina, Lymire edwardsii, Cisseps fulvicollis, and Oxydia vesulia.  It was anything but “Dingy”  the occasional sunlight breaking through the clouds just lit up the fresh clump of flowers.  

It was also at the limits of my 300mm camera lens optical resolution.  Just the same, it made my day to see such a magnificent Orchid in bloom!  I wondered how many others had spotted it? or not?  We are mostly conditioned to look ahead and not above for treasures.  Thank you to Sally at Corkscrew for identification of this beautiful orchid.  

Florida Orchids are Protected.  Most are Endangered, take photos, nothing else.

Stately Spires of Coral Bean

Coral Bean

Erythrina herbacea L. Coralbean.

Ancient, sacred hallucinogenic plant to the Aztecs and used today as occasional (poison) pest control in Mexico it is best not to handle the pretty, scarlet seeds of the Coral Bean.  Enjoy this tall, stately, beautiful plant from afar, from the edges of the trail where it may grow 12 feet tall.  Take some time to watch the flowers and see if you can observe Hummingbirds partaking of its nectar.