A Northern Mockingbird draws attention to a sign at Haney Creek Park in Stuart, FL. I took a little walk there yesterday morning.
There is a nice trail that loops through the woods. I thought I saw a strange lizard on this sign.
It’s a toy, ha! But it did draw my attention to the name of the lichen along the trail: Reindeer Moss.
Cladonia rangiferina, also known as reindeer lichen (c.p. Sw. renlav), lat., is a light-colored, fruticose lichenbelonging to the family Cladoniaceae. It grows in both hot and cold climates in well-drained, open environments. Found primarily in areas of alpine tundra, it is extremely cold-hardy.
Other common names include reindeer moss, deer moss, and caribou moss, but these names may be misleading since it is not a moss. As the common names suggest, reindeer lichen is an important food for reindeer (caribou), and has economic importance as a result. Synonyms include Cladina rangiferina and Lichen rangiferinus.
Reindeer lichen, like many lichens, is slow growing (3–11 mm per year) and may take decades to return once overgrazed, burned, trampled, or otherwise consumed.
Don’t step on it!
Did you ever look at one particular dead tree and think, that’s a good spot for a bird, and then a bird swoops in and perches there?
The American kestrel usually hunts in energy-conserving fashion by perching and scanning the ground for prey to ambush, though it also hunts from the air. It sometimes hovers in the air with rapid wing beats while homing in on prey. Its diet typically consists of grasshoppers and other insects, lizards, mice, and small birds (e.g. sparrows). This broad diet has contributed to its wide success as a species.
As you can see, my fascination with Dahoon holly continues.
Nice little pop of color in the Florida autumn landscape, here at the edge of a seasonal wetland.
Dahoon holly… Provides significant food and cover for wildlife. Deer browse the young growth. Small mammals, turkey, quail, red-eyed vireos and other songbirds eat the fruits.
I’d plant it in my yard but it likes wetter soil.
Coming in for a landing! Another raptor appeared on a nearby snag.
I spotted this one in three different locations at Haney Creek during my walk.
Nice red shoulder.
I didn’t go this way. It’s just a view of the typical landscape.
I was keeping an eye out for a Scrub Jay, since I saw one at Haney Creek once when I didn’t have my camera. This was just a regular old Blue Jay playing hide and seek with me.
The jay is in a live oak tree. I see a tiny acorn.
The third time I saw the Red-shouldered Hawk it had perched in a great spot for photos – sunlight behind me and on the bird, with dark clouds beyond.
Its legs look so long.
This pose made me think of Horus, the Egyptian falcon god of kings and skies.
What a beauty.