Yesterday morning we had a wonderful time going on a county program. The program was an eco-buggy ride/hike that focused on wildflowers. We went to Long Leaf Pine Preserve, located in Volusia County. The program was run by Bonnie Carey, who is always great to be around. She had a special guest with her, a university professor of botany from Rollins College. We saw many types of wildflowers and plants and learned a lot!
My daughter was loving looking at and learning about all the wildflowers. She ran around from spot to spot investigating and using her hand lens to get a closer look at all of them. My son enjoyed it as well, but not as much as my daughter did.
Here are some pictures of some of the Florida wildflowers we saw while at Long Leaf Pine Preserve:
(Above: They are ready to head out and learn about Florida wildflowers.)
(Above: The professor of botany that taught us so much during this event.)
(Above: My son getting a close-up view of fox tail by using his hand lens).
(Above: Blazing star wildflower)
(Above: My daughter checking out a flower with her hand lens.)
(Above: Bog button)
(Above: My daughter is listening to the professor explain about diversity and how the plants and animals live together in the ecosystem).
(Above: Check out this beautiful red mushroom!)
(Above: My daughter and husband getting a closer look at the red mushroom.)
(Above: It's such a pretty red musrhoom!)
(Above: My daughter wanted to open a pod from a plant and see what was inside. Neat!)
(Above: That made her curious enough to want to open another one that was a different kind. Neat again!)
(Above: A devil rider stick bug. The female is large, the male is riding on her back.)
(Above: Sundew, which is a carnivorous plant that eats the insects that get stuck to it's tacky surface.)
(Above: Pine lily - what a beautiful wildflower!)
(Above: Bonnie Carey holds an opened hooded pitcher plant, allowing my daughter to use her hand lens to see the tiny bugs it has eaten. Learn more about pitcher plants here.)
(Above: More pictures of blazing star. I just loved how many were in bloom and how beautiful they were.)
(Above: My daughter is watching a buttefly on the blazing star plant. She was all excited that she could see it's proboscis.)
There were many wildflowers out during this time. This is just a sample of all we were able to see and learn about. We also saw meadow beauty, rattlebox, St. Peters wort, more mushrooms, other spiders, deer, and more. What a great time out in nature it was! I really love that the county puts on such events and that people like the professor are willing to come out with us and share their knowledge. Wonderful!