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and passion
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Rocket scientist
Harry Levin's
world of flowers.
Passion flower
in van Cleve
painting spells
tale of mystery
Free desktop
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Gallery of
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Trail group meetings,
canoe get-togethers,
employment openings
tips and cleaning recipes

Gwen Beatty's Newsletter:

Hi folks,

Gary will be celebrating his birthday this week and it provides a perfect
excuse to get together with friends for cool drinks, conversation and
dinner. Join us after work on Friday, July 16 at La Fiesta located on
Apalachee Parkway in Tallahassee. We'll plan to meet at 5:30 pm or
whenever you can make it. No gifts please. However, if you are one
of those people who have had to suffer one of Gary's tasteless gag gifts,
 feel free to pay him back in kind. He deserves no less.

Don't forget that the Florida Trail Association meets this coming Tuesday,
July 13 at the Forestry Building located at 325 John Knox Rd, Suite 100F.
 Join us at 7 p.m. for the meeting. Everyone is welcome.

Several people have contacted me requesting employment information.
You'll notice that I've added a section on Employment Opportunities below.
I'll try to pass on any information I receive.
Check out the Apalachee Canoe & Kayak Club website at:
If you have a trip report, don't forget to go to the website and post your
report and any photographs you may have taken. Membership is required
to participate in ACKC paddling events. Membership is only $5 per
person per year and extends from January 1 to Dec. 31 each year.
We try to make it easy for people to join and usually have membership
forms available at each event.
Employment Opportunities:
1) Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Job Vacancy
Position Number: 77900647
Position Title: Wildlife Assistance Biologist; OPS Fisheries &
Wildlife Biological Scientist III
Closing Date: 19 July 2010
Pay Rate: $19.00/hr
Working Hours: 8:00am – 5:00pm (Full-time)
Location: Lake City, Florida
Residency Requirement: None
Benefits: As an OPS position this position does not include career service
benefits (that is, no paid leave, holidays or defined benefit retirement plan).
Contact Person: Terry J. Doonan, Ph.D.
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
3377 East U.S. Hwy. 90
Lake City, FL 32055
Phone: 386-758-0525 Email:

Description of Duties:

The person in this position
serves as the Wildlife Assistance Biologist for the North Central Region,
in the Species Conservation Planning Section. Plans, organizes, and
coordinates programs to manage or avert conflicts between humans
and wildlife in Florida's 17-county North Central Region. Provides
technical assistance over the phone and in writing to the public, both to
individuals and organizations, as well as Commission staff and other
agencies primarily regarding resolution or abatement of nuisance
wildlife events. Manages nuisance bear complaints and coordinates
efforts of nuisance bear contractors. Reviews or coordinates the review
 and issuance of some permits. Inputs and manages data and/or databases
 associated with these projects as necessary. Provides administrative
support for these activities as necessary. Assists in conducting other
activities as assigned. This is primarily an office position; the majority
of time spent fulfilling these duties will be in the office or, occasionally,
at meetings.

Level of Education: Degree in the biological sciences. Prefer: a BS degree;
A degree in wildlife science or related discipline; 1 year of professional
biological experience.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:
A Bachelor's degree with a major in wildlife science, ecology, natural
resources, or similar discipline preferred, but applicants with other
degrees and coursework in biology will be considered. Preference
will be given to those with customer service experience, applied
knowledge and experience in animal damage control techniques, and
experience with black bear biology and behavior. Must have a good
ability to communicate effectively both orally and in writing, and be
skilled in the use of computers for word processing, information
management, and communications. Good organizational, customer
service, and problem solving skills are necessary. Experience providing
technical assistance to the public is also necessary. Must have good
abilities to work well with minimal supervision, and to establish and
maintain effective working relationships.

How to Apply: Applicants should email a letter of application
accompanied by a copy of their resume to Terry J. Doonan at Terry. If possible, include an electronic copy of a
State of Florida Employment Application, but that will not be required initially.
This position will not be advertised through People First, the State's online
hiring system, and applications will not be accepted electronically through
People First because that system will be unavailable 9-19 July.


2) FMNP Program Coordinator
Below is a job announcement for the Program Coordinator
for the Florida Master Naturalist Program:

The FMNP Program Coordinator position has been advertised. You can
find it online at by clicking on Staff Positions (Req. #0805118).
The closing date is 7/25/2010. Applicants should apply on-line. Please
read the qualifications carefully. You may forward this opportunity to others if you wish.

3) If you know anyone who's looking, I noticed a "Now Hiring"
sign at the Big Lots on Apalachee Parkway at Capital Circle.
Shared Information:

1) From the FDEP website: Tips and Recipes for Green Cleaning:

All Purpose Cleaner
1/2 teaspoon soda ash or baking soda
Dab of liquid soap
2 cups hot water
Combine in a spray bottle; shake until all powder is dissolved.
Apply and wipe off residue with a rag or sponge.

Glass Cleaner
1 gallon water
1/2 cup white vinegar
1/2 teaspoon liquid dish detergent

Furniture Polish
1 cup vegetable or olive oil
1/2 cup lemon juice
Mix in spray bottle and shake well.
Apply small amount to a cloth.

Drain Cleaner
Pour 1/2 cup baking soda down the drain, followed by 1/2 cup vinegar.
Cover the drain and allow to sit for 15 minutes. Flush with 2 quarts boiling water.

Mold Killer
2 teaspoons tea tree oil
2 cups water
Combine in spray bottle and shake to blend.
Spray on problem areas. Do not rinse.

The Microfiber Cloth:
Cloths made of microfiber completely remove dust, and when
used alone or with a little water do not leave a chemical film or
streaks behind. You can clean and polish surfaces in one action,
picking up more than 97 percent of the dust and other materials
containing microbes, pollen and mold.

Microfiber cloths are made of polyester and polyamide (nylon)
 that are spun and split into micro-sized strings. They are then woven
 together to produce a soft, absorbent and durable cloth.

Microfiber cloths are positively charged, meaning they attract
negatively charged dirt and grease, and they offer the ability to
clean surfaces without chemicals.

It is important to take proper care of the reusable microfiber cloth,
which can last anywhere from 100-500 washes depending on the cloth.
Do not use fabric softeners or powdered detergents, which reduce the
effectiveness of the cloth. Prolong the life of your microfiber by
rinsing in water or washing in regular soap.

Microfiber cloths save time and most particularly money. You can s
ave up to $100 a year by replacing paper towels with microfiber. Most
anything can be cleaned with a microfiber without using anything but water,
saving hundreds of dollars on the cost of cleaners.

Seven Uses for a Microfiber:
1. Dust furniture surfaces with a slightly damp microfiber cloth.
2. Wipe windows with a damp microfiber cloth for streak-free cleaning.
3. Shine bathroom surfaces using a microfiber cloth and hot water.
4. Use a microfiber cloth dampened with hot water to clean kitchen
counters by running the cloth over the surface, overlapping horizontal strokes.
 Use your favorite cleaner or white vinegar instead of water if you prefer.
5. Run a microfiber cloth dampened with hot water over the
interior of your microwave for an easy cleanup.
6. Clean walls, window frames, cupboards and doors using a
slightly damp microfiber cloth.
7. Polish the inside and outside of your vehicle using a
dampened microfiber cloth.
Here's what's going on in the Panhandle this month:

July 13: Florida Trail Association, Apalachee Chapter meeting
at the Forestry Building located at 325 John Knox Rd., Suite 100F.
Join us at 7:00 for the meeting. Everyone is welcome.

July 16: Join us at 5:30 pm for Happy Hour at La Fiesta in
Tallahassee to wish Gary Sisco a happy birthday.

July 17: National Recreation and Parks Month – Free entry
to all state parks except Skyway Fishing Pier State Park. Launch of
Geocaching program at Jonathan Dickinson State Park, Southeast District.

July 21: Apalachee Canoe & Kayak Club meeting at Old Mexico Grill
nd Cantina located on Apalachee Parkway just east of Capital Circle.
Join us at 6:00 pm for dinner and 7:00 pm for the meeting. Our speaker will be
Doug Alderson who has a new book out. The title is "Encounters with
Florida's Endangered Wildlife". As you may have guessed, Doug will do
a program on Endangered Florida Wildlife. His presentations are always
very popular and this is a great way to get a preview of his latest book if
you haven't done so already. Everyone is welcome.

August 7: National Lighthouse Day Celebration at Bill Baggs Cape
Florida State Park, Key Biscayne.

August 10: Florida Trail Association, Apalachee Chapter meeting at the
Forestry Building located at 325 John Knox Rd., Suite 100F. Join us at
7:00 for the meeting. Everyone is welcome.

Aug 18: : Apalachee Canoe & Kayak Club meeting at Old Mexico Grill and
Cantina located on Apalachee Parkway just east of Capital Circle. Join us at
6:00 pm for dinner and 7:00 pm for the meeting. Everyone is welcome.

August 28- Sunday, August 29: Former Mermaid Show at Weeki Wachee
Springs State Park, Weeki Wachee Springs.

September 9: State Park Literacy Month, Butterfly Story
 Time event at Washington Oaks Gardens State Park, Palm Coast.

September 10- Sunday, September 12: State Park Literacy Month – Free
entry to all state parks except Skyway Fishing Pier State Park.

September 14: Florida Trail Association, Apalachee Chapter meeting
at the Forestry Building located at 325 John Knox Rd., Suite 100F.
 Join us at 7:00 for the meeting. Everyone is welcome.

Have a great week,


Tender moments with manatee
mother and her two calves

By Tom Southern

Sent to readers by Emily Hoon, River Rats Communication Coordinator
Weeki Wachee Trip Report: October 28, 2006

"Darci, Cris, Sena, Nick, and myself were all standing around the parking area at Roger's Park, having a good time talking about what a good time we'd had on the river. Nick raised his head after what I guess had been a moment's reflection and looking me, well, everyone I guess, right in the eye, said, "It's nice to see nature". It wasn't just his comment pretty much summing up the day that brought our chatter to a halt for a few seconds. It was the profoundness of the truth in that disarmingly simple sentence I think, that made all of us pause in our own thinking. I know it reminded me once again of how grateful I feel to be able to experience what we do on the rivers we all paddle together.

"We were only a few hundred yards downstream of the spring when Safi
spotted three manatees grazing in the clear, barely waist deep, water. A mother and two young ones. The mother was the same injured mother Sarah Blocker was the first to spot this summer (boy, those young women's eyes!). If you missed that story (attached for your convenience), this mother had a  watermelon sized tumor near what would be our left shoulder. Likely the result of having been run over by a power boat, according to a state biologist I talked with at the time.

"We all just sat there in our boats and softly oohed and ahead and grinned and shook our heads as if we couldn't quite believe we were actually witnessing these three gentle, but still wild animals, quietly eating what for us would have been a mid morning snack. I think that for at least half the group it was the first time they had ever seen manatee, so surely they'll never forget the moment.

"In addition to all those good feelings though, you couldn't help but feel bad, too. The tumor is even bigger now, if you can believe it, and it's moved more to her side than her back. It makes you sick to look at it, but at least we saw her eating plants in the water and the two beautiful little young ones (one about four feet long and the other maybe five or six feet), appeared to our untrained eyes to be healthy, though even they, even these babies, had scars on their backs from propellors running over them. The larger of the two's fluke (tail to us) was cut into three pieces, the wounds having healed, but the fluke obviously no longer able to operate as efficiently when it swam.

"Everyone else was now out of sight around a bend in the river. I was just sitting in my boat, taking it all in. I'm not sure how it happened, whether she came to me or I floated over her or what, but drifting along, my canoe at right angles to the river's flow, I noticed the smallest of the three manatees floating along parallel tothe current. No more than a foot away, I could see her two little eyes set wide in her cute, round face, looking up at me. I decided she had to be a girl because I already had a crush on her, and you know, the cognitive dissonance would be too much, so.......

"I reached out and stroked her forehead and rubbed her back. I held my hand to her mouth. It filled my palm. I could feel her whiskers against my skin as she explored my hand with her lips, nuzzling it and taking my fingers a tiny bit into her mouth before I guess she decided they weren't food and I remembered she had teeth designed to grind tough grass. We must have drifted along like that for fifty yards or so before, for some reason, maybe her mom calling, maybe her sensing she was getting too far from her mother, I don't know, but she turned and gently swam back upstream.

 For those few moments though, it was as if there was nothing else going on in the whole world. No sounds I can
remember, and except for the one thought that maybe I should keep my fingers out of her mouth, no `thinking brain function', just two animals from two different worlds relating to one another, both silently floating down the river together. I'm not sure how she felt really, or what she may have been thinking, but I was falling in love:)

"Unlike summer weekends when the Weeki Wachee is usually eat up with
too many motor boats and people who have, umm, lets' see now, how can
we say it and at least give the appearance of being non judgemental...... okay, how 'bout we say, they have a different idea of how to engage the natural world ........ we about had the river to ourselves. Only a couple of stinking (literally, not figuratively) motor boats and at least the young father who was taking his two boys out for aday on the water looked like he might be feeling apologetic for usingsuch a profane means to make his way downstream.

"This is one of my favorite rivers. I love the green tint to the clear water. I love the narrow, twisting course the river takes as it threads oasis like through the xeric sand pine and scrub oak forest in it's upper reaches. I love the shapes the cypress trees and their knees take in the swamp that lines the middle stretch. And as houses along rivers go, even the houses that mess up the lower stretch aren't too bad. I love how there are so many cool places to hop out of your
boat and swim.

"As lovely as the river is though, think of how much nicer it would be if it were like Ichetucknee Springs State Park. No trash at all (once again, I filled up a large garbage bag), no more houses, maybe buy up some of the existing ones. No more having to pay the private concessionaire a usurous rate for the privilege of walking through his building to get to the put in. No more power boats except in the very lower stretch of the river.

"If someone like Cris Rich, who is probably better organized than God, could get a movement started, by the time we are all old, we might get to go to a dedication ceremony where some politician gives a long speech taking credit for the hard work a bunch of people who love the river actually did, and we'll eat pork barbeque, drink cold beer, and go home and sleep well because we know there is at least a pretty decent chance our children will know the same feelings of joy and wonder and rapture we have felt floating down this elysian waterway, this little piece of heaven here on earth.

"Thanks to everyone who came.........Darci Waldon, Nick Christie, Karen Holder, Brenda Chalfin and children, Eliot and Safi, Bob Hornberger, Cris Rich, Beverly Bennett, John Williamson, Sena Bergeron, and her whitewater kayak friend (oh, please forgive me, I cannot remember your name, but he's a nice guy, I promise!).

"P.S. A little tip I thought of: when you're paddling toward the gulf after a cold front has just passed through and a cool, dry, stiff wind is coming from the west, put some of the lotion you have brought in your little 'personal stuff' bag on your face, it'll make the make the ride home more pleasant:)"

If you are looking for a lightweight camera that is good for
outdoor photography, I don't hesitate to recommend the Nikon D40x above.  I use it and like it. 

-- Michael E. Abrams,  Florida Wildflowers

Events of the past, miscellany.

Dr. Loran Anderson


Dr. Loran Anderson retired from his post as professor of biology at Florida State University and curator of  the herbarium there. 

Friends, colleagues and students came from far and wide for the occasion at Alfred B. Maclay State Gardens in Tallahassee on June 28, 2003, to honor him. 

He is not only regarded as one of the top botanists in the South, but beloved by his students and colleagues and by all who find his helpfulness to be boundless.

He has studied, identified and named many new  plants, and his work and publications are highly  respected. His enthusiasm for photography of  wildflowers inspired us more than 10 years ago to keep taking pictures. 

Angus Gholson


 It was altogether fitting that special ceremonies were held Feb. 28, 2003, to honor one of Florida's eminent field botanists and authentic heroes, Angus Gholson of Chattahoochee. 

     You can watch this on video.

    Click here for a Quicktime version of the ceremonies. The downloading of this video may take a few extra minutes if you are using a modem.  Quicktime, if you don't have it, is available as a free download. is a faster download but quirky. Just click on either word to get to a download page. 

       Botanists from the world over, and most botanists worth their salt in the Southeast have visited Chattahoochee and Angus's herbarium, and benefited from his decades of experience in the woods. An article in the St. Petersburg Times describes Angus Gholson "the weed man" although the article mistakenly says the late Dr. Robert Godfrey (tribute on next page) did his work at the University of Florida in Gainesville. He was, in fact, associated with Florida State University in Tallahassee. 

    We have also placed some more pictures of Angus at 

     What looked like 300 people descended upon the Chattahoochee Nature Park, renamed officially for Angus Gholson,  to honor him, his wife and family, and to shower him with love and affection. People came all the way from South Carolina and Mississippi. 

      Gholson is also a veteran of WWII, having flown over Europe in bombing missions. One of the members of his flight group was the late actor Jimmy Stewart.

     The park was recently expanded from about 20 to more than 100 acres, all the way down to the river, with help of grants written with the help of the Florida Natural Areas Inventory and other agencies. Speeches by the city manager and mayor of Chattahoochee and by author Gil Nelson revealed more about "our Angus"  that he would have liked, but Angus said he was delighted with the attention. One of his priorities he bestowed upon everyone, including the city,  is to keep the park free of trash and non-natural clutter. 

     A luncheon of pork loin and Brunswick stew followed the ceremonies, and then Angus led a  group on one of his inimitable forays into the trails in the park. Trillium underwoodii were out in force, and the trout lilies were leafed out. Among the many things he pointed out, Angus showed everyone the leaf of the Tipularia discolor, a terrestrial orchid that vegetates the winter and gathers enough energy in its leaf to burst forth in the summer. You can tell the leaf by its purple underside. 

        Let us know if you are interested in the full hour VHS tape. We're not professional movie-makers, but the sound is great and we will ship out the movie for $20 and put any excess into a worthy environmental cause.


  This Night Blooming Wild Petunia (Ruellia noctiflora) was captured near St. Marks in Wakulla County, Florida. This fragile, glistening flower reflects the rays of the rising sun. Other species of Ruellia are usually a light purple. Click on the flower for GIF (145k) and here for JPEG.  
You'll have to go west to find the Florida flame azalea which thrives in the moist, springtime woods. Look for it along the banks of streams. It is the most dazzling of the wild azaleas in Florida. Rhododenron austrinum is a colorful welcome sign that spring has arrived in and around Chattahoochee and the Panhandle.

Click on the flower for GIF (217k) and
here for JPEG.

This "art deco" moth explores a common but lovely flower often found along the sidewalk. The petals of the pink Heliotropium (sp) uncoil as sun rises and the flower blooms. This plant and the orange and black Rattlebox Moth were discovered at the entrance of the St. Marks bicycle trail in Tallahassee. Click on the flower for GIF (106k) and here for JPEG.

Monotropa uniflora or Indian Pipe

Calopogon orchid


Blue-eyed grass



Leon Sinks



Immature katydid


Fruit of Passiflora lutea