Panhandle Outdoors

Outdoor Adventure is Nearby!

Canoeing in Perdido River Photo credit: Carrie Stevenson This time of year, many families are looking for ways to entertain their kids during spring break. For those not planning to travel far, our area is full of fun, and often inexpensive, outdoor adventures. As part of a series of field excursions led by Extension Agents …

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Permanent link to this article: http://okaloosa.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2015/03/28/outdoor-adventure-is-nearby/

Non-Native Freshwater Jellyfish in Florida?

Freshwater Jellyfish, Craspedacusta sowerbyi, Lankester, 1880. Photo Credit: U.S. Geological Survey Archive, U.S. Geological Survey, Bugwood.org Yes, you read the title correctly, it says freshwater jellyfish in Florida! The first time I encountered these unusual aquatic creatures was while swimming in a small lake in southern Indiana. It turns out these jellyfish, while not very …

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Permanent link to this article: http://okaloosa.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2015/03/28/non-native-freshwater-jellyfish-in-florida/

Spring is Here! Discovering the Panhandle – Barrier Islands – March

What many have been waiting for… spring is here!  HAPPY EQUINOX EVERYONE! Today’s photoperiod will be 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of darkness – equinox.  Many cultures around the world celebrate this and many ancient cultures built great structures to celebrate the event.  It is also a time that many forms of plants and wildlife …

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Permanent link to this article: http://okaloosa.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2015/03/21/spring-is-here-discovering-the-panhandle-barrier-islands-march/

The Preying Mantis: Friend to Gardeners, but Nightmare to Insects

The preying mantis is well equipped to thin the population of destructive insects. The last two years have been kind to the insect population in north Florida, and 2015 appears to be continuing the trend. The weather has provided enough rain for those bugs which depend on the generous supply of foliage and the temperatures …

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Permanent link to this article: http://okaloosa.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2015/03/20/the-preying-mantis-friend-to-gardeners-but-nightmare-to-insects/

Resurrection Ferns: Hardy Native Air Plants

Resurrection ferns are found in many mature hardwood trees in north Florida. This fern is an air plant which prospers on skimpy amounts of water and plant nutrients. One of the wonderful features of spring is the return of green to the branches of many trees in north Florida. Cypress, poplar, cherry and many others …

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Permanent link to this article: http://okaloosa.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2015/03/13/resurrection-ferns-hardy-native-air-plants/

It’s not just the honeybees!

Swallowtail Butterfly Feeding on a native Buckeye. Buckeyes also attract hummingbirds.Photo Credit: Jed Dillard Honey bees are quite the buzz these days. Reports of population declines and the importance of their role in pollination have caught the country’s attention.  The Northwest District IFAS Beekeepers’ classes have grown by leaps and bounds over the years. Many …

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Permanent link to this article: http://okaloosa.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2015/03/06/its-not-just-the-honeybees/

Six Simple Ideas for Dealing with Your Unwanted Exotic Pet

This exotic snake was caught in a garage on Bayou Chico (Pensacola) – it did not belong to the homeowner. Photo courtesy of: Escambia County Animal Control Now that we have completed National Invasive Species Week many readers have learned what NOT to do with their unwanted exotic pets… but what DO you do with them? Here …

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Permanent link to this article: http://okaloosa.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2015/03/06/six-simple-ideas-for-dealing-with-your-unwanted-exotic-pet/

Invasive Species of the Day: Cogongrass and Tawny Crazy Ant

Cogongrass (Imperata Cylindrica): Cogongrass Photo Credit: Chris Evans, Illionois Wildlife Action Plan, www.bugwood.org Cogongrass is one of the 10 worst weeds in the world.  This grass is an aggressive grower and forms colonies causing loss of productive forest areas, severe degradation of habitat, and economic issues.  Since its introduction in the 1900s, Cogongrass has spread …

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Permanent link to this article: http://okaloosa.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2015/03/01/invasive-species-of-the-day-cogongrass-and-tawny-crazy-ant/

Invasive Species of the Day: Cuban Tree Frog and Hydrilla

Cuban Treefrog (Osteopilus septentrionalis): Image by Dr. Steve A Johnson 2005. The Cuban Treefrog: was introduced into Florida as a stowaway on vehicles and plants in the 1920’s. As of 2013, breeding populations have been recorded as far north as Georgia. Cuban Treefrogs have larger toepads and eyes than any of the native species. Being …

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Permanent link to this article: http://okaloosa.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2015/02/28/invasive-species-of-the-day-cuban-tree-frog-and-hydrilla/

Invasive Species of the Day: Tiger Prawn and Climbing Ferns

Giant Tiger Prawn (Penaeus monodon): Giant Tiger Prawn: This large shrimp, also known as the Asian Tiger Shrimp and the Black Tiger Shrimp, can reach lengths between 8-12 inches.  It resembles are native edible penaeid shrimp but differs in that it has distinct black and yellow stripes. It was brought to the U.S. from the Indo-Pacific …

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Permanent link to this article: http://okaloosa.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2015/02/27/invasive-species-of-the-day-tiger-prawn-and-climbing-ferns/

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