Bosque Estatal de Guánica, Camino las Cobanas, Puerto Rico

The Guánica State Forest, popularly known as the Guánica Dry Forest is a subtropical dry forest located in southwest Puerto Rico. The area was designated as a forest reserve in 1919 and a United Nations Biosphere Reserve in 1981.

Amazing nature location!! Many butterflies species, plenty of bird action and countless plants I've never seen. Mosquitoes were out, but not too bad. Ironically we saw no mosquitoes in the cloud forest but many here in the dry forest.

Camino las Cobanas is actually a hiking trail and not a road. It shows up as a road on google maps.

Posted on 2023年06月01日 23:40 by j-stauffer j-stauffer | 0 評論 | 留下評論


Puerto Rico- general info

Where is Puerto Rico?

part of the West Indies-> Antilles-> Greater Antilles-> Puerto Rico

The West Indies is a subregion of North America and consists entirely of islands, surrounded by the North Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, that includes the Antilles (Greater and Lesser) + the Bahamas

Posted on 2023年05月31日 12:02 by j-stauffer j-stauffer | 0 評論 | 留下評論

Bahia las Cabezas (west side), Puerto Rico, May 28, 2023

A beautiful beach with both sandy and rocky shoreline to explore. Volcanic rock (basaltic) overlaid by sedimentary rock are visible.

Tropical Dry Forest, Mangrove Forest, Seagrass Beds

geologic history of Puerto Rico: https://oceanexplorer.noaa.gov/okeanos/explorations/ex1502/background/geology/welcome.html#:~:text=The%20island%20began%20life%20as,of%20the%20Peru%2DEcuador%20border.

Posted on 2023年05月31日 10:34 by j-stauffer j-stauffer | 0 評論 | 留下評論

Caimitillo Trail, El Yunque National Forest, Puerto Rico, May 30, 2023

A beautiful trail through the mixed palm cloud forest to the elfin cloud forest. The trail starts at a slightly lower elevation than the two previous trails we took in El Yunque. We encountered unique orgasms that we hadn't seen before. In fact, each trail we've hiked in the park has provided novel experiences.

El Yunque trails open at 8AM and a $2 permit is required. We made reservations by phone via their website. Permits are issued exactly 24 hours in advance and due to high demand, it's vital to login a few minutes ahead of time to be prepared. A minute late and you won't get a reservation.

Posted on 2023年05月31日 10:16 by j-stauffer j-stauffer | 0 評論 | 留下評論


Trade Winds Trail, El Yunque National Forest, Puerto Rico, May 29, 2023

Mixed Palm and Elfin Cloud Forest

no mosquitoes

well-maintained trail, great views, plenty of palms

Posted on 2023年05月30日 01:18 by j-stauffer j-stauffer | 0 評論 | 留下評論


El Toro Trail, El Yunque National Forest, Puerto Rico, May 27, 2023

Arrived at the parking area off PR-186 at 6:50 AM. We hiked 2.2 miles to El Toro Peak. Much of the trail was muddy due to ochre and red clay deposits, with some serious erosion damage in areas. The trail was rugged and not well-maintained. It took us five hours to reach the peak. We searched for birds and admired the plants on the ascent. Going back, I focused on plant photography, taking nearly 800 pictures. Returned to car at 5:50 PM. Adele and I hiked for 11 hours!

Air temp was mid 70's, with a cool breeze at times. No mosquitoes, scattered rain showers. Elfin woods at the peak, with rain forest below that. Whole area is called cloud forest?

road to reach the parking area was narrow and curvy, with many reckless drivers. A beautiful drive through the country. Good birding. Many great plants, but views along the trail are few and far between. The highlights of this hike are the plants, birds and peak. The Trade Winds trail is much prettier. We are very pleased with today's adventure but we won't return in the future.

El Toro Trailhead= 2132 feet
El Toro Peak= 3533 feet

small parking area, no fee

Piptocarpha tetrantha
Casearia arborea
Lisianthius laxiflorus - endemic

Posted on 2023年05月28日 01:00 by j-stauffer j-stauffer | 0 評論 | 留下評論


Hal Scott Regional Preserve and Park, FLORIDA- May 13, 2023

Hal Scott Regional Preserve and Park, Orange County, Florida

**Most of the preserve consists of Longleaf Pine with Saw Palmetto understory

We arrived at 7AM with the hope of hearing some early morning birds calling. We were not disappointed. A few Brown Thrashers were calling along the white trail, within a 5-10 minute walk of the parking lot. Perhaps my favorite US thrasher because of its cinnamon brown coloration, it's a beautiful bird. Perched atop a Southern Live Oak, the one we saw was wary of our presence. I was able to get a couple of shots from a distance but once it saw us it took flight. Are most brown thrashers this scared? Not sure. I recall seeing a thrasher at Briggs Nature Center in Collier County that allowed a close approach.

Gulf Fritillary- fresh individual with brilliant silvery metallic spots on underside of hindwings
Palmetto Skipper- bright ochre wings, mantle and top of head- larvae feed exclusively on saw palmetto, despite the abundance of the host plant, the butterfly is quite scarce

Sabatia flowers- protandrous, with anthers opening first, while stigma branches remain closed. Anthers fall off and then stigma branches open. Very cool to see!

Endangered species seen today:

  • Red-cockaded Woodpecker- endangered (E) in United States
  • Loammi Skipper- critically imperiled (S1) in Florida

Vulnerable species seen today:

  • Palmetto Skipper- vulnerable (S3S4) in Florida
  • Bachman's Sparrow- near threatened (NT) (IUCN Red List)
Posted on 2023年05月14日 16:58 by j-stauffer j-stauffer | 0 評論 | 留下評論

Dagny Johnson Key Largo Hammock Botanical State Park- June 21, 2022

We had a wonderful visit to the Key Largo Hammock Botanical State Park. It is one of the largest tracts of West Indian tropical hardwood hammock in the United States. It made me incredibly happy to see tropical hardwood hammock preserved and accessible to the public. Plenty of wild Gumbo Limbo made me feel elated. It had rained before we arrived so the ground was moist. We found Florida Tree Snails crawling on the trail as we walked along. Plenty of deet was useful in keeping the mosquitoes at bay.

Posted on 2023年05月14日 16:37 by j-stauffer j-stauffer | 0 評論 | 留下評論


North Park Village Nature Center, Chicago, Illinois

May 28, 2022

Adult Midland Painted Turtle found on small ridge above wetland, perhaps finding a nesting site. Young juvenile Midland Painted Turtled was wading through water scarcely more than three inches deep, vigorously munching on small tadpoles. A single, narrow, orange dorsal stripe adorned the tiny one's carapace.

We saw our first-ever Eastern Wood-Pewee flycatching from a bare branch twenty feet up. It's distinctive pee-a-wee call made our find even more exciting.

The facility is working diligently to restore the native ecosystems by removing noxious weeds and replacing them with native plants. It wasn't always clear to me what individuals were naturally occurring and those that were planted as part of restoration.

Posted on 2022年06月04日 14:19 by j-stauffer j-stauffer | 0 評論 | 留下評論

Paul M. Grist State Park, Dallas County, Alabama

Summer 1998

Castanea pumila (Alleghany Chinkapin)
Magnolia fraseri var. pyramidata (Pyramid Magnolia)

Posted on 2022年06月04日 14:18 by j-stauffer j-stauffer | 0 評論 | 留下評論