Outdoors

Florida Friendly Plant of the Week: Oakleaf Hydrangea

Lilly Browning serves as the Hernando County Florida Friendly Landscaping Program Coordinator.

Hydrangea quercifolia

Oakleaf Hydrangea, Hydrangea quercifolia, is a fantastic native shrub to have in your yard. The flowers are white or pink, and are quite lovely. Don’t expect the ball of puffy blooms you will see on the non-native French Hydrangea, but they are prolific and stunning in their own right. Even when not in bloom, this native shrub has very large and distinct leaves, shaped like oak leaves. So, this shrub holds interest even when not flowering. It prefers dry to partially wet soil, but can do well in occasionally wet soil.

Trees Come Down at Chinsegut, Despite Couple's Efforts to Save Them

Oak logs piled up in parking area of Chinsegut Wildlife and Conservation Area

The loud droning of trucks, heavy equipment, chainsaws, and wood chippers were heard yesterday morning, May 6th at the Chinsegut Wildlife and Environmental Area as dozens of healthy native laurel oak trees were logged from the property surrounding the conservation center. The cutting of the oaks surrounding the center began on Monday May 2, leaving many areas exposed to the impending summer heat including the historic Bishop home sight, conservation center building and parking area.

Take a Hike: Perry Oldenburg Wildlife and Environmental Area

Photography by Alice Mary Herden

Resurrection Fern. Photo by Alice Mary Herden

Take a Hike: Perry Oldenburg Wildlife and Environmental Area

Hernando Audubon Society offers free field trips to different areas here in Hernando County and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation has some amazing properties that are open to the public for the whole family to enjoy and explore.

Hernando County’s Treasure Hunt

Photography by Alice Mary Herden

Geocaching, adventure at Weekiwachee Preserve

Do you like hiking, treasure hunting and spending time outdoors with family and friends? Well this is something you can add to your weekend adventure list.

A few weeks back on a hike in the Weekiwachee Preserve, my husband and I found this a green container hidden within a tree trunk. This was very interesting and we had no idea what it was. So upon further investigation, we found out that it was actually a global positioning (GPS) device for geocaching.

Wild by Design: Attracting Wildlife

Lily Browning is the Florida Friendly Landscaping Program Coordinator.

Prunus umbellata is a plum species native to the southeastern US.  The tree can reach 20 feet and fruits from August through October. photo credit: Southern Weed Science Society bugwood.org

Florida-Friendly Landscaping principle #5 is “Attract Wildlife.” There are many ways to make small changes in your landscape so you can make the birds, bees, butterflies and many other critters feel at home. Below is a list which will bring your yard to life:

Incorporate Native Plants – Once upon a time, native plants and animals coexisted in what is now your property. Restore some of that balance by bringing in more natives. Wildlife can’t always adapt to differing food and shelter options.

Centralia Today

This area was once the float pond, where logs were floated to the sawmill.

Today, it's hard to tell that Centralia was once a community of about 1800 people. The trees which were cleared at the time to make way for a mill, town, housing and rail have taken a strong hold once again. There are relics from the past like brick used in the furnaces, glass and burnt wood/charcoal fragments.

More impressively, the ramp where the logs were rolled up into the mill from the float pond remains as well as the base of the double band saw itself.

Bicycling Brothers Experience Year on the Road

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PHOTOGRAPHY PROVIDED BY MATT AND ANDREW SUFFICOOL AND ALICE MARY HERDEN

When Matt and Andrew Sufficool decided to spend the past year bicycling from one end of the Americas to the other, it definitely raised a few eyebrows.

Andrew Sufficool explained that many younger people under 50 questioned them asking in Andrew's words," ''What do you mean, you guys have to work.' We're like, 'Yeah, we saved our money for a couple years, that's how we can afford to do it,' " Andrew said that they just couldn't comprehend that you don't have to work all the time.

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