great outdoors

Hernando County Fertilizer Ordinance in Effect Jan. 1st through March 31st

January 25, 2017 - 20:36

by LILLY BROWNING, Hernando County Florida Friendly Landscaping
Program Coordinator

Weeki Wachee River by Robert Stein

Did you know that Hernando County has a Fertilizer Ordinance? This is an attempt to mitigate the amount of nitrates entering our water ways. The Weeki Wachee River exceeds its Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) of nitrates. This means it takes in more nitrates than it can process and dispose of. This results in excessive algae growth. Too much algae can lead to a lack of photosynthesis for the underwater plants. As these plants die, they absorb oxygen, creating a lower count of dissolved oxygen in the water and potentially leading to fish-kill.

Building a Platform Fit for an Osprey

January 06, 2017 - 03:11

by Linda Vanderveen and Dennis Capaz
organized by Alice Mary Herden
Photography by Alice Mary Herden, Linda Vanderveen and Dennis Capaz

Osprey Photo by Alice Mary Herden

In March 2016 the Hernando Audubon Society with help from Withlacoochee Electric erected a 40 foot osprey perch at Linda Pederson Park.  The perch is intended for ospreys to use as a nesting site. Linda Vanderveen and Dennis Capaz from the Hernando Audubon were huge supporters of this project.  In this article they detail how the osprey perch came to be and some interesting facts about this graceful bird of prey.

OSPREY FACTS
Ospreys are found by water, including ponds, lakes, rivers, or coastal areas. They are impressive with their 5-6 foot wingspan.  

Planting trees in your landscape

December 30, 2016 - 17:21

by Dr. William Lester, UF/IFAS Extension Hernando County and
Patricia Cooke, UF/IFAS Extension Hernando County Master Gardener

New trees are a long-term investment. They form the framework for your landscape. Hernando County is in USDA’s hardiness zone 9. Choose varieties of Florida Friendly or native plants that are suited to grow in west central Florida. Ask questions and read plant labels. UF/IFAS has a central Florida tree list with links for details about a number of varieties and site selection criteria. Go to: http://hort.ifas.ufl.edu/treesandpowerlines/central_florida.shtml.

Florida Friendly Plant of the Week: Dancing Ladies

November 04, 2016 - 07:39

STAFF

October 28, 2016- A delightful plant in bloom right now is the Dancing Lady orchid or Oncidium spp. Oncidium species are usually epiphytes, meaning they grow harmlessly on other plants, while some grow on rocks.

There are about 600 different species of Oncidiums. They are extremely diverse, as species grow from sea level to 13,300 feet, throughout South and Central America, the Caribbean and Florida.

Florida Friendly Plant of the Week: Florida Coontie plant

September 23, 2016 - 16:21

Hernando Sun Staff

The Florida coontie plant, Zamia floridana

The coontie plant is a Florida native cycad. (Cycads are known as living fossils since they can be traced back 280 million years.) The coontie attracts a rare butterfly called the atala. Plants are either male or female and produce a certain type of cone based on the sex of the plant. Male cones are thinner and shorter than female cones. Female cones are around 6 inches tall and are covered in fuzz.

West Hernando Middle School Grounds and Waterfall Renovated

September 17, 2016 - 08:54
Volunteers recently completed the renovation of West Hernando Middle School fountain

The act of giving without the expectation of something in return is the true definition of kindness,” quoted West Hernando Middle School Principal Lori Lessley. During a recent visit to the school, Board Member Mark Johnson and Lessley discussed the student-built fountain which has not been running for years. The school has not had funds to repair the fountain.

Florida Friendly Plant of the Week: Persimmon

September 08, 2016 - 14:40

Hernando Sun Staff

PERSIMMON, Diospyrus virginiana

Be on the look out for these delicious fruits. Persimmons ripen from late Summer to late Autumn. The persimmon tree usually grows in dry fields or pinelands.

You can pick the half inch to three and a half inch fruit when they are yellow, but don't eat them until they are orange and very soft to the touch as they are very sour unripened. It is rumored that they need a frost to sweeten, but that is untrue according to Florida's Incredible Wild Edibles.

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