A clear stream, a long horizon, a forest wilderness and open sky—these are man''s most ancient possessions. In a modern society, they are his most priceless. Lyndon B. Johnson (1908-1973) Special Message to Congress, To Renew a Nation, 1968
These panoramas represent several habitats that one may see in Florida and its neighbor, Georgia. To fully appreciate these panoramas, click
on each image to zoom into a 100% view and pan to see the full rich details.
Panorama of Blazing Stars
In the fall, this glorious expanse of Blazing Stars, mostly Liatris spicata, fills a savannah in the Apalachicola National Forest.
Panorama of False Foxglove
There was an explosion of pink color in this savanna in the Apalachicola National Forest when the False Foxgloves (Agalinis sp.) bloomed after a recent burn.
Panorama of Pitcherplant Savanna
By late summer, the trumpets of Yellow Pitcherplants (Sarracenia flava) have been almost "overwhelmed" by the diversity of wildflowers and grasses which become the dominant elements of the savanna.
Panorama of Chapman's Rhododendrons
The federally endangered Chapman's Rhododendron (Rhododendron minus var. chapmanii) is Florida's only evergreen rhododendron. Despite not being burned recently, the shrubs of this fire- adapted species are still blooming.
Panorama of Rosemary Scrub Habitat
Florida Rosemary (Ceratiola ericoides), the large shrubs in this panorama, is the predominant species in this white sand scrub habit on the Lake Wales Ridge. Florida Rosemary is an example of a plant species that uses alleopathy, which is the direct or indirect effect of one plant on another through the production of chemical compounds. In this case, the chemicals produced by leaf litter and roots of the Florida Rosemary inhibit the growth of other nearby plants. The alleopathic effects are not fully understood, but the patches of exposed bare white sand surrounding the shrubs are an important niche for other scrub plants that are "gap specialists." The scientifically inclined can learn more about Rosemary's alleopathic effects in Alleopathic Effects and Root Distribution of Ceratoiola ericoides (Empetraceae) on Seven Rosemary Scrub Species published in the American Journal of Botany (89(7): 1113–1118. 2002)
This particular site on private property is completely surrounded by residential housing. Many of the neighborhood's landowners still make unsuccessful attempts at growing grass lawns!
Panorama of a Sandy Bottom Creek
Panorama of Wiregrass in Pine Flatwoods
Wiregrass (Aristida stricta) is a fire-dependent grass that thrives in areas such as St. Joseph Bay Preserves where prescribed burns are an extremely important part of land management.
Panorama of Karst Pond
Karst ponds are circular depressions filled with water that are formed by sinkholes dissolved into the land surface's underlying limestone. These ponds are a direct connection to Florida's aquifer and serve as water recharging areas. They reflect the health of the aquifer as the water level rises and falls with the amount of water in the aquifer. The state of Florida has acquired many sites with karst ponds in an attempt to protect Florida's water supply. The karst pond in this photo is greatly decreased in size which indicates that the aquifer's water level is low. As rains return, the pond will expand to fill most of the area in the panorama.
Panorama of Trout Lilies
This slope of Trout Lilies (Erythronium umbilicatum) at Wolf Creek Trout Lily Preserve near Cairo, Georgia, covers several acres. It is believed to be the largest population of trout lilies in the southeastern United States.
This spectacular scene of trout lilies came very close to being a memory when Flint River Timber Company was preparing to log and develop the land. Fortunately, the landowner was co-operative in working with concerned citizens to arrange its purchase by Grady County, Georgia.