South Florida Ferns with Jennifer Possley
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 11, 7 pm
Secret Woods Nature Center, 2701 Florida (W. State Rd.) 84, Dania Beach, FL 33312
Jennifer Possley, Field Biologist at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Gardens, graduted from the University of Florida, M.S., Agronomy and Kalamazoo College, B.A., Biology. She has published on a wide variety of research topics, many related to restoration efforts. Her fields of interest are:
*Mapping and monitoring the rare flora of Miami-Dade County
*Invasive plant ecology & management
*Ferns of South Florida and the Caribbean
On this very special evening Jennifer Possley pulls back the curtain on a window to nearby ferns few of us know. Enjoyable for the novice and expert, this topic encompasses the big picture of variety and diversity, "the richest of any state in the continental United States; ... only Hawaii and Puerto Rico have greater numbers of fern species," writes Gil Nelson. We also glimpse through photo-micrography into the fascinating detail of spores on their unique journey to becoming ferns.
Ms. Possley has also generously consented to take us to Fern Forest on the following Saturday to see common and rare ferns in Broward. Whether you want to learn their names or simply enjoy seeing the great visual diversity of this forest, check out the field trip details below.
Photo: Osmunda cinnamomea, Cinnamon Fern; photographer, Alan Cressler
A Walk in Fern Forest with Jennifer Possley
SATURDAY, March 14, 10:30 am
Fern Forest Nature Center, 201 Lyons Rd. South, Coconut Creek, FL 33063
- Driving tip: If you approach Lyons Road westbound on W. Atlantic Blvd., you can't make a left onto Lyons, but from the right lane you can loop around to southbound Lyons; Fern Forest is just a few hundred yards south of Atlantic Blvd, a right turn and into the forest of ferns.
Fern Forest, if you haven't yet been there, is one of the real natural treasures in Broward County and very surprising given its proximity to urban density. It's a County park with free entrance and easy parking. We will meet at the trailhead on the south side of the parking lot. (If you are too late, just continue quickly on the boardwalk to the wood-beam Nature Center building and you'll likely be able to catch up with us.) Because of the extremely delicate substrate, we will need to stay on the boardwalks, but then we may venture off in search of ferns, so wear shoes for sand or a bit of mud just in case. This is easy going for almost everyone. Children are welcome. We always recommend water, sun protection, repellant, and if you like, binoculars or camera. (A monopod or selfie stick could work well here for closeups from the boardwalk.)
Photo above: Thelypteris ovata, Ovate Maiden Fern; photographer, Alan Cressler
Slog Gator Hole or Cypress Dome in Everglades Nat'l Park
SATURDAY, March 21, 8:45 am
Coe Visitor Center, Everglades Nat'l Park
40001 State Highway 9336, Homestead, FL 33034
Photo: Acoelorrhaphe wrightii, Paroutas Palm, Everglades Nat'l Park; photographer, Alan Cressler
The Dade Chapter invited the Broward Chapter to join them with Alan Scott of Everglades National Park, 8:45 to 12:30 for a hike or "slog" to a cypress dome or gator holes. Our leader will be Alan Scott, Chief of Resource Education and Interpretation for Everglades and Dry Tortugas National Parks. Our final destination might be decided at the last minute based on the weather and the group, but it’s sure to be an interesting walk as we go off-trail and into the prairie. In the dry season, chances are we will not be slogging in much water, but be prepared to walk in some muddy water and sharp sawgrass.
Meeting time and place:
Arrive at 8:45 for a 9 a.m. departure from the Coe Visitor Center.
If you don’t know how to get there or how long it will take you, please look it up. The address of Coe Visitor Center is 40001 State Highway 9336, Homestead, FL 33034 (but it’s a long ways past Homestead).
Long pants, long sleeves and a hat. Close-toed, lace up shoes with socks are required. No flip flops, sandals or aqua shoes.
Sunscreen, water to carry, lunch if you want to picnic afterward. A walking stick (a broom handle will do) could be helpful for some since the footing might be uneven.
Park entrance fee: $10 per car
(or pass). We’ll carpool in to use available passes or share fees.
Info that morning: Try Patty’s cell (305-878-5705) but reception inside the park is doubtful.