Tuesday, August 14, 2012

New location for our blog!

There is a new blog for Omni Amelia Island Plantation!  Click on the link below to see.  It contains information about different activities on and around the Plantation.  If you want to see just the nature posts, click on "nature" at the top of the page.

click here to check it out:
Amelia Island Plantation Blog

Thursday, June 7, 2012


Firewheel or Indian Blanket flower
Here in Florida we are lucky enough to have flowers blooming most of the year. Spring brings a bright array.  Here are some native flowers that we've enjoyed recently.   

The firewheel (or indian blanket) is being used more in landscapes around Florida because they are drought-tolerant.

We have beautiful magnolias that are also in bloom right now. What strikes us is that in all of it's stages, the flower is so beautiful. All of these photos were taken at the same time of flowers on the same tree. 

The photos are of a new bud, one just opening, one in full bloom, and an older bloom. They were all on the same tree.

New bud

Flower just opening

Fully open bloom

Past its prime, but still beautiful!
Coral bean is also known as Cherokee bean, and it attracts hummingbirds. From Wikipedia: Native American people had many medicinal uses for this plant, varying between nations and localities. Creek women used an infusion of the root for bowel pain; the Choctaw used a decoction of the leaves as a general tonic; the Seminole used an extract of the roots for digestive problems, and extracts of the seeds, or of the inner bark, as an external rub for rheumatic disorders.

In Mexico, the seeds are used as a rat poison, while a fish poison is made from the bark and leaves. 
Coral bean

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Carolina Wren chicks

Every year we have Carolina wrens that nest on the back porch of the nature center.  Both parents have been working hard the past couple of weeks to keep their FIVE babies fed!  We saw them constantly flying in and out of the nest box, and now the babies have fledged.  Mom and Dad will help them find food for a short while, but they are pretty much on their own now.  Maybe the parents will fly on over to our Spa next for some well-deserved R & R ! 

mini me blue crab

I had a crab grab tour a couple of weeks ago and a boy caught this baby blue crab with one of the little shrimp nets.  It was hanging onto something floating near the dock.  The other blue crab in the bucket is the average size we catch with our lines.  We decided to keep the little guy for a while because it was so cute, and now he likes to hide in one of our saltwater tanks and is growing fast.  We'll release him soon. 

Saturday, May 12, 2012

This past week Amanda and Levi partcipated in a 3-day training to obtain ACA Level 1 and 2 instructor certification.  This course teaches various kayaking strokes and techniques that are essential for safe paddling in open water and coastal enviornments.They were taught rescue and safety skills that we use during our kayak tours.  This class was very demanding both physically and mentally.  They both passed and now are ACA certified instructors.

Paddle Float

Self Rescue with Paddle Float

Towing two people at once!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Neil the Eel

About a month ago a resident caught an American Eel in a baitrap and brought it in.  We decided to let it live in the same tank as Flapjack, our softshell turtle.  We werent' sure how it would do, but the two seem to be getting along just fine. Both animals like to hide in the rocks.  Come see us and we'll point them out to you!

Maize's Fan club

Maize, our Miami corn snake, has lots of fans who come by the nature center on a regular basis to see her.  This is Elizabeth Foster, a local 11 year old who loves to stop by and visit Maize.  She is really excited to attend our summer nature camp this year and spend more time with our animals and out in nature.