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JRFxtreme

Big Pine & Pings 2

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Well I went back to Big Pine Key again yesterday. Thankfully there were no sand gnats, just the occasional mosquitos. 8)

There were a lot more P. pumila in bloom and I noticed some interesting variety in color and shape.

Heres a white form.

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Seed pods galore, they were busy while I was gone.

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Heres a very blurry shot of a yellow form I found. I only found one of these the entire time I spent there and it was still forming, but definately yellow. (bottom left)

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P. pumila growing in rock crevices.

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The only evidence of a past fire. The area looked like it'll be needing another burn sometime in the future.

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A spiney little shrub..

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Aside from the different color forms, I also noticed that cuvature of the petals varied quite a bit. The more sharply curved petals are my preference. :)

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Heres a nice example of a purple form, white form and intermediate all growing side by side.

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Box turtle in the classic turtle pose!

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I finally left the trail and was riding through residential areas. I spotted a lot of deer hanging out casually in peoples yards.

Unfortunately for them, most of the key deer are very comfortable around humans. Back before strict laws protecting key deer were formed, people would go to No Name Key with a club and some fruit and get an easy dinner. Pretty gruesome.

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A not so comfortable key deer.

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I've been going to Big Pine Key my entire life and even though the "Blue Hole" is pretty famous there, this was my first time visiting it. I beleive there used to be two gators here but because people were feeding them, the larger one became a threat and they had to remove it. Unfortunately removing it, to the party involved, meant killing it. :tu:

But theres still the other. Hes pretty big himself, wonder if hes ever nabbed a key deer that got too close..

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A very Utricularia looking flower.

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Make that two. Just roadside weeds.

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8)

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Fantastic trip report Jeremy!!

A species not often photographed in the wild! Interesting about the flower color variation. Could it be (partially) due to age of the flower (darker when younger?)?

Congrats,

Fernando Rivadavia

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You didn't fancy a dip in the water then!!

:-0

Jules

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Guest Sheila

Excellent photos. :roll:

It is a shame the Alligator was killed, but once they get to that sort of size unless there is a wildlife park that is willing to take them they have no choice really. Alligators have a homing instinct and no matter how far away you take them, they will eventually find their way back to their old hunting ground. :wink:

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Hey,

Fascinating photos. How big is the alligator? How close did you have to get to photograph it?

Cheers,

He was about 7 feet, give or take. They had a fenced off dock where people could come look at him. From the way he acted people must have fed him in the past.

He was big, but Gators are pretty docile. :)

A species not often photographed in the wild! Interesting about the flower color variation. Could it be (partially) due to age of the flower (darker when younger?)?

Thats a hard question to answer. Flower age may play a role in coloration but I think its just the nature of the species. I think that the purple and white form are dominant and through hybridzation of forms comes all the intermediate colorations(with the exception of the yellow form).

One thing I did notice is that most of the time the lighter forms would have duller curvature of the petals and darker forms would have sharper curvature, though this wasn't the case 100% of the time.

Heres what A world of Pinguicula has to say(so far I haven't taken note of any varieties without yellow in the throat):

Pinguicula pumila is the smallest of the butterworts that can be found in the Southeast of the USA.

What is most amazing is the several color and/or size variants among this species. Flower color ranges from white to light purple :

Here are some known variations (Source : Bob McMorris and catalogue of A.Lowrie) :

- P. pumila yellow throat, white and lite purple flower.

- P.pumila yellow throat, purple flower

- P. pumila yellow throat, white flower.

- P. pumila purple throat, purple flower.

- P. pumila light purple throat, purple flower.

- P. pumila lilac flower.

- P. pumila dark purple flower

- P. pumila purple throat, rose flower.

and there is a rare yellow variety (Pinguicula pumila var. buswellii).

Seems like Big Pine has a wide variety and they're still just starting to bloom. I'll have to wait and see what else pops up. :roll:

Jules.. :wink:

Shiela, it may only be a matter of time before this one "becomes a threat" but the people that live on Big Pine love the Gator so it won't go without a fight. It doesn't help that people feed him though.. :?

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I went back once again yesterday. I didn't think the new photos deserved a new topic, I was mainly trying to photograph the variety of shape and color. I couldn't find the yellow form which makes me wonder if I was mistaken in my previous post, although at the time I was sure it was the yellow form.. :?

Anyways, heres an attempt to show the variability. I used a piece of notebook paper as a background. Each picture is of an individual plant.

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The dark tip on the spur seems to be present only on the darkest forms.

Anyways, on to a couple more habitat pics.

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An Iguana hanging out at Taco Bell.

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Deer doing their thing!

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:)

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Hey Jeremy,

Wow, another set cool pictures! What a great idea to compare them like that! It always amazes me how much variation can be found in a single populations of Pinguicula! Not only the color but the width & shape of the petals vary tremendously.

You should send this trip report with pictures to Eric Partrat so he can make a "postcard" out of it on his website!

Congrats,

Fernando Rivadavia

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eh. those iguanas are "pests" down there too? my aunt lives in Cape Coral(near Ft. Meyers) and they have those and moniter lizards!!

Alex

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I wouldn't call them pests, although I do find them even in my back yard from time to time(they like the lake).

I like their "laid back" look and attitude, one of my favorite reptiles! 8)

Never seen any monitor lizards around here though.

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