Anne Kolbe Nature Center and West Lake Park

Anne Kolb Nature Center and West Lake Park are two adjacent parks in East Hollywood. At Anne Kolb there are two elevated paths, one terminating on the intercoastal and the other in mudflats. The only wildlife I noticed were the mangrove tree crabs. There is also a south path and although I have not explored all of it, I did find some Melissodes sp. bees. At West Lake adjacent to Sheridan St. there is a large field where overgrown weeds support a large bee and wasp population. After noticing sand wasps, I went to the volleyball court and was able to find several Bembix sp. digging nests.

Melissodes sp. Male.

Secret Woods Nature Center

This park is located off of State Road 84 west of I-95. The park contains two trails, one elevated trail over mangroves leading to a river, and the other through an oak hammock. I was surprised upon my visit to find several insects I have never seen before. I also observed a large number of sphex digger wasps nesting together. This primitave social behavior is the precursor to more structured social interactions such as those found in social wasps, ants and bees. Besides the sphex wasps, there are lots of large darners, tree beetles, flower scarabs, and a butterfly garden attracting a large number of butterflies, moths, bees, and wasps.

Black and Yellow Mud Dauber Campsomeris plumipes fossulana Male Mydas clavatus Regal Darner. Coryphaeschna ingens Long Tail Skipper Assassin  Bug Eyed Click Beetle Eyed Click Beetle
Honey bee in flight

Big Cypress National Preserve

Big Cypress National Preserve comprimises over 2,400 square miles of protected land located in the middle of the state directly above Everglades National Park. Located off the Tamiami Trail, it is one of the few places the Florida Panther can now be found. The park contains many different types of habitats and is also home to the Florida Trail. The park is home to cypress swamps, slash pine, hardwood hammocks, praires, strands, marshes and sloughs. The park offers free camping and while visiting in March was wonderful, by May, the mosquitos made the trip unbearable.

Three Alligators Sunning on a Log