Nature

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Environmental Forum at Sandestin Nov. 13

Director of Nokuse Plantation to kick off this year’s forum A forum uniting environmental efforts throughout Walton County, will be held Thursday, Nov. 13 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort. Created by the Walton County Tourist Development Council (TDC) New Product Development Committee, the forum unites established environmental groups and organizations to meet and work together for the overall ecological benefit of Walton County. “The forum provides an important platform to unite individuals...

Walton County Extension Service identifies plants

What is that plant? Plant identification is an important feature of the Walton County Extension Service.  As volunteers with the Extension Service, the Master Gardeners are willing to help out with the process of plant identification.  In order to for them to be effective in helping you they will need the following plant information: When you collect a specimen, collect as much information about the plant as you can.  If you cannot take an actually specimen (it is on the...

Home on the ‘Range’

Burrowing owls call Eglin Air Force Base home Growing up in South Florida, I would often find burrowing owls in the fields and pastures I explored. These little guys were a fairly common sight down south, with habitats in close proximity to urban areas. However, for a burrowing owl (Athene cunicularia floridana) colony to exist in Northwest Florida, well… is quite extraordinary. The Eglin Range area is the only place the birds reside in the Florida Panhandle – with the...

Move Your Feet to the Beat 5K run Nov. 27

Watersound community to host Thanksgiving Day 5K run The St. Joe Company’s WaterSound community will host “Move Your Feet to the Beat,” a 5K run to benefit the Sacred Heart Foundation, on Thanksgiving Day, November 27th, 2008. The run will begin at 8:00 a.m. at WaterSound’s Village Commons, located off of Highway 98 in WaterSound. While supporting Sacred Heart Hospital, participants will receive a gift bag and there will be prizes for the top male and female runners and the...

Florida National Scenic Trail at Nokuse celebrated

New Florida Trail open from Choctawhatchee River to Eglin A.F.B. Trail lovers from around the area celebrated the opening of the new 20 mile stretch of the Florida National Scenic Trail’s Nokuse Plantation and the Lafayette Creek tract on Oct. 25. Completion of this section of hiking trail closes a significant gap in the 1,400-mile Florida National Scenic Trail that winds along a wilderness corridor the length of Florida. Hikers can explore natural Florida and learn about the area’s biodiversity...

South Walton turtle nest results for 2008

The South Walton Turtle Watch Group has announced turtle nest activity for the season This year there were 37 nests marked: • 32 Loggerhead • 3 Green • 1 Leatherback • 1 of these was marked by Deer Lake State Park Wash outs: 12 nests washed out, including the Leatherback. False crawls: 12 false crawls were documented Discovery dates: The first nest discovered was on 5/25/08 and last on 8/18/08. A message from Sharon Maxwell, South Walton Turtle Watch Group...

An encounter with a living dinosaur

It’s not often one gets a chance to encounter a prehistoric creature. So when the opportunity arose to meet a fish with an ancestry that dates back 200 million years, well, I couldn’t pass. Through Nov. 7, The Panama City Field Office of the Fish & Wildlife Service is conducting a Gulf sturgeon fish population census on the Choctawhatchee River. I contacted Frank Parauka, Fishery Biologist with the FWS, and he was gracious enough to allow me to tag along...

Family YMCA Adventure Race Oct. 25

Take a drive to Niceville for a kayak paddle and a three-legged race Saturday, Oct 25th 7:30am until finished Fred Gannon Rocky Bayou State Park The Department of Environmental Protection’s Fred Gannon Rocky Bayou State Park is hosting the YMCA Adventure Challenge. This is a three legged race including 3 miles of canoe/kayak paddling, 4.5 miles walking and 10 miles of off road biking. You must register for this event prior to race day. For additional info please contact our...

Ugh… Dog flies are here!

Dog Flies and their habits When fall comes to our area, those refreshing weather fronts will move through from the north bringing lower humidity, lower temperatures and the infamous dog fly. The stable fly, known as the dog fly in northwest Florida, is a blood feeding fly that is a nuisance to man, pets, and livestock. From August through November the dog fly congregates on the Florida Panhandle beaches. This fly originates from farming areas in southern Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia...