“Our Park Volunteers” Videos

“Our Park Volunteers” Videos

We have started another video series posted on our YouTube channel. The “Our Park Volunteers” videos will feature volunteers working on programs, projects and events at Osprey Junction Trailhead. Leadership Team member Beverly Bowen is producing the videos. The first videos were done by Leadership Team members and Master Gardeners Meg Larrabee and Elena Foster featuring the bird, rain and container plants gardens in the park. The gardens are being installed and maintained by Friends of Osprey Junction Trailhead volunteers.

Butterflies from Beverly Bowen

Queen Butterfly (Danaus gilippus)

The Queen butterfly is related to the Monarch and sometimes it can be confusing to identify the difference. They have similar size and colorings and they both use milkweed and white vine for larval plants.

The caterpillars look similar, however, the Monarch has two sets of projections or tubercles, and the Queen has 3 sets. The third set is actually red at the base where the tubercles connect to the second thoracic segment or abdomen. These tubercles or tentacles help the caterpillars sense the world around them through touch, and can also throw off predators by disguising the caterpillar’s head.

The chrysalis can be green like the Monarch or pink as in the photo.
With their wings closed the Queen has dark orange coloring with occasional white dots while the Monarch is often brighter and has striking stained-glass-like veins.

With their wings open, the difference is even more obvious. The Queen is solid, the Monarch has varied coloration and black veins.

Educational Webinars Start October 14

Four webinars are being conducted each Wednesday starting October 14 from 11 am to noon. Leadership Team member Ralph Monti is coordinating the webinars which are being funded by a grant from the Gulf Coast Community Foundation.
Topics and presenters are:

Landscaping for Wildlife
October 14
Presented by Tom Heitzman, owner of Sweet Bay Native Plant Nursery

Smart Cycling 101: Tips on Being Safe on Your Bicycle
October 21
Presented by Ralph Monti, certified bicycle safety instructor and Kathy Duff, Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office

Plein Air Painter Art Exhibit/Critque
October 28
Presented by Augusto Argandona, SRQ Plein Air Painters

Birds of Three Sarasota Habitats
November 4
Presented by Jeanne Dubi, President of Sarasota Audubon

The webinars are free but you must register to attend.

Park News from Sam Wright

We are going to take a break from the norm this month and discuss a non-native plant. In the area next to the house where we stopped mowing, we have received some native plants gifts from the seed bank which included firebush, corky-stemmed passionflower, wild coffee and scorpion’s tail.

A lily type of plant grew within the non-mowed area and has never flowered. Until now! It’s a type of rain lily and it’s beautiful. I’m not that familiar with lily species and the normal methods (taxonomic keys, Floras, plants atlases, etc.) used to ID a plant were of no assistance because the plant is a cultivar. So, I resorted to asking a few Facebook plant ID pages and got mostly silence, until finally a gentleman from the Philippines identified it as Habranthus brachyandrus (short-stamen rain lily). I thanked him, and googled the plant. I also saw photos of Habranthus robustus (pink rain lily) and thought both plant species had similar characteristics to the plant now flowering at OJT. Could it be a hybrid? I then googled hybrids of the two Habranthus species and it turns out there is a hybrid: Habranthus x floryi.

I randomly found pics of it on a Pacific Bulb Society webpage. The name of photographer was highlighted and clicking it led to page with a quick bio on him. Turns out he is the actual grower that created the hybrid. I tracked him down in North Carolina and sent him pictures of the rain lily and he verified that the plant is in fact a hybrid of Habranthus brachyandrus and Habranthus robustus: Habranthus x floryi.

Pretty cool, pretty flower and I’m glad we did not mow there!

Weekly Volunteer Opportunities

County Parks staff continue to offer volunteer work opportunities on the OJT park grounds every Wednesday from 8:30 am to 11:30 am. Current work includes removing invasive plants and maintenance of gardens. If you have an interest in working any future Wednesday morning, CLICK HERE for the Volunteer Work Guidelines and contact information.

Organization Change Coming – More Volunteer Opportunities

The Friends of Osprey Junction Trailhead Leadership Team is working on a plan to transition to a Board of Directors organization with Standing Committees. This will more formalize the organization and improve our ability to seek grants. It will also better clarify and increase volunteer opportunities. New Standing Committees include Art in the Park Program, Bicycle Program, Butterfly Garden, Facilities Maintenance, Fundraising, Gardening and Landscape, Greenhouse Operations, Public Relations, Tree Arboretum, Visitor Services and Volunteer Program. If you have an interest in being a Board member or on a Standing Committee please let us know by emailing admin@ojtfriends.com

Birds from Holly Vincent

Great Egret (Ardea alba)

This is our largest white bird. Its distinguishing features are the yellow bill and black legs and feet. The male and female are similar in appearance.
We see them in open wetlands of salt marches and freshwater, searching for a variety of aquatic animals and fish. They roost in trees together with other wetland species.

Biking Tips from Ralph Monti

How to Fix a Flat Tire on Your Bicycle
Many bicyclists have a fear of getting a flat tire when riding their bicycle. But if you take your time and have the right tools, it’s simple. Below are steps to repair a flat tire on the road using the tools we advised carrying in your saddlebag in last month’s newsletter.

  • Keep calm and relax—it’s not the end of the world!
  • Shift the chain to the smallest front chainring; then shift the chain to the smallest rear cassette cog.
  • Use the lever on the side of the brake to “open” the brakes. (You may have brakes that don’t have a lever; watch the video below for opening other types of brakes).
  • Open the quick release axle lever so that you can pull the wheel out.
  • Lay the bike down on the non-drive, opposite the chain, side.
  • Push the tire sides to the middle of the wheel.
  • Use the scooped end of the tire lever to grab the bead of the tire, then use the closest spoke to attach the hook of the tire lever to hold it in place.
  • Move away from the first lever and insert a second tire lever.
  • Slide the second lever all the way around the tire, releasing the bead of the tire.
  • Pull the tire aside, remove the valve stem and take the tube out.
  • Carefully feel around the inside of the tire for any sharp protrusions or anything that might have caused the flat; inspect the rim strip to make sure it’s centered, and it properly covers the spoke nipple holes.
  • Put just a little bit of air in your new tube (this can be done by simply blowing into the valve).
  • Insert the valve stem into the wheel, then work your way around the tire tucking the tube inside the tire.
  • Tuck the edge of the tire back onto the rim, then make sure the tube is not pinched inside the tire or pinched between the tire and the rim.
  • Re-inflate the tire using a hand pump or CO2 cartridge to the recommended psi shown on the tire sidewall.
  • Line up the chain with the smallest rear cassette cog.
  • Pull the wheel back up into the frame.
  • Close the quick release lever on the wheel.
  • Close the lever on the brake. (You may have to re-adjust centering the brakes). Give the wheel a spin to make sure it is properly aligned and there’s no rubbing.
  • You’re ready to ride!

CLICK HERE for Reference Video

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