Blackberry lily flower (Iris domestica) covered in rainwater droplets at Bok Tower Gardens (1929).
1151 Tower Boulevard, Lake Wales, Florida: 23 May 2015
part of the Bok Tower Gardens 2015 album
A plant of many names, Iris domestica is a herbaceous perennial native to parts of Asia and now found here in several central and eastern states. It is commonly known as blackberry lily — for the seed clusters it produces in late summer — as well as leopard lily and leopard flower. Additional scientific name synonyms include Belamcanda chinensis and Gemmingia chinensis.
This specimen of blackberry lily flower on the grounds of Bok Tower Gardens was freshly covered in rainwater droplets. The showers this day were brief and localized, just enough to sprinkle the gardens but not enough to keep us from exploring.
A white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) buck foraging very closely to us in Hickory Campground Site 65 at Manatee Springs State Park in Chiefland, Florida.
Near NW 115th Street, Chiefland, Florida: 22 October 2016
part of the Manatee Springs State Park 2016 album
After my first camping trip there in October 2014 turned out to be amazing — see "The Creatures of My Dreams" — Manatee Springs State Park in Chiefland, Florida has been atop my list of parks to revisit. Beyond the standard fare enjoyments of a state park along a waterway, Manatee Springs stands out as a favorite because it is absolutely teeming with wildlife.
The white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) that live in the park are very curious and friendly, coming through our campsite several times daily to check us out while foraging. Nine-banded armadillo (Dasypus novemcinctus) and raccoon (Procyon lotor) also make frequent visits and can be found elsewhere in the park. In warmer seasons, several species of snake can be found in the brush or swimming in the waterways.
A follow-up visit in October 2016 proved to be even better than the first. We had more frequent wildlife encounters and amazing photographic opportunities, most of which took place in our campsite. We also enjoyed a fantastic barbeque dinner followed by a boat tour up and down the Suwannee River thanks to concessionaire Anderson's Outdoor Adventures.
I was especially pleased that a white-tailed deer buck with antlers was among our regular visitors on this trip, since I rarely see them while camping. In addition to his visits to our campsite, I also saw this buck foraging alongside the park's main road not far from the Hickory Campground.
If you enjoyed these, you can view all twenty-five photographs featuring the buck in the Manatee Springs State Park 2016 album.