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The Daily Bucket is a regular feature of the Backyard Science group.  It is a place to note any observations of the natural world.  Birds, blooms, bugs and more, all are worthy additions to the bucket. Please let us know what is going on around you in the comments, with location as close as you care to share.
April 20, 2013

Ding Ding Ding - I got Sparkleberries

100s of them

1000s of them

Vaccinium arboreum - my tree book says the common name for this Southeast native is Farkleberry but down here in the Florida Panhandle everyone calls them Sparkleberry. It's in the Blueberry genus but they are not edible. I have tried it often and it's amazing how seedy such a small berry can be. They are common as an understory throughout the hardwoods. My favorite walking sticks are made from their lightweight but strong limbs. Walk along with me below the fold for more blooming plants.

Here's a Virginia Sweetspire Itea virginica I saw blooming down in the wet area. It will blend in with the greenery after it's done blooming but the long seedhead will persist into winter.

Inkberry or Gallberry Ilex glabra Finally found this one blooming so I could nail down the ID. The little jags along the leaves confirms it as a holly.

The wild azaleas from February are now forming seeds.

A fresh crop of Coralbean Erythrina herbacea to feed the hummers. I have several of these spread around, adding more each year now that I know to scarify the red seeds before planting.

Redring Milkweed out in the woods almost ready to bloom Asclepias variegata.
There is a small colony of these, 8-16" high. I'd love to find some pods; there is a big demand for milkweeds in the native plant trade.

Competing with the milkweed on the forest floor are Green Dragons Arisaema dracontium.
That's a joke - these plants are really competing with Poison Ivy and Virginia Creeper. Green Dragons were featured in a Bucket last week.

Partridge-berry in bloom Michella repens. Very common, very pretty; I always step around.

Here is a typical smilax - this was about 7' tall (so far, that might be a few days of growth) and when I say as big around as my finger, well...

And lastly, can't do a bucket without a bug so here is a dragonfly I found numbed out and not moving after a night in the upper 40s. No idea as to why it is resting upside down. Anyone know?

Beautiful weather this weekend in North Florida - how about the rest of y'all? It must be spring everywhere across the continent by now??

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