Let Nature Challenge You
A Living Museum
In the simplest terms, an arboretum is a museum for trees and plants that are displayed for enjoyment, inspiration, and education. Just as a museum displays valuable art or artifacts, the Arboretum’s “art” is its living plants and animals, offering the public a unique opportunity to view a variety of species in a natural setting. The key word is “view”. We ask that visitors, including children and dogs, use their museum manners to visually explore our natural wonders and refrain from picking flowers and plants, climbing on trees, disturbing the gopher tortoises or venturing off trails where they can disturb fragile soils, damage plants or encounter poisonous plants and animals. For children needing an active environment, there are many City parks and other recreational facilities more suitable to play activities.
The Arboretum is a fascinating, living museum where children and families can learn about our natural world and the importance of protecting and preserving it for future generations. So please put on your museum manners when visiting, treat it with respect, protect what is here, and understand what we are trying to accomplish through the efforts of volunteers who work tirelessly to maintain, improve and preserve this property. Thank you.
Have you read the new signs on the Rosemary Ridge Trail? Could you follow the food web on the saltmarsh sign? Could you find the rings in the depression marsh? And if you walked both the Live Oak and the Rosemary Ridge Trail, did you compare the habitats that the turkey oak barren and xeric scrub signs described? If not, come on out and see what these signs are all about. For some high-tech treats along the Aralia Trail, use the QR code reader on your smart phone to watch a video and hear a cricket frog call. And for those familiar with the prolific spatterdock on Lake Ray, the new sign on the south side of the Lake Loop has an interesting story about it being a staple of the Native American diet.
These signs were made possible with donations of time, photographs and funds by numerous friends of the Arboretum. Special thanks go to the Daylily Garden Circle for their gift of the saltmarsh sign, to Jacqueline Welti for many hours of extra Photoshop work, and to the numerous talented artists for use of their photographs.
What’s Blooming Around the Lake Loop?
Drummond Phlox (Phlox drummondii) is still blooming at various locations along the Lake Loop. The leaves of Spatterdock (Nuphar luteum) on Lake Ray are looking pretty chewed up -the result of the waterlily leaf beetle. But if you look closely, you can see a few springtime Spatterdock blooms. As you continue around the lake, notice the blooming Blanketflower (Gaillardia spp.). Intermixed among the Blanketflower are a few clumps of Fleabane (Erigeron spp.). And helping provide nectar to late spring butterflies are Florida Betony (Stachys floridana) and Spanish Needle (Bidens alba),both considered “weeds.” Probably the most vibrant flower, though, is Spiderwort (Tradescantia spp.), which is shown in the above feature photo.
New Research at Your Arboretum
Head of Research, Miranda Wilson, reports that University of Maryland graduate student Crystal McEwen spent a day this spring collecting oak galls and oak gall wasps (Family Cynipidae) at the Jacksonville Arboretum and Gardens. She is working on a systematic revision of one genus of this miniscule intriguing insect. Unlike their vespid wasp cousins, known for terrorizing picnics and barbeques, the cynipids are tiny and quite harmless.
Gall wasps lay their eggs in the stems, leaves, and buds of oaks initiating the formation of tumor-like galls on which the larvae feed. On the trail, you will notice these as small brown bumps usually on the leaves and stems. There are two generations of wasps each year – one sexual and one asexual (e.g. no male needed). Some cynipids are known to occur as females only; no males have ever been found.
An online search can reveal more about these diminutive creatures and you may want to explore other topics of interest to Crystal as well – namely parthenogenesis and haplodiplody. Do your reading and be ready to ask questions when the University of Maryland team returns in the fall to collect more samples.
Wow – are we impressed! The Tree Huggers Club at Holy Spirit Catholic School held an Earth Day Bake Sale and raised $100, which they donated to the Arboretum. Thank you, students, for all your hard (and delicious) work and this very generous contribution.
Support our Supporters!
A Brush with Nature, our third annual plein air painting event March 21-23, was a success in spite of the weather. The Board of Directors thanks all of the many people and organizations involved, including our particpating artists, sponsors, partners, patrons, friends, advertisers, event committee and volunteers.
For those who were unable to make it out to the event and are looking for a beautiful painting to grace your home or office, you can always purchase a fine work of art from one of our talented artists. During the event, the artists donated 50% of their sales proceeds to the Arboretum, so now we want to promote their efforts as professional artists. Go to the event website www.abrushwithnature.org to view work from each of our participating artists. By clicking on the artist’s name, you will be redirected to his or her website where you can contact that artist directly to see more work and/or purchase a painting.
We also want to give additional recognition to our sponsors and advertisers and ask that you consider giving them your business, support their cause and thank them for supporting the Arboretum! To make it easier for you to find the service or product you may need, we’ve put them in categories. Since there are quite a few, we will publish several categories at a time over the next 2-3 months.
Baywood Animal Hospital – www.baywoodanimaljax.com
First Coast No More Homeless Pets – www.fcnmhp.org
Jacksonville Zoo & Gardens – www.jacksonvillezoo.org
Monument Road Animal Hospital – www.mrah.net
The Catty Shack Ranch Wildlife Sanctuary – www.cattyshack.org
ARTISTS, ART GALLERIES, ART SUPPLIES
Archway Gallery & Framing – www.ArchwayGalleryAndFraming.com
Beth Haizlip, Artist – firstname.lastname@example.org
Diantha York-Ripley, Artist – www.dianthayork-ripley.com
First Street Gallery – www.FirstStreetGalleryArt.com
Jen Jones Art Consulting – www.jenjonesart.com
Keith Doles, Graphic Artist – www.keithdoles.com
Lyn Asselta, Pastel Landscapes – www.lynasselta.com
Paul Ladnier, Artist – www.paulladnier.com
Randy Pitts, Artist – www.randypittsfineart.com
Reddi Arts – www.reddiarts.com
Southlight Gallery – www.southlightgallery.com
The Art Center – www.tacjacksonville.org
The Art Restorer – Patrick Mahoney – www.TheArtRestorer.com
The Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens – www.cummer.org
Lindsey C. Brock, lll, Attorney at Law – www.rumrelllaw.com
Barry A. Bobek, P.A. – 904-632-2010
Alexander G. Smith, P.A. 904-733-2000
JM Family Enterprises/Southeast Toyota Distributors – www.jmfamily.com
Each month we will publish more categories.
Jacksonville Arboretum & Gardens
The Jacksonville Arboretum & Gardens is a 120-acre urban woodland full of trails for you to explore and enjoy.
From the trailhead next to the parking lot, a stabilized walkway encircles a beautiful two-acre lake. This trail gently descends about 25 feet from to the foot of the lake and then returns up a gentle slope on the opposite side to the trailhead. Interpretive signs and over 100 labeled plants enhance the loop.
In addition, over two miles of rustic hiking trails wind quietly through a series of distinct ecological habitats.
Along the trails, benches invite you either to pause and enjoy the view or to get in a good stretch during a vigorous walk.
The Arboretum is developed and managed by the Jacksonville Arboretum & Gardens, Inc., a non-profit entity that leases the land from the City. Except for special events, there is no admission fee.
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