PBS and NPR for Southwest Florida
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

With the Wild Things

  • An autumnal holiday tradition — the pumpkin — is a true native of the New World. The gourd was put to many good uses by Native Americans and assimilated into other cultures as they came here. Dr. Jerry Jackson takes a look at our native produce which includes corn and three species of wild rice.
  • Killdeer are plovers that are prominent among shorebirds because of their broad use of habitats in addition to our shore areas. Any place that is open, with short vegetation and usually with a bit of gravel can provide nesting and feeding areas for Killdeer. This even includes rooftops. Although summer heat can be deadly for them, Killdeer will shade their eggs to keep them at an appropriate incubation temperature and often soak their body feathers in water to drip on eggs or chicks. Chicks from rooftop nests can survive jumping from the roof or sliding down rain gutters. Downy chicks have only one neck band; adults have two.
  • Hurricanes can be disastrous and Florida sticks out like a sore thumb directly in the path of many hurricanes. It’s the heat of the sun and curvature and spinning of the Earth on its axis that initiate the movement of air over ocean and land. And its summer heat that warms surface water that creates the humid air and water-laden clouds that come with a hurricane. The juxtaposition of Florida’s land mass and the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico – the northern end of which is in a subtropical climate – makes us a target for hurricanes – many of which move north through the Gulf of Mexico, feeding on the warm waters there.
  • Learn about ospreys and the place they hold in Southwest Florida’s ecosystem.
  • The Pigmy Rattlesnake is four to six inches long at birth and some adults can reach two and a half feet – although most reach only about 20 inches. It is…