Author: Les Harrison

The thistle’s awakening has begun

The botanical pause of winter is monotonous in its consistency. Each day, with very few exceptions, is just like the one before it with plants in suspended animation.

February brings the first inkling of the burst of activity coming to Santa Rosa County which will soon arrive with vigorous growth and riotous color. One herald for the landscape’s eruption is the awakening of thistles, native weeds entwined with many cultures reaching into antiquity.

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Seasonal visitors include ducks

North Florida in January can be cold, as recent weeks have demonstrated. However, by the standards of latitudes farther north in the United States (and Canada), the month can be considered quite balmy.

As such, those who reside in the seasonally frozen geographic regions are inclined to visit this state when circumstances allow.

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Learn about the oaks common along Gulf Coast

A reputation for strength, durability and the ability to endure the harshest of condition is admirable and enviable.

Very few humans (and usually not the celluloid heroes of the silver screen) have the grit and determination to earn this standing or status in the course of their existence. A few notable personages in nautical history have risen to display the aforementioned character traits.

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Nature sends signals that winter is here

A walk around the neighborhood or forest will confirm winter is here. Of course there are the recent thermometer readings and the shorter days.

Other signs are the thicker coats on animals which by choice or situation must remain exposed to the elements. Some, like the native reptiles and amphibians, are absent from sight having retreated to a safe location to “sleep” the winter away.

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Mistletoe has long history

Rudolph is polishing his nose and checking the intensity just in in case fog rolls in. Santa Rosa County’s children are ticking off the minutes and are, basic inclinations notwithstanding, on their very best behavior.

Last minute Christmas bargains are being hurled at prospective buyers through every conceivable mass media channel.

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Column: Wax myrtles still produce berries in winter

Winter officially starts in Santa Rosa County Monday, Dec. 21. The shorter days and lower temperatures are the most obvious traits of this annual cycle.

The local birds and animals are aware of the difference more keenly than the human residents, mostly because of the reduced volume of available food.

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