Property Owners Handbook - Page 40

V I . H abitats Habitats Harmony between man, animal, and vegetation has been at the heart of the Bonita Bay vision. Long before Bonita Bay became a residential community, a very “natural” community already existed. Bonita Bay has preserved much of the Southwest Florida habitat originally found on the land. Several distinct ecosystems are found on our 2,400 acres. Uplands 38 Whether you are playing golf, riding your bike, or simply passing through in your car, you will notice a wide variety of wildlife and vegetation in our uplands. Providing shade overhead is the droughttolerant cabbage palm, our state tree. These palms vary in appearance, but they are recognized by the criss-cross formation of their base leaves. Another tree with its large branches looming overhead is the live oak. This tree is never totally bare, as it keeps most of its green leaves all year round. This tree is extremely tough and it was once used for ship building. The live oak is also home to Spanish moss which can be seen dispersed throughout its branches. Throughout Bonita Bay you will also find many slash pine trees. This pine has two to three cylindrical needles per bundle. Pines do not produce flowers, but instead reproduce through cones. The disbursement of pollen from the pines is what causes the light dusting of yellow on the top of your car. While roaming the uplands you may have a chance encounter with one of our many mammals. The white tail deer is not an uncommon sight throughout the woods of Bonita Bay. They are not very large, standing three feet high and weighing approximately 100 pounds; much smaller than the northern deer. Shy and alert, these beautiful creatures are most often seen at night or during the transitional hours of dusk and dawn. Another wary animal that inhabits the woodlands is the bobcat. The bobcat’s coloring is usually yellow to brown, with brown or black spots and a blackish stripe down the back. It is relatively small, about 32 inches in length and weighing about 22 pounds. This animal is a nocturnal hunter, usually preying on small mammals and birds. Open land just wouldn’t be the same if there were no diggers to dig in it. The nine-banded armadillo is known for habitual digging. This w w w. B o n i t a B a y Re s i d e nt s .c o m