A guidebook to common creatures and plants in Florida’s freshwater springs.

This guide was created by Jennifer Adler for the Walking on Water springs environmental education program. It includes photos and descriptions of 47 common creatures and plants that find their home in Florida’s springs, along with tips to help you identify them. This is by no means an exhaustive list of spring species, rather a guide to many of the things the students may find during our swim at Blue Springs Park in Gilchrist County, Florida. Even if you are not part of the Walking on Water program, feel free to use this as a resource to help yourself become more familiar with the flora and fauna of our unique spring ecosystems. If you do download the guide, I would appreciate it if you would please leave your thoughts/feedback in the comments section below. Although it was a labor of love, it took an incredible amount of time to both shoot and edit all of the photos as well as design and compile the guide. Knowing how this free resource is being used will help me improve it in the future and also better understand whether or not it is a helpful resource for the springs community. Please keep in mind that it was written for a 5th grade audience, and if you are a teacher and would like to use it as an educational resource for your classroom, please contact me at jennifermadler@ufl.edu.

Adler Field ID Guide

Field ID Guide Screenshot

11 thoughts on “Field Guide

  1. Very nice. I’m all about getting the kids involved. The only suggestion that I would have is to include a list of all the species with check boxes as the last page. This would encourage the kids to get their parents/guardians to bring them out to the springs and together they could participate in a scavenger hunt and they both might learn something together. Very nice job!


  2. I’ve come to expect nothing but incredible things from Jenny, this guide does not fall short. Offering her exquisite photography skills along with descriptions of the critters inhabiting our springs & scientific facts about what you’re looking at. So blown away. This guide will become a standard on my snorkeling,diving, and kayaking trips around the state.


  3. This is great. I love the way it’s written – more helpful and accessible than traditional field guides, without being condescending or treacly as so many of these that are written for “children” can tend to be. The tone I get from reading it is that you respect your readers as scientists/natural explorers who happen to be young adults.


  4. Thank you for this compilation and guide, downloaded it for helping ID the creatures I see when snorkeling an shooting! Agree with the first commenter, a check off list of all the species listed would encourage people to explore. Heck, I want to check them all off the list myself!


  5. Very nice guide and a great teaching tool, not only for the kids attending this event, but future visitors to Blue Spring and Florida springs in general. Thank you for putting this together and sharing all your great photos.


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