Christopher Tozier is the author of Olivia Brophie and the Pearl of Tagelus, the award-winning, middle-grade fantasy series set in the wilds of central Florida and published by Pineapple Press. He was selected as a 2011 State of Florida Artist Fellowship recipient and his poetry has appeared widely.
It is paw paw season in central Florida. Scrub paw paw (Asimina obovata) is our most common species. Paw paws are pollinated by beetles not bees. If you look inside the blooms, you can find some pretty cool stuff, including the zebra swallowtail caterpillars who eat the leaves.
This little beetle fell out of the flower in the picture above. I think it is some kind of Strangalia beetle, but I'm not too sure. If you have any idea what kind it is, please let me know.
To learn more about paw paws and the animals that use them, please see my article The Inner Lantern.