Friday, January 12, 2007

Nary a 'gator to be seen. Thank God.

Yes, yes, I just got back from D.C. Whatever. I'm on my first "just because" vacation in a long time. Since, gosh, Oct. 2004, I think. I'm not traveling for an obligation or a holiday. Just because I wanted to, and I totally missed Sarah. Hello, Florida. Hello 75 degrees. Goodbye 17. My body may still be on Pacific Time, but it's sure confused about the season. So is my brain.
What we did today:

To be clear, we didn't go there. But we did pass the sign.
That's exciting, right?

Look! We're venturing off into the great unknown!
Fear for us! No, really. We left the map in the bathroom.

All the other programs on my computer don't seem to have a problem recognizing this as a vertical picture. Blogger however...
Also, we seem to have a ghost. Though it might just be a speck on the lens. At least it's not my finger. 'Cause
that would just be embarrassing.

OO! Wildlife.
At this point I'm only a little scared that that thing
will fly at me and plunge my shiny new camera into the salty water.

Oh good. He went the other way. Phew.

Hmm... We seem to be entering some kind of maze...

A dead end. Well, that can't be good.

At this point, I resort to licking a mangrove leaf.
As you may be able to tell, the leaf is covered with salt crystals.
This leads to the variety's name of White Mangrove, as the salt it exudes from the leaves causes it to be more pale then its friends the Red & Black Mangroves, which, at least in Red's case, blocks the salt from being absorbed in the first place with some amazing root filtration. Haven't got a clue what Black does.
Yes, I'm a dork, but I did make Ally lick one first, so that says something.
I also cleverly avoided leaves with bird poop on them.

Land! Glorious Land!

Can't remember what the dead beastie is called, but the leaf is a Sea Grape. My sources tell me they don't fair well in hurricanes. You can also make jam with their fruit. I don't think I'd make jam of our beastie.

Speaking of jam, we are comforted by the familiar growth of the Prickly Pear
although, I'm a little surprised to find it growing on an island. Either way, if we got stuck on the island and could manage to make pectin, we'd be set with two varieties of jam!

My souvenir. Didn't notice it until we returned the kayaks.

If you happen to find yourself in South Florida, check out John D. MacArthur State Park. We had a ton of fun, the kayaking was cheap, and it's always good to support the nature preserves!


Anonymous said...

I believe the dead beastie goes by the name of horseshoe crab.

Jackie Parker said...

I do believe that you are correct! Thanks, it totally slipped my mind when I was writing it up.

Anonymous said...

Ah warmth, how I miss thee...