Have you ever wanted to sell everything you own and just "take off?" Travel the country's back roads, paddle down a meandering stream, experience breath-taking mountain views, walk among 100-year old trees, and just marvel at America's beauty? That is the dream that my partner, Betsy, and I decided to make a reality. This blog describes our adventure. The food we eat, people we meet, sights we see, and the enjoyment we find in traveling.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

A Walk in the Woods

The pine forest across the street beckons us.  Crisp, sunny winter mornings are the perfect time to enjoy the early morning sunlight as it shines majestically through the tall trees.  The forest is a mix of state park and state forest that spans miles and encompasses thousands of acres in some of Florida’s most prime real estate. 

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The protected land ensures that we can walk in tranquil silence hearing only the melodic sounds of rustling grasses and winter migrants. The sandy soil and shed pine needles offer a pillow-like feeling married with a soft crunch under foot.

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The myriad of trails bisect one of our favorite ecosystems – the pine flatwoods.  What historically was a longleaf pine habitat has been transformed by man’s desire for timber.  Longleaf pine forests are one of the most endangered ecosystems in the United States.  The slow-growing longleaf has been replaced by faster growing species such as slash and loblolly pines.

The forest bears the charred scars of fire.  Fire is as vital to the trees as water and sunlight.  Pine flatwoods ecosystems more than just tolerate fire they are highly dependent on itLightning and fire excite the forest and bring about change and natural progression. 

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Fire stimulates growth of young trees, releases seeds from pine cones, encourages herbaceous (grassy) vegetation and a plethora of other benefits that rejuvenate the ecosystem.  Fire also sets the stage for longleaf restoration.

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It’s clear to us why protection of this ecosystem is so important.  Habitat destruction has plagued millions of acres and transformed the landscape forever.  It is a hard fight back but persistence will pay off.   Evidence of regeneration is scattered throughout the forest and young longleaf have a fighting chance.  

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We joy in having the forest in our backyard.  It is where we go to exercise, admire, rejuvenate, and appreciate.

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3 comments:

  1. Just beautiful, I can see why it's you favorite place to walk. Sad that man's greed has caused so much destruction of the habitat, but nature has a way of coming back...if man stays out of the way.

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  2. Who writes thes blogs all the time? So eloquently stated! Miss u 2! Teri

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  3. I love your guy's blog! It makes me want to go out and buy an RV! My wife and I have always dreamed of doing this when we retire. I think it would be so much fun! http://www.carac.com.au/trailers.php

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