I finally put on my walking shoes today and drove down the road to the L. Kirk Edwards wildlife area where I had walked once in June. It was already way too hot then as there is very little shade but I filed it away as a place to visit again when it got cooler and now it is cooler and so...
I did a search of my blog to find the post I'd written about so many months ago and found it here. I had to laugh at myself- I'd taken a picture in almost the exact same spot back then and again today. The oak you see above.
It was really nice there today. Lots of plants that make their showy selves known in fall. Very Florida.
That's a nice stand of saw palmetto which is useful in men's maintaining of prostate health.
I used my plant identifier on a lot of plants but I'm not sure I trust the ID's. I am ashamed that I do not know more about the native plants of this area. When I walked there before, I tentatively identified this plant as wiregrass and I'm pretty sure it is.
It is a desirable native in that it will grow during draught conditions and on poor soil. Its roots will hold the soil in place. Much of the wiregrass around here has been eliminated by pine planters and cattle ranchers, I think, and there is a movement to replant it and encourage its growth.
There are big swaths of planted pines in the wildlife area and as you can see here, there have been controlled burns. The white plant growing amongst them is, I BELIEVE hyssop leaf thoroughwort. I could very well be wrong but it made a lovely contrast next to the black trunks of the pines.
I do not know what this red plant is and I should because it grows everywhere. I was pleased to see on my drive back from the beach on Sunday that we do have a lot of color change in the woods and forests around here. You'd be surprised! It's not New England by any means but there were plenty of golds and yellows and reds. We absolutely have seasons although they are subtle.
So that's what I did today. I took a good walk. I met one biker, a guy, and he seemed like a nice fellow. "Good day for a hike!" he said to me as we crossed paths. It occurred to me, as it always does, that whenever a woman is in a situation like this, she is absolutely going to be at her most alert. As he was riding towards me I thought about how the man in the scenario probably never, ever feels this sense of potential threat. I'm not sure that men realize that just their very presence causes this fear in women but a lot of men do try their best to make it known that they are not threats by offering up friendly greetings which I do appreciate but it all adds up to the truth of the matter which is that physically, many men are stronger than many women (not all by any means!) and also, we are all animals, no matter how fancy our souls and brains, and in the human species, it is generally the males who are predators. I do not live my life in fear- if I did, I would not go on these walks- but it is something I have to consider if I am walking in isolated areas which I love to do. The older I get, the more I understand how certain ingrained and learned and absolutely primitive and justified fears can control women and do control women whether we want them to or not.
But that's not really what I meant to talk about this evening. Mostly, I just wanted to describe the lovely walk I had today in a wildlife area in North Florida. I saw hawks and vultures and NO BEARS! On the drive back home, four lovely deer ran across the road in front of me. I stopped to watch them leap and run and melt into the woods as they do.
I also did a little gardening today so all-in-all I feel as if I've earned my supper which I now need to go make.