Friday, March 26, 2010

Long Pine Key, Florida, USA

The Long Pine Key is covered with pine forest. The forest floor is sharp limestone with thick growths of palmettos, ferns and wildflowers. These palmettos, when backlit by the sun, create some truly striking patterns of symmetry.

Warblers frequent the picnic area, as do red-shouldered hawks. Barred owls also nest in this area, but visitors should exercise care to not harass these birds. Their young have been known to fall from the nest when thee is increased activity under the nesting tree.

Butterflies visit the wildflowers here in great numbers, and three frogs hide themselves until nightfall. Squirrel tree frogs have been observed in and around the rest rooms.

A number of fire roads serve as trails where tree snails may be found, but it takes persistence to find them. During or after a thunderstorm, these snails may move about briefly. The park system control-burns in this area to ensure the continued existence of the pinelands. The burned bank of the fire-resistant slash pines exhibits some fascination patterns for close-up abstract photography. The area is also a prime habitat for white-taled deer.

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