Monday, June 8, 2009

payne's prairie, northern rim

To experience this part of Payne's Prairie was quite a treat.   The area hasn't been cleared or disturbed since at least the Spanish colonial times.  Therefore, it represents one of the oldest and most diverse mixed hammocks (forests) in the region.  Aside from the swarms of mosquitoes and every looming threat of wood ticks, the hike was quite enjoyable.  I really did love it, except when we stopped.  When we stopped walking I could have sworn I was getting eaten alive.  Every inch of  bare skin seemed to be fair game.  They were not deterred by the bug repellent, swatting, or swearing.  When I got home I counted all the bites which had to have been acquired through my clothing.  Needless to say, I was quite itchy.  I'd love to go on this hike again during the fall or winter and with people who like the outdoors as much as I do.  It amazes me when people take classes titled "Local Flora" and don't like going out into the woods.  Can.  not.  compute.  rationale.

Vitus rotundafolia (Muscadine grape)

Prunus umbellata (Flatwoods plum)

Sideroxylon alachuense (Silver buckthron; Alachua bully)
This plant is an extremely rare, endangered, endemic.  The largest population (consisting of less than 30 plants) is found in Alachua County.  This species is only known to occur in the wild in three counties, Marion, Alachua, and Orange

Ruelia caroliniensis (Wild petunia)

Prunus caroliniana (Carolina laurel cherry)

Payne's Prairie Northern rim

Sapindus saponaria (soapberry)

The woods.

Oplismenus hirtellus (Wood-grass)

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