Thursday, January 21, 2016

Hiker sighting in Osceola National Forest

'Safari' and 'Bronco' at the Turkey Run Trailhead.  They hiked the southern half of the Florida Trail last year and are tackling the northern half this year.  They were heading northbound and I was southbound, so after a great 'instant bonding' conversation, as long distance hikers often experience with one another even though they've never met before, we headed off in opposite directions into the frosty morning.

"Key West or Bust" - Day 91

Just to be different, I'm using only photos and their captions to tell the story of today's hike.

'Mandelbrot Trees' - a typical scene in the flat savanna of Osceola National Forest.  Just as all the trees seemed like identical clones of one another, much of today I felt as if I was hiking through the same scene over and over.
Almost all of the trail scenes looked like this, though it was not always this obvious that I was hiking through fields of planted trees rather than natural forest.
One exception to the 'sameness' was this 'green tunnel'.  And I need to note that all of the trail through Osceola National Forest (all of today's eighteen miles at least) was this well groomed and maintained.  There were a few wet areas but always either a bypass by dry trail or a sturdy bridge.  There was just one exception ...
Here there was a sturdy bridge, but it didn't do me much good.  There was an adjacent pond and it was flooded.  I suspect that there was a family of beavers hard at work here.
Within the 'sameness' of the big picture, I found plenty of interesting 'little stuff'.  Here is a wildflower blooming in the dead of winter.  I wasn't able to identify this one.
My first sighting of the hooded pitcher plant - common in central and northeast Florida
There were plants showing fall color and plants showing spring bloom.  This little bush seemed to be doing both at the same time.  Despite the sameness of the large-scale scene, dazzling little sights like this one provided enough variety to keep me enjoying the day.

Below is a map of today's hike, with links to more photos:




Osceola National Forest at EveryTrail
EveryTrail - Find the best Hiking near Jacksonville, Florida



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