Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Wild Florida

This week, I'm visiting my hometown of Jupiter, FL for the Thanksgiving holiday.  This morning I took a walk through Riverbend Park with my mom and it reminded me just how different Florida is from my current home of Pennsylvania. 

I literally grew up in a swamp.  For about 6 months of the year, there is standing water amongst the bald cypress trees (Taxodium distichum), saw palmettos (Serenoa repens), and cabbage palms (Sabal palmetto)- our state tree.  It is common to see rattle snakes, bobcats, and fox crossing our dirt road.  I will always love the swamp that raised me and I wanted to share a few photos of my home!

Air plants (Tillandsia sp.)

Banyan Tree (Ficus benghalensis)

Pileated Woodpecker on a Slash Pine (Pinus elliottii)


My mom walking in Riverbend Park
Cabbage Palm (Sabal plametto)- Florida's State Tree

A great feature about Riverbend Park is that the picnic pavillions are all in the style of traditional chickee huts.  These huts are open sided, palmetto thatched roofs supported by bald cypress posts.  These were traditional huts of the Seminoles during the second and third Seminole wars.  In the Florida Everglades, the  Miccosukee Native Americans still build chickee huts.  It has always been my mom's dream to have a chickee hut in our backyard!

Chickee Hut
Inside the chickee hut

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