Palms and Ferns

Somebody made the Trail a little more passable.  Saw Palmetto branches were cut back and laid on some of the muddy places.

Trail 13

 

One of the walkways has a new sign.

Trail 12

 

I missed getting a shot of a Ground Skink as it was just too fast.  But I did get a shot of this anole although he was doing his best to hide on the bark of a Slash Pine tree.

Anole

 

String Ferns were hanging from their home on this Saw Palmetto.

String Fern 1

 

And down by the Creek I found a couple of fiddleheads of the Giant Leather Fern.

Giant Leather Fern Fiddlehead 1

 

Here is a closer view of the fiddlehead – the patterns in Nature never fail to amaze me.

Giant Leather Fern Fiddlehead 2

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The Shoe Tree

While walking the Trail it is hard to miss the rather large fern arising from the boots of the Cabbage Palm trees.  Lift up the leaf and you will see the spores of the Golden Polypoidy arraigned in 2 rows next to the vein.

Golden Polypody 1

 

But you don’t have to lift the leaf as you can probably fine on on the ground

Golden Polypody 2

 

But be careful that you avoid the Poison Ivy climbing on the tree limbs

Poison Ivy 1

 

Or that you don’t get grabbed by the tendrils of the Smilax vine

Smilax 7

 

But be most careful on this part of the Trail

Trail 11

 

For here lurks the shoe tree just waiting to reach out and grab your footwear.

Oak Shoe

Wax Myrtle Fruit and Other Things That Caught My Eye

I noticed that a stalk of the Cinnamon Fern had taken a sharp turn upward.  Had someone bent it and the plant kept growing or had the fern suddenly decided to grow vertically rather than horizontally?

Cinnamon Fern

Fruit is starting to appear on the Wax Myrtle branches

Wax Myrtle 1

 

A closer look at the fruit clearly shows the waxy covering

Wax Myrtle  2

 

Spotted some Feay’s Palafox and took a shot from a different perspective.

Feay's Palafox

 

As I walked down the side trail I encountered a tree just covered with Turkey Tails.  The Tails at the base of the tree were wide and large.

Turkey Tails 1

 

The tails further up the trunk were smaller and thinner.

Turkey Tails 2

 

This part of the trail has a nice inviting bench.  So I rested my camera bag and took a shot.

Trail 10

Ferns and Oaks

Lining the banks of the river are the leaves of the Giant Leather Fern.

Giant Leather Fern 1

 

Here’s a closer look at the spores which cover the underside of the leaves.

Giant Leather Fern 2

 

Look up and you will see another fern, Golden Polyploidy, hanging from the limb of an Oak tree.

Golden polypody

 

An Oak also provides a home for the Southern Needleleaf air plants.

Southern Needleleaf 1

 

And finally, for a bit of color, here is the flower of the Sensitive Briar vine.

Sensitive Briar 2

 

If you are tempted to reach out and grab the flower, better think twice.  Here is a closer look at the sharp bristles along the stalk.

Sensitive Briar 3

 

That’s all for now – but standby for future postings. 

Images From The Trail

I almost missed spotting this Black Racer who was warming up after a cool evening.

Black Racer

Down by the dock in the water I found a tiny little white flower with the name Pineland Pimpernel.

Pineland Pimpernel

But something that really caught my eye was a pair of invasive species that were next to each other.  Peruvian Primrosewillow popped up 3 or 4 articles ago and I bring it up again because you will find it happily co-existing with another highly invasive species, the Old World Climbing Fern.

Old World Climbing Fern 2

Here is a closer shot of the fern’s leaves.  Note that some of the edges are smooth and some are deeply lobed.

Old World Climbing Fern 3

If the leaf is deeply lobed it is loaded with spores and here is a shot of the spores lining the edges of the lobes giving them a quilted look.

Old World Climbing Fern 4

The fern is a Category 1 invasive and, if you want to read more, here is a link:  http://plants.ifas.ufl.edu/node/255

 

But enough about invasive species.  I want to leave you with an image of the Tar Flowers that are now in bloom.  They are beautiful and really worth visiting them on The Trail.

Tar Flower

That’s all for now – but standby for future postings.

Ancient Ferns

Walking around the gate and heading down the trail –

The Start of the Trail

The Start of the Trail

 

Nature provides a wealth of visual stimulation and one of the first thing that catches my eye are  the “cinnamon sticks” of the cinnamon fern (Osmunda cinnmomea).

 

Cinnamon Sticks

Cinnamon Sticks

 

Next time you see this fern take a close look at the cinnamon stick.  What you see are the casings housing the spores (sori).  You will see little round cases that have a slit opening across the top.  One side of the casing contracts as it dries which the case to split and the spores to be ejected

 

Osmunda cinnamomea 2

Cinnamon Fern Sori

 

Osmunda ferns date back over 200 million years and were around when dinosaurs roamed the earth.

Further down the trail another Osmunda caught my eye.  This time it was the royal fern (Osmunda regalis).  The leafs are a different shape and a little daintier  but the sorin casings look very similar.

 

Royal fern leaf

Royal fern leaf

 

Royal Fern Sori

Royal Fern Sori

 

That’s all for now – but standby for future postings.  If anyone has pictures or words about the flora or fauna found on the Halpatiokee Trail contact me so we can get you published.