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

A Fungus Among Us

As I wander the Trail I always look to see what is flowering and, near one of the wooden walkways, I noticed that the Climbing Hempvine is starting to open up.  It’s in the Aster or Daisy family and its flowers are all disk flowers just like Feay’s Palafox.

Climbing Hempvine

 

A Hog Plum had dropped it’s colorful fruit on the trail.   I’m surprised that it hasn’t been gobbled up by an animal or bird.

Hog Plum Fruit

 

The weather has been wet so fungi are appearing.  I spotted this one near a tree root which crossed the Trail.

 Boletus 1

 

When I turned the mushroom over I saw the sponge layer of tubes which meant that it was some species of Boletes.

 Boletus 2

 

I broke off a little piece at the edge to give a little picture of the tubes where the spores are produced.

 Boletus 3

 

Further down the trail I came on an old mushroom that was covered with a cottony mold.  Everything is the host of another organism.

 Cotton Mold

 

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

Zigzagging Down The Trail

In my visits to The Trail I rarely encounter another person and, for the most part, that is fine as I often spread out my photo gear out while trying to capture an image.  But as I strolled the Trail today I noticed how the vines and Palmetto fronds were starting to encroach and narrow the trail.  I guess there aren’t many people willing to brave a little mud and heat to see the wonders found along the Trail.

 Trail 6

In South Florida few trees have leaves that change color.  But one tree that does is the Red Maple and it’s leaves grabbed my attention.

 Red Maple 1

I found some paper wasps building a home under a Palmetto frond.

 Paper Wasp 2

Some little carnivorous plants, Zigzag Bladderworts, are coming to life.

 Zigzag Bladderwort 3

Down at the river, the lovely Saltmarsh Morning Glory was blooming.

 Saltmarsh Morning Glory 2

I missed the flowering of the Florida Butterfly Orchid but here is a shot of the seed pods.  When these open in a few months, the wind will blow the seeds far and wide and their life cycle will continue.

Florida Butterfly Orchid 3

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

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. 

Things I Found in the Mud

I never fail to enjoy looking at Slash Pine trees – the shapes, the textures, the strength.  Here is what caught my eye this morning.

Slash Pine 1

Another thing that caught my eye was the Elliott’s Milkpea.  This is a little vine with white flowers.  You can find it climbing on shrubs as you walk down the trail.  The flower is small but if you take a close look this is what you will see.

Elliott's Milkpea 1

But now to the mud.  Since we’ve had a lot of rainy weather, the trail has a number of muddy spots.  In one of these, a little white flower caught my eye.  Herb-of-Grace was in full bloom.

Herb-of-Grace 3

Further along I spotted what looked like a poached egg laying in the mud.

Loblolly Bay 3

It took me a minute, but when I realized what it was I looked up and saw the wonderful flowers of a Loblolly Bay.

Loblolly Bay 2

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

Snake Vines and Snowballs

This was a wonderful day to stroll down the Trail.  The sky was blue and there was no rain in the immediate forecast.

Trail 5

 

Along the side of the Trail a Smilax vine was rising up from the ground like a green snake that was covered with nasty looking spikes.  One of the common names given to this vine is Earleaf Greenbrier but a good friend of mine grew up calling it a Snake Vine and I like that name the best of all.

Smilax 1

 

The remains of the tendrils that at one time had been used to hoist itself up now dead and brown but still wrapped around a piece of a twig

Smilax 2

 

The fresh green tendrils at the end of the Snake Vine were reaching out to grab hold of something to help the vine climb higher.

Smilax 3

 

And if they couldn’t find anything else to grab, they grabbed each other and intertwined.

Smilax 4

 

If you get down to the water, look around and you will see a little white snowball.

Buttonbush 1

 

The snowball consists of many flowers and is found on a tall woody shrub known as Buttonbush which is a member of the Coffee Family.

Buttonbush 2

 

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