Monday, March 30, 2009

The following morning I snaffled another bagel from breakfast and drove our to Telogia again taking side road 103 into the forest. I saw lots of sundews and pitchers right by the side of the road and a squashed armadillo in the middle. The track rejoined the 105, all on sandy roads, with the car not handling it well. With heavy rain forecast for the afternoon I didn't really want to get stuck later. The forest changed as I headed west from mostly pine to small lime leaved American oaks. I pulled into Camel Lake and headed off down the Florida Trail. At the start was a sign saying 'foot travel' and then a large pond with a log across it - very discouraging for vehicles I'm sure. There was a short interpretive trail that told me there were three types of oaks, one being the turkey oak, which I suppose is what they are hunting around there. The screwpine things are called Palmetto and the pines are native long needle pines. It was a bit boggy underfoot and soon I found some sundews. There were plenty of mozzies too. The path wove in and out of the trees and shrubs getting boggier all the time. Then I came across a solitary pitcher plant, one with the green floppy hanky like flowers. Pretty soon after the path became a stream, I battled around it for a little while but soon decided to call it a day. I came across a clump of coarse black hair on the return - from a bear? Back at the top of the trail were lots of butterflies - yellow swallowtails and smaller blue ones too. At the lake I sat listening to the starling like birds calling to one another like so many unoiled rusty gates. Leaving Camel Lake I joined the paved road again - the Appalachicola Savannah Scenic Byway. There were still trees but generally the landscape was much more open, with lots of knee high grass. I saw more green hanky flowers and stopped on the edge of the road just as the rain started. They were on the otherside of a small stream so I stepped through - lovely wet shoes again. But it was worth it - lots of pitchers, of various shapes and sizes - trumpets, cobra heads and even some small red sundews. Further along I found a field of the green upright sundews - magnificent! I could hear thunder gathering but thankfully the rain had gone. Rounding one corner I saw a lake filled with white pompoms. Hoping they were lilies and not rubbish I pottered through the low scrub - water lilies they were and around the edge of the lake were beautiful tall trumpet pitchers with red throats and myriad cobra pithers. Wow! What a display! I also found lots of frogs, hopefully meaning there weren't any alligators but i kept my eyes peeled. Only just around the corner from the lake I came across a whole field of pitchers. It was a little way off the road so I started wading through the grass, hoping there weren't any snakes. The guide book had warned there were some nasty sounding ones. The pitchers were magnificent - so densely populated and there were some red trumpets too. The thunder was rumbling again and I dragged myself back to the car. I pushed on, seeing some fox squirrels, with their bandit eye patches, by the side of the road. I drove south through Sumatra and down the the coast, going east this time. At Eastpoint I took the arched bridge across to St Georges Island. If only it had been a nice day. I walked down to the Pacific and dipped my fingers in. Driving back across the bridge I saw pelicans, black headed gulls and little tiny terns floating on the wind. On the electricity pylons hundreds of cormorants were eying up the waves. I stopped in Appalachicola itself - very pretty with lots of antiques shops. I was going to drive back via Blountstown but the radio said they were having the worst of the weather, so I retraced my steps via Carrabelle and along past Ochlockonee Bay, past Panacea and Snails Pace Lane

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