Saturday, September 02, 2006

The Walk Back

Last week, y'all walked with me, down to the "hard road" to take a look at the neighborhood that surrounds Pure Florida. Of course, we had to walk back ...


Taking a right turn off the driveway, we headed back through the woods to make the walk last a little longer. Along the front property line, the old red cedar fence posts of the previous farmer owner have surrendered to the termites and the wind. The grey posts hang supported by rusty strands of field fence and staples. One of you mentioned the dilapidated look of the fence, but I reminded you that there was no longer anything to keep in or out. We walked on.


We paused to admire this flower which I called "Triangle Flower". I admitted I didn't know if that was an "official" common name for it or just something I've always called it. Later, post walk, I googled that name and got nothing, so I was left wishing I had known it's scientific name as that would have helped in the search. I remember one of you pointed out the little katydid on the stem and asked me it's name.

"Fred", I replied. We walked on.


This sumac, ripe to the point of bursting, was showing off at the point where we should turn left to get back to the house. We stopped to look at it and various recipes for "sumac ade" were discussed. In the end, we left the berries where they were and opted for some mint ice tea (unsweetened of course) after the walk was done.

It was hot, but y'all weren't ready to quit, so we walked on.


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We followed the old gokart path, past the pistol range, peeked in the dead bee tree, and wound up in the southwest corner of Pure Florida. This is where I took some gentle ribbing about my "pine plantation" of spindly, sparse, sprickly pines. Somebody asked about the leaning pine and that stimulated tales of the summer of "04 and how it feels to have 3 tropical systems roll over you in one summer.

Everyone got quiet when I pointed out the crooked faded green wooden cross with the dog collar hanging on it. "Ranger", I whispered.

We walked on.

Anticipating ice tea and the porch ceiling fan.


Laura said...

That is definitely what North Central Florida looks like. Wooded and Wooly, I always call it. You forgot to get tick pictures... j/k.

The flower picture, is that stinging nettle? That was my first impression...could be wrong.

I wish fall would hurry up and get here. You'll see the leaves changing color before we do... lucky!

Floridacracker said...

No,it's not nettle. I really think it is called "triangle flower", I just didn't have my "Florida Wildflowers and Roadside Plants" book handy. I think I left it at school...
I don't know where the ticks are this year. I haven't seen one since last winter. The dogs agree with that statement.

roger said...

nice walk ya got there. did i miss the pond?

robin andrea said...

Nice walk around the place, FC. You are a perfect tour guide!

Abandoned in Pasadena said...

I've enjoyed the walk and the pictures, but I went over to your story of Ranger and now I am bawling like a baby. What a wonderful tribute to Ranger...he was a beautiful dog and a wonderful family pet.

Floridacracker said...

we went right remember? the pond is to the left.

Thanks. I enjoyed it too.

Now you've done it. I'm blurry...

pablo said...

Libby and I walk our fenceline in the winter when the way is more passable. I guess you don't have a Midwestern winter down there, so probably any time is as good as another.

Somehow I think there may have been a message to me in this post, but I can't puzzle it through.

Floridacracker said...

Not so much a message as just simple inspiration from RRJ.

threecollie said...

The Ranger post kind of clogged up my throat for some reason....sounds like a wonderful dog.

Floridacracker said...

He was special in a long line of wonderful dogs.
Hey, I tried to post a comment at your site today and Bloggy would not let me.

swamp4me said...

Your "triangle flower" is also known as Elephant's Foot -- look up the genus Elephantopus. You're on your own for figuring out the species :)

And, dangit, you made me cry again. You know I can't handle the dog stuff...

Tim Rice said...

Thanks for the beautiful nature walk. Lovely. It's not what I think of when I think Florida; but I have never visited any part of Florida.

OldHorsetailSnake said...

Spindly forest and all, great place you got there, Cracker.

Ava said...

Love the leaning fence! I also like the picture of the trees in which one is leaning over. What a contrast to the other trees which are all nice and straight. A very artistic picture.

Floridacracker said...

Thanks for the ID help, I thought either you or Wayne would come through on that one.
Dog posts seem to either leave me laughing or crying middle ground.

You are welcome to visit Florida...just please don't move here :)
Nothing personal but FL is full.

It suits me.
(What did you do, come up for air;)

Thanks for the artsy perspective, I wasn't thinking artsy when I shot it, but I appreciate the vision.

Hal at Ranch Ramblins said...

"...katydid on the stem ..." LOL with that line, thanks.

Floridacracker said...

Thanks Hal!

doubleknot said...

Thank you for taking us along with you on your walk - lovely.

Wayne said...

Doggone it, Swampy beat me. Yes, one of my favorites - Elephant's Foot. I looked for this one for ages amongst the usual field guides and could never find it, until I spied it in Wilbur Duncan's southeastern guide (there's very few field guides that treat the southeast).

There's a number of species in the Elephantopus genus. We have at least two here. Yours may be E. tomentosus, aka Devil's Grandmother (and do I like that common name? Yes I do!). It is fine with full sun and dry soil. Up here we also have E. carolinianus, Carolina Elephantsfoot, which likes shadier, moister places and is much more succulent.

The walk was great, and thanks for featuring one of my favorite plants!

Floridacracker said...

Glad you liked it.

Swampy knows her stuff. I appreciate the extra info. Since she gave me the sciname, I found my copy of FL Wildflowers and Roadside Plants and sure enough, there it was.

I think I must have made up the triangle flower name so long ago that my brain thought it was the real common name.

All of this is a great example why we do need scinames.
Don't you wonder about the origin of both of those common names you mentioned?
... I don't see any connection to either name when I look at this flower.

Tim Rice said...

You made me laugh. I have no intention of moving to Florida. The people I love live mostly around here. And besides I don't want the hurricanes that you folks sometimes get down there impressive as they may be.

Floridacracker said...

God bless you.