This is a bend in the road, deep in Devil's Hammock Wildlife Management Area. You and I own this wonderful place together.
(This is where Jr. is learning the basics of driving a manual transmission.)
The tall stately palms are the focus here. Those are Sabal Palms and they are our state tree. Most folks I know just call them "Cabbage Palms" since the living core of the palm is edible and the main ingredient in "Swamp Cabbage". Harvesting that core kills the tree. It might seem a waste to do this, but the Cabbage Palm is very common and a cabbage harvester is killing very young palms that are low and brushy.
Having said that, I don't like swamp cabbage and don't harvest any of my palms, but if I did, I would take one once in awhile since they pop up everywhere in dense thickets. Like any natural resource, it's a matter of wise use and not overuse.
Cabbage palms are like apartment houses for a wide variety of critters. Bats, rats, roaches, scorpions, ratsnakes, beetles, birds, ... you name it and it might use some part of a palm. On my property, most of the palms are shorter than those in the picture. My palms are growing in more open terrain and tend to be shorter and fatter.
Tall palms like those in this picture tell me they were there when a much taller mature hardwood forest existed. They just don't get that tall and spindly unless they spend years snaking up through a forest canopy.
A mixed forest of hardwood species like magnolia, bay, tupelo, holly, oak, and cabbage palm is the essence of Florida woodlands. We call that a "hammock" from the Creek word, "hamaca", which means "shady place."
We have xeric, mesic, and hydric hammocks ... this one is hydric. It's quite wet under that canopy and some cypress are in the mix.
On the way into Gainesville, a developer has cleared away a similar hammock, and is building a subdivision.
The name of the subdivision?