Skip to content

Tree Tuesday: Flatwoods to Swamp

Often on hikes through the South Florida pine flatwoods, you’ll stumble across other ecosytems. The flatwood environment itself is layered, with high canopies of pines, a lower shrubby layer, and an herbaceous layer — but it’s dotted with cypress domes (a cypress swamp in the shape of a dome), prairies, marshes, and other habitats. Truly a fascinating ecosystem.

Unfortunately, developers continue to find flatwoods attractive for development: the vast expanses of flat land are too tempting, as is the ease in cutting and clearing its enormous swaths. But it’s critical to remember all the life this land supports — as well as the various other habitats that are intricately woven together here.

Pine Flatwoods of Jonathan Dickinson State Park, Florida

Pine flatwoods vista

Slash Pine of the Atlantic Ridge Preserve State Park, Florida

Slash Pine: Ready for my close-up

Flatwoods to Swamp Along the Florida Trail, Florida

Heading from the flatwoods into the swamp, along the Florida Trail

Cypress Trees in the Swamp, Florida Everglades

Ever-lovely cypress of the swamp

A New Trail, Seabranch Preserve State Park, Florida

From flatwood, to prairie, to….

And an extra for Tree Tuesday — I can’t get enough of this cartoon….

45029_463823090344551_582905562_n

41 Comments Post a comment
  1. Great cartoon

    April 2, 2013
    • Isn’t it the greatest? Can’t get enough of it. 🙂

      April 4, 2013
  2. The cartoon was funny!!

    April 2, 2013
    • I know, I love it — just can’t get enough of it. 🙂

      April 4, 2013
  3. jimbey #

    …. Absolutely love the cartoon! I love flatwoods, too. What our populace may not understand is that a good patch of flatwood traps virtually ALL rainfall, and sends the rain down to recharge the aquifer – our drinking water. A development funnels most of the rain water into storm sewers -> drainage ditches -> canals -> ocean. Total waste of fresh water.

    April 2, 2013
    • Isn’t that cartoon the greatest? 🙂 Developers — well, lawmakers, because the former couldn’t care less — need to be educated on the value of these ecosystems, pure and simple. People are really trying in Florida….

      April 4, 2013
  4. The world is so amazing it is so sad that we are in such a rush to devastate it.

    April 2, 2013
    • It’s truly amazing. Down here in FLA, we’ve had a history of rampant and cruel development in already-threatened and rare ecosystems. Now, people are understanding the effects and are trying to educate the lawmakers to 1) curb the continued development and 2) restore, restore, restore the damaged areas.

      April 4, 2013
  5. Love the tree hugger!! 😉

    April 2, 2013
    • Isn’t he wonderful? I can’t get enough of this cartoon. 🙂

      April 4, 2013
  6. Caribbean Biodiversity #

    I like your use of color and moody contrasts for that forest feel.

    April 2, 2013
    • Thanks so much! It was iPhone work, but I love the feel it creates with some of those apps… As you say, very atmospheric and moody.

      April 4, 2013
  7. Totally great cartoon!! I always love all the layers of depth the forest offers!! The path to the universe as they say!!

    April 2, 2013
    • SO very true…. Especially in some of these places, which are pristine! SO true. It’s where I do my best thinking / walking meditations.

      LOVE this cartoon. Love it!! 🙂

      April 4, 2013
  8. I love that cartoon too! And the photos are spectacular, as always. 🙂

    April 2, 2013
    • Thanks so very much!! Some of these areas were pristine, truly gorgeous. And that cartoon, I KNOW — I just love!! 🙂

      April 4, 2013
  9. I love places like that! The tree hugger cartoon is cool too! 🙂

    April 2, 2013
    • Ah, they’re such wonderful places — it really does behoove us to keep them around!

      I adore that cartoon… One of my all-time favorites!!

      April 4, 2013
  10. Ah… have you hugged your tree today? (grin) As I type I am looking out on my own forest of Douglas Fir, Ponderosa Pine, White Oak, Madrone and Red Fir. A turkey, two foxes and the ever present deer herd came by to say hello this morning.

    April 3, 2013
    • You know, I’m trying to save a tree in my yard, so I pet it last night… Does that count? 🙂

      Ah, your trees are just magnificent — enormous and old! I would be BESIDE MYSELF if foxed and deer came by regularly. Sigh.

      April 4, 2013
      • Petting trees is good. (grin) And Peggy and I wake up each morning with a smile on our faces.

        April 5, 2013
  11. This is terrific! You know I love a good swamp! Very funny cartoon too!

    April 3, 2013
    • Heh heh, thanks so much! And I just adore that cartoon….

      April 4, 2013
  12. Wonderful post! I can smell the pines from here and I’m ready to hit the trail!

    April 3, 2013
    • Ah, thanks so much! I love the flatwoods here… Pines! Now prairie! OK, now swamp! It’s never boring, and always beautiful.

      April 4, 2013
  13. I just don’t get it. Why do developers think they need to build more houses. There are plenty for sale that are standing empty! How dare they take our wetlands from us. 😦

    April 3, 2013
    • SERIOUSLY!!! That’s my contention…. Same with the strip malls! Uhhh… You JUST tore down this beautiful stretch of flatwood for a stupid strip mall, with one RIGHT NEXT TO IT with ALL STORES empty. I see this all the time.

      It’s infuriating, the GREED of our developers. Thank goodness there’s a growing, strengthening voice for the land and animals.

      April 4, 2013
  14. Very nice forests, and a big smile.

    April 3, 2013
    • Ah, thanks so much! So happy to end on a smile. 🙂

      April 4, 2013
  15. The exploiters are attacking the flatwoods there and the pine forests here. We have entirely the wrong group of people in charge of our governments!

    I love the cartoon, having been often referred to as a “tree-hugger” myself.

    April 4, 2013
    • Isn’t that cartoon WONDERFUL? I say hug all the trees we can. Such inspiring creations we should be honored to share this planet with.

      Down here in FLA, we’ve had a history of rampant and cruel development in already-threatened and rare ecosystems. Now, people are understanding the effects and are trying to educate the lawmakers to 1) curb the continued development and 2) restore the damaged areas.

      I sure hope your magnificent pines have the same kind of growing voice!

      April 4, 2013
  16. Building on spec is a huge problem here, too. There’s nothing quite like listening to a group of experts try and figure out why flooding is increasingly a problem in Houston. Uh – maybe all that concrete, for one. Along with the over-built and under-utilized strip centers, of course, comes all the parking area for the non-existent customers.

    Your photos are beautiful. I still have a hard time imagining Florida with pine trees. When I was growing up, all we saw were pictures of beaches and palm trees. I’m glad to be learning of its diversity now!

    April 4, 2013
    • How can these self-proclaimed experts not have an environmental person on their panel, during such discussions? It boggles the mind. I’m continuously appalled by the unnecessary construction, not just here — but as you say, across the country.

      Thanks so much… Ah, the palm trees. They do exist in some parts, yes — but the pines are actually more (NATURALLY) common. This is a favorite of developers and landscapers: RIP OUT all the Natives — including the pines. PLANT the palm trees. It’s amazing. Now, the wildlife has no access to the food provided by the Native plants. Again, with the developers — but the natural landscape of Florida needs to be maintained, not destroyed!

      April 4, 2013
  17. We used to visit Florida fairly often to spend time with my in-laws (now deceased). I can’t believe how much of Florida I haven’t seen. The whole flatwoods habitat was completely unknown to me.

    April 5, 2013
    • It’s truly amazing how many ecosystems exist in this state – so many habitats that even NATIVE Floridian are unaware of! It’s why I began this blog / project, in all honesty. There’s such variety – and I haven’t even explored the Central and Northern sections of the state, which are just AMAZING… Caves, hills, enormous ancient sinkholes… Just beautiful.

      April 9, 2013
  18. hannekekoop #

    Both the photos and the cartoon are fantastic, Feygirl.

    April 7, 2013
    • Thanks so much! I just adore that cartoon; I can’t get enough of it. 🙂

      April 9, 2013
  19. These photos is absolutely gorgeous ! Thank you, i really need to see such beautiful trees right now … // Maria

    April 10, 2013
    • Ah, thanks so much! Our trees are much different than yours, for sure. 🙂 I’m glad they made you smile.

      April 11, 2013
  20. marialla #

    TOO BEATUIFUL FOR WORDS!!!

    April 10, 2013
    • Ah, it really is a beautiful landscape… There’s so much that people don’t know about here! Truly magnificent land.

      April 11, 2013

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: