Monday, November 2, 2009

Little Pines

It isn't really wintry weather just yet, but strong winds last week and reduced humidity made the current 85 degree (30C) afternoons seem eminently suitable for a brief outdoor ramble. The Key Deer Refuge off ... Key deer Boulevard on Big Pine Key was the general target last week. I stopped at the first likely spot which offered a trail into the wilderness and a small area off street to park the Bonneville. I turned my back on civilization, and the evening sun, and took off on foot.
This area was once set aside for development until our government intervened and set it aside as wilderness for future generations to enjoy. It seems likely that before the arrival of settlers Big Pine Key looked something like this though a naturalist I heard speak on the subject (Roland Fisch of FKCC) suggested human intervention on the island is bound to have altered the habitat in ways we cannot completely understand. Perhaps the first growth pines were larger? Perhaps the flora was more diverse. Who knows, I'm no scientist so I'll take it as I find it today. These trees are not very big and in an effort to show their relative size I grabbed a middling sized pine by the trunk:Walking the proposed and undeveloped street through the trees one can catch a glimpse from time to time that land wilderness in the Keys is relative. One need never feel too far from civilization: Even though the undergrowth is thick and would be awkward to penetrate:Were that even permitted:
I doubt I strolled half a mile from the Bonneville to the west, Google Maps suggests 0.4 miles:
Before I came upon Wilder Road at the end of this side street. Wilder is the other great artery crossing Big Pine from North to South.
A construction yard barely visible through the trees:
Yes indeed, a quick circuit around the other warning sign and then I headed west again toward my motorcycle:
Little Pines on Big Pine on a summery Fall afternoon.