Captain Forster Hammock Preserve Post-IRMA – Whites!

The day — 3/3/2018 — was windy for a group walk at Captain Forster Hammock Preserve, and the fronds of the Florida royal palms (Roystonea regia) were blowing about with signs of salt scorch lingering from Hurricane Irma evident. Below is the group at the beginning of the trail near the parking lot and bathrooms.

The resilience of of the hammock was evident, though the “freshwater” ponds dug as part of the historic farmstead are now filled with the salt marsh succulent sea oxeye daisy (Borrichia frutescens). Dead wood from extensive professional invasive plant control work is evident along the main trail, and the skeletons of treated Brazilian peppers (Schinus terebinthifolia) have been left standing to decay.

We saw some wonderful white wildflowers on the trip. Snow squarestem (Melanthera nivea), a great pollinator plant, flourished at the beginning of the trail.

Look but do not touch the tread-softly (Cnidoscolus stimulosus), shown below amongst woody debris.

Also known as stinging nettle, finger-rot and 7-minute-itch, this plant is covered with stinging hairs …

At the beach (1,492 feet are part of this Preserve), where Australian pines (Casuarina sp.) and snake plants (Sansevieria trifasciata), coastal sea rocket (Cakile lanceolata) was very robust and expanding.

Thanks to Joyce (Class of 2005) and David Thompson for their generous hospitality at their nearby home at the end of our walk from which the view of the wind-blown ocean was gorgeous.

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