A Little Gem

Even though we are not brave enough to venture out on the trail where our ‘incident’ happened nearly a year ago, I still love this park.

Palmetto Islands County Park has something for nearly every interest: horseshoe pit, off-leash dog area, crabbing and fishing docks, kayak launch, observation tower, a very new playground, paddle boats, trails, a water park…I’m really not sure how they fit it all in there!

Their website: Palmetto Islands County Park

Even as jam-packed as this park is, you still get amazing views.

I am grateful that it is so close by, especially days when it is too cold and windy to walk the beach. It’s a lovely respite from homework!

Sepia Scenes!

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This is a little piece of Spanish moss, the beard-like plant that grows off trees in the southeastern United States. 

The plant, despite the name, is not a moss and closely related to the pineapple.  It is said that the plant does no harm to its host tree, although the sheer amount of Spanish moss that can accumulate onto one tree is astonishing and should certainly have some impact on leaf density and available sunlight to lower branches.  It is neither soft nor hard, but grabbing a large clump and rubbing it on your face isn’t recommended…chiggers occasionally inhabit the ‘moss’.

This plant propagates through a few means. Fragmentation of established plants spreads small pieces to other trees and limbs.  The plant also produces a small flower whose seeds are wind-dispersed. Like other bromeliads [air plants], Spanish moss has no true root system and does not need soil to survive. Instead, the plant extracts nutrients from the air and through its host plant [through material shed from the host]. Spanish moss prefers to grow on oaks, but can be found on other swamp loving trees, like Cypress and Tupelo.

Check out Spanish Moss and Ball Moss from the University of Florida

Sepia Scenes

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To me, nothing is as potentially creepy as a live oak with spanish moss on it.  The term ‘live oak’ isn’t species specific, but refers to any oak that doesn’t completely shed its leaves over the winter.  Spanish moss likes to grow on Southern live oaks, is an epiphyte, and isn’t of any harm to the host tree.  Although it’s called a moss, it is actually in the same family as the pineapple. 

Just as a funny aside, when I worked at De Soto National Memorial, we often felt we needed more ‘native representation’ in the living history camp.  We had plenty of Spaniards [ie conquistadors, I even dressed as one!], but virtually no one dressed as a Timucuan.  The reason for the women: to appropriately dress as a Timucuan, one would have to go bare chested and wear a skirt made of Spanish moss!  How in the world would you keep the chiggers out of it?!!

Not exactly sure what type of vegetation this is, but you don’t have to look hard for sweet grass, Muhlenbergia filipes.  Highway 17 out of Mt Pleasant headed towards Georgetown is dubbed ‘Sweetgrass Basket Maker Highway’ and that’s not just a title, but a reality.  The sweetgrass baskets started with slaves who worked in rice fields weaving baskets to help with the work. Today there are stands all along the road that sell sweetgrass baskets, but if you visit them, make sure to bring some serious cash!  They are handmade and time consumingly handmade at that!

Thanks for visiting!  :)