On the mainland, just before you cross the bridge to go to Cedar Key is this micro environment called Cedar Key Scrub. A lot of it is in a State park, which is great because it will keep it undeveloped, and the privately owned land is not much developed either. When I go for my longer bicycle ride, part of it is on a road that cuts through the scrub, and that is where these photos were done.
You can’t really see it in this triptych because I was interested in the dead tree in the center, but the scrub has incredible dense vegetation, and some of it is pretty nasty. I would not even dream of trying to get closer to the tree than I did here. One of the plants that lurk in the scrub are the Spanish Bayonets which have leaf tip as sharp as a well honed straight razor. I have seen them slice through flesh like it was butter. Having, years ago, slogged my way through miles of tropical rain forest I would prefer that any day to having to move through untamed scrub. Now, when you go into the State Reserve, they have done a beautiful job of laying out trails and making the whole experience pleasant, while at the same time preserving the feel and look of the environment.
I tremendously like the North Florida landscape and constant bemoan the fact that we generally have not been able or willing to incorporate that look into our developed landscape. I remember, years ago, talking with a couple who lived out in the scrub area, and were totally disgusted with the fact that they were not able to keep their Kentucky Blue Grass lawn looking the way they were used to ‘back home.’ Makes your head spin!