Monday, June 23, 2008

This Place of Unearthly Beauty

We went to my all-time favorite place in the Everglades, off US 41. I had a need to go a-swamping, and so we did. The trees you'll be seeing are mostly cypress (bald and pond cypress). But what I love just as much as cypress are the plants that live upon them. Here, it's forests of bromeliads. And orchids, lichens, ferns, all sorts of beautiful plants.

It's one of the only places I've ever been where a swamp looks like the *Swamp* scenes from the movies.

The water is like a mirror. It's so reflective it's hard to tell where the surface is sometimes.

Those bushy looking plants growing up the trunk of the cypress tree are bromeliads. Many are way bigger than your head.

Plants that live on other plants are called epiphytes. They don't hurt the host plant. Here, it's not just bromeliads and orchids that live on the trunks of these trees. The ferns and lichens and such do too.


SeaPhoenix said...

About those Bromeliads...are they the same plants that they sell up here called "Air Plants" in Wal Mart? They look really familiar, although a few pounds lighter.

Granny J said...

thank you, k, for the trip into the Everglades. I hadn't realized that there were all those epiphytes growing there, Wonderful scenery. Hope the visit worked miracles against the allergies...

Pretty Lady said...

I just splurged on my very own bromeliad this weekend, to celebrate selling another painting. Glad you're out and about! I love the Everglades, haven't been there since I was seven!

Nancy said...

It sounds (and looks) like the two of you are having a great time.


don't feed the 'gators.

Joyce Ellen Davis said...

AH, this was worth waiting for~ Wonderful pictures, etc. I want to go a-swamping!

Hope you are both feeling good again. I'm happy that you had such a fine time!

k said...

SeaPhoenix, you got it. Because epiphytes live on trees and not in the ground, people like to say they live on air. They don't really, of course; but of all the epiphytes around, the bromeliads are the ones most likely to get called *air plants.* They call them that down here, too.

Now: Next time you're here for a visit, you may suddenly start noticing them growing on things everywhere you look. After a little shock of recognition, your next sensation may be that these native-grown babies are on steroids. They get HUGE, effortlessly.

Granny J, every time I saw a raven there I thought of you. I have lots more pix for you, too. It's an amazing place.

Oh, Pretty Lady, that's wonderful news! You earned that new bromeliad. I read about the ones you saw in Mexico, and I'll associate them with you forever as a result.

I bet you'd enjoy this place ever so much, as an adult now. It's really and truly like no place else on earth.

hee hee! Nancy, indeed we did, and no, we didn't. ;-)

Pepek, I'm always sorry to make any of us wait! Ah well. I've got more of those up my sleeve, and hopefully will have them out before another whole week goes by.

I want everyone to get a least a small taste of the joy I feel in there.