I see trees of green

Those of you who have been following me for a while will remember the Devil’s Millhopper, the gigantic sinkhole I have previously visited and documented for you.  It is a gorgeous place, with every idea Yard Crashers ever had all in one place but here they are all completely natural.  The last time I was here, it was as wintery as winter gets around here, so it wasn’t quite as green as it is now.  This sinkhole is one of my favorite places to visit, partly because it is gorgeous, and partly because it is cool at the bottom.  Cool is an important consideration around here.

The stairs you see there are only a fraction of the the stairs it takes to get to the bottom.  Don’t let that daunting fact keep you from enjoying the sinkhole, because there are plenty of landings to stop and enjoy the scenery from.  You won’t even look like you are stopping from exhaustion, as long as you refrain from complaining about the stairs.  I have yet to come here without hearing someone complain about the stairs, so I am giving all future visitors that bit of advice for free.  It helps if you also carry a camera, because then nobody will question why you stopped.  It’s completely obvious that you had to get a photo of that pretty little violet and fern over there.

Some of you may think that it seems like this week’s theme has been green and that all I can write about is a single color.  You would probably be right if you think that, since this week everything is green in that unbelievable way that only happens in the early spring.  The leaves are new and bright, but filling in.  Even the light seems green right now.  There are not a lot of flowers to detract from the green, since the very early ones have already fallen and the later ones are yet to come.  Sure, there are a few delicate violets around, but mostly, everything is green.

Of course, Florida always has plenty of green, but most of the year it is a little more subdued, with a tendency toward olive.  I greatly prefer the vibrant spring greens, like the green of these ferns framing one of the limestone caves.  The caves themselves are fantastic, although nobody is allowed to go into these ones to explore them.  Most of them are pretty small anyway, although spelunkers seem to be boneless people who can fit into any space.

In any case, foot traffic down here is limited to the boardwalk to minimize damage to the ecosystem and of course, to minimize danger to people who might file lawsuits.  Even with that caveat, it always amazes me how much trash ends up in the plants and streams.

Layered leaves form a canopy to shade from the sun, but allow glimpses of the blue sky to show through.  The acid green against the brilliant cyan looks almost trendy, doesn’t it?

You may remember also, if you have read closely, that in one post I talked about the abundance of maple trees in Florida, but I did not think that the syrup type grew around here.  Well, these leaves belong to a Florida sugar maple, which I suppose means that if it ever got cold around here for a prolonged period of time, Florida could get into the maple syrup business. Anyone else up for a new Ice Age?

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