As I explore unfamiliar areas in different seasons and in changing elevations, I love finding and photographing new and unfamiliar flower varieties. Then the rest of the fun is throwing myself into regional flower guides in an attempt to identify the blooms. Sometimes no matter how many references I consult, I still come up empty handed. I refer to those unidentifiables as "unknowns"..."UNKS" for short. If you know what they are, please email me. I don't like having UNKS!
IN THE GARDENS
Painted Leaf Flower
The red part is the "painted leaf"; the tiny greenish cluster in the center is the flower; its milk is poisonous. Whew! Glad to know that before I put any in my coffee!
Jamaica Caper Tree
Royal Poinciana Tree
Phlox "gardens" were ubiquitous along the roads, in every imaginable shade of pink, red and purple...acres upon acres of them.
IN EVERGLADES NATIONAL PARK
Sweet Bay Magnolia
Glades Morning Glory
Swamp Lilly (before)
Swamp Lilly (after)
Saltmarsh Fleabane (flowers are nondescript, but the leaves have a delicious, pungent camphor-like aroma)
Strangler Fig -- sound ominous? Well, it should! It starts out as a vine-like shrub, then watch out! It eventually strangles its host, in this case a sweet, unsuspecting Ficus! They can grow to 65' and produce a fig-like fruit. This is one I found on Captiva Island; I found another in the Everglades. It didn't play nice either!
St. Joseph Peninsula
Sanibel and Captiva Islands
Visiting Sanibel and Captiva Islands for the shelling has been on my bucket list since the first wanderlust bug bit me. Besides, shells don't weigh nearly as much as rocks!
The shelling was only ho-hum, but it was fun to see how the other half makes do in these hard times! This is a home, not a hotel!
Sombrero Beach (Marathon, The Keys) had pink, embossed sidewalks. Only in Florida!
Bajia Honda State Park
I personally think Florida's beaches are superior to California's for swimming, sunning and sand castle building. But I like California's orange juice better!