Taking a walk
We go on a walk today at Royal Palm. The Anhinga Trail and the Gumbo Limbo Trail. What a weird name for a tree. More about that later.
What an interesting sign to find in a parking lot. This is the primary place where cars are attacked by buzzards. Weird! It seems that a flock of buzzards comes here every year during migration. For some reason no one can figure out, they attack rubber on cars. When they do a lot of damage is done. Not only are the windshield wipers torn off but rubber seals around windows are damaged. As you can imagine, having large taloned birds walk all over your car leaves some bad scratches. By now almost the entire flock has moved north, so we did not have to put a tarp over the truck. Look it up and you will find videos of the damage they have done.
The Anhinga trail is about 1.6 miles round trip. It is about half road and the other half boardwalk.
Anhinga are a strange bird. They swim to catch fish and can stay underwater for many minutes at a time. Later, they will stand on a limb to dry their feathers out before flying
There are a lot of fish, birds, turtles, and alligators. Some of the gators are big.
Lots of birds
Plants and flowers
Next to the Gumbo Limbo trail, which is a .4-mile trail through a hardwood hammock
The Gumbo Limbo is a tree. It has red bark that peels off in thin sheets. It looks like it is sunburned, so locals call it the tourist or burned tourist tree.
Because of this, people have nicknamed it the tourist tree. A cut branch can be used as a fence post and will start to grow. A living post that will not rot which is really important in the Everglades. The largest of the trees were cut down to make merry-go-round horses. The resin is a medicinal salve as an antidote to the poison wood and bee stings. It was also used as a preservative for canoes and incense by the Mayas. The inner bark was used to make what we now call chicken gumbo soup.
I will have to check on that because it is just weird to think that the idea of the origin of gumbo coming from a tree.
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