Ah, summertime in Florida. It’s funny because I accidentally typed “simmertime” and realized that’s not really all that far off. We are all simmering here. It’s hot! As promised, hikes have continued and you all have not disappointed with your dedication to showing up, despite the heat! We’ve been hiking just about every week at Myakka State Park and will continue to do so, once I get back from my big trip.
What big trip, you ask? The Appalachian Trail! I’m so excited I can hardly stand it. I’ll be hiking a little over 140 miles this time around. I’ll be sure to update the blog with some photos once I return. The big goal is to section hike the entire trail, all 2,190 miles of it! It might take me a few years, but I’ll get it done. 🙂 Unfortunately, since I’ll be gone the entire month of August, there will be no guided hikes with RH Photo Adventures until September.
(I’m posting this newsletter a bit early because somehow I managed to forget July altogether and you were newsletterless. My apologies! Since I’ll be leaving soon, I wanted to get this out to you before then.)
I’ll be offering several hikes in September. On September 3rd, we’ll be meeting for a photo walk at my favorite birding location, Circle B Bar in Lakeland. You can sign up for that and all upcoming photowalks here: https://rhphotoadventures.com/photo-walks/
We’ll be hiking at Myakka State Park every Thursday in September. We meet at 8:30am at the Ranch House Road trailhead. These are just hikes – there’s no stopping to ID things, but we do stop for cool photos or interesting things we may see along the way. They’re faster than my normal guided hikes and are basically just to get out and move. These hikes are always posted on Facebook and Meetup.
September 18th will be an awesome guided hike at Bird Rookery Swamp in Naples. This is my favorite trail! If you want to see alligators, this is the place to be! This trail is 12 miles long, and it’s hot, sometimes wet, and usually buggy. Be prepared and come with lots of water and snacks. It might rain on us, but we’ll go anyway unless it’s a hurricane. You can sign up for this one here: https://rhphotoadventures.com/monthly-guided-hikes/ or on Facebook or Meetup.
I’ll be hosting a backpacking 101 class on October 29th. After that, we’ll be backpacking out on the trails of Myakka State Park from November 11-13. Details for this event have been posted on Meetup and Facebook. Whichever platform you prefer, you can find this and other events here:
https://www.meetup.com/rh-photo-adventures/events/ and https://www.facebook.com/RHPhotoAdventures/events
Let’s talk about lichen. You know the splotches of color you see on trees, sometimes white, sometimes green, sometimes a beautiful dark pink color – that’s lichen. Lichen is not a plant. It’s an organism that’s made up of fungi and algae. They don’t have roots, stems, or leaves. The algae part of the lichen provides nutrients through photosynthesis. The fungi attaches to the tree and hold the lichen in place. Lichen are very important for humans because they absorb everything in the atmosphere, including pollution. They also convert carbon dioxide to oxygen. Algae, such as that in lichen, produces 70% of the world’s oxygen! We have about 3600 species of lichen in North America. Lichen like sunny, moist areas. They’re often found on trees that are older and in declining health. The lichen doesn’t harm the tree, the tree just happens to have bare areas where light can get through and the lichen can thrive. Lichen can be an indicator of air quality because it thrives where the air quality is good.
Enjoy this last month of summer. Fall will be upon us soon enough, and the weather will start to cool off. I know it’s tough here in Florida in the summertime. Some of us get a little cabin fever going on as we tend to hibernate in the air conditioning. I hope you get a chance to get out and enjoy some fresh air in the cooler hours of the day.
If you ever have ideas for places you’d like to see a guided hike happen, please feel free to reach out and share! I’ll see you on the trails!