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Report on Tune Up for Purgatory on Earth (POE) Series

From: gordyhawkins
Sent on: Sunday, May 12, 2013 12:30 PM

Friday May 10, 2013

It doesn't get much better than this.  The hike at Citrus Tract was the upper half of the B loop,starting at the horse trough on Forest Road 13 and going counterclockwise  Enough hills to give the legs an awakening.  The recent rains left the trail with signs that turkey pine growth and other scrub is gradually and gladly invading the trail corridor with an appetite that will make mowing a heavy duty event.

The cross route we used was road, trail, path and some bushwhacking, which added a special smoked flavor to the hike.  Some of the blazes on the trees were no longer there having been charred by a recent control burn.  It really was not smoking but made for a different perspective of how the  forest looks.  Some trees had charring 6 feet high.  Leaves from the turkey scrub were brown and looked like autumn leaves.  They were crunchy and crumbled when squeezed.

Interesting to me were the curious looking small palmetto thickets.  You know how the thickets are tightly packed and the palmetto fronds fanned out and in a compressed space - well, after the burn, I did not at first recognize them.  The thickets were no "thick-ets" with fanned out palmetto fronds.  There was nothing thick.  Only black palmetto stems and at the very tip, what looked like a small medallion, about the size of a quarter.  Getting up  close, you could see the 'medallions' had intricate lines on them and the palmetto fronds had  burned down to tiny hairs surrounding the medallion.  The hairs being no more than 1/16 inch long.

It got a bit warm at the end and all breezes were appreciated.  The company was clever and fun loving with a lot of laughs.  It was a really good day.

On the drive home there were wild turkeys, and, not more than forty yards ahead of my car, a bobcat crossed the road.

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