Sunday, March 28, 2010

Pictures from FL

This sign is not a joke - in the everglades a topographic difference of a few inches means the difference between open water, marsh, hardwood hammock, or pinelands. This "pass" is the low spot in a very real topographic feature - a "ridge" of several feet covered with trees that runs through a sea of sawgrass and has the same effect on the sheet flow of water through this area as if it were the Himalayas.

After a couple hours with a four inch thick dichotomous key I was still unable to identify this mystery tree which I thought, due to its milky juice, would be easy to key out. On returning home my botany professor was able, given some time and the answers to a few questions, to identify it as Manilkara bahamensis (Sapotaceae family) and promptly got my permission to include the picture in the expanded CD that will come with the next edition of his textbook.

Once all was said and done this has been a great way to earn three credits that I needed to graduate. Several times along the trip we had people wherever we were camping comment on how quiet/well behaved we were... one of our professors commented that we weren't your typical group of college students going to Florida for spring break - we did have several coolers and were there to study biology... but our coolers had such things as fruit, milk, lettuce etc. and I think the biology we studied was a fair bit more academic.

To see the web pages that students have done in years past (and eventually mine once they get uploaded) click here.