By now, I am sure you are ready for me to move on from my summer vacation photos but considering the hurricanes that have blown through that part of the world, I had to post this last group of photos. While we were on Sanibel Island, we found a walking trail by accident. We had left our hotel room, on foot, and walked to a nearby restaurant for dinner. As we approached the front of the building, we realized that it was not open. Since we were set on having dinner, we turned around and began walking back to go somewhere else and that is when we saw a small sign for the Pond Apple Trail. And yes, we also saw signs for alligators-this little guy did not pose much of a threat but everybody knows that small alligators are the result of big alligators…
We didn’t walk the trail that evening but we did go back one afternoon while we were out riding bicycles. A portion of the trail winds around several square ponds that are part of a stormwater remediation program for the island. This handsome fellow was watching over the water for possible snacks.
If you are curious about the remediation method used here, small rafts of plants are assembled and allowed to float in the ponds. The root systems of the plants help clean the water of pollutants that are washed into the ponds during storm runoff.
The trail gets its name from the native pond apple trees which are relatives of custard apples and soursops.
Although they were perfectly edible, we decided not to eat them. We enjoyed the trail and look forward to a trip back to the island so we can explore it again.
On the day we were leaving, I scheduled the flight home late in the afternoon so that we could spend the day exploring some of Fort Meyers. Mother nature had other ideas and we were stuck walking in drizzly conditions. We found a great place to explore despite the rain! Six Mile Cypress Slough is one of the most unique trails I have ever walked and I highly recommend visiting if you are in the area. The entire trail is a raised wooden boardwalk that wides its way through a cypress swamp. Currently, the trail is closed and I am assuming it is because of storm damage.
The stumps in the water are called knees and cypress trees develop these roots as they grow in the water. The water was so clear, golden in color but clear with amazing visibility!
The ferns grow everywhere! These were colonizing the base of a tree trunk.
Have you seen those air plants for sale everywhere? They grow wild all over Sanibel Island and here in the slough as well. The lichens were pretty amazing as well, I have never seen them in this color before.
More air plants, they can get pretty large.
Ferns, love ferns… The way the little fronds unfurl…
Of course, it would not be a proper southern swamp without some hanging moss.
The boardwalk, it was only a mile from start to finish but we took our time and probably spent an hour wandering the walkway.
At every turn, there was something to see. Plants above water, plants below water.
And it wouldn’t be a proper hike without a reflection shot.
Moss and ferns, two of my favorite things.
This guy was just hanging out, he let me take his photo. Hopefully, the damage to the trail was not too extensive and it will reopen soon.