|Longleaf pine savanna in Apalachicola National Forest on the panhandle of Florida|
My two weeks away started with a trip down to the steamy confines of the Florida panhandle with my partner and her family for a week of excellent seafood and lazy beach days. But being the botanist and naturalist I am, I couldn't stay away from the natural world for too long and was able to squeeze in some time to explore the entirely new-to-me ecosystems and flora the region had to offer. From longleaf pine savanna to pitcher plants and even the famed Venus fly trap, Florida treated me well and I will be bringing you its wonder in the coming days from my visits to Blackwater River state forest and Apalachicola national forest.
|Sleeping Bear Dunes national lakeshore along Lake Michigan in Leelanau county|
The second half of my time away saw my partner and I leave the heat and humidity behind and travel nearly 1,300 miles north to the golden dunes and aqua waters of the Sleeping Bear Dunes national lakeshore of northern Michigan. My family and I have spent a portion of nearly every summer up in this Great Lakes paradise and despite the repetitive nature of the trip it never gets old laying eyes on the region's ineffable beauty. I was able to visit a number of my favorite haunts and reacquaint myself with the northern flora I've come to know and adore; including a backpacking trip to the crowned jewel of South Manitou Island nestled in Lake Michigan. Once again I'll be bringing this trip in blog form in the coming days and weeks and hope you'll forgive any potential delay(s) in getting them out. Free time and energy is a rare combination these days but I'll do my best to not use that as too much of an excuse!
I could not have had a more exciting, relaxing, and stimulating two weeks and can't think of a better way to digest and reminisce on the details than on here so stay tuned!