A North Florida pine forest in March
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There’s a beautiful green space near my home that we like to visit when the weather is nice. Today it was 75 degrees, perfect for a long-sleeved shirt and jeans. The wind was gentle despite just howling a few hours earlier.
The remnants of winter are still around but the greening up is starting for spring. The pine trees are practically dumping pollen in drifts around the lake.
Early on in the walk, the path is lined with wild blackberry bushes that are as tall as we are. They are blooming and promising millions of berries to eat this summer.
When the wind blows just right, you get to enjoy the fragrance of the only bloom in the forest right now. When I was lucky enough, I breathed it in deeply.
We walk along identifying plants and trees. I didn’t see any animals today and the birds were quiet, but the insects kept a gentle hum as we passed. In Florida sometimes the sound of the crickets and frogs can be deafening. Not today, everyone was speaking in soft tones.
We only come across one other group in this enormous place. There’s a group of teenagers with a fire at the side of the lake. They have music playing and are enjoying themselves. Carefree!
The path is soft under our feet with the exception of the frequent speed bump. The pine roots interrupt the soft path and remind you to look down as you gaze above and around you.
There are tree-lined, pine straw covered paths that open to a large green space. This space goes on around the lake. Miles of paths around the lake and through for forest are suitable for walking and biking.
As the path opened up to where we had parked, the sun was bright again. No longer filtered by the pine forest it beat down on us to remind us that summer is coming.