Biscayne Nat’l Park & Castellow Hammock

Once we recovered from our first crazy drive out, nature called and we opted to head east to the edge of Biscayne Bay and the very small (and free) National Park located next to Homestead Bayfront Park. About eight miles east of SoCo, we passed the Homestead Miami Speedway- go NASCAR!!, several schools, gated communities and many nurseries.

Headed to a garden center or luxury estate?

Headed to a garden center or luxury estate?

Biscayne

 

Remains of old causeway at Convoy Point in Biscayne Nat'l Park

Remains of old causeway at Convoy Point in Biscayne Nat’l Park

 

Everything is in two languages down here- too bad I only know le petit Francais!

Everything is in two languages down here- too bad I only know le petit Francais!

Castellow Hammock Nature Trails was the perfect “short trail with info”  aka, Interpretive trail walk with a butterfly and hummingbird garden out front. Google maps took us close, but we had to engage our brains and go over one block to the entrance. With all the roads crisscrossing and who can tell SW 162nd street from SE 126th street, each with names and probably another number, listening to Missy jr. rattle off directions like, “turn right on SW 344th, NE 344th, Getlost Drive” is almost comical if you weren’t panicked at trying to figure out where to turn while not getting rear-ended as you slow to 40mph! But enough of the driving dangers in one of the top ten high crime small cities in the country!! Sorry honey, I had no idea!

 

Who cares about getting lost when such beauty lines the roadside!

Who cares about getting lost when such beauty lines the roadside!

 

We found the trail

We found the trail

 

Bet the path went purposely under this- duck!

Bet the path went purposely under this- duck!

The Strangler Fig shown below is huge and it has covered nearly the entire tree it chose for its host. The word “fig” is deceptive as you think “small”, but the Strangler is determined to live and it grows around and up whichever tree it chooses. This pair had begun growing in the normal “up” mode but then the host tree fell and still the fig continued to grow up toward the sun.

A humungous Strangler Fig covers a fallen host tree

A humongous Strangler Fig covers a fallen host tree

The 7ft deep hole was probably a tidal pool back when the sea covered much of south Florida. The Gumbo Limbo Tree is also known as the Tourist Tree because its red, peeling bark is like those who bake too long in the sun.

Solution hole dating back 150,000 years

Solution hole dating back 150,000 years

Gumbo Limbo tree

Gumbo Limbo tree

 

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