|Gum Root Park|
Gum Root is a quiet City of Gainesville Nature park in East Gainesville. It is near a busy county highway and just past the airport, so there can be a lot of traffic noise. I like to hike here with a friend because it is rather isolated. On past visits I have found Hog Plums in bloom covered with beautiful butterflies and interesting fungi. The information kiosk said that it was possible to see Turkeys in the park, and this made me happy because I haven't seen any yet this month.
|Storm Clouds in the Distance|
The thunder sounded closer and I thought I felt a couple of rain drops, but we kept walking. I felt terribly guilty dragging my poor husband out into the heat and rain and ticks, but was secretly overjoyed to have an adventure together. Soon we came to a big clearing. The path turned out across a big field or pasture. This is where I had seen Hog Plums before. It seemed like a good place for Turkeys, or even Bobwhite Quail, but we did not see any. We did see some Mourning Doves. We could hear a great deal of gunfire from a distance and were hoping that it was target practice coming from the police training area nearby. It made us both a little edgy, though.
|Long Headed Toothpick Grasshopper|
|Elliott's Milkpea (Galactia elliottii)|
The flatwoods were very dry. The creek bed was all sand and rocks--no water at all. The moss on the forest floor was turning brown. And the fungi were few and far between. I did find some "Dog Vomit" slime mold, kind of brown around the edges. We also found trash, but Art carried it back to the garbage can in the parking lot. We passed a beautiful Fence Post Lizard with nice contrasting black, brown and white markings, and some puffs of Reindeer Moss.
|Dog Vomit Slime Mold|
|Reindeer Moss (It's really lichen)|
|Fat Fencepost Lizard|
|People, People, People...|