We left the Keys just before noon Thursday and drove to Micanopy. We’re staying with our friends, Tom and Leanne, on the edge of Payne’s Prairie, just south of Gainesville. Their house is deep in the country and, lucky for us, the weather is wonderful right now.
Friday morning we went for a hike through the surrounding scrub pine forest.
We followed a couple old dirt roads and crossed a fence line or two.
But we soon went off the beaten path. Tom was our trailblazer and I took the rear guard.
After a while, we came upon a dry swamp. There has been a lengthy draught here in northern Florida and the water table has fallen about six feet, so many of the ponds and swamps are completely dried out now.
We found a nice clearing…
…and gave the dogs a rest.
Then wound our way back through the pines to Tom and Leanne’s house.
This was a typical northern Florida pine forest with palmetto as ground cover and the forest floor littered with needles from the towering pines.
It was a nice way to start the day.