After our overnight flight and a nap in the car while waiting to check into our hotel in Daytona Beach we drove an hour to Ocala National Forest for some exploring. The recommendation I got from the forest ranger on the phone (this was before congress went on strike) was to do Lake Eaton Sinkhole trail. It is an easy hike, just about two miles long, but provides spectacular sights in the sand pine and scrub oak forest.
The name of the hike comes from the 450 foot wide, 80 foot deep sinkhole, a common occurrence in Florida since the limestone that the state is made of dissolves easily with water. It is only a matter of time before the land that sits on top of the limestone collapses after thousands + years of percolation accompanied with erosion. This sinkhole is dry but its soil is rich and therefore so is the flora and fauna.
After the sinkhole loop trail we continued an additional 2 miles or so on to Lake Eaton trail. Lake Eaton is another one of the hundreds of sinkholes in the state.
Deer moss is sprinkled across the forest floor and looks like something from a fairy tale. It is called deer moss because deer eat it (when there is no other food available) but it is actually a lichen, not a moss. Since it has no roots it gets all of its moisture from the air.
Lake Eaton is full of alligators but none that we could see.
This spider looks like it is thinking about something.
We have only been in Florida for half of a day and are already satisfied with our trip. We are lucky it stopped pouring down rain so that we could absorb the sights of the humid subtropical climate.