The Apalachicola National Forest is the largest U.S. National Forest in the state of Florida. It provides water and land-based outdoors activities such as hiking, swimming, boating, hunting, fishing, and horseback riding. Fort Gadsden Historic Site near Sumatra, Florida is part of Forest, and is one of America's most significant historic sites. For more information on Fort Gadsden see www.exploresouthernhistory.com/fortgadsden.html.
Off the beaten path, this Forest offers opportunities for solitude and reflection.
Beekeeping deep in the Forest, I love the way the pines seem to stretch to the heavens.
The bees were swarming everywhere.
View of the Apalachicola River from the Fort Gadsden Historic Site.
Several decades ago boilers and paddle wheels from a steamboat were dredged from the bottom of the Apalachicola River.
No one knows for certain, but all indications are that they were part of a steamboat constructed in the early 19th century.
We heard a swallow-tail kite call from high above us, I got one picture and it was gone.
Yellow Pitcher Plant. This meat eater has modified leaves that form trumpets to trap flying insects then slowly devour them.
Yellow Pitcher Plant, flowering on left and right side of image.
We moved across the road and saw a whole field of Yellow Pitcher Plants, it was stunning!
Carnivorous plants use insects to get some or most of their nutrients.
Yellow Pitcher Plant.
Zebra Swallowtail Butterflies "puddling" (sipping minerals from the soil). Hard to spot until you were almost on top of them!
They're often seen zipping through bottomlands, especially forested swamps, where pawpaw (Asimina triloba), their host plant, grows.
Whitehead Bogbuttons growing in the field.
Woolly Huckleberry growing in the field also.
We stopped along the roadside to take pictures of this Crow Poison, or Osceola's Plume.
Another Crow Poison, or Osceola's Plume, such a beautiful wildflower.
Francie Stoutamire Photography