In autumn when the areas north of us boast trees with leaves of red, orange, and yellow so beautiful that people take trips to some areas just to see them, here in Florida we remain…well, green.
Many years ago after hearing people from elsewhere tell us Florida lacked two of the seasons, we developed a nature and photography program and hike to show visitors to our state that we too had autumn, and autumn changes, just more subtle. We pointed out the glowing purple of the newly ripened beautyberry, the gloss red of the wild coffee berries (scientific name Psychotria nervosa, with a name like that don’t drink it), some of the vines that do change color like the northern trees, including the infamous poison ivy and other changes. Nature let us know autumn arrived in a different way.
We hiked at Key Vista Park recently, and walking by a clear patch of ground along the trail I noticed that some of the vines still had some leaves remaining. Only one leaf, or maybe a few clustered along a small portion of the vine, still beautiful colors, and for a very brief few minutes with perfect morning sunlight coming through the tree canopy lighting them.