Friday, May 20, 2011

Sea Grape

At our great campsite at Fort DeSoto Park (Pinellas County), we had a tree growing on one side that I'd never seen. It only took me a short time to be informed that it's called a Sea Grape. The tree has enormous leaves that, apparently, were used as plates by the native people who lived here before the Europeans arrived. Indeed, the leaves are that large.

But the strangest thing about the tree that we noticed after a few days was that it created new blossoms every morning. The new blossoms were bright yellow. However, by the end of the afternoon those yellow blossoms had turned from bright yellow to dark red. And on the subsequent morning almost all of those red blossoms had been shed and new yellow ones had replaced them. On and on.

Blossom in the morning.

Blossom in the afternoon.

The local squirrels would climb the sea grape, manage their ways to the ends of the limber branches, and consume the small nubs of fruit that grow there. It was not unusual to see the squirrels with their faces messy with the greenish remains of the sea grape's fruit.

Dinner is served! (On this leaf.)

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