Central Florida uplands
The central Florida uplands, or Lake Wales Ridge, are a series of raised islands that were once isolated from other landforms. Dry sandy soil characterizes this ecotome, and the vegetation has evolved in response to this particular soil and climate. Frequent fires, abundant rainfall (which does not accumulate in the soil but percolates through), and intense summer heat, have all added to the special ecology of this region. Isolated from the mainland for millions of years, the plants and animals of this part of Florida are largely unique. But this entire ecosystem is severely threatened by development. I took these pictures in a postage-stamp-sized natural environment north of Orlando, one of the few remaining tracts of protected land in a miasma of human development.
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