Friday, February 19, 2016

Naval Live Oaks Area, Gulf Shores Nat'l Seashore

Today, we hiked several of the trails of the Naval Live Oaks Preserve established by President John Quincy Adams to secure timber for naval shipbuilding. Live oaks are not only decay resistant, dense, heavy and strong, but their curving and branching growth habit make them especially suitable for ship frames - buttocks, knees, and such. The USS Constitution, "Old Ironsides," is built with stout live oak frames.

 The contemporary forest is very dense with live oaks, magnolia, and pines with hanging Spanish Moss, giving it a magical appearance.

 As we were hiking back along the beach, a brown pelican was flying towards us parallel to the shore line. Suddenly he wheeled and dove into the bay. He must have spotted a school of fish because he repeated this a number of times, giving me multiple opportunities to capture his fishing technique.

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