Pygmies, oysters and estuaries

On Leon’s recommendation we headed out for the pygmy cypress in the state forest.  Its not too far off the highway and definitely bizarre.  We saw lots and lots of tall pine trees then all of a sudden there is this giant patch of cypress trees growing in this swamp.  Cypress normally get really tall I guess but these were only 10 feet tall or so despite being 300 some years old.  They are not even sure why they don’t grow taller here.  If you plant one of their seeds in other locations it will grow tall like usual.  There are a couple other stands of pygmy cypress but these have bedrock very shallow in the soil…but here the soil is quite deep.  They built a board walk so you could get out over the swamp and even over the trees.  We really wanted to see some wildlife but we struck out…saw a bird and some minnows.  Still, it was a cool place.
In the trees

The lady at the museum recommended Lynn’s Quality Oysters so we stopped in there for lunch.  It does not look fancy and the guys working there might be the same guys who do the oystering.  We had lots of questions and the guy helping us used as few words as possible.  We ordered some raw oysters, some steamed with bacon, cheddar and jalapeno and some Rockefeller style (steamed with spinach and parmesean).  We also got a bowl of seafood gumbo and some shrimp dip.  Caden was the first to try the raw one…he was very brave and seemed to not mind it at all.  Dacen and Brielle were next and could not get them down their gullet….but I was proud of them for giving it a shot.  I think we all preferred the steamed ones and perhaps the Rockefeller style ones were our collective favorite.  The gumbo and the dip were both good.
Raw oysters

The town of East Point has a nature center that is free!  A really well done facility that did a great job of describing an estuary and the delicate balance between the land, fresh water and the bay.  They had 3 big aquariums: fresh water, brackish water and salt water each with a nice variety of local creatures.  One room was full of bones and shells and skulls of different local animals.  Outside there was a boardwalk out to the bay and another through the fresh water marshes.
Shells and bones

We swung by to see Big Charles, a big chunk of super old cypress that was recently hauled up from the bottom of a river…I still don’t quite get the significance, but it had a plaque so it must be important.  Then we went over the bridge to Apalachicola.  Quaint, but very touristy, town.  Lots of places to shop.  We went in one that had both new and old stuff, mostly with a nautical theme.  It was fun checking out all the treasures there.  We ended up at the local park where there is this giant adirondak chair.  I was going to set up the tripod but the pair of kids, probably 12 years old, pull up in a golf cart and the girl asks if we like her to take our picture.  See?  The people here are the nicest ever!
Wee wittle Wachs

After coming home and having brats for dinner we all showered up then drove over to see the bottle house at night.  I think we were all expecting a little something more, but it was still neat.  If you can only see it once, go during the day, especially if its sunny!

At the pygmy cypress

In the trees

Mossy cypress

Overlooking pygmy cypress

Waiting for lunch

Raw oysters

Caden ate a raw oyster

Steph ate a raw oyster

Steph and Caden

Dacen tried a raw oyster

Brielle tried a raw oyster

Steamed oysters


Lunch time

Hurricane evacuation plan

Run aground

Pelicans photobombed by seagull

Oyster dock




Check this out


Examining specimines

Shells and bones



Fresh water marsh trail

Boardwalk to bay

Tradin'in the RV for this baby


We're spelling Wach

Cool ship

Pirate girl

This oar that?

Crazy driver

Wee wittle Wachs

Tree hugger


Stumpy beach


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