MacArthur Beach State Park - North Palm Beach - 9-21-2019
September 30, 2019

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REPORT FROM THE ROAD - JD MACARTHUR BEACH STATE PARK - NORTH PALM BEACH: I wandered solo for hours through this beautiful oceanside park this afternoon. I have wanted to visit this park since 1994! That's 25 years! Well, better late than never. I have been visiting beaches statewide in order to snap the remaining photos for my book on Florida’s coastal wild edible plants. The nature center was very nice. First off, I walked the length of the Dune Hammock Trail. I was very excited to see so many PARADISE TREES and LIMBER CAPERS, Cynophalla flexuosa - Capparaceae, a native clambering shrub of our coastal hammocks, along the trail. Then I headed back along the beach, picking through the sargassum weed looking for seeds and shells like a child and feeling the very strong wind off the ocean blow sea mist all over me... how invigorating! Crossing back over the long bridge there were a pair of manatees swimming along the mangroves that passed by me. Next was the loop trail known as the Satinleaf Trail. There was the largest PIGEON PLUM, Coccoloba diversifolia - Polygonaceae, that I have ever seen. These trees were loaded with immature fruits which become edible when they turn dark purple-black. This native tree is the sister to our native Seagrape which is in the same genus. There were also some notable SATINLEAF and MASTIC trees along this shaded trail. I also encountered Wild Coffee, Torchwood, Grey Nicker Bean, Rougeberry, Blolly, Pithecelobium, White Stopper, Spanish Stopper, Yellow Joyweed, and many other natives. One more thing, this beach park has recorded over 3,000 turtle nests so far this year, which is incredible. This includes 1,539 LOGGERHEAD nests, 1,486 GREEN nests, and an amazing 29 LEATHERBACK nests!!! WOW!
PHOTO: The beach looking northeast.