As part of our training to help out at the Preserve, we took a guided walk through the coastal portion this morning. The two guides have lots of experience in classes and presentations. They can identify almost every plant on the 1.5 mile trail! We sighted sea grapes, necklace plants, sea oats, sage, and many other plants. We learned that the cabbage palm was the ‘tree of life’ for the early settlers and the Calusa Indians. The tree provided huge palm fronds for shelter and shade. The palm fronds have thin threads that peel away. These are twisted together and used as twine for fishing nets. Inside the branches rests a tuft of fiber used for mattresses for sleeping. CowBoys settled boots on the branches to dry them and keep out spiders and snakes. A trivia question….. Is the palm tree really a tree? Answer tomorrow!