Thursday, February 9, 2006

Florida Scenery

On one of my recent trips down to the Keys I took some pictures. These were taken on Ohio Key, a tiny speck about 30 miles or so from Key West. The first one is of the old Overseas Highway that goes from Florida City on the mainland and down the old railroad tracks to Key West — a distance of 125 miles. The old highway was built in the 1930’s when the railroad was abandoned after a couple of hurricanes whacked it into the sea. And yes, the road rides on top of the old bridge. (Imagine driving along that in a high wind.) The forty-some bridges on the highway (US 1) were replaced in the 1970’s with new and wider spans that run mostly parallel to the old bridges, which are still in use as fishing piers, movie props (True Lies), and attempted landing places for Cuban refugees.
I took these on the way back from a visit to No-Name and Big Pine Key, which is the habitat of an endangered species of deer called Key Deer. They are very small — about the size of a Labrador retreiver — and this is the only place they’re found. It’s believed they are descendents of white-tailed deer (i.e. Bambi) that were trapped on the island when the water rose. They adapted to the limited resources and water, and most of the island is the Key Deer Wildlife Refuge.

The other end of the bridge is at Bahia Honda State Park, one of my favorite places to stop and just look at the sea. Enjoy the view. (Click the pictures to enlarge.)