How did I, a certified limestone nut, not realize that Florida is mostly limestone! This explains the many lakes – apparently sinkholes open up regularly as the underground systems cave in, sometimes swallowing entire buildings. Then the holes fill up with water from the underlying limestone aquifers. The state as a whole has quite low topography, being not much above sea level, so the underground water is often close to the surface. The climate and rocks make for thin, dry, sandy soils, which I can’t help feeling is a funny mix with the wetland vegetation, swamp cypresses and live oaks (so-called because they are not 100% deciduous, and have green leaves all year round) draped with spooky-looking Spanish moss. The open nature of the forest reminds me very much of the Australian bush, though there are no eucalypts.