Sometimes on a dreary, cloudy, rainy day it is interesting to re-visit older images and reworking some with newer post-processing techniques. This little bridge is (or was) on the soundside of the Red River Beach on Cape Cod. Hope you enjoy it!
Cabbage palmetto (Sabal palmetto) is the most northerly and abundant of the native tree palms. Other names sometimes used are Carolina palmetto, common palmetto, palmetto, and cabbage-palm. This medium-sized unbranched evergreen palm commonly grows on sandy shores, along brackish marshes, in seacoast woodlands of Southeastern United States and throughout peninsular Florida. It can tolerate a broad range of soil conditions and is often planted as a street tree. Abundant fruit crops provide a good supply of food to many kinds of wildlife.
Cabbage palmetto is the most widely distributed of our native palm trees. Its range extends northward from the Florida Keys through its epicenter in south-central Florida to Cape Fear, NC. A disjunct population has been reported at Cape Hatteras, NC. From North Carolina south to the Florida line it hugs the coastline, usually occurring within 20 km (12 mi) of the ocean. In Florida, its northern boundary turns west through Gainesville and follows an ancient shoreline across the peninsula to the Gulf Coast. It then follows the shoreline westward to St. Andrews Bay where its range is slowly extending. Outside the United States, it is found in the Bahama Islands.
Cabbage palmetto is so called because of its edible terminal bud which tastes somewhat like that vegetable. The bud, also called swamp cabbage, is good both raw and cooked and is commercially canned and sold. Removal of the bud kills the tree, however. Cabbage palmetto was an important tree to the Seminole Indians, who often made their homes on cabbage-palm hammocks. They made bread meal from the fruit, which has a sweet, prunelike flavor, and they used the palm fronds to thatch their chickees (huts) and to make baskets. Many other uses of this tree are documented: pilings for wharfs because they resist attacks by seaworms, stems, hollowed out to form pipes for carrying water, ornamental table tops from polished stem cross-sections, canes, scrub brushes from the bark fibers and leaf sheaths, and logs for cribbing in early fortifications because they did not produce lethal splinters when struck by cannonballs.
Currently, young cabbage palmetto fronds are collected and shipped worldwide each spring for use on Palm Sunday. This tree is in flower when many other plants are not and is a significant source of a strong but delicious dark-amber honey.
Perhaps the most important uses are as an ornamental and as wildlife food. The sheer magnitude of its annual fruit crop is such that it provides a substantial part of the diet of many animals such as deer, bear, raccoon, squirrel, bobwhite, and wild turkey.
This image of a Sabal Palmetto, or Cabbage Palmetto, was taken in Murrells Inlet at Morse Park behind the Hot Fish Club and was shot in infrared.
Copyright © 2016 Bill Barber Photography