Writer Annette Thompson has traveled to the Florida Everglades more than a dozen times. Here, mindful of the fragility of one of the South’s last wild places, she describes the things she treasures most.
Jason Sine, a fishing guide with Everglades Area Tours, once told me that if I got lost in The Everglades and starved to death, he’d come to my funeral just to laugh. “This place is full of food and shelter,” he said. The perfect example: the sabal palm (pictured). Florida’s state tree grows on hardwood forest tree islands throughout The Everglades. Its core forms the smooth hearts of palm dished up in salads all over Miami. The Everglades’ Seminole residents use the entire tree for sustenance: The fronds make great roofs and the strings on the fronds can be used in sewing.