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Fall Colors

The fall colors have really been kicking in these past weeks. I've made a video with live shots of the most colorful plants in the garden right now.     Or, if you'd rather just see the photos - Burning Bush ( Euonymus alatus 'Rudy Haag' and Sourwood ( Oxydendrum arboreum )   Birch (Betula pendula 'Trost's Dwarf')     Amsonia hubrichtii   Sumac 'Tiger Eyes' (( Rhus typhina ‘Bailtiger’))   Vine Maple 'Pacific Fire' ( Acer circinatum )   Miscanthus sinensis 'Little Miss'   Persian Ironwood ( Parrotia persica )   Bloodtwig Dogwood ( Cornus sanguinea 'Midwinter Fire')     Strawberry Tree ( Arbutus unedo)   Redbud ( Cercis 'Rising Sun')     Dogwood ( Cornus kousa 'Celestial Shadow')   Dogwood ( Cornus kousa 'Wolf's Eyes')   Joe Pye Weed ( Eutrochium purpureum )   Redbud ( Cercis 'Hearts of Gold') and 'Pacific Fire' vine maple in back Pomegranate ( Punica granan

Henderson State Park

Henderson State Park is located right along Hwy 98 in Destin and runs along the coastline. You will notice an obvious difference in this state park when comparing to Eden State Park in my last post. Henderson is what I call a "sand dune park" while Eden, which is located about seven miles inland has more trees and traditional plants. We've usually just passed the sand dune parks by because, frankly, they didn't seem that interesting. I was wrong about that.

I stumbled across Henderson State park on the Internet and the descriptions of a nature trail and labeled plants perked my interest. When we arrived, on a blustery overcast morning, I was disappointed when we walked up to the nature trail and I saw this view:

You can see the condos in the distance and to the right is Hwy 98 and you can see traffic moving along it. However, once you top the hill in the above photo, the path leads downward and you find yourself in a huge bowl full of winding trails and very interesting plants and striking combinations.

There are many dead trees and at first I could not help but wonder why they don't remove them. However, after looking at them for a while, I began to like them and they certainly created great scenes for interesting photographs.
Saw Palmetto

The beach was quite beautiful - clean white sand and immaculate upkeep. There are signs everywhere about state laws that protect the sand dunes. You are not to step on them or disturb the plants. In other words, stay off the dunes!

There were some plant signs but not many and I was disappointed that
many of the plants were not identified.

The visit to Henderson State Park turned out to be a very pleasant one and it changed my opinions about the coastline parks. I spent an hour or more taking photos and by the time we left, the sun had returned.

Text and photos by Phillip Oliver, Dirt Therapy


  1. I always like looking at other people's vacation photos, and have enjoyed your recent posts. I think I would have liked visiting each of these state parks, but for different reasons, and I am glad there is at least one place on the beach not covered in condos.

  2. Destin is such a fun beach to visit~ off season! Now I have two other really cool spots to make the trip last longer! Lovely photos. gail

  3. Great pictures, that park looks just like St. Andrews state park in Panama City. Thanks for sharing.

  4. I agree with you about the dead trees. They add a wildness that I really like.


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