After our visit to Deleon Springs, we headed west down SR40 towards Ocala National Forest. As we approached the town of Astor and the St. Johns River, I noticed a large live oak on the side of the road with a historical marker. Because we had nowhere specific to be, Chris pulled over and the three of us got out to see what made this tree interesting.
The rain had mostly stopped at that point, maybe to drizzle, so a photo op was merited. William Bartram and his father John, were noted botanists and naturalists in the 1700s. They explored a large part of the eastern US during those early colonial years documenting the flora and fauna of the country/colonies. William Bartram came to Florida in the 1770s to explore and seeing this historic location was rather exciting. It was easy to step back in time for a few moments to think about the rustic situation that would have been occurring in the wilds of Florida at that time.
If you find yourself driving down SR40 in the town of Astor, pull over and give the tree a hug! It’s seen a lot over the centuries!