• Purple, yellow, gold and orange sponges and soft corals wave against a turquioise sea.

    Biscayne

    National Park Florida

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  • Boat Tours, Paddle-craft Rentals and Select Conveniences Temporarily Unavailable

    Glass-bottom, snorkel, diving and island boat tours, and rentals for canoes and other paddle-craft, are temporarily unavailable. The park is working to resolve the issue as soon as possible and regrets the inconvenience. Limited snack items are available.

Barking Up a Tree Exhibit Opens

Poisonwood bark has a myriad of colors, including orange, beige, maroon and purple.
Poisonwood is one of 25 native South Florida trees featured in the exhibit.
Timothy Taylor

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News Release Date: May 21, 2010
Contact: Gary Bremen, 305-230-1144, x007

Close-up photography of the patterns and textures of some of South Florida’s unique and beautiful trees will be on view at Biscayne National Park’s Dante Fascell Visitor Center Gallery from May 24 through August 22, 2010. A “Meet the Artists” reception slated for Sunday, June 13 from 1-3 p.m. will feature a talk by the artists as well as refreshments. The Gallery, located at 9700 SW 328 Street, near Homestead, Florida, is open seven days a week from 9-5. Admission is free.

While searching for national champion trees (the largest of their species in the United States), South Florida naturalist Bob Showler began to notice the special qualities of each tree’s bark. He teamed up with photographer Tim Taylor to produce this unusual exhibit, appropriately titled Barking Up a Tree.

“Most of South Florida’s trees are from the tropics; they’re completely unfamiliar, even to long-time residents of the area,” says Showler. “But once you begin to study trees up-close—the fantastic patterns, textures, and colors unique to each—you’ll want to learn more.”

Showler asked long-time friend and photographer Tim Taylor to use his expertise in capturing selected trees with a camera. “I love taking pictures of sweeping vistas,” says Taylor, “so this project represented a real change in focus…literally!” The two spent several days hiking on and off-trail in South Florida’s National Parks and surrounding areas to find and photograph 25 of the region’s most distinctive trees. “A few of these trees are quite rare, so it took some work to find them,” says Showler.

Barking Up a Tree is part of the park’s Community Artists Program, started in 1997 as an outlet for the works of both established and emerging artists who are inspired by the beauty of Biscayne National Park. The program is made possible by the South Florida National Parks Trust through the generosity of Miami-Dade County’s Cultural Affairs Division, The First National Bank of South Florida and Sedano’s Supermarkets.

For more details about the exhibit, contact park ranger Gary Bremen at 305-230-1144, x007. For regular updates from the park, follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/BiscayneNPS.

Did You Know?

sea squirts on a mangrove root

Tunicates, or sea squirts, live on the roots of the red mangrove tree. These simple animals survive by filtering plankton out of seawater, and hold promise as the source of potent drugs used to fight tumors. Watch for them when snorkeling along Biscayne National Park's mangrove-fringed shoreline.