Leaving Winter

Our first road trip of the new year will take us from the wintry landscape of central Missouri to the warm, marine environment of southwest Florida.  En route, we'll cross a series of geophysical provinces and some of North America's best known rivers.

After heading east across the Glaciated Plain, we'll cross the Missouri and Mississippi Valleys, the Shawnee Hills of southern Illinois, the Ohio, Tennessee and Cumberland Rivers and the karst plain of western Kentucky.  After fording the Cumberland a second time in Nashville, we'll climb onto the Cumberland Plateau of central Tennessee, undulate through the Ridge and Valley Province of south-central Tennessee and northwest Georgia (including the Tennessee River Valley) and then cross the Piedmont of central Georgia, the flat pinelands of southern Georgia, the Suwannee River, the limestone uplands of the Florida Platform and, finally, the watery landscape of Florida's southwest coast.

Of course, vegetation and wildlife will change with the provinces, providing welcome diversions on our two-day journey.  While anticipated sightings will surely materialize along the way, it is the prospect of unexpected encounters that fuels my enthusiasm, as it would for any naturalist.