Early, we drive to the patisserie in Le Robert. Coffee, croissants, and then a stroll across the street to this view, a morning, wind blown palm. Day begins in Martinique. After stopping to shop at the grocery, it's time for my hike in the Les Sentiers du Littoral Nord Atlantique nature trail up the road from our villa. It's later than I usually go and I am hot and tired from the weekend. So, I take my time in the quiet forest, the bright sugar cane path with the views to the sea. I won't go far today. What was so strange and unknown that first day has become recognizable, habitual. When I return home I look up my favorite tree growing in the forest, this one whose skin I touch every time I pass, with the red, papery bark peeling. I learn its delightful, whimsical name: gumbo-limbo. Tomorrow, I will say, hello dear gumbo-limbo tree!
Bursera simaruba, commonly known as gumbo-limbo, copperwood, chaca, and turpentine tree, is a tree species in the family Burseraceae, native to tropical regions of the Americas from the southeasternmost United States (southern Florida) south through Mexico and the Caribbean to Brazil, Jinotega and Venezuela.
All photos and text copyright Kelly DuMar 2018 unless otherwise attributed