CHAPTER 1. THE NATURAL AREA

Florida Geology

Florida is almost featureless.  

In the lowlands of the west, there are many limestone areas.  In the highlands of the center, there is an area of clayey sand.  In the eastern lowlands, the soil is mostly shelly sand and clay.  Intermixed in these regions are areas of medium to fine sand and silt.  

Limestone areas (with some dolomoite) are found along the coast of the Gulf of Mexico. These areas include eastern Wakulla County, southern Jefferson County, southern Dixie County, western and southern Levy County, and then along the coast in Citrus, Hernando, and Pasco Counties.  Then there is a northwest to southeast band passing west of Gainesville from Madison County on the Florida-Georgia border curving down to Tampa.   

These limestone areas make for some interesting hiking and botanizing as there are many parks associated with these areas, including Devil's Millhopper in Gainesville.  



Christmas of 1993 at Stephen C. Foster entrance on west side of the park.

The park itself is located on Jones Island within the Okefenokee NWR. Model of stuffed Sandhill Crane; shallow prairie marshes; Okefenokee peat-filled bog

Okefenokee plant communities:

1. Cypress forest blackgum and bay W. of Minnis Island

2. prairies open boggy areas

sedges, grasses, water lillies, n.w. of Floyd's Island

3. pine forests -- pine islands are higher spots where pine forests are found; on Billy's Island

wood duck w/ green-backed heron

exhibit:

barred owl

northern oriole

cardinal

black bear

Eastern diamondback rattler

white-tailed deer

river otter

white Ibis

great blue heron


In a subset window of the display was a small exhibit:  largemouth bass, crawfish, spotted gar.  Prairies = low-lying bogs, us. covered with water 1-3 feet deep; water lily, pickerelweed, maidencane, yellow-bellied cuckoo, indigo bunting, snowy egret (yellow feet) and great egret.


Cypress Forest:

Birds such as the common moorhen, American coot, yellow-shafted flikcer, pileated woodpecker, brown thrasher, and indigo bunting.

yellow-bellied slider
alligator
gray fox
Fish such as the redear sunfish and the mudfish.


Trembling Earth Nature Trail

pond cypress is the predominant tree in the swamp.

swamp cyrilla
sweet pepperbush
fragrant water lily
yellow pond lily
grasses on side
maidencane
pickerlweed
waxy-bay, red, white and loblolly
coral greenbrier vine with red berries (Smilax walteri)
water tupelo has multi-trunks
old man's beard lichen
loblolly bay -- drk-green
titi with brown tassels
bald cypress

April is the best for blooms; pH of 3.7; tannic acid; see a 5 or 6 year old alligator; turtle; 107 miles of canoe trails.

10 vultures on 2 trees; 2 types here: turkey and black vultures

yellow flower of the *tickseed sunflower -- lots of them in season
Billy Bowlegs = Billy's Island
water potatoes -- boil roots of water lilies
red maple
climbing heath on side of tree
pingrass amid water lilies
swamp iris -- purple flower
golden club
hoorah bush (Lyonia)
swamp huckleberry
southern magnolia
yellow-eyed grass
barrier-reef islands = Billy's Island; one foot bellow get beach sand
floating peat batteries; Indian mounds on some of the islands
southern bayberry -- myrtle warbler eats it
can eat saw palmetto terminal bud and part of root system
cabbage palms not indigenous
water oak
slash pine -- mostly
loblolly pine
Cassina holly
laurel greenbrier (Smilax laurifolia)
high climbing vine



Cumberland Island National Seashore

The National Park Service says:  Cumberland Island is 17.5 miles long and totals 33,900 acres of which 16,850 are marsh, mud flats, and tidal creeks. It is well known for its marine turtles, abundant shore birds, dune fields, maritime forest, salt marshes, and historic structures. The National Seashore was established in 1972, to preserve the scenic, scientific, and historical values of the largest and most southerly island off the coast of Georgia. Cumberland Island is also part of the South Atlantic-Carolinian Biosphere Reserve and will be permanently protected in its primitive state. This unspoiled environment once prevalent on all the barrier islands provides a unique opportunity to experience the flora and fauna of a natural coastal ecosystem. The history of the island spans over four thousand years including native Americans, Spanish missions, English colonial forts, Plantation owners, Revolutionary War heroes, and wealthy industrialists of the Gilded Age. Maps and other information are available at the NPS visitor centers in St. Marys and on Cumberland Island. Visitation is limited to 3OO people per day.

Camden County, St. Marys, GA.  Cumberland Island NS .  P. 0. Box 806; St. Marys, GA 31558 . Telephone: (912) 882-4335 -- Reservation Line (10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Mon-Fri) (912) 882-4336 -- Information Line ( 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., daily). Visitor Center: Daily 8:15 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; closed December 25.

St. Marys, Georgia, is located approximately 8 miles east of Interstate 95, 45 miles south of Brunswick, Georgia and 32 miles north of Jacksonville, Florida. State Road 40 is a direct route from 1-95 to the NPS visitor center in downtown St. Marys.

In 1736 Ogelthorpe landed on the northern point of Cumberland island.  Here he set up a fort known as Fort St. Andrew.  He had left Hugh Mackay with his highlanders to build it.  



Goldhead Branch State Park

Dec 26, 1993
45 miles southwest of Jacksonville.
American holly
mockernut hickory
greenbrier
fern that looks like mimosa
sweetgums with leaves
Euonymous
pokeweed
small tree with beautyberry colored berries; diamond-shaped hairy leaf (rough)
saw palmetto
cinammon fern
magnolias -- lots
partridgeberry all over
hobblebush?
lots of ferns
Hercules club
lots of oaks
sweetbay magnolia
chain fern
looks like magnolia leaves, but toothed
no pine trees
red bay?
across the road:
longleaf pine the bark is light grayish brown
oak with leathery tip rounded leaves
turkey vulture
Opuntia humifusa
live oak
goldenrod remnant
Scheeler Lake
little bluestem grass
sedges or rushes in the water
butterfly
small conifer dense bush-like plant on beach area -- Hudsonia?
oak-pine forest -- lots of turkey oak
mill site
flowering dogwood
winged sumac



Kanapaha Botanical Gardens

(off Route 24 south of Gainesville, Florida)

 

Vinery:

Dioscorea discolor (vine)

Boston fern

lace fern

Hedera Algerian ivy

Asparagus setaceus

Chinese parasol tree

Thunbergia grandiflora

Thunbergia alata (blue trumpet)

Jasminum mesnyi (cross vine)

Antigonon leptopus (coral vine)

Lonicera sempervirens (trumpet honeysuckle)

Sink Hole Area:

Ulmus americanus floridana (Florida elm)

saw palmetto

sugarberry

Sapindus marginatus soapberry

Thelypteris normalis

Herb Gardens:

Zedoary

Aloe saponaria (soap aloe)

Solanum pseudocapsicum (Jeruslaem cherry)

Elettaria cardamon (false cardamon)

Yuca aloifolia (Spanish bayonet)

Lantana camara (lantana)

Piper auritum (root beer plant)

Polymnia uvedalia (bear’s foot)

Bumelia cinomala

Bamboo Garden:

black bamboo

white bamboo

Hummingbird Garden area:

blood lily

Erythrina (coral tree)

red buckeye

Carica papaya

chenille plant

flowering maple Malvacaea

Ophiopogon japonica (dwarf turf lily, mondo grass)

Rock Garden;

Parkinsonia aculenta (Jerusalem thorn)

Fern area

holly fern

bird nest fern

winged elm

Cycas revoluta (sago palm)

 

Arboretum section:

Prunus campanulata (Taiwan cherry)

Wedelia tirloba

Hydrangea quercifolia

Tradewcqntia pallida ‘purple heart’ (purple heart)

Persea borbonia (red bay)

Acalypha hispida (chenille plant)

Nyssa ogechee (ogechee lime)

Arundo donax (giant reed)

Phyia nodiflora (frogfruit, carpetweed)

Canna x generalis (red cana)

Nerium oleander (oleander)

Callliandra emarginata (red powder puff tree)

Quercus michauxii (swamp chestnut oak)

sabal palmetto

button bush

Dion edule (cycad)

Aeschynoneee fluitans (floating pea) in the water

Quercus shumardii (Shumard oak)

Quercus (water oak)?



LITTLE TALBOT ISLAND

1782 -- William Hendricks from Charleston, South Carolina settles on Talbot Island. In 1786 he moved to the south bank of the St. Johns River. His son Isaac later owned the land on which the Jacksonville Museum of Science and History was built.

beauty berry *

live oak

ragweed

white snakeroot

Spanish moss

white tipped sedge

sugarberry?

Tradescantia

saw palmetto

old man’s beard

grasses

sedges

willows

cabbage palms

slash pine

red cedar

beach pea *

sea pink* ?

Morning glory *?

Bayberry

thistle

pennywort *

cactus

Chenopodium

sandbur

succulent with red stem and 5 lobed leaves.

Elderberry *

sabal palmetto

Similax auriculata

sheep sorrel



Maclay Ornamental Gardens

The park is open daily from 8 a.m. to sundown year-round. The gardens and the Maclay House Museum are open daily 9 a.m.-5 p.m. The Maclay Gardens are five miles north of Tallahassee on US 319. Alfred B. Maclay State Gardens, 3540 Thomasville Road, Tallahassee, FL 32308; (904) 893- 4232 or (904) 893-4455.

The peak blooming season begins in December and continues through April when dogwood, redbud and more than a hundred varieties of camellias and azaleas create a fairyland of flowers.

This 308-acre park was once the home of Alfred B. Maclay, a New York financier who made his winter home here starting in 1923. He developed the grounds as a hobby, using exotic plants to complement the native varieties and adding reflecting pools and avenues of stately palms. Picnic grounds overlook Lake Hall, which is fine for swimming and boating (only electric motors allowed).



Museum of Natural History

Gainesville, Fla.
savanna ecosystem
grasses and widely spaced trees whose crowns fail to touch;
longleaf pine
turkey oak
communities -- remnants of the once vast Gulf Coast savanna
open, sunlit floor is exposed to high surface temps and rainwater passes very quickly
dray and burn easily
velvet ant
burrowing dung beetle
longleaf pine
saw palmetto
deer moss lichen
Florida worm lizard
Florida crown snake
Eastern spadefoot toad
Southern fence lizard
red rat snake
turkey oak
wire grass
vinegarroon
walking stick
red-tailed skink
lady lupine
scorpion


Florida's tropical hammocks resemble coastal hardwood forests of the Bahamas and W. Indies occur on slightly elevated limestone outcrops and coastal dunes that are rarely flooded or burned.

The close canopy can tower 40 feet above a relatively open understory.

Southern shieldfern (Dryopteris ludoviciana)



Okefenokee Swamp

There are three entrances. Two are on the eastern side and one is on the western side.  There is a small fee for all three places.

The one in Waycross, Georgia is a Disney World version of the swamp with rides and a small zoo for the kids.

The one in Folkston, Georgia is. 58 miles from my in-laws house in Cedar Hills.   They have a nice museum and you can take guided boat tours or rent boats and go out on your own.  

The one on the western side is in Fargo and is known by the name of Stephen C. Foster who was associated, in song only, with the Suwanee River that flows out of Okefenokee.  From Cedar Hills we traveled 54 miles on US 10 and got off  at Exit 44.  Then we went 34 miles on Route 441 north.  Upon reaching Rt. 94 in Georgia, we took a left turn and then a quick right turn onto Rt 177 north and traveled 11 miles to a gate.  Then 11 more miles actually brought us to the parking area.  The total was 109 miles.  


The first residents of the area were the Timucuans, followed by the Yuchi and the Creek.  The Seminoles were living here when the homesteaders came in around 1800.  

In 1838 federal troops came through.  They were led by General Charles Floyd and met resistance from the native chief, Billy Bowlegs.  He eventually led his people to Florida.

In 1889 the Suwannee Canal Company bough the area.  They put in some twelve miles of canals but had to abandon the effort.  

At the turn of the 20th century, the Charles Hebard Cypress Company of Waycross, Georgia held the place for some 20 years.  They took out some 9 million board feet of virgin cypress. They had their headquarters on Billy's Island.  There was a hotel, school, store, and movie theatre with 600 people.  The railroad they had to take out the lumber was 35 miles long.

In 1936 President Roosevelt established the 293,000 acres federal refuge.


July 1994

*mai-tai is all over the place
prairie
* magnolia or loblolly bay
tupelo
golden club or neverwet -- dark green sticking up
* fragrant water lily
battery
great or common egret
great blue heron
bull frogs and tree frogs
cottonmouth
banded water snake
king snake
coral snake
canceroot rattlesnake and diamondback
gardner snake
pygmy rattlesnake
* buttonbush?
titi = swamp cyrilla (Cyrilla racemosa)
Lantana camara at Washington Oaks
* blootroot (Lachnanthes caroliniana) -- lots of it blooming in the swamp
What's in bloom?  July 11, 1994
water lily
floating bladderwort
bitterweed
camphorweed
pineland hibiscus
calliopsis
daisy fleabane
dandelion
Dyschoriste
barbara's button
partridge pea
heal-all
horse nettle
swamp rose mallow
dayflower
sundew
orange milkwort
white-topped aster
drum head
meadow beauty
false dragon-head
pipewort
rattlesnake-master
snowy orchid
black-eyed susan
Ruellia
passion flower
spiderwort
pine lily
roseling
rose pogonia
spatterdock
yellow-fringed orchid
Carphephorus
tread-softly
yellow star grass, common, pale and smooth and yellow
meadow-beauty
butterfly weed
trees:
loblolly bay
swamp cyrilla
vines:
spurred butterfly pea
trailing milk-pea
Galactia
shrubs:
St. Johnswort
Lantana
calico-bush
beauty berries
buttonbush
poor-man's soap
swamp honeysuckle

 

Christmas of 1993

guide = Sue Lambert; she gave me a plant list.

The park itself is located on Jones Island within the Okefenokee NWR. Model of stuffed Sandhill Crane; shallow prairie marshes

Okefenokee peat-filled bog

1. Cypress forest blackgum and bay W. of Minnis Island

2. prairies open boggy areas; sedges, grasses, water lillies, n.w. of Floyd's Island

3. pine forests -- pine islands are higher spots where pine forests are found; on Billy's Island

wood duck w/ green-backed heron

exhibit:

barred owl

northern oriole

cardinal

black bear

Eastern diamondback rattler

white-tailed deer

river otter

white Ibis

great blue heron

largemouth bass

crawfish

spotted gar

prairies = low-lying bogs, us. covered with water 1-3 feet deep; water lily, pickerelweed, maidencane, yellow-bellied cuckoo, indigo bunting, snowy egret (yellow feet) and great egret.

yellow-bellied slider

common moorhen

alligator

yellow-shafted flicker

gray fox

pileated woodpecker

brown thrasher

redear sunfish

mudfish

trembling earth nature trial

pond cypress is the predominant tree in the swamp.

swamp cyrilla

sweet pepperbush

fragrant water lily

yellow pond lily

grasses on side

maidencane

pickerelweed

waxy-bay, red, white and loblolly

coral greenbrier vine with red berries (Smilax walteri)

water tupelo has multi-trunks

old man's bear lichen

loblolly bay -- dark-green

titi with brown tassels

bald cypress

April is the best for blooms; pH of 3.7; tannic acid; see a 5 or 6 year old alligator; turtle; 107 mils of canoe trails.

10 vultures on 2 trees

2 types: turkey and black vultures

yellow flower of the *tickseed sunflower -- lots of them in season

Billy Bowlegs = Billy's Island

water potatoes -- boil roots of water lilies

red maple

climbing heath on side of tree

pingrass amid water lilies

swamp iris -- purple flower

golden club

hoorah bush (Lyonia)

swamp huckleberry

southern magnolia

yellow-eyed grass

barrier-reef islands = Billy's Island; one foot bellow get beach sand

floating peat batteries; Indian mounds on some of the islands

southern bayberry -- myrtle warbler eats it

can eat saw palmetto terminal bud and part of root system

cabbage palms not indigenous

water oak

slash pine -- mostly

loblolly pine

Cassina holly

laurel greenbrier (Smilax laurifolia)

high climbing vine

 



Payne's Prairie

July 1994
most dominant species
maidencane (Panicum hemitomon)
pickerelweed (Pontederia cordata)
cattail (Typhus)
willow (Salix caroliniana)

other plants:
Juncus effusus
pennywort (Hydrocotyle umbellata)
smartweed (Polygonum hydropiperoides)
American lotus (Nelumbo lutea)
Alachua sink

Battle of Black Point was fought on the south rim of Paynes Prairie. Dec 18, 1835 -- first skirmish of the Second Seminole War.

During his visit in April 1774, Bartram was awed by the "Great Alachua Savannah," the name he gave to the basin.

Three settlers slain on Alachua Prairie on April 29, 1839



Ravine State Gardens, Palatka

Moseley St and Silver Lake Road, Palatka, Florida.

William Bartram Trail traced 1773-77; he explored this area and headquartered near here in 1774.

July 1994

* bird of paradise
* yellow day-lily
* marigold
East Palatka holly
* spiderwort
southern magnolias -- lots of them
*Chamaecrista fasiculata
We stopped by the pond and saw huge Japanese fish.
 


Silver Springs

eel grass

* pickerelweed  (Pondeteria cordata)

sea lettuce

water pennywort

* spadderdock



Washington Oaks

not far south of Marine Land, Highway A1A, St. Augustine, Florida.  

Habitats in the Park:

1) coastal strand and scrub

saw palmetto

yaupon holly

scrub live oak

gopher tortoise

Fla. scrub jay

 

2) coquina rocks and dune:

sea oats

sea lettuce

limpet

sea roach

mole crab

ghost crab

loggerhead turtle

 

3) maritime hammocks:

cabbage palm

live oak

yellow rat snake

deer

 

4) estuarine tidal marsh:

smooth cord grass

foxtail fern

asparagus fern

Indian blanket flower (Gaillardia)

glasswort (Salicornia)

 

Tours 1:30 Saturday and Sunday with the very pleasant Amoi Dort. July 10

* = in bloom

* yellow oleander
* crape myrtle
Grewia
Podocarpus
heavenly bamboo (Nandina domestica)
coontie (Zamia floridana)
Pyracantha
shell ginger
* Thryallis -- yellow petals
* star jasmine -- white
sago palm
cardboard palm
Ardesia
chinese fan palm
Barbados cherry
Chinese private (Ligustrum sinensis)
Ming fern
cast iron plant
Aspidestra
flowering maple
laurel oak (Quercus laurifolia)
holly fern
tree fern
umbrella plant
vinning vinca
croton
Jerusalem thorn
false heather
spider plant
poinsettia
sugar hackberry
leatherleaf fern
wax-myrtle
red cedar (Juniperus lucayana)
* daisy bush (Asteraceae)
* Mandevilla vine
live oak
croton
bayonet (Yucca aloifolia)
loblolly bay (Gordonia lasianthus)
* Thryallis
mondo grass
camellias
* trumpet creeper (Campsis radicans)
* spiderwort
coastal strand and scrub
saw palmetto
yaupon holly
scrub live oak
gopher tortoise
Fla. scrub jay
coquina rocks and dune:
sea oats
sea lettuce
limpet
sea roach
mole crab
ghost crab
loggerhead turtle
maritime hammocks:
cabbage palm
live oak
yellow rat snake
deer
estuarine tidal marsh:
smooth cord grass
foxtail fern
asparagus fern
Indian blanket flower (Gaillardia)
glasswort (Salicornia)
bush with white flowers -- mangrove?
soft rush
golden rain tree
loquat -- with felty leaves
golden orb spider
slash pine
sugar hackberry
on the right:
* wild salvia with red flowers
*wild coffee plant
coontie (a cycad) caterpillar
* Lantana -- looks like a euphorbia
on right:
cherry laurel
* shrimplant (Bellaperony)
yaupon holly -- roast leaves and make a frothy drink; higher in caffeine than coffee
Indian mound -- George Learned Washington awarded property for capturing Osceola
southern red ceder
on left:
yellow oleander -- not a true one
on right a true oleander
"lucky nut tree"
cherokee rose
Rosa fortuniana
"frog legs" Kalanchoes by the Opuntia humifusa
mandevilla
coral vine around rose ground and dutchman's pipe
mostly cabbage palm
sabal palmetto
dwarf Ilex vomitora
red bya over us
blue days a perennial
vining geranium
Bufondi holly
New Guinea impatiens
lily of the Nile
*pink pintas
banyan tree sapling on the right
wax myrtle tree
Canna
white bird of paradise
* flowering maple (Hibiscus)
screw pine
Chapacler
scarlet Cleorodendron
banana tree
* cast iron plant
* Bouganvillea
weeping bottle bush
*Plumbago by water by Jerusalem thorn
orchid tree on left -- leaves fold up
periwinkle
* pinta -- lots behind gate on left
azaleas bloom in Feb. -- spring is great here
spanish bayonet
tree fern
pineapple guava hedge
left turn
dogwood bush
cast iron plants in center Amaryllis
* blue salvia
datil peppers
* loblolly bay
*bromeliad in flower
* Liriope hedge and moon grass
purple queeen around the live oak
Chinese fan palms -- more boots
right turn:
Barbados cherry
Caladium on right
ming fern
shore juniper
cycad
pond Thryallis
George Lawrence Washington dug well; white sulfur bacteria in the pool
* shell ginger
night-blooming cereus
bridal Spirea
gardenia
rose-of-sharon
wisteria
* hydrangea
Japanese rice paper plant -- very invasive
grandfather's beard - an invasive vine
fig
* wild petunia (Ruellia cardenensis)
persimmon
bobcat
redtip Photinia



Alphabetical order:

Aspidestra

azalea blooms in Feb. -- spring in great here

banana tree

banyan tree

Bauhinia variegata (orchid tree)

bird of paradise, white

blue days a perennial

bottle bush, weeping

Bouganvillea *

bridal Spirea

bromeliad *

Bufondi holly

camellias

Campsis radicans (trumpet creeper) *

Canna

cast iron plant

Celtis (sugarberry)

Chapacler

cherry, Barbados

cherry laurel

Cladium on right

Cleorodendron, scarlet

coontie (Zamia floridana)

coral vine around rose ground and dutchman's pipe

croton

cycad

daisy bush (Asteraceae) *

Diospyros (persimmon)

dogwood bush

false heather

fern, asparagus

fern, foxtail

fern, holly

fern, leatherleaf

fern, tree

fern, Ming

Ficus sp. (fig)

Gaillarida (Indian blanket flower)

gardenia

geranium, vining

ginger, shell

golden rain tree

Gordonia lasianthus (loblolly bay)

grandfather's beard - an invasive vine

Grewia

Hibiscus (rose-of-sharon)

Hibiscus (flowering maple) *

Hydrangea *

Ilex vomitoria (yaupon holly)

Japanese rice paper plant -- very invasive

jasmine, star -- white *

Jerusalem thorn

Juncus effusus (soft rush)

juniper, shore

Juniperus lucayana (red cedar)

Kalanchoes, "frog legs" (Kalanchoe tubiflora)

Lantana camara (lantana) * -- looks like a euphorbia 436

Ligustrum sinensis (Chinese private)

lily of the Nile

limpet

Liriope hedge and moon grass *

Liriope (mondo grass)

loquat -- with felty leaves

lucky nut tree

Mandevilla vine *

marlberry (Ardesia escallonioides) Myrsinaceae

myrtle, crape *

Nandina domestica (heavenly bamboo)

New Guinea impatiens

night-blooming cereus

oleander, yellow *

Opuntia humifusa (prickly pear cactus)

palm, cabbage

palm, sago

palm, cardboard

palm, chinese fan

palmetto, sabal

palmetto, saw (Serenoa repens)

peppers, datil

Photinia (redtip)

pineapple guava hedge

pintas, pink *

Pinus (slash pine)

Plumbago by water by Jerusalem thorn *

Podocarpus

poinsettia

Psychotgria nervosa (wild coffee plant) *

purple queeen around the live oak

Pyracantha

Quercus (scrub live oak)

Quercus laurifolia (laurel oak, laurel)

Quercus (live oak)

Ricinus communis (castor bean)

Rosa fortuniana

rose, cherokee

Ruellia cardenensis (wild petunia) *

Salicornia sp. (glasswort)

salvia, salvia with red flowers *

salvia, blue *

screw pine

sea roach

sea oats

sea lettuce

Sesbania punicea Fabaceae

shrimplant (Bellaperony) *

Spartina (smooth cord grass)

spider plant

Thryallis -- yellow petals *

Tradescantia (spiderwort) *

umbrella plant

unknown, bush with white flowers -- mangrove?

vinca, vinning

Vinca minor (periwinkle)

wax myrtle tree

Wisteria sp. (wisteria)

Yucca aloifolia (Spanish bayonet)



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