During our short week on Big Munson Island, the time we spent outside of the water's realm was passed in the thin shade of a tropical hardwood canopy - or "hammock" in the local parlance. The trees were low and scrubby, a bit like the coastal forests of south Jersey and eastern Maryland in scale, but with different species: gumbo limbo, mahogany, and the infamous poisonwood trees.
A relative of the poison oak, poisonwood, we were told many times, packs ten times the stinging wallop of poison ivy and can be inflicted not just on contact but by rain dripping from his five-leaved branches. Of course, there was one just outside my tent near the dead tree I tied my nylon hammock to; yet we managed to avoid the scourge.
There were no palm trees on Big Munson that I saw - despite their prevalence in developed areas, they're non-native to the Keys. I was struck by the non-resort feel of the out island, very different than any other Florida landscape, especially the winding dead trees against the sky and the mangroves - busy as they were creating even more island.