This is your first view of Seacrest Scrub Natural Area the moment you get out of your car. The informational kiosk dead ahead is the first stop for most visitors, but three other things strike us about this photo. First the slight upward slope of the land gives us a hint of what's ahead and reminds us that this was once beachfront property thousands of years ago. The second is the collection of very large slash pines just beyond the fence line, which aren't really supposed to be here, but we'll get into that in a moment. The third is the gate and the sign on it. Hard to see but it has the outline of a gopher tortoise. Seacrest Scrub is home to a fairly substantial population of the little guys — a census done not long after Palm Beach County began managing the property put the number at more than 100. The gate works only one way to keep the tortoises on the property and out of the parking lot and the adjacent, very busy Seacrest Boulevard. Walk the handicapped accessible Gopher Tortoise Trail or along the western and northern perimeter roads and there's a fair chance you'll spot one or their burrows. The sign asks visitors to make sure the gate is closed after passing through. Next photo.