This year I decided to take at least one weekend per month and either do some day trips or camp. I really prefer camping because I can incorporate day trips into the camping and that get’s me out and away. This aways refreshes my soul and helps with my creativity and simply makes me a better me.
I prefer heading to the Everglades, it’s where my soul belongs, even though I left it years ago, I do sometimes long to go back. The people are fascinating and the stories are many. I could sit for hours (and sometimes do) listening to the locals talk about the “way it used to be”. I long for a time much simpler than how I live today. I could live as a minimalist, in a tiny house somewhere in the woods. I really don’t need much and I think I would be just fine. Maybe someday.
I love being outdoors. I am in an office five days a week for eight hours a day and on the weekend I find I must get out. When I am camping, I get to sit by a campfire, share a meal with my son and his girlfriend and just do nothing or say nothing if I don’t want to.
I go to bed early and arise as the sun is coming up and the birds are beginning to sing.
I overheard a camper yesterday lament about how they hated the birds in the early morning, because they woke them up. Really? how can you hate something so magical and beautiful as birds singing in the new day. I could wake to that sound every single day and be ecstatic for another day. Maybe someday.
Coffee is always better when it’s a cold brisk morning and you arise to the sun shining and the birds flitting about and the dewy freshness of a new day. I so enjoy sitting in the quiet of the morning when I am camping and allowing my body to awaken with nature. I would love to do this every single day for the rest of my life. Maybe someday.
I find I don’t miss the television with it’s mundane programming, or the radio blaring; campers around me always seem to have a radio going, and I just don’t understand why? Why do you need that outside element of noise when there is so much more to hear? and if you just look around life is more exciting than anything the television has to offer. in my short few days, I was able to see a baby raccoon climbing a tree. Birds feeding, alligators lounging around in the sun trying to get warm after a few chilly nights and I got to experience real conversations with people. I learned so much more than if I had been at home in front of a little box. I hope to experience this more and more. Maybe someday.
Wow this time last year, I was experiencing a bit of turmoil in my life; drama that could have been avoided, but when dealing with the immature that’s what happens. Fast forward one year later. I had a great Thanksgivings spent with my youngest son Tommy and the people of the campground where I was staying and where he works as a guide. Old friends were there and so much good food I was in a food coma for hours after. Of course while there I took out the camera, just didn’t have it at the dinner, nor did I have my phone. I simply wanted to enjoy the meal and fellowship with those I’ve not spent time with in a while. I really enjoy going down to Trail Lakes Camp Ground it borders the Big Cypress and so much wildlife all around makes it extra special! Later in the evening I saw with Tommy by a roaring campfire and we enjoyed the warmth of the flames.
It was quite chilly even for Florida standards. I ended my trip with a drive through the Big Cypress on Birdon Road over to Wagon Wheel Road then back on Turner River Road.
Beautiful sky no cloud and that deep azure blue against the sand colored grasses of the swamp. On my way home I stopped and spent several hours at The Big Cypress Bend Boardwalk. No bear this time, but the swamp was still teaming with birds and wildlife. It was a marvelous Thanksgiving and I would not change the way life is turning out.
I want to thank all of my readers and followers for a great year. I was so unsure of myself when I started this blog, but I love the outlet it allows me and I am so glad you have all enjoyed my meanderings. This next year promises to be so much better. Thank you for your support.
As a working photographer with a full time job (other than photography) I am extremely busy. I have to plan my away times well in advance and get away to renew myself every once in a while. This weekend I took another trip south to the Big Cypress and camped in Trail Lakes Camp Ground. Old friends own it and my son lives and works there as well as a native guide. I went out on my own Saturday to Big Cypress Bend Boardwalk which is part of the Fakahatchee Strand and walked the boardwalk mid morning. I was alone for most of my trip and passed a few folks coming off the trail, but heading to the end I was the only one out there……..so quiet and peaceful. I spotted mama gator and snapped a couple of shots. Coming in to the area I looked for the pair of Bald Eagles who have taken residence in the Fakahatchee for well over 20 plus years. I didn’t see any activity on the nest, but as I was sitting taking in the beauty of the ‘gator hole’ I could hear them calling. I decided to head back out and was listening as I was strolling along. Pileated Woodpecker, Blue Grey Gnatcatchers, and various other sounds. I was heading around the bend and I saw another couple heading in my direction, but they had stopped and all I saw was him reach around and snap a photo; not thinking much of this I rounded the bend and came pretty much face to face with a 250lb Florida Black Bear. My heart skipped a beat and I raised my camera up to snap several shots, then reality set in and I realized I had no where to go! He was blocked in with the other couple and be on each side. As the photo I will post shows he was taking steps toward me, I knew not to run and was praying it was not a mama bear with little ones around, because it was focused on me and not the other couple. Eventually he turned and exited under the railing which at that point I took my first real breath in about a minute of encounter. I could hear him rustling about in the water, but never saw him again, the other couple from Germany had basically the same shots I had except he was looking at them, and even with a language barrier we could share our excitement! I’m sure they will never forget their day in the swamp just as I won’t.
Later in the afternoon my son Tommy and I drove out to Fakahatchee to walk one of the trams. I ran into an old friend who passed the information along on the bear encounter and my photo will be in the November issue of the Ghost Writer newsletter put out by the Friends of Fakahatchee. Later in our walk we spotted an alligator that we thought was deceased, he was extremely emaciated and until he took a large breath and moved forward did we realize he was very much alive. Very dangerous at this point, because he was hungry and/or injured. We gave him lots of room, but not before taking a few shots to document his condition for the biologist at Fakahatchee, who happens to be my ex-husband. As we headed out, the rains started and we ended our day of adventure.
Sunday morning I woke up early and head off to Turner River Road. Driving into the Big Cypress I feel all of my burdens slowly lift from my shoulders, and any anxiety that I had has melted away into pure bliss on these quiet back roads of the Big Cypress Swamp. The only activity I see are few alligators and the birds feeding in the early morning light. I was on a quest this morning to find the elusive Purple Gallinule. Unfortunately I didn’t find one, however I was fortunate enough to see a doe and her fawn snacking on the grasses off the side of the road. Over all it was a beautiful trip and I can’t wait to head back out there. For me there is no other place on earth than the beautiful Florida Everglades.