Saturday, November 29, 2014

So Long, Ochlockonee River State Park, Hello Road

Except for one really, really loud group having a majorly fun Thanksgiving evening, the Park was pretty quiet yesterday. In the morning, I took a drive to Carrabelle, with a need to see a large body of water. I think the Gulf of Mexico qualifies. A few other walks, and then it was tuck in and stay warm time. Right now it is 33 degrees. That's one degree above freezing in case you've forgotten. It's freaking cold. The sun is creaking up over the horizon and that will help. Some.

Here is a round up of the last couple of days.

I didn't know that!

My plan of walking the Flat Pine Trail was foiled by a lack of waterproof boots

But wait! I can walk this!

Perfect and no one about but me and hopefully, the red cockaded woodpecker

A woodpecker but not the one I was looking for

The nicest ports-potty set up I've ever seen

A susurration of birds!!! I don't know what kind they were but it was an amazing sight. And then poof! They were gone.

A great fire pit in the (empty) youth camping area

Hmmm. That's interesting. What is it?

The most fun outdoor shower I've ever seen!

Half a canoe, some PVC, a shower head and a water source. Easy peasy.

In the midst of thousands of long leaf pines a little stand of wonky trees

Sun makes everything more beautiful

They do a lot of controlled burns here and it works

Another 'I don't know what this is but it sure is bright and beautiful' plants

A little info about cat claw's and tapping longleaf pines. 

I saw an intriguing path but realized it would take me back to the muddy start so kept along the road path, ending up back at the place I'd seen the deer the day before.

Sunlit nature art

A resting butterfly

I never saw the raccoon.

Silver Strand Beach


Not sure why the erosion, but it's pretty significant

Designed by the Mother

These might be bobcat prints. I never saw one of these either.

I did see another white squirrel though!

A skunk in the family tree?
On Thanksgiving I needed to see bluer, bigger water so I headed toward the little town of Carrabelle. Sometimes, it would be nicer to be a passenger. Seeing that water I wanted to drive right off the road to it.

So I did.

I first thought these huge butterflies were little birds

A heron happening

I'm pretty sure that is Carrabelle. I wasn't there long, but I'd go back again to explore.
Back in the park, these people had come in, along with a few others. This is the smallest teardrop trailer I've ever seen.

One more walk before bidding this place adieu.

She saw me before I saw her, almost right beside me, a few steps off the path.

We played peek a boo a few times with this tree

I hadn't seen the canoe guy in a couple of days, but there he was, in magic light time.

This Mercedes motorhome had pulled in right across from my site. 

Last sunset from here.
Waking up to 33 degrees, it was time to hit the road and head north. After a good drive, without too many other cars on the blue highways and no stops really worth noting, I arrived in Niceville, the home of my old friend Robin and her family. Let the games begin. Again.

Me and Robin dancing and singing (We thought wearing furs was appropriate)

to our favorite Joni Mitchell songs. After 40+ years, we know all the words. 
Have a snazzy smooth Saturday. Do something spry and sprightly.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Cold Hands, Warmed Heart - Thanksgiving 2014

Sitting in my little home, walking trails, far from the humans I love, close to land that I love, lots of thoughts swirl (I've never been a head(phone) full of music person). With this American holiday, conflicted in truth and lore, I tend to go with the pure thanks of it, sort of a super day of thanks because being grateful is pretty easy for me, most of the time.

When I say I am freezing cold, I'm not.
When I say I'm starving, I'm not.
When I say I have nothing to wear, I do.
When I say I am broke, though I've been plenty broke, I really am not, not in the street, in a shelter broke.
When I say I'm hurting, it might be true, but not that forever, deep, unhealing hurting. Not that.

I have all of my fingers and toes and eyes and hands and feet and legs and arms. And even with one exception, they are all functioning pretty well.

While some find loneliness a problem on the holidays, that's not an issue for me. I have the love of my children and grandchildren, the love of my friends and usually, the love of my cat. If all of them are not in touching distance, the roots of love connect us firmly, despite the tides and storms. I am beyond any words of thankful.

There is whimsy and laughter and sunshine and music and endless, endless beauty. To not be thankful would be an insult in this little speck of time we have life, and for most of us, so much of it.  So if you are inclined to share the most basic of wealth in your own community, here is one way to connect and act. No one should be hungry in America, today or any day, no matter your stripe of religion or politics, we are all humans. That's all I want to say about that.

On Culebra, I know turkeys are cooking and veggies and potatoes and other starchy things are being prepared. Pork is roasting or grilling and somewhere coquito is aging for the next round of holidays. And people are dressed in shorts and t-shirts instead of sweats and socks and a heat source roaring.

One of many 'family' Thanksgiving meals on Culebra
Take a little walk of thanks today. With family or friends or both, or by yourself. It's a good thing to do.

Happy Givingthanks Day!