Monday, May 4, 2009

Exploring--Paddling & Savoring Timucuan Preserve

I mentioned my new painting adventures in the last post and am working on getting decent photos of some other paintings to show you soon. It can be difficult to get them lighted well to avoid glare and to display close to true color in photos.
In the meantime, here are a couple of photos of a kayaking outing I took with my husband and adult son (the younger of two sons) one cloudy Memorial Day. Here in North Florida, cloudy can be a good thing, helping the temperature stay moderate. Thankfully, the threatened stormy weather held off until later in the day. 
At a well-run facility called Kayak Amelia, we were fitted for kayaks and gear and instructed in safety and technique before we set off with a knowledgeable guide whose colorful stories and descriptions of his beloved salt marshes informed us about this precious habitat. Yet, he wisely allowed plenty of quiet time for us to savor the beauty, the water birds, the fish jumping, and the calming rhythm of silent paddling. Although most of the areas we explored that day are not accessible except by water, we were not far from Kingsley Plantation and other public sites and parks in the remarkable, extensive cluster of wetlands, beaches, and forest in the Timucuan Preserve (which also includes Big and Little Talbot Islands). See my posts for April 23 and 26 for more Timucuan Preserve sites. I am humbled and awed by the varied natural beauty there and feel tremendous gratitude to all the groups and individuals responsible for its preservation.  
Some of my photos from that day inspired a quiet marsh painting I'll show you soon. 
Question of the day?: What outdoor exploring is on your "do sometime" mental list? When--set a date now!--will you stroll, pedal, hike, saddle-up, paddle, sail, skate, or hang-glide (!) in a precious natural setting near your home?
Thank you to all my kind readers who have emailed or phoned me to respond to the blog. I appreciate knowing that you are "out there" whether or not you post a comment. It's especially encouraging to hear the plans for exploring that a couple of you have made since reading earlier posts. Here's to our continuing creative conversation!


  1. Hi Miss Mary - love your blog! I enjoyed reading about the Timucuan Preserve. My husband and I try to walk the trails of Flower Mound on weekends and we always enjoy seeing the birds, especially the cardinals, along the creeks there.
    hugs from Texas...

  2. Thank you kindly, Miss Nancy & hugs back on down to Texas. Just the name Flower Mound sounds inviting--add the words "birds" and "creeks", and you must have trail-walking magic. I appreciate you sharing mention of your favorite exploring place.