I was just sittin’ here enjoyin’ the company. Plants got a lot to say, if you take the time to listen. -Eeyore
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A tree says: My strength is trust. I know nothing about my fathers, I know nothing about the thousand children that every year spring out of me. I live out the secret of my seed to the very end, and I care for nothing else. I trust that God is in me. I trust that my labor is holy. Out of this trust I live. -Hermann Hesse
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Trees are the earth’s endless effort to speak to the listening heaven. -Rabindranath Tagore
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Look at the trees, look at the birds, look at the clouds, look at the stars… and if you have eyes you will be able to see that the whole existence is joyful. Everything is simply happy. Trees are happy for no reason; they are not going to become prime ministers or presidents and they are not going to become rich and they will never have any bank balance. Look at the flowers — for no reason. It is simply unbelievable how happy flowers are. -Osho
Loving the trees in rare untouched cypress swamp
It’s Arbor Day! And despite a wee bit of life’s chaos, I couldn’t neglect our most amazing, most magnificent creatures. As caretakers of this beautiful sphere, it remains our utmost responsibility to honor, safeguard, and protect these living entities. Upwards of 5,000 years old, they’ve borne witness to the rise and fall of entire civilizations. R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Plant a tree…Recycle…Go paperless…Follow conservation groups diligently working to protect these lovely, ancient living citadels. Or just show one some love and respect, and give it a nice hugggggg. 🙂
The always lovely cypress trees in the Everglades
A new trail….
Slash pine close-up
Pine flatwoods vista
The Gentlemen Oaks of the Florida Trail
The fascinating cypress in winter
The canopy of a hardwood swamp
Everyone loves trees!
It’s National Wildlife Week!
[Click on images for greater clarity]
The ridiculously adorable marsh rabbit baby in the Florida wetlands — or as I call them, swamp bunnies
Founded by the National Wildlife Federation, National Wildlife Week is the organization’s “longest-running education program designed around teaching and connecting kids to the awesome wonders of wildlife.” The theme of 2014 — Wildlife and Water — is an effort to “provide fun and informative educational materials, curriculum and activities for educators and caregivers to use with kids.”
A cuddly and lazy sunning alligator in the northern section of the Florida Everglades
Living on the edge / vestiges of the magnificent Everglades, the theme of Wildlife and Water is perfection. From the marshes and swamps, to the ‘glades, to the lakes and rivers and open ocean, the opportunities to explore the wonders and beauties of our unique wildlife are endless in South Florida.
A regal great egret rests against the setting sun in the waters of the northern Florida Everglades
Visit their site to learn more, spread the word, and further the conservation efforts of these wonders.
Where there is love there is life. -Mahatma Gandhi
Wishing you all a very happy Valentine’s Day from the Everglades critters!
Mating Viceroy Butterflies (Limenitis archippus), Fern Forest Nature Center
It doesn’t take much to find love on an excursion into the natural world, where it surrounds us at every moment — which is why I escape to it as much as possible. It’s a beautiful reminder.
The boys hunt for, and bring the best sticks to build the new nest: Breeding Great Egrets Building Their Nest in the Florida Wetlands
Perfect headrest: Alligator Pair in the Florida Everglades. Recent studies have shown that up to 70 percent of alligator females remained with their partner — often for many years.
Alligator Pair During Mating Season in the SWA Trail Network of Grassy Waters Preserve, West Palm Beach
Monogamous (at least during the breeding season!) Great Blue Heron Mating Pair at Their Nest in the Florida Wetlands
CUDDLES: Great Blue Heron Mating Pair at their Nest in the Florida Wetlands
Heart Tree Sends its Love at the Fern Forest Nature Center
“We cannot live without the Earth or apart from it, and something is shrivelled in a man’s heart when he turns away from it and concerns himself only with the affairs of men.” ―Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, Cross Creek
Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings
On August 8, 1896, one of Florida’s greatest novelists and conservationists was born: Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings. Although she grew up in Washington D.C., Rawlings settled in rural Florida, writing about the land and people of her surroundings. Her works included the Pulitzer Prize-winning The Yearling, and Cross Creek, an autobiographical account of life in her beloved Florida — she loved her hammocks. Happy birthday, Marjorie!
One of my favorite spots, the flatwoods of Cypress Creek Natural Area
A warm, long-overdue hullllo and peek-a-boo from the depths of South Florida, to the blogging world — I’ve missed you all so!
Nearly stumbling about this sweet juvenile gator in Grassy Waters Preserve. Hullo, fella!
June 1, 2013 is National Trails Day!
Since 1993, the first Saturday of every June has been designated to inspire the general public and hiking enthusiasts alike to discover and celebrate America’s expansive trail network — comprising over 200,000 miles of trails. You can participate in a local hike, dog walk, cycle, horseback ride, help in a trail maintenance project, kayak, birdwatch, and so much more. It’s easy to forget how much work goes into trails’ planning, development, and upkeep: National Trails Day thanks the countless volunteers and partners for their support and grueling work.
Heading into the lovely trails of the Yamato Scrub Natural Area
Organized by the American Hiking Society, National Trails Day also introduces many people — those who may not otherwise normally visit parks — to all of their benefits. The day further highlights trails that people didn’t even know existed. This was actually the genesis of Serenity Spell; after hearing how so many locals were unaware of the magnificent parks and natural areas in this area (see the much-needed-updating Natural Areas and State & National Parks dropdowns, above — or the Categories section to the right), I was inspired to investigate more on my own. In today’s world, it’s critical to get outdoors and into nature. Hiking, even simple walks, gets the heart pumping, the muscles relaxed and stretched, and is an excellent way to improve overall health and mental alignment. It’s also cheap!
Click here to find an event near you for a National Trails Day event. Celebrate nature and promote our country’s parks and trails!
Oak Trees sheltering the Florida Trail, Jonathan Dickinson State Park
Equestrian trail signage in the Bluefield Natural Area
Pines along the trail in the Atlantic Ridge State Park