Saturday, March 29, 2008

Friday on The Wacissa

I took off the afternoon to float the Wacissa for a few hours Friday. I first encountered Janice paddling upstream to have a chat at the headwaters. We discussed the proposal to tear down the dam, the gaggle of snakes she photographed, the Blue Spring alligator which she is going to call FWC to relocate, and a few other interesting matters! The water was clear and cool. No otters in sight, lots of little blue herons, turtles, a wasp nest, and a portrait of a Cassidy Spring hawk.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Saturday is Bath Day!

Too crowded at the salad bar!
Guess I'll take a bath!

Some like a tail bath only!

good snacks!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Full Moon Rising over The Wacissa

The full moon brought out many kayakers as the daylight faded and the moon began to glow.
Last week's rain and lightening storms have downed several swamp oaks on the upper river.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Today is this kind of day!

My blooming azaleas describe my mood today. Progress on Mark's last wishes and a full moon kayak trip tomorrow night are making me happy!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Dusk on the Wacissa: Lengthening Evenings

After so many human words today I took advantage of the increasing evening light on the river. The water is up considerably. Controlled burning in the area spread bits of ash in the air and the perfumes of early spring blooms filled the air in crosscurrents. I wondered if I could know the river bottom in as much detail as I do the cypress trees, loquats, and live oaks. The stillness of dusk held bird calls, overlapping one another. As I returned in the growing darkness I began to hear turkey gobbling. Turkeys were calling from cypress trees above Cassidy Spring. I saw seven or more high in the trees. Groups of three, four, or five egrets were flying downriver at dusk. Mullets flashed silver, jumping about. I took a few photos to capture something of the dusk and the life it awakened. I wondered if I could see the smaller details, the way Nina does walking through the snowy fields of Ohio. I longed to name the newest reeds, river grass, and lily pads, to know them as I know the bird rhythms of this river. So much new life to listen to, as the light faded.

I remembered how much time I spent rowing around the lagoon we lived in, in my various dinghies. I remembered rowing under the bridges around the lagoon, the mallard ducks, the snails, and the picnickers across the water from our docks.

There is an overturned rowboat in the swamp near my house which has been there for some time and is now stuck upside down in the muck. Would it be theft if I retrieved it? I pass it every day and wonder. When the water recedes some more in this swamp, perhaps I will retrieve it and give it a purpose.

So many new experiences this past week. I admired each of Mark's latest tie dyes as I washed them and fluffed them up (in the new dryer I installed on Sunday afternoon). I am retrieving his folk art clothes over in Glenn St. Mary, where his vehicle, trailer and camper are living now. I have the soda ash, some dyes, and some white clothes as well and I imagine myself dying ancient designs. Mark taught me the dying techniques but the tying is still his secret. I have lots of his tied and dyed clothes which were scattered around drying when he died. I am going to study the tying more closely to begin to master it. I visited the Baker county sheriff and the county manager to address his effects. I want to send his kosmik debriz out into the universe as he did for so many years. His life was hard, but his art was transcendent. The newest designs are fractal to my mind....such lush, chaotic colors and patterns....

Monday, March 10, 2008

St. Marks NWR

St. Marks on Saturday...

If we create our reality, I'm batting a thousand today!

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Kayaking Blue Creek

I took a trip to Lake County this weekend to try to pick up Mark's mail in Altoona. I was so disappointed to find that the US Postal Service had returned it all to sender when the box rent ran out even though I called three times to tell them I was coming to get it. They failed to tell me I could have it rerouted, as well. After that fiasco we tooled around the county going to book sales and then decided to kayak Blue Creek. This creek is a tributary of the St. John's River below Lake George. We kayaked the entire creek and out to the St. John's River and back to the creek. It was warm and sunshiny with lots of speeding boats on the St. John's. Here is the launch.
Bill in his kayak.
The creek has lots of whimsical bird houses nailed up to trees along the way. I wonder who did this?
Here we have a river icon. River artists!

If I couldn't have taken a kayak trip after the frustrations of the day, my nightmares that night would have been even worse than they were. I am making some headway in reconstructing Mark's story, however and I took notes and taped several conversations. A side trip to White Springs yielded some progress. People, make a will and designate an executor with instructions for retrieving your assets! Don't leave everything to "your friends in the forest" in a note on the dashboard of your truck!