March 09, 2012

I’ve been wanting to take a walk on the nature trail in my neighborhood with my camera for a long time. Usually when I’m on this trail, which winds for about four miles around my subdivision, I’m walking briskly for exercise and I don’t have the camera with me when something appealing comes into view. Yesterday, in the spirit of nurturing myself, I took half an hour to wander the trail near my house.

 A little breeze kept it from being too warm for comfort, but it was definitely warm enough for the shorts I was wearing. So much for winter. I turned right out of my back gate, and came to a large retention pond, now dry because of an ongoing drought, and the architectural skeleton of a tree. Every time I walk past this tree I think it would make a good line drawing. I took its picture, and maybe next time I’ll bring my sketchbook out instead. New growth has appeared on the branches—I’m not sure what kind of tree this is. Anyone know?

 Next, I snapped a shot of a neighbor’s purple martin house. Purple martins are murder on mosquitoes, something we have quite a lot of in Florida.

 The large oak tree and bench near a second retention pond, deserted today, but usually a good place to see birds:

 A four-legged neighbor:

Another tree dressing itself for spring:

I wish I was here:

…but I think the neighbors might object to my taking a nap in their back yard.

I turned around and explored the trail on the other side of our house, looking for signs of a return of the wild hogs (there was plenty of old churned-up earth where they foraged, but nothing new) when—surprise! I found this guy/girl sunning itself on the bank of a third small pond.

 As I walked home, I listened to the bird songs and the little rustlings of lizards in the dry leaves. The sun shone, the breeze blew and all was right with my world, at least for a little while. I’ll have to remember to wander with the camera or my sketchbook the next time I want to soothe an anxious soul.

Where do you wander to soothe your soul?

I think this is a little blue heron--he/she is keeping an eye on that gator!

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  1. Lovely post! I've been thinking about going to Hillsborough State Park and sitting down for a while to sketch and enjoy nature. Lucky you to have it right out your back door!

  2. Thank you. Yes, I am lucky to have it outside my back door, if I would only take advantage of it. Maybe you should come over and sketch with me!

  3. Hey, you got lucky seeing that gator! Love your pictures and comments... so glad I got to stroll the path with you a few days ago :)

  4. Thanks, Lynn. Too bad the gator wasn't out when we walked by that pond!

  5. Wish I could come sketch with you. We live in the country too but I don't walk our place much - we have a gravel driveway which is where I broke my ankle a couple of years ago.

    I love your photos - especially the tree blooming and the little blue heron. I hope you sketch from some of your photos - or better yet, take your sketchbook with you next time!

  6. I wish you could come sketch with me, too. We'd have a good time talking books and making art!

    I can see why you don't wander your property after that accident. Even though it looks wild, I have a paved trail to walk on. I have never sketched anyplace other than my own yard, but one of these days I will venture out there.

  7. Kathy, this was wonderful! Such a wide variety of wildlife and farm animals right out your back door. I suppose that you guys are used to alligators here and there, but that part looks scary to me.

    Where do I go? Hop in the car with my best friend husband and go anywhere there is water, get out and take pictures. Luckily, there is a lot of water around here.


    Kathy M.

  8. I love my neighborhood, and we chose to buy here because of all the nature around. They've done a pretty good job in keeping it natural here, too.

    We mostly see alligators from a distance, thankfully, and most of them are not too terribly aggressive unless you start something first.

    You definitely have some lovely places to visit where you live. Oregon is a beautiful place.

  9. I wonder if alligators respond to pepper spray! That animal could scare me from walking aloe there but it sure looks like a pretty trail. It's much prettier than my route around the block which is just the same desert view o matter which part of the walk I am on.

  10. I don't know about alligators and pepper spray! Usually, they are not aggressive, but we make sure we don't walk our small dog around any body of water!

  11. I like to spend time with a special friend enjoying a good cup of coffee.

    Your pictures are wonderful! How many times do we pass such beauty by without seeing it...

  12. Me, too, Mary B! It is so true, we often pass by beauty without noticing it. I noticed on my walk today that the tree with the pink flowers has leaves now and the flowers are almost gone. If I hadn't gone out with the camera that day, I might have missed them altogether!