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!