Saturday, January 7, 2012

PART 2: the finale - christmas camping - suwannee to caverns

~i apologize if i haven't made it over to your place yet.
if you read my previous post, you already know that things have been pretty hectic...
with my youngest son travis moving in with us, looking for work, 
and not having his own transportation. 
so with work, home, and everything in between, i haven't had too much ME time.
BUT the REALLY good news is that travis may have found a job! yay!
i dropped him off earlier this morning at a (hopefully) possible employer!
we'll know more when his work day is done.~

onward we go...the second & final post from our xmas to new years trip.
so lace up those hiking boots and follow us from 
one of our Suwannee hikes was along the river trail that lead the way to Balanced Rock.

the days were cloudy and cold.
the nights cloudy and coldER.

reflection of the the sun hiding behind clouds. 

OOoooooh!!  i love these reflections in the river.  hypnotizing.
reminds me of a Van Gogh.  the one below looks like a cactus silhouette.

the shoreline with a cypress knee to the right and the sun & clouds reflecting...

cypress knees & trees reflecting on the river.

the only flower we saw blooming. a Rain Lily.

Balanced Rock...on the Suwannee River...

Balanced Rock and a couple of kayakers paddling down the river.

back at the camper, we let milo out to say goodbye to the squirrels.
they were kind of happy to see her go...although they wouldn't tell her that to her face!

we packed everything up and hit the road.
next stop...Florida Caverns.

along the way, we stopped at a memorial in Greenville, Florida...
a life size statue of Ray Charles at the piano.

after about 2 ½ hours drive time we reached Florida Caverns State Park...
northwest the panhandle. the ONLY public caverns in florida.

reaching our campsite...we unpacked...let milo out (on her leash)...

and then we wandered to Blue Hole Spring.

we spotted some deer...but unfortunately i just wasn't quick enough to get a picture!
BUT i DID get a picture of their POOP...oh, sorry...let's be professional here...
White-tail deer SCAT!

MORE  'shrooms...(love the purple border...)

trees standing on their heads?!   hanging upside down?

BeaVeR ALeRt...on the perimeter of the spring!
evidence of the presence of beavers!

we didn't get so see one in the flesh...or in the fur...
but we were amazed at all their gnaw marks!

i love this one!  focused on the tree's reflection...with a background of colorful fall leaves under water.

while at Florida Caverns park 
we also hiked a trail that took us to the shores of the Chipola River.
the shore of the Chipola

sam standing beside a monster Bald Cypress Tree.

ANOTHER bike and hike we took, was to the Caverns themselves!
but, guess what?  they were closed!

not a big deal, we still walked the trails, saw a lot of huge limestone outcroppings, crevices
and smaller cave-like structures and native plants that live in the acidity of the terrain.

and since i have some pictures from the last time we were here,
you can still see what it looks this underground wonderland!

along the above ground trails...
huge moss & fern covered limestone

Purple Toad Shade (Trillium)

The human spirit needs places where nature has not been rearranged by the hand of man.

a tunnel cave we walked through

False Rue Anemone  (Columbine)

(i THINK)...this is Allegheny Spurge.

WELL, that about does it...
our between christmas & new years road trip.
i hope this becomes a yearly thing!

OH! and on the way home...just after leaving the State Park, 
we pulled over at a small roadside park, in Marianna, FL.

(black legs & feet, yellow eyes and beak...)  a Great Egret.  right?

Adopt the pace of nature:  her secret is patience.  
~Ralph Waldo Emerson 

stay cool & be safe.


  1. Looks like you had such a great time! As ever, I find your posts inspirational, and your photos amazing! Thanks so much for giving me a look at a part of the world I may never get to...
    Hope all goes well for you this year, Laura, and that your son's job works out! Take care :)

  2. SO beautiful! those first 2 shots were spectacular!!! and the chipola banks shot is GORGEOUS!!! so is that great egret on that fantastic root/stump! and always love your fungi!

    fingers crossed for your son!

  3. HI Laura...I don't no where to begin have some fantastic photos...wonderful reflections shot, especially like the moon ones!!
    So many great, and interesting things to see and I thank you for sharing them !!
    Hope all works out for your son and the job ...then that works for you too HUH!! ; }


  4. Beautiful! Milo really doesn't mind the leash? Maybe she could teach Jas a thing or twelve.

  5. You're back. Yay. Hppy New Year to you. I wish Travis a much success in his new position. Prayerfully it's his for keeps!Milo is so precious. :D and the pictures you took are breath-taking. Take it easy and stay warm/cool in Flawda. :D

  6. little peep through the trees of red canoes in the river

  7. What fun, even tho cool outside...Milo is looking good. Your moon shot reflections are the greatest! It does look like a cactus reflection, and, the telltale ripples of the river...very good. I still find the Cypress trees and knees fascinating-I guess, because I've never seen the likes. Great art pieces. If you could just cut sections out, take home, sand and varnish-maybe paint a tiny mushroom, you would have great doorstops, or sculptures for the table!

    And, that lily is beautiful! I really like your post, and your Suwannee River with the caverns. did you really want to go home? Take care Laura, good luck to your son!

  8. Wow, wow, and wow. Some fabulous shots in this set Laura. LOVE LOVE LOVE the tree reflection with the fall colors under water background.

    And the cactus looking one! Balanced Rock, and the fungi, of course, are beautiful as always.

  9. amazing shots Laura - I loved the bridge and the autumn leaves reflections - very impressionist!

  10. That's a wonderful collection of photos/memories. It's such a rich and varied landscape. Definitely on my list of places to visit.

  11. I have to say that this is one of your most beautiful posts yet. The mushrooms are wonderful, the rain lily is spectacular and those reflection photographs you took are really awesome. Ok, so maybe the scat was not THAT great, but I really loved visiting your neck of the woods today.

  12. Great Laura enjoyed that trip through your photos you make some more amazing art from them .....I am finding such a support in your dragonfly and butterfly art I have them on my work table to inspire me you don't know how special they are to me and the owl is looking on over us too .......thank you..xx

  13. Laura these photos are awesome... everyone of them...
    And love the commentary with them...
    your are wonderful...
    Can't stay... busy day...
    Thrilled for Travis... hope it has worked out for him..

    And yes please... a yearly event would be most desirable.. seeing the experiences is so thoroughly pleasurable

    And your Mushy photo beginning your side bar is utterly gorgeous.

    And there sure is something crisper and clearer about your photos I'm certain... also they are works of art too... but that part is usual.

    love you big xxx

  14. Hi Laura, I enjoyed these walks and nature photos. The fungi shots are amazing. I love that huge Bald Cypress trees. The bridge and the reflections are beautiful. Another great post and wonderful photos. Have a great evening!

  15. Two words - absolutely wonderful! My favorite pic is the final one of the heron.

    Fingers crossed here that your son landed the job - would make a great New Year's gift!

  16. Beautiful photos. The rocks and the underground wonderland was so great. Thanks for sharing with us.
    Greetings from Hilda

  17. Fabulous blog and pictures as usual. peace and happy new 2012.

  18. just wanted to say THANKS to everybody who left a note!! and even if you didn't...hope you enjoyed your hike and didn't get too tired out!!

    and thanks a bunch for all the kind words...
    ONE question asked...stacy/tumbleweed! milo has gotten used to the leash. in the beginning...years ago...when we put it on her, she would buck like a bucking bronco! and so we would take it off...and little by little she...well, puts up with it! sometimes she understands that we just can't let her LOOSE! too many campers...and dogs! :)

    ps- i'm working my way around cyberspace...will be visiting you all soon if i haven't already!

    seeya! and a happy new year!

  19. You outdid yourself in the variety of your pictures creating a rest-stop for us virtual travelers.

    With this post I felt you were really relaxed... because of the diversity of distances from subjects.

    Sometimes you are close up to your subject then out you go and then in again..

    The vacation helped you in many ways you will discover.

    As some of your other followers have said, Your photographs are ART.

  20. I do so love traveling with you guys...and Milo, too, of course. Was nice to see her on a leash! You find the most amazing mushrooms and fungi...mind blowing! And I loved the various water reflection shots...oh, and the egret! All of it! Would make a wonderful yearly tradition, yes! :)

  21. Cool photos. Sorry the caverns were closed. Glad you have some photos from before. Looks like a cool place to go exploring. I love that orangish fungus. Cool color and shape.

  22. beautiful photos. I feel like I'm there with you.
    The cypress knee in the second photo looks like a gator!

  23. Oh my goodness, your shots are always so awesome, sometimes I wonder is it that she has the best camera ever, and knows just how to shoot all those pictures, or is also (REALLY) that you have like the most beautiful things and places to shoot! Where to begin?! For sure that balance rock is like something I've only seen somewhat like it in Wisconsin....what unbelievable camping spots...the beaver chewed tree still stands!...the grace of an egret right? All just heaven! It's such a treat to stop by here...and so happy you all (purr, purr) had a fabulous time for Christmas camping! ;)

  24. Laura, thanks for your comments on my blog. I have enjoyed looking through your blog. You have some great photos and I have never seen so many different kinds of mushrooms. Your art with bones is interesting and unusual.

  25. I think you're the only one I know who can make fungi look attractive, although I must adimt becasue of you, I view them through new eyes! Morning...:)JP

  26. What a beauiful place! I can't even begain to pick a favorite photo in this group. The moon reflections are amazing--but so are all the photos! So interesting to see the toad trillium and false rue anenome blooming...those are late April/early May flowers here.


thanks for stopping by! it's always nice to hear from fellow wanderers!