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Thursday, February 9, 2012

I'm Always Up to My Knees in Something!

This week it was the Fakahatchee Strand Preserve in south Florida.  orchidswamp.org

Honestly I had every intention of posting last Thursday from Florida, but time just got away from me and really, who wants to be on the internet when you could be enjoying a brief period of warm weather in an otherwise bleak winter?  

I was staying with my mom and her sister on Manasota Key on the west coast of Florida.  It is pleasantly undeveloped and quiet.  Yes, it is Florida.  Just a half mile down the beach (or road if one preferred) was Stump Pass State Park http://www.floridastateparks.org/stumppass/  which had a nice nature trail which Sam and I hiked more than once.  From it we viewed



 at least 2 bald eagles, once in the same tree while one consumed a fish.






                                                                   several ospreys





 
        Many Pelicans     








                  An armadillo                    






                                                                a tortoise



And numerous herons, egrets, gulls, sandpipers, sandcrabs.    It was just a wonderful place to take a walk and see what one could see.  

I did spend a couple hours sitting on the beach, but that was about all.  Of course while I was sitting, I was knitting.  I finished that second sock! I am actually wearing them as I write this.

My Aunt, Elaine and my mom, Pat in the swamp buggy
The highlight of the trip however, was a trip to the Fakahatchee Swamp.  A good family friend who moved to Florida after retirement has gotten every involved in the preservation of this beautiful area adjacent to the Big Cypress National Preserve of the everglades.  He was happy to take us on a private guided tour into the swamp on Monday.  Sam and I went but my mother and her sister elected not to temp the gators and stayed in the truck while we ventured up to our mid-thighs at times into the tannin-tinted waters of the cypress swamp.  It is an incredibly beautiful world of cypress trees, ferns, airplants, cutgrass and much more.  It is the only place on earth some very rare orchids thrive and while we saw about 7 varieties, only 2 or 3 were in bloom while we were there.

    



This is the Dingey Orchid.  The tiny flowers form a cluster no larger than a ping pong ball and you will certainly miss them without a knowledgeable guide to point them out.






      Here is Sam with our friend Tom (in blue) and our guide, Bill, whose passion for and knowledge about this wilderness is incredible.


Of course, there is also animal life in the swamp as well and we observed a water moccasin, many types of birds, including these ibis

                                                                                                     
 


and a gator, though happily we did not see him until we were back up on dry land.  


                                                                                          Our weather was nice, though not really sunny.  And it only rained once!  Now, we are back to real life and enjoying a cold but sunny day here in SE Ohio.  At least it is cold enough that the mud has frozen.   I think maybe this weekend we should think about tapping a  maple tree or two to see what is happening there.  It has been so warm this winter I wonder if the sap run will be affected.

3-Way Swirl Roving

Tonight is my monthly spinning guild meeting.  I will be spinning some of my 3-way swirl roving a the meeting.  I am still working on the hand-carded alpaca/bamboo, but I do not want to drag my big Reeves wheel to the meeting, so I will take my more portable Schacht wheel like usual.  

I also received back some alpaca/ wool roving I had done up at Zeilinger's. I can't believe how fast I got it back.  It looks wonderful and I see dyeing in my near future!                                                                 
                          
                                                             










 

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