The day started with a good paddling. We launched the canoe and paddled upstream. Tom wanted to see where the Santa Fe comes up. (The river "ends" in O'Leno State Park, and reappears a few miles away.) The trip was gorgeous. About 1/4 mile past the bridge at 441, the only sounds you hear are water against the hull, the paddles dipping in and out, the occasional turtle plopping into the stream, and an assortment of birds calling out to each other. Felt really great to be using those old muscles, and getting a tranquilizing dose of nature.
"Distracted by green," Pixie said yesterday afternoon, "sometimes I get distracted by green." She was talking about living in the woods. But, her words haunted me throughout that canoe trip, I'll tell you. The river was a perfect black ribbon, the cypress trees, hanging heavy with Spanish moss, reflected with an unusual clarity. Shades of green on green on black on gold. Green and grey, green and brown, green and green. Once in the rhythm of paddling, I fall into sort of a trance. Those clear reflections threatened to be not reflections after all. Over and over again, I felt myself falling into a sort of HDTV "what am I really seeing?" mode. We were in motion on that river for about 3 hours. Long enough to get hooked. What a beautiful river!
After that great little boat ride, we didn't want to sit around the house. So, Tom charted a course and off we went again. This time in the car. We left High Springs and taking a series of small roads, made our way to Cross Creek. If you haven't been there, go. What a place. What a place. What a place. The lake there has a primeval look, feel, smell. The calmness of the air, wow, I don't know how to explain that either. Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings farm is there, preserved, but the gate was closed because we arrived after 5. The "park" is open Thursday thru Monday. When we go back, I'll be armed with watercolors.
We stopped in McIntosh on the way home. The old hotel is for sale. The McIntosh Cafe, aka Los Arcos, was closed. Oh, there were two crabby cats on the chairs out front, but that was all she wrote. See, another reason to go back.
I still don't have my scanner re-hooked-up...so I can't post a drawing of the day. I am sorry about that...this day was one scandalously voluputous sensory experience.
Let's see what tomorrow has in store...