Dear Friend in Peace,
The Ichetucknee Springs State Park and River are cocoons of joy in which Ernie and I have spent immeasurable hours filling our hearts with the grandeur of Mother Nature. As you might imagine, this precious place blesses us with sights and sounds that stir our souls and nourish our hearts with peace. Our trip there this October included a delightful reunion and trip down the Ichetucknee River with Linda Petzel Wilinski whom we met here some years back and the fun of meeting her husband Bob who makes sure there is never a dull moment with his amazing ability to adlib and make others feel good. Linda is a self-avowed: “Nature lover. Conservation Photographer. Springs Advocate.” She is also an outstanding photographer and kind and generous soul.
The photos that accompany this post were taken on the Ichetucknee River. Details accompany each image. I picked a variety of photos to give you some idea of the incredible mosaic of the river. The poem is very special to me because it honors my relationship with water, most especially with being in, under, and a part of the water.
May you find joy and peace in the photos, words, and your relationship with our beloved Mother Nature.
Yours in peace and love,
One of the myriad joys of river life is being near turtles. When one times it just right, it is possible to float by without disturbing these beautiful beings and allow them to stay warm. As part reptile myself, I understand wanting to be warm! These dear turtles basking in the sun are Suwanee cooters.
Colors and sounds catch our attention. This beautiful cardinal certainly caught mine. I was amazed and grateful to be able to get a photo given our distance apart.
I love the name Zizania aquatica. Its grace and flow honor this beautiful aquatic wild rice that grows in Florida. I chose to take a close of up of the seeds because I found them so enchanting. Perhaps you can feel them dancing too!
The rich, deep red of the cardinal flower (Lobelia cardinalis), calls across the water to one's heart singing, "Enjoy my beauty, enjoy my grace. Feel that beauty and grace within you."
Watching these precious, playful little beings is such a delight. My breath stopped with the joy of watching to see where and how they might parade next. I still don't know quite how I managed to get this photo, but I do know I am incredibly grateful. May they bring a grin to your heart as well.
Changing scenes is a constant as one paddles along a river. New sights, new discoveries, new joys. I love the gentleness of this scene and the reflection of the clouds. May it bring you peace.
The Anhinga has an elegant and grand posture. Some people call them water turkeys, others call them snakebirds. I like the snakebird name because I love snakes and when Anhingas swim only their heads show and they can appear to be snakes. Whatever the name, this regal looking being reminds of our grandeur and our connection to all people, all beings, and our Mother.
I had to end with this photo because of my love for water and being in the water. Simply looking at this image brings me back into the profound connection with water, with other beings and with our Mother. May we always choose connection. May we always choose peace.