Nature (Published on TBNWeekly.com - Oct. 20,
Florida is for the birds! Being as it used to be long ago, may I walk.
May it be beautiful before me.
May it be beautiful behind me.
May it be beautiful below me.
May it be beautiful above me.
With it be beautiful all around me.
Owls, hawks, kites, spoonbills, egrets, herons, pipers and terns
turkeys, gulls, pelicans, warblers and more!
Want to see them all? Maybe youd like to get a glimpse of a Florida Black
Bear? Perhaps you want to be up close with a Florida gator? How about delighting in
the playful antics of river otters? Then Florida is the place you want to be. Put on
your hiking boots, grab a cap and your binoculars. Hop into a canoe, kayak, flat
boat, bus or automobile and come along with me, back to nature.
Last year about this time a friend remarked that he could hardly sleep for the
excitement he felt that football season was about to begin. I smiled and nodded that
I understood how he felt, but for me its not the excitement of football,
although that does grab my interest on occasion (Go Bucs!) but its the
excitement of getting out into the wild woods, taking advantage of Floridas
nature festivals, camping, hiking, canoeing the rivers, kayaking open waters, walking
the trails, morning saunters upon the beach, catching the sunsets.
Its all about Florida. Its why we live here. While others are shoveling
snow and scraping ice off their windshields we go birding, butterfly watching and
camping. Take advantage of Floridas balmy weather. Come along with me exploring
back to nature.
Many Floridians got a healthy taste of what our unique state has to offer at the
incredible Seventh Annual Florida Birding and Nature Festival held at Eckerd College
in St. Petersburg on Oct. 7 to 10. The festival lineup included a phenomenal cast of
seminar and workshop speakers and field trip leaders attracting some of the top names
in the birding world such as: Ocean and seabird conservationist, Dr. Carl Safina,
birding luminary Kenn Kaufman, and master photographer Arthur Morris.
In addition, a variety of field trips to spectacular destinations were offered:
Kayaking Shell Key Island or a boat trip to the Alafia Bank Bird Sanctuary or bus
tour to Oscar Scherer State Park to view the endangered Florida Scrub Jay.
The Birding & Nature Festival presented Eco Shopping and educational exhibits
such as: A large tented butterfly garden, a fun and educational childrens
hands-on nature exhibit and a live-bird rescue and falconry exhibit. If you missed
this opportunity make certain you mark your calendars for next years event, but
dont make the same mistake twice. Gear up for the 2004 Space Coast Birding and
Wildlife Festival, Nov. 17 to 21, on the east coast of Florida in Titusville.
This 2004 Space Coast Birding and Wildlife Festival promises fabulous winter
opportunities to get out and about in Floridas natural habitats and beyond
featuring more than 40 field trips, pelagic birding trip, boat trips, birding and
wildlife seminars and workshops, paddling adventures, nature based trade show, art
competition, keynote addresses. There is a variety of accommodation choices including
From experience, hints before launching your next quest: I cant tell you how
many times Ive been with a group on a back woods trail or boat tour when it has
rained or become blustery. Bring warm clothing and rain gear. Be prepared.
Preparation for any event, nature or otherwise, just makes common sense. It surprises
me that even experienced nature lovers fail to include a lightweight rain/wind
breaker, a cap, sunscreen, insect repellent and a dry pair of socks. Dont
forget water. Try on your pack before getting out on the trail, adjusting shoulder
straps and waist belts accordingly.
Before you leave home add a couple of cans of soup along with your gear to test for
weight. If youre planning for longer, more strenuous escapades, take the
necessary time to be ready for the trails. Train, get used to the weight. Take a
five-pound weight to your office and work out while on the phone or working on your
computer. Your adventures will be a lot more fun if youre prepared.
Whether or not you hop into a canoe, kayak, flat boat, bus, automobile or walk in
your local nature park, get out, enjoy this time of year, take advantage of
Floridas mild weather. Come along with me exploring back to nature.
The Indian sense of natural law is that nature informs us and it is our
obligation to read nature as you would a book, to feel nature as you would a poem, to
touch nature as you would yourself, to be a part of that and step into its cycles as
much as you can. John Mohawk
Karen can be contacted at MyMuddyPawsStudio@gmail.com.