St Augustine Dunes-09/12/12
acrylic on linen
River To Sea Nature Preserve
Flowers Along the Trail
View From the Dock
Palm Along the Trail
Notes From My Residency Journal
Well, today was my biggest adventure of all for the residency project. I started the day out early, stopping at the Oasis to fuel up on eggs, corned beef hash and home fries with good strong coffee.
I headed down the coast to look for River to Sea Preserve, which is about two miles south of Marineland on the intercoastal side. It is easy to miss, I passed it and had to go back. There is a small white sign and a rutted narrow lane into the preserve. It has a small grass parking lot with a sign ( see above) to the trail. There is a concrete sidewalk that leads to a beautiful scenic dock and covered pavilion with several picnic tables and a walk out small dock. It is well maintained. I am thinking this would be an excellent painting location in cooler weather. I'll come back to do that. From the pavilion area, there is a long nature trail. I set off for a nice morning walk. Along my journey I saw multiple trails branching off the main one. It was a nice wide,clean trail with good visibility and signs along the way. I could hear the birds singing and now and then rustling in the underbrush of small animals. There were several signs warning of gators, and of course there are lots of snakes in that kind of environment, but I saw neither.
I have no idea how long the trail is but it began to get warm so I decided to turn back. There were a few bugs but not bad at all. Somehow I ended up lost in the trails. The way back became confusing and I did not recognize any markers that I had seen before. I began to realize that I was thoroughly lost. I decided to keep forging ahead, What other choice did I have? Suddenly I heard noise around the bend and there face to face came a Black Bear!! I squealed like an little girl!! He did an about face and ran off into the woods.Oh how exciting and equally terrifying!!
After my heart slowed down, I trudged on. At this point I started to see signs of humanity, thinking I had found my way back to the parking lot. I was quite tired and sweaty. With dismay, I realized I had come out in some kind of industrial area. Lots of dumpsters, pipes, and marine salvage equipment. I walked on and came to a building and walked in. I called to see if anyone was there. A very nice man named Chip appeared. I asked him if he knew where the River to Sea Preserve was located? He laughed and said, "You must be lost from the nature trail". Yes, indeed I was. He was so nice. He led me back out to the parking lot to his golf cart and told me to hop in. He delivered me to my car.It turned out to be about 4 miles away. It is so lovely to know that there are kind people in our society who will gladly lend a hand. He saved me a long hot walk down A1A. Needless to say, I'm tired but I sure enjoyed the big adventure.
More to come......