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11 September 2010 @ 07:02 pm
this really does seem like Paradise  
Today, Saturday, September 11th, 2010 finally feels like the beginning of actually "living" here rather than putting the pieces together.

I tried to get there several days ago, but instead I've just been sleeping over 12 hours each day to recover from all the exhausting weeks working on the boat and getting minimally familiar with where I am.

And temperatures aren't helping yet either. Yesterday was actually the hottest day yet for the weather station attached to the boat.

But this morning I crossed Spring Garden Lake from Tedders to a beautiful cove that REALLY has some almost full shade and will stay here for awhile.

And I finally feel now, in the afternoon, like all the sleep is working and I am now recovering my energy levels. It helps that we just had a shower that cooled it down to 86 followed by a full rainbow across the lake.

I am mourning the death of my aunt Maureen in Columbus almost a week ago, on Labor Day weekend. However, her daughter is in charge of the cremation, and the rest of us have not heard much. Maureen wanted it this way though, but I still miss her so much.

Over the last few years I have gotten used to the way I feel now -having very intense feelings after a death.

I now think this is the most intense thing I experience -more than the usual things most people say is the strongest feeling (sex, adventure, hunger). I think this is because it is such a combination of many feelings all at once (joyful memories, sense of something so long familiar gone forever).

I learned of Maureen's death on Labor Day, when Ed was here and we were cooking on the grill on the boat down toward the state park. It was a very nice day and we enjoyed using a scuba mask when we took the tender boat down to the park and swam above the spring outlet. Before that, we were entertained by a very young alligator that kept watching us with mournful eyes like a dog because he smelled the food grilling but could not be fed a bite without us breaking the law.

I worked just a little since then this week, installing a 2 x 4 edge on the wet slip I rent and adding two bumpers. Since I can't park under the roof now that my boat has its own roof, I tie up with my roof against that roof and the bumpers between. I also helped L. H. fix the well pump outlet so we can have water again at the fish camp.

This morning when I headed across the lake to this beautiful cove, I was followed on this side by two freshwater stingrays -one about 9 inches and another about 12 inches, which is full grown. They were very attractive in the clear water and bright sunlight even though they are not colorful. My Saint John's River Guidebook says this is the best spot in all the tributaries to see these, but to make sure you never step on one because the sting is VERY painful.

After I parked here beneath a huge Cypress which is providing so much shade, I walked back into the swamp to what appears on the air photos to be fields rather than woods. I am learning how to walk into these swamps, just a few inches deep, with solid, peat-like bottoms made of cypress rootlets and to find my way in and back out with the GPS hung around my neck. I need to know these landscapes in case I ever need to traverse one in an emergency. I found that the fields are actually still swamps, still solid and just a few inches deep, but covered by prairie-type plants about shoulder height.

Here is a picture of Tedders across the lake, from here in this cove where I will stay for awhile. Tedders is in the center, with Mark's docks to the left and Hammerin' Hank's and Robert Reed's docks to the right:

(I apologize for the lack of detail, but my phone camera does not have a zoom.)

Here is the folder with some other pictures I took this morning of this cove, which really does seem like Paradise:

pictures -September 11th, 2010

If I had a zoom lens, I would have included photos of the three semi-light seaplanes that landed together for about ten minutes on the lake about noon. They then took off again gracefully and flew off to the south.