Macro Monday, Spanish Moss on Sunday

Yesterday I was in Volusia County where I finally visited the famed Blue Spring State Park. More about the spring itself in my next post.  Today, it’s all about the Spanish moss.

When you read such phrases as, “The trees were dripping with Spanish moss,”  well, today, that was all I could think of when I first saw the grand, old live oak that stood with the three-story home of Louis Thursby behind it, in this picture.  The home was constructed, truly, back in the day, and that day was in 1872.  Now it’s open to park visitors who may tromp through its wooden plank floors and imagine what it might’ve been like to live in such a beautiful location in what was surely a beautiful home…even if it didn’t have air conditioning.

On the bank where the St. John's River meets the Blue Spring run.

A 93 degree day in April 2011 kind of makes me think I probably wouldn’t be loving Florida quite so much, before God created air conditioning.

This tree is so mighty and I love how it contrasts with the house from this angle.

Moving underneath the grand live oak looking up…it’s raining Spanish moss!

Walk a few yards over the lawn and you’re on the 1/3 mile boardwalk that follows the St. John’s River into the spring run and ends at Blue Spring itself.  It takes you through a shady hammock of hardwood trees, the Spanish moss like textured veils, framing the view of the river and spring.

Come along with me as I get closer to this moss, so evocative of Southern trees; a delight to this transplant from the North for the first several years.  I still appreciate its character even while I’m accustomed to the landscape now.

Framed by Spanish moss

Spiders and other bugs work their delicate magic amidst the fluff of the moss.

Somewhere I read that back in the day, mattresses were stuffed with Spanish moss. Which sounds nice, until the historian said that bedbugs were a problem, too.  I guess it’s to be expected, after all; it’s obvious there’s plenty of insect activity going on here!

Delicate strands of Spanish moss wrap themselves around thin branches.

Spanish moss dancing in the breeze (above) and in the sunlight (below).

Macro Monday

An afternoon spent in Howell Park in Atlantic Beach, crawling on the ground with a camera.  Fun.

Howell Park was crawling with Girl Scouts, so when I heard their event was being held there on a Sunday afternoon…I knew what I’d be doing while she was doing her Brownie thing.

I had a fine time trying to get some good macro shots.  I did indeed crawl about on the ground, hoping that I would not not crawl upon some dog’s business. On my shoe is one thing; that was bad enough.  On my shirt?  I couldn’t bear it!  So I was very careful because I was off the beaten path, and that’s where people usually  turn the other way if they’re inclined to do so, and Howell Park is a nice park for dog walking.  (It’s not a dog park; we do have a few of those  here at the beach.)  Why am I talking about dogs?  Oh yes.  I’m still traumatized from last Sunday’s misstep and so when I was crawling on the ground looking for spiders and weeds and azalea blooms, I also tried to be aware of my surroundings.

I felt a little guilty when one of the moms came to pick up her child and saw me with my camera.

“Did you get a lot of good pictures of the girls?” she asked brightly.

Actually, I didn’t take a single one of them.  It wasn’t my day’s mission.  I was having my own field trip, thanks very much.

Oh there were so many great opportunities that just missed the mark by this much.  Even these…but I post anyway because it’s all about the practice and besides, it gives me hope.

(click on this one as large as you can to really see the spider. he’s amazing.)

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