Monday, October 24, 2011

Forest Life

A lot of new changes have happened in my life lately, including an unexpected move so I've decided to start fresh with a new blog.  It's going to be a sort of backstory about my artwork that I sell on Etsy .

 One of my biggest loves is the outdoors, especially the feeling of being totally surrounded by trees. Recently we've moved to the Ocala area, which is in North Central FL.  We live in a residential neighborhood that just happens to practically sit on the edge of the Ocala National Forest, the second largest forest in Florida.  It's a place I've always wanted to live so I'm pretty pleased.

We get lots of wildlife visitors to our yard, mainly some pretty stunning bird life (many of which do not supposedly  live in FL). So far I've seen Balitmore Orioles, summer tanagers, house finches, Carolina wrens, Carolina chickadees, tutfted titmouse, cardinals, Blue Jay, the biggest crows I've ever seen, red shouldered hawk, red-tailed hawk, bald eagle, ruby-throated hummingbird, American white ibis, black vulture, turkey vulture, red-bellied woodpecker, red-headed woodpecker, downy woodpecker, pileated woodpecker, American kestrel, white-winged dove, mourning dove, mockingbird, brown thrasher, barred owl, and common grackles. These sitings were all within 50 feet of the house!  I'm really looking forward to the winter migration because I think I'm going to see a bigger variety than what I'm used to seeing in the parts of FL I've lived in.

Most of the wild mammals I've seen in the yard are pretty common anywhere, just maybe a bit more plentiful. LOTS of gray squirrel, armadillos, and of course, raccoons. I've sort of made friends with one of the raccoons. We have a deal, if I leave him a dish of scraps, he won't mess with our trash.  If I forget, all bets are off. Raccoons kind of creep me out, but this one is rather cute, smaller than many I've seen and he has very nice manners.  We also had a big brown bat siting.  My son and I were refilling the bird feeders and I noticed the blue jays chasing this brown "bird" around. The brown "bird" flew in a circle around my head at eye level, and I realized it was NOT a bird.  This was especially unusual because it was during the day. I'm figuring he was resting in some spanish moss and was disturbed and started searching for a nice new hiding spot, but the birds weren't having any of it.

It's really hard not to be inspired when surrounded by so many types of wildlife. It sort of spills into my creativity and totally fuels my ideas. I really think this is the start of a new chapter in my life. Every day I feel more and more like my old self again. Good healing energy.

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