Back from Spring!
FEBRUARY 22, 2008
I’ve just returned from a trip to the spring. Right now the spring seems to be in central Florida. I went for a week and had a fabulous time. I love weather in the 70’s. I ran a bunch of days in SHORTS! I actually was sweating. The sun burned my Irish skin. In the spring, the air has the smell of little flowers and in Gainesville, tea flowers and orange blossoms fill the air. I woke in the morning and plucked tangerines off of trees to eat. Spring is very nice. My wife’s family lives in Gainesville and I’ve been going there for years now. This year was really great. First, my wife’s sister Nell and her boyfriend, Will went down there too. Nell acted as a sort of tour guide and made it super fun for Cassius and us. Will, Cassius' favorite guide, opened his family home to us and we made several visits to this amazing place. His family, the Stones, live on a former lake that was swallowed up by a sinkhole. Now it’s a large, flat prairie and surrounded by huge, old live oaks covered in Spanish moss. Breathtaking. We visited a Gulf town called Cedar Key, ate boiled peanuts along the way. We ate barbecue at Sonny’s, went rafting down the Ichetucknee River, and on the last day went to Silver Springs, a park with freshwater springs where many Hollywood production were filmed, including many Tarzans. I’m not really a beach guy. I hate sitting idle in the son like a gator. I need to move. This past week excited me for the coming spring. Today I awoke to snow. I used my snow blower to do the neighborhood’s snow removal with a nice bounce in my step…spring is coming!
Cassius in the light
All vacations start in airports. As I leave the studio I see my friends (Bower) on the covers of magazines. Nice.
Cassius again glowing in the light on the river.
We won the river race
The Ichetucknee River is covered with cypress knees and stumps. Very cool.
In Cedar Key, out in the Gulf of Mexico. Beer tastes GREAT here.
On the way to Cedar Key, this is the place to get boiled peanuts.
Cedar Key's Honeymoon Shack
And from my sketchbook...the same
A house in Cedar Key...
On the way out of Cedar Key
Will's home in Gainesville.
The front gate to the prairie
A view from his house. Breathtaking.
I caught an ugly but welcome fish. I actually fished for about 40 minutes and as I turned to my sister-in-law to tell her I was packing it in, the fish jumped at my lure. We laughed hard.
Walking back across the prairie. The grass is soft on your arms.
Will demonstrating the way a prairie chair works.
I did a drawing of the view and a live oak branch. In this world, everything is backlit! Paradise!
The drawing on a wood panel
I had some real moonshine. This is good stuff.
At Sonny's BBQ, Elizabeth, Nell and Will
Finally, a curious sighting in spring; Cute Donkeys! Donkey #1
And the third. Does this mean we take back the White House? I hope so.
Cassius fed a very stinky giraffe. Did you know they stink?
...but Cassius fell in love with a lizard.
© 2023 Tim O'Brien