Sunday, April 29, 2012

Mystery Flower

Does anyone recognize this type of flower?  I saw it on my run yesterday along a rocky path through a nearly dry cypress strand.  It was beautiful and bizarre.  Sorry about the picture being so blurry. I didn't realize how bad it was until I got home.

Is it a white spider lily?

Tuesday, April 24, 2012


I am now a college graduate.

As my college's president expressed during his opening speech at the ceremony, commencement  is both an end and a beginning.  Just as the seasons shift, this is a natural change in my life.  I knew of its occurrence months, years, in advance and did what I could to prepare for it, although I could never have predicted the precise outcome.  I could never have dreamed of such wonderful years and people to spend them with, and I'm still unsure of how I feel about the change.  What I am sure of, however, is that I will be studying at the University of Florida for graduate school.  I will also search for teaching positions in hopes of beginning my career. 

This marks the end to my running on a competitive team as much as it marks the end of my undergraduate education.  Despite these endings, I will continue to run and compete and I will continue my education, but simply in other locations.  A new location to call home also means new old lands to explore, learn, and appreciate, something I am exceedingly excited to do. 

To end my undergraduate schooling and running, I logged one last long solo run in Guana River WMA.  The paths were familiar, and I traversed many of my favorites.  The observation tower at mile 2.5, the still-dry prairie trails, down to the sticky dark mud at the water's edge.  As I returned to the parking lot, I managed  to make a few new discoveries.  Eleven young alligators waited, heads resting on the water's dark glassy surface, for my exit.  Others looked on from the banks, as if wanting to say goodbye.

I will return, and I know these runs, this point in my life, will not be the same, but the thrill of the new is pulling me forward.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012


It is spring break in the local public school district, which means it is time off of work for me!  My college had its spring break a few weeks back, but since I am interning in the public school system, I now follow their schedule.  I would have taken this break to log some serious miles at parks along this side of the state, but because it is time to taper for  track, I have been resting more than I have been running.  My final collegiate race is this weekend. 

Today, I made it out to Anastasia State Park in St. Augustine.  With an admission price of just four dollars, the state park makes for a great little vacation.  Even though I live in Florida, I rarely find time to go to the beach, but I was determined to do so over my spring break.  Actually, I've been to the beach a few times already this week.  In a few months, I will be moving inland, away from the salty coastal breezes, to attend the University of Florida for graduate school.   I will miss the runs that I have completed along this beach and nearly around the entire peninsula, known as Conch Island.  This trip was just for relaxing, however, so I grabbed my book of short stories by Marjorie, read tales of young women, cockfights, and relationships, and soaked in the sun's rays. 

This stretch of the beach in the state park is much more peaceful that part past the peer, just a few hundred meters south.  There are no hotels, ice cream shops, or beach towels placed so close together that the edges touch.  It's a pleasant escape.  The quiet gave me time to close my eyes and think about the upcoming race and graduation, but also my next possible big studio project.  I plan to print a copy of Cross Creek, create a cover, bind the book, and illustrate the text with my line drawings screen printed on the pages.  One of my good friends recently took Bookmaking, a studio course at my school, and I have been itching to make this book for a while now.  I added a few more sketches to my collection today.

Those were certainly the best four dollars that I have spent in a while.