Morning Pages Start

Morning Pages. Springs. Houses. Florida. Ants. Publish.

I read about an author named Julia Cameron and a writing exercise she recommends in her book “The Artist’s Way”.

I’m sure I’ll miss some details here, but the idea is to spend time every morning writing, and just let stuff flow from your brain and onto paper.

I think she recommends using actual paper, but I will use this instead.

So, I’ve decided to try this experiment. I’ll just write, and then click publish.

This past month has been a series of roller coaster ups-and-downs.

I’ve been working incredibly hard on a school project related to Ichetucknee Springs. In some ways I’m happy with it and in some ways it’s been a real struggle.

I think at some time during the next few weeks I’ll try to organize a trip to go visit the springs again.

An old university friend contacted me recently. She asked if I’ve ever been to the Florida Devil’s Cavern– I think she meant Devil’s Den. Luckily she wants to go! She’s a marine scientist in a slightly different field, but she shares a love for diving, the ocean, springs, and everything water-related.

So, I’m thinking this might be the plan:

Tube Ichetucknee

Camping near Ichetucknee Springs

Maybe stay in an AirBnB near Fort White if we can find a good one.

I need to make a reasonable travel plan and itinerary out of these, but this is definitely the wish-list!

Ginnie Springs

Silver Glen Springs

Salt Spring

Rainbow Spring

Crystal River

Devil’s Den

Blue springs

Poe springs

I’m hoping that maybe we can scuba dive in Devil’s Den. I need to check the prices and cave certification details.

So, back to morning pages.

One facet of this technique is that it’s important to write, and just click publish, without doing any editing or really thinking too much about what you’re writing.

I find this to be challenging.

When we have to make a research report or any academic writing, which is basically the extent of my entire writing experience in life- everything has to be reviewed a million times and edited to perfection. This morning pages routine is more about creativity and letting words come without being filtered by a brain, and getting out of your own way, so to speak. It’s hard. I am so tempted right now to go back up through this post and edit things! But, I won’t. I just need to keep moving towards the goal.

Random jump here, but one thing that has been on my mind lately is hurricane season. It sort of snuck up on me and now here it is and I haven’t really given much thought to storm preparation, or what I’ll do this year in case of a hurricane. I guess I need to start thinking about that.

Like I think I said in a previous post, the idea of moving to Florida permanently has been on my mind lately. One good thing about B.C. though is that we do not have to deal with hurricanes up there! The idea of buying a house in Florida especially and having it vulnerable to hurricanes and flooding is nerve wracking for me. Some of my friends bought a house recently and they have been dealing with one maintenance nightmare after another. On one hand, the idea of locking in living expenses for the forseeable future and having financial stability is so appealing, but on the other hand, I always wonder whether it’s a good time to buy a house in Florida.

It seems like prices have risen really dramatically in recent years, and I wonder how the long term effects of climate change will affect this market.

Sure, lots of people have been moving from New York to Florida, but will they still do that when they can’t get flood insurance in Florida because insurance companies stop writing policies? Living by the water is definitely a double edged sword. On one hand, it’s a dream. On the other hand, it could be a nightmare. I guess that’s how those things go.

Ha! In the middle of writing this I had to take a break and go rescue some random beetle that wandered into my kitchen. Ironically I used a box from Terro, the ant bait, that I’ve been using to deal with a recent ant infestation, to safely ferry the little guy outside. I felt really bad about the ant treatment. The idea of systematically poisoning a colony of living creatures tore me up inside, but I don’t really want hoards of ants crawling across my kitchen counter top, either.

One thing is for sure, it was fascinating to watch the ants. They have such a unique culture, and observing them really made me think about how efficient and sophisticated their behavior is.

But, now I am talking about ants, and the morning pages time is over, so I will stop.

This morning pages thing is interesting. It feels very strange to publish this rambling, incoherent babble. But, nobody will ever read this, so I will press on.

Publish. Boom. Done.

 

 

Ichetucknee Springs and Jupiter Beach Paddle Boarding

Moving to Florida? Maybe. Snowbirding? Probably. Paddle boarding Jupiter Beach? Definitely!

I grew up in B.C. Canada.
 
Moving to Florida from the north was a crazy experience for me, in so many ways. It has taken alot of getting used to, but it has been SUCH an awesome experience. 
 
The weather, for one, was a ridiculous change and very hard to get used to. Now though, I really like it down here.
 
Because it’s the Fourth of July weekend I suppose I am thinking about what it means to be American. I am not a citizen, but I have been thinking about moving to Florida permanently after I graduate with my masters degree.
 
On one hand, I don’t think I will miss Canada’s winters. B.C. has pretty mild winters when compared to the rest of Canada, but it just seems like I’ve gotten used to Florida’s best retirement community, so to speak.
 
Maybe the concept of snowbirding is something I should consider?
 
My grandfather used to say that his favorite season is summer because, as he put it, you don’t have to shovel sunshine.
 
If I moved back to B.C. I think I would also miss the water.
 
I think that Florida has the best beaches. I love the ability to hit the road on a Friday even and be surfing by the time the sun comes up.
I also love shell hunting. Looking for shells in Fort Desoto State Park, or Honeymoon Island State Park, or my favorite, Anna Maria island, is unrivaled. Canada forests just can’t compete with those experiences.
 
On the other hand, I do miss the mountains.
 
Hiking to glacier lakes in the summer is such an incredible experience, I hope that I will live in a place again in my life where that is possible. But, if I lived here, I would have all access to all Florida Springs, which I’ve totally fallen in love with. 
 
Speaking of glacier lakes, I have been meaning to find a stand up paddle board (SUP) to use with Peso!
 
I first had this idea that it would be amazing to take him to Ichetucknee Springs and paddle down the river. Unfortunately that plan will not work out because I read that dogs are actually not allowed on the river at all, which was disappointing. But, there are some other options, and maybe we can still go hiking in Ichetucknee Springs State Park.
 
I’ll have to tell Sam that she convinced me. On our last trip to Jupiter Beach she was trying to hard to convince me to get a paddle board. She told me how she’s been getting into paddle board yoga in a little bayou in Jupiter Beach, and has had a great time. I do have to admit that the ability to get out on the water sounds great. Actually, I’m feeling decisive. I decided. I will get a paddle board! 
 
Alright then, time to go watch some fireworks!
 
 

The Importance of Preserving Nature

Florida Springs: The Best Field Trip!

Nitrates
 
Dispatch Day 1
 
Yesterday we returned from our field study trip to Ichetucknee Springs. God, they are so beautiful. That color of electric blue is seriously one of the most beautiful and awe inspiring things I have ever seen before.
But, as beautiful as they are, more than ever, I am afraid. I am afraid for our planet and nature.
 
Florida’s springs are in truly danger. Although their history is as old as the Earth itself, humans must intervene now to prevent permanent damage and loss.
 
The springs will exist- unless we succeed in truly draining them all by dropping the water table!
But will they retain their beauty? Is a spring that’s choked off by toxic algae still the same spring? Will they be usable to humans?
We went to one spring, formerly a popular attraction, called White Sulphur Springs. It is an old bath house that people used to use for mineral healing. It is completely drained now. The spring levels dropped and now it’s just an empty pool, which is heart breaking and scary to see.
 
Florida’s springs and waterways are under assault from many directions.
 
First, the most insidious threat is that of over-consumption of water.
 
In the year 2019 it is unfathomable that big agriculture insists on using archaic and wasteful irrigation technology. Superior technology, like drip irrigation, and vertical farming techniques, must be adopted.
 
I read an article last week about the rubber stamp approval process that big ag gets in Florida to dig a new deep-access irrigation well.
 
It is disheartening that our representatives are so out of touch with the reality of our ecological disaster.
 
If big agriculture in Florida adopted sensible and honest approach to water management we would all be in a much better spot for the future. Why is it so hard to adopt modern irrigation principles? The truly unfathomable thing about the situation is that not only would farms be more productive if they switched to sensible practices, but they would be more profitable as well! 
 
Secondly, nitrates. I cannot believe that so many people still consume beef when it’s so clearly devastating for our environment. We drove past a feed lot and it was horrifying to see the amount of animal efluent that is leeching into our groundwater. 
 
The amount of water required to raise cattle is completely unjustifiable in the modern era. When will people come to their senses and stop engaging in such destructive lifestyle choices?
We met our new neighbor last week and I had to bite my tongue as she told us about her plans to fertilize her entire yard. We only just met her, I don’t want to be the one to start the relationship off on a bad foot.
I forget sometimes that it’s not common knowledge that fertilizer is toxic to our ecosystem, and that releasing nitrates into groundwater is like showering algae with growth hormone!
Michelle, who was with me for the conversation, suggested afterward that we should not say anything directly, but should slip an algae awareness brochure into her mailbox.
And lastly, I am so worried about our river’s future in terms of children’s appreciation for the natural environment.
While at Ichetucknee we saw countless children running off-trail and causing soil erosion. Don’t they know better? Of course they don’t… but their teachers and parents should. Where were they, while these kids were running wild and demolishing a fragile ecosystem?
They were on instagram, that’s where they were. They were completely consumed by their smartphones. It was hard to watch, really. Like the interaction with our neighbor, I literally had to bite my tongue and just walk away. At the end of the day, I am Canadian, and I will not start a confrontation.
 
Dinner is boiling over and Peso is whining, time to stop writing now.