I'm going hiking this weekend! It has been ages and ages since I walked anywhere significant that wasn't in a city somewhere, so this is thrilling just to look forward to. Actually doing it will be even more amazing.
Florida can be viewed as relatively non-scenic, especially by folks who are used to mountains, rolling hills, stone walls, brooks, and the scenic vistas such things offer. I've fallen into that trap myself -- my natural impulse is to prefer the classic New England view to a Florida scene.
But Florida has its own intense but subtle beauty. You just have to know where to look, and how to look. Right now in my own backyard the quality of the light is mellowing, certain fall flowers are coming into bloom and inundated with butterflies and bees, and the plants whose leaves change color are beginning to change with the cooler weather and shorter days. Lots remains green. Lots unmistakably whispers, "Fall."
This weekend I will be tramping in a local preserve and seeing the various Florida habitats from ground level, on the way to visit the origin of a spring that feeds the Wekiva River. I realized this would be an extra-special treat when I learned the walk requires a permit and access to the secret combination that opens the gate.
Something tells me that this isn't your ordinary nature walk. And anytime I get to cross a threshold that requires some degree of special access, I feel connected to the great journeyers of time and literature. From Lief Ericson to Captain Kirk, there's something both visceral and spiritual about going where none (or few) have gone before.