Forget indoor chores and projects. Pull on gym shorts, tank top, and beat-up old jogging shoes. Whistle up Maggie and Buck with my secret "are you ready for some fun" whistle, grab a camera and head to the woods.
Spring comes early to the Florida panhandle woods. I think these lipstick red leaves are a normally green smilax vine, but I haven't been able yet to find a reference for a variety of smilax that turns red in the spring. Whatever, it is gorgeous.
Maggie is 10 and a half now, but still has a puppy's curious nose. Lots of good smells on the walk today, even in an old wood pile. We ended our mid-day walk along the stream bed and laughed to see Maggie stretched out full length in the sandy-bottomed, spring-fed cool, shallow water.
Each spring, I wonder if this old oak, the one we call "survivor tree," will put out new leaves again. It has been struck by lightning, decimated by hurricane, bashed by pines falling on it. It has even suffered the indignity of butt rot. And yet, it perseveres; its generous heart shelters a young Longleaf that may one day grow up through its canopy and fall on it.