Saturday, March 28, 2015

Giving a hoot in Ocala

I recently had the opportunity to spend the afternoon with Kenny of the Ocala Wildlife Sanctuary O.W.L.S. in Ocala, Florida.  OWLS works to rehabilitate injured animals, and reintroduce them to the wild when possible.  Non-native animals and those that are permanently disabled cannot be returned to the wild.  A lucky number of these animals have found a home at OWLS.

The third part of the operation at OWLS after rehabilitation and reintroduction, is education.  The resident animals are used as ambassadors for visiting school groups and troubled youth, many of whom have never seen wildlife up close.  As Kenny explained, it's really difficult to care about wildlife conservation if you don't understand what you're protecting.  Allowing kids to experience wildlife up close, and in many cases touch or feed the animals gives them an experience that can't be replaced by TV.

Thank you to Kenny for taking his valuable time to show me around his facility.  Thanks also to Kenny and his staff for continuing this labor of love.


Thursday, March 26, 2015

Beach Finds...

Last week we stayed at Flamingo Campground in the Everglades.  The campground was quiet and spacious (and a bit buggy).  There was no cell service, which made keeping on top of work a bit difficult.  But there were hundreds of white butterflies flitting around and the sunsets and night sky were wonderful.  I'm glad we went to this out of the way spot and would happily visit again.

After the Everglades we headed north up the Atlantic coast and stayed at Jonathan Dickinson State Park.  After catching up on some work we visited Hobe Sound Beach.  While Bill was surf fishing, the dogs and I went on a stroll and found lots of lovely sea things.

Now we're in St. Augustine, Florida and are working our way back to the west.  I'm looking forward to heading back towards the land of excellent barbeque.  :)

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Fort Myers and Sanibel...

On Sunday we drove from Orlando to Fort Myers.  Other than an exciting and noisy incident in which a sharp turn caused the cupboard door to fly open, thereby ejecting all of our pots and pans and knocking over the dog's water dish, the three and a half hour drive was easy peasy.

Now we're parked at a crowded but nice RV park in North Fort Myers.  (Bill had just completed the super awesome task of emptying our gray and black tanks, hence the yellow gloves).  This morning we drove about an hour to Sanibel Island where we strolled on Lighthouse Beach and found lots of beautiful seashells.  (Beach combing is pretty much my very favorite way to pass the time). 

Hopefully we'll squeeze in a few more beach combing expeditions before we continue south to the Everglades.  But, for now, there's work to be done and we're glad to be hunkered down in air conditioned Daisy.

Happy Trails!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015


When we started this strange and lovely adventure I was in the midst of several big work projects and there wasn't any time to figure out the kinks of working whilst living on the road.  Deadlines loomed and Bill very kindly brought me food and washed all the dishes and walked the dogs while I stayed hunched over my drawing and painting. 

Now my project load has eased a bit and after two months of full time travel we're slowly figuring out our routine.  When Bill isn't out taking photos or dealing with RV maintenance stuff, he works at the kitchen table.  My headphones are getting lots of use since Bill doesn't usually want to listen to The Gilmore Girls or Harry Potter.  The dogs, who were both initially really nervous anytime we were driving the RV, seem to have gotten into the swing of things.   

Trouble still pops up now and again (the very warm days we're having are a bit of a struggle in our little oven of a motorhome).  But illustrations are being completed, photos are being taken, delicious food is being eaten, and the air conditioner (although quite loud and a little smelly) works pretty well. 

Last week we were in Silver Springs, Florida where Bill went kayaking, saw a manatee and lots of turtles and alligators and visited the Ocala Wildlife Sanctuary (which I hope he'll tell you more about soon).  And this week we're in Orlando where we'll visit Universal Studios and Disneyworld. 

But, for now there are drawings to finish and photos to edit.

I hope you're well wherever you are!  And if you have suggestions of places to visit in Florida or the south, I'd love to hear!