Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Ocala National Forest

We are in the beautiful Ocala National Forest north or Orlando, ironically at the same campsite in the same campground as once before!  We decided that we were in need of "nature" after four nights at a closely spaced, big county park campground.  Here there are only about 10 sites, and only three, including us, are occupied!  It is a beautiful clear morning, and after temps last night in the low fifties, today will be in the mid-seventies.  It's supposed to be sunny and glorious all week, so our goal is to stay for this week.

After breakfast outside, among calls and songs of pileated woodpeckers and eastern bluebirds, we are ready to think about our day!

Yesterday we left Melbourne, here in Florida, after a glorious weekend at the annual Native Rhythms Festival.  We attended our first festival last year and loved it, so we had to return!  It's a weekend filled with Native American music and storytelling, performances by artists playing Native American style flutes, workshops on fluting and drumming, vendors selling flutes and drums and shakers and jewelry and dream catchers and more, good food, and mostly great camaraderie!

I felt privileged to meet George Dyson, Jr., and his lovely Laura, and Ed Dougherty.  George creates flutes under the name of By George Flutes and I own one of his beautiful cedar and Osage wood flutes in the key of G.  Ed create flutes under the name of Tree of Life Designs and I own two of his flutes, a B flat, and an A.

George's G flute.

Ed's B flat and A flutes.

George will be creating a low C flute of river cane for me and I am thrilled!  

I also saw Bill Hufham of Sea Symphony Flutes again.  Last year I bought a lovely B minor flute from him, and now have a G drone on order.  This is a "double" flute that plays harmony through the second attached flute as well as playing G only with no harmony.  I get chills whenI hear these beautiful drones being played!  When I played one this past weekend at the festival, I couldn't believe that I could create such a sound!

Following are photos of the festival weekend:

Lovely flute friend, Liesbet, from The Netherlands!

Billy Whitefox.

Teachers extraordinaire, Clint and Vera, at their wonderful Playshop.

Michael at the entrance.

Jam session with Steve Rushingwind Band, and others at close of festival.

George and Laura!

Flute players competition.

Liesbet performing in the flute competition.

Jonny Lipford and Scott August.

Ed Wind Dancer dancing for us with Painted Raven duo.

Painted Raven, duo of flute and guitar.

Truly an uplifting weekend!

Yesterday, when we went to leave the campground in Melbourne, we discovered that our sunroof won't close!  We think an acorn might be jammed in the mechanism.  We had been camped under an oak tree and acorns had been coming down on us off and on during the weekend!  So, we are especially praying for dry weather until we can get it fixed next week.  I also lost a pair of important keys before we left, so the day was off to a somewhat gray start.  But, it is important for us to remember hat it is all part of the journey, and there's resolution for everything.

This week in Ocala, we plan on searching for the red-cockaded woodpecker!  And driving around the area exploring.