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Audubon Artist Residency at Beidler Forest

Starting an artist residency for Audubon at Beidler Forest is an adventure into the most ancient cypress and tupelo trees left on our planet. 1.75 miles of angled boardwalk in Four Holes Swamp allowed full immersion on a rainy Monday when the Center was closed. I hugged a 1,500 year old Bald Cypress and a 5’ diameter Tupelo Gum. 
 
The cypress knees begin to look alive. Some are cloaked personas, or singers, or groups of soggy green rooted families with pink heads. From 2:30 to 4:30 I settled in the outdoor rain shelter overlooking a 50’ downed tree and blackwater reflecting all the life around. An otter popped up and stared for a bit, maybe even smiled, and an egret’s white flight interrupted adding perfection to the day.
 
 
Retiring to a log cabin heated by a wood stove about 10 minutes away I savor the solitude. This landscape is hauntingly beautiful in rain, cold and blue skies. Swamp water moves and everywhere you look is magical. Friday is a Coffee and Climate at 10 am in the Audubon Center.
This will be part of my life’s work as long as I can hold a paint brush. Blessings to the protectors and grass roots…
 
-MEF

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