Weekend Excursion iwannabealady.com south florida lifestyle blogger travel beauty interiors photography adventures simple pleasures

Weekend Photography Excursion: Into the Woods

Today’s Add More Beauty post takes us out into the woods for a very wet adventure.

Weekend Excursion iwannabealady.com south florida lifestyle blogger travel beauty interiors photography adventures

On Saturday, I set out on a photography excursion. I set my sights on Hugh Taylor Birch State Park in Sunrise, Florida. It’s just off the beach and the intercoastal which makes it a perfect location for outdoor variety.  It’s a nice place to sit and watch the boats go by, but on this day, I was more interested in heading into the woods.

So first it started drizzling and I thought, oh heck, what’s a little drizzle going to do to me? There was that one time I got caught in the rain while riding my bike and it was one of the best experiences of my life. That sort of thing makes you not be too concerned about a bit of a drizzle. So I walked on looking at things, stopping and observing things. It’s what I love to do. Those of you who follow my instagram stories also know that I did a lot of posting on my stories as well.

Weekend Excursion iwannabealady.com south florida lifestyle blogger travel beauty interiors photography adventures

Weekend Excursion iwannabealady.com south florida lifestyle blogger travel beauty interiors photography adventures

Also, I was really digging my outfit. You’ll notice the drizzling of rain on my arm.

Weekend Excursion iwannabealady.com south florida lifestyle blogger travel beauty interiors photography adventures simple pleasuresI had previously been thinking to doing more outfit posts anyway, so I stopped to take some photos. Then the rain got a bit heavier. After what was probably over 40 photos to find the good ones, I finally decided to start walking in the direction of my car.* What I didn’t know was that I had no clue where I was going. I’ve been to this park many times, and although I have a terrible sense of direction, I can usually find my way out no problem. But this time was different. This time the park was under construction.

Weekend Excursion iwannabealady.com south florida lifestyle blogger travel beauty interiors photography adventures simple pleasures

The employee at the gate told me that the Loop Road, or something like that, was closed and that I could go along this way, or that way, or something like that, I don’t know. I wasn’t really paying attention. That’s a cute thing I do. But I figured they know people get lost and surely they’ll have some clear signs directing visitors to the correct path. I stay on paved roads and walk for a very long time. I’m not quite sure where I was so these are images of me trying to figure it out using various techniques.

Weekend Excursion iwannabealady.com south florida lifestyle blogger travel beauty interiors photography adventures simple pleasures
Maybe if I use laser focus and seriousness I’ll find my way.
Weekend Excursion iwannabealady.com south florida lifestyle blogger travel beauty interiors photography adventures simple pleasures
Maybe if I ponder casually I’ll find my way.
Weekend Excursion iwannabealady.com south florida lifestyle blogger travel beauty interiors fashion photography adventures simple pleasures
Maybe if I’m super Zen I’ll find my way.

None of those things worked.

I had to remind myself every so often to be present to enjoy the experience, to appreciate my surroundings, to pay attention, to have a great time. It wasn’t always easy. Sure I was taking my time when it was drizzling, but now I was getting soaked; the scattering of people that had been in the park with me all but disappeared (rookies) and at the fourth dead end, or something like that, my heart did sink– and once again, I had to remind myself look of three things:

  1. There was nothing I could do but keep walking. If there was nothing I could do about it, I might as well let it go.
  2. If there was any place to get lost, it would be a state park. My reason for going was to be in nature, feel inspired, take photographs… I could still do all of those things in the rain.
  3. The rain was giving everything a different quality than I was used to seeing. There was a reward for walking in the rain.
Weekend Excursion iwannabealady.com south florida lifestyle blogger travel beauty interiors photography adventures simple pleasures
I like how the green goes from bright to dark.

Eventually, the rain got to coming down so heavily that I had to put my phone away; and the more it started raining, the more beautiful things I saw… leaves dangling and fluttering from the thin thread of a spider’s web; raindrops falling from one leaf to another like a musical ensemble; the sun peeking through cracks of trees and the raindrops falling through those cracks. I saw a frog! Trails of ants busy at work. Grass soft enough for fairy movies. I touched the leaves of trees as I walked by, wondering if it affected them in any way. I felt up the bark of a tree, knelt down and rubbed the soft grass with the palm of my hand– everything was wet and glistening. Including me.

Because I’m sometimes wise, the backpack that I brought for the outing has three layers of coverage.

Weekend Excursion iwannabealady.com south florida lifestyle blogger travel beauty interiors photography adventures simple pleasures

Tip: Always make sure that you have a safe place to hide your phone away, even if it’s a scarf to roll it up in. Nothing adds stress to an experience like wondering if your phone is going to survive it. Side note: If any company wants to send me a waterproof phone case to try out, I’ll happily accept. Back to the story.

Before the rain got very heavy, I had been listening to the music in my back pocket and using my shirt to cover it. But as the rain got heavier, I conceded to putting my phone away and going without music. By the way, this is the song that I listened to on repeat and sang at the top of my lungs since no one was around. Budding Trees by Nahko and Medicine for the People.

Weekend Excursion iwannabealady.com south florida lifestyle blogger travel beauty interiors photography adventures simple pleasures nahko and medicine for the people budding trees

You should put it on right now, just saying. I sang it with rain falling on my body and arms outstretched.  I don’t have to tell you how exhilarating it felt to be singing in the rain surrounded by nature and no people. Everything seemed just as it should be. But wait, there’s more! I remember, I brought my headphones with me! The ones with the big ear muffs. I connect the headphones and toss my phone into the bottom of my bag safe from the rain.

Tip: When you’re going out into nature, bring headphones (preferably the kind with earmuffs to keep ears and electronics dry. And this way, if you have to put your phone away, you won’t have to sacrifice music.

{Writer’s note to readers: I’m going to try out present tense now.}

Now here are the stupid things I did.

I’ve forgotten to bring water. I reach the literal end of my plan A– a dead end. It’s also then that I realize I’m thirsty. It’s raining, I remember. I tilt my head back, open my mouth and pop in a couple raindrops; it satisfies me for the moment. I have walked a long way to get to this plan A dead end, and now, only a few minutes into the return route, the thirst really starts to settle in.

I try thinking of a solution, and here’s what I come up with. My Stay Hydrated Master Plan: I will find a leaf that can be bent into the shape of a bowl. I’ll hold that leaf-bowl in my hand as I walk and collect rainwater. Guess what? It works!. Here’s the leaf that nearly saved my life.

Weekend Excursion iwannabealady.com south florida lifestyle blogger travel beauty interiors photography adventures simple pleasures brown leaf

It wasn’t so dry and crispy then.

Of course, once I realize that catching raindrops is tiresome and slow, that I can just roll the water off of leaves into my bowl, that’s exactly what I do. That’s Phase 2 of the Stay Hydrated Master Plan. After holding the leaf for a while and realizing my fingers feel a little crampy, I decide that it’s time for Phase 3: Go ahead and lick a leaf or two. Naturally I’ll check for bugs first, but I’ll be cutting out the middleman.

Regrettably, I never get to lick a leaf. I was so bewildered and preoccupied with the failures of Plans B, C, and D to get me out of the park. I had been given a map, but I left it in the car. I figured I had somewhat of an idea of what he was talking about when he was pointing his finger around the map and saying things before handing it to me. To make matters worse, I had a bike ride and a run that morning, and I was fearful that my legs wouldn’t be up for over an hour of walking. Yet again, I had to remind myself, this was a beautiful experience.

Weekend Excursion iwannabealady.com wildflowers south florida lifestyle blogger travel beauty interiors photography adventures simple pleasures

Before the day was done I’d need more reminders, though. I haven’t told you yet how it got worse. My plan was to bring along a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for lunch. Well, you guessed it, I forgot to pack food and it had been hours since I had eaten last. I start wondering about these berries I’ve seen the squirrels nibbling on.

Weekend Excursion iwannabealady.com south florida lifestyle blogger travel beauty interiors photography adventures simple pleasures
Just considering options if worse comes to worse. You know how it is.

Tip: Pack a fucking lunch. Don’t be a douche to your stomach.

At one dead end, I walked up to what turned out to be a Park Ranger Residence. I stood outside in the rain debating whether I should knock. I didn’t. I turned and went back up the road. I was scared, and I also wanted to prove to myself that I could find my own way. I thought about whether I’d be the dumb woman ravaged by racoons in the woods because she didn’t seek help. But I had many hours of daylight left and there were only so many paths to take.

Meanwhile, I search for a walking stick, collect wildflowers, observe nature. I stop for a few moments under a dense canopy of trees, take some pictures and a short video. Here are some things I collected.

Weekend Excursion iwannabealady.com south florida lifestyle blogger travel beauty interiors photography adventures

Weekend Excursion iwannabealady.com south florida lifestyle blogger travel beauty interiors fashion photography adventures wildflowers

Weekend Excursion iwannabealady.com south florida lifestyle blogger travel beauty interiors fashion photography adventures picking wildflowers

 

My cute sneakers certainly weren’t cut out for nonstop rain and it took a surprisingly long time, but my toes were eventually slipping around on the inside.

Weekend Excursion iwannabealady.com south florida lifestyle blogger travel beauty interiors fashion photography adventures picking wildflowers

Tip: When going outdoors, think about keeping some waterproof shoes in your car or on your feet. If the weather changes on your way there, you’ll be safe from soggy toes. Turns out I did pack a baseball cap which I totally forgot about.

I remember the moment when I knew where I was. It was a different kind of freedom than the freedom I had found in the woods. It seems that familiarity holds its own type of freedom. When I realized where I was in relation to my car, I ran back in to grab a couple of things I hadn’t thought to pick up earlier. Like these.

Weekend Excursion iwannabealady.com south florida lifestyle blogger travel beauty interiors fashion photography adventures picking wildflowers

Cute, right?

Look how pretty sitting on my window.

Weekend Excursion iwannabealady.com south florida lifestyle blogger travel beauty interiors fashion photography adventures picking wildflowers

Weekend Excursion iwannabealady.com south florida lifestyle blogger travel beauty interiors fashion photography adventures picking wildflowers

Weekend Excursion iwannabealady.com south florida lifestyle blogger travel beauty interiors fashion photography adventures picking wildflowers

A bit of afternoon rain set the scene for a real adventure.

Adventures don’t have to be in a far off land. Sometimes, all it takes is a steady stream of rain and getting lost.

Bonus: For those of you who missed my Instagram stories on Saturday, here’s a little bit of what I got up to. And if you aren’t following me on the gram, what are you waiting for, eh?

Btw, this video won’t be here forever. I’ve still got data responsibilities to think of.


My name is Lyz-Stephanie and I want to inspire you to live a more interesting, fulfilling and beautiful life. Think of me as your well-being and happiness guide. I know that things aren’t always easy. Life doesn’t drop dreams into our laps, but every day we can do something to make our lives happier and richer, make our minds more active and engaged. I’m on the journey. Will you join me?

If you like what you’re reading and think I’m kind of a cool chick, please share the link. And don’t forget to find me on the other side! Instagram I Twitter I Pinterest

19 thoughts on “Weekend Photography Excursion: Into the Woods

  1. I hope no baby tortoises were hurt in the making of this post 😉 Silly jokes aside, you are brave to have carried on despite it raining and everyone having disappeared. I think I am brave at times but when I am caught alone in the woods, I can feel panic rising steadily till it makes me turn around and run. Your cool Tee goes with the ramble through the woods and I can almost hear the pitter patter on the leaves around you and then the rain gathering strength. The last time I walked in the woods in the rain, I fell into a bog. Sigh. Your adventure with berries and water collected in leaves is hilarious. Oh and the second last photo is one of my favourites – so dainty and pretty! xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lol, I wish I would’ve seen an adorable baby tortoise, although I probably would’ve swerved my car in a dramatic way and landed in a bog! The way you feel about the woods alone is the way I feel like the ocean, even when I’m surrounded by people. If my feet don’t touch the bottom, every nerve in my body goes crazy. Glad you like the tee; I’ll probably still be wearing it when I’m 80. The pitter patter of so many raindrops on trees was something new for me. When the rain was just gentle enough, I could make out distinct sounds. Really cool. I wouldn’t mind doing it again but more prepared next time!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The first step and you are wiser already…that is the way it goes and oh what fun. I cannot wait for your next more prepared venture into the woods. Though getting caught unawares has its own charm 😉 I mean who would not like to make a Tarzan-like living…fruits and water culled off the forest. Tee hee. Loved the adventure. Raising my cup of tea to many more. xx

        Liked by 1 person

    1. We be gettin’ old and stuff. There are definitely some days that I don’t feel I’ve really made much of my living, but I try not to let too many of those days accumulate. Every day is a new day (chessy as it sounds). The magic is standing over there like, “Damn girl, you need to rediscover me.” Sounds like a blog post to me. We could both do a version. You seem like a super organized person who’d know exactly when yours will be coming out and I’ll have no clue. We’ll have our people call each other. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks darling! When I finally made it back to my car, a friend of mine answered my Instagram story and told me it was an air plant, so I ran back and grabbed the couple that you see. I’ll definitely check out this site to find out more about them. There were many more tucked into the nooks of trees, but honestly I was afraid to pull them out so a frog or lizard or some creature didn’t jump out at me 😅

      Liked by 1 person

  2. What an adventure, huh!? You learned more about Nature AND yourself Lyz! How cool is that!? 🤓😄

    “Tip: Pack a fucking lunch. Don’t be a douche to your stomach.”

    BWAHAHAHA!!! What a dingleberry move that was, eh? 😉 And how about those crummy hiking, rain-absorbing-not-for-drinking-from Converse sneakers! 🤣

    Wonderful pics and what a nice final touch with the quick video of the intriguing excursion! Btw, you sound so smart and well-spoken Lyz! Were you posing as a “Baby Tortoise” contemplating how to cross the road in beautiful-hair-posing fashion? 😛 hehehe

    Liked by 1 person

    1. 😄 You made me laugh. If the damn baby tortoise can find his way then maybe I should imitate, no? Obviously my human brain ain’t getting me too far out in these woods. And speaking of woods, I’m a total dingleberry. I’ll be working on a talk show soon: Adventures of a Dingleberry. Who forgets water and food?

      I could spend hours walking around and taking pics. I’m glad I could amuse you with my lack of preparation, haha. But you’re right, it was a learning experience and a fun one– the best kinds!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I completely concur Lyz, learning experiences that are fun — with some minor trial & tribulation a “novice” outdoor Survivalist can manage — are plume-feathers to stick in your Kentucky Derby hat ANYTIME Ms. Bear Grylls!!! You ROCK the “Roughin’ It Stylishly In the Wild-ishness“!

        Liked by 1 person

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