The Florida State Park Plein Air Painting Tour – Painting each of Florida's State Parks on location
When we got to Florida Caverns State Park it was already steaming hot at 9am! We had been to this park many years ago and took the cave tour. It is certainly a rarity in Florida to go underground! But on this trip we didn’t see the caves because the park was really busy and I don’t think I could have painted in the caverns.
So we drove to the other side of the park and made some new discoveries we didn’t see on our first visit. First we drove through a cypress slough and came upon the pretty Chipola river. The Chipola River flowed under the bridge of the road then just disappeared! It is one of Florida’s sinking rivers – the river flows into a “sink”, flows underground then re-emerges somewhere downstream. I took some photos of wildflowers along the river banks while Rick tried to hook a fish.
Then we drove further down the park road and came upon “the Blue Hole”. The Blue Hole is a natural spring that supposedly was named for it’s unusual blue color. On this day, the water was a milky greenish blue. Apparently it changes depending upon recent rains and water levels. I decided to set up and paint the cypress trees rimming the shoreline. This one wasn’t easy to paint – the water was clear, but milky at the same time. And the color was not green, but not blue either!
While I painted a family came down to swim in the spring. It took them awhile but they soon noticed the young gator that had claimed his section of the pond. He didn’t seem to mind the swimmers at all – not good for the gator. I’m sure once he gets bigger they will have to remove him. Though my preference would be to let the gator stay and keep the swimmers out!
For more information about this park, visit their website