Design Notes: Go outdoors for inspiration

This past week (the week after the holidays) I was mostly inside catching up on work and by the time today rolled around, I was in need of the great outdoors.

Audubon Corkscrew Swamp SanctuaryWhenever I need inspiration, for decorating, writing or anything else, I always look to nature.  And although I spend most weekends combing the beaches of southwest Florida, today I was in need of some "green."

So I headed to a little gem called Audubon Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary.  I was not disappointed.  Mother nature always provides the best palate.  And we cannot go wrong using it in our home environment.  It is healthy and inspiring.Colorful leaves

This 11,000-acre ancient forest provides a 2.25-mile raised boardwalk that is a nice walk through four distinct environments: a pine upland, a wet prairie, a cypress forest and a marsh.

Wildlife sightings are plentiful here and vary depending on the time of year and the weather.  Today was gorgeous. We saw lots of birds, a gator, butterflies, mammals, insects, and a variety of native plants including wild orchids.  We did not see the black bear but maybe next time.  We also did not see the gorilla that some jokester wrote on the "today's sightings" board.

blue skyThe boardwalk is never crowded and the sanctuary's visitors are all very quiet and respectful of the surroundings.  There were a handful of serious nature photographers with amazingly long lens.  And my little point and shoot!

Think about getting outside to celebrate the beginning of a new year.  And remember my mantra for decorating:  Stay close to nature.  You can't go wrong!



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