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"Naked Ed".

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Angela Fralick

Essay 3 “Naked Ed”

The sun was shining brightly off the crystal water as my best friend and I paddled our small canoe down the Santa Fe River.  The sites were familiar to me (I am somewhat considered a “river rat”) Birds were flying overhead, turtles resting on fallen logs, the occasional lazy gator laying on the bank in the shade of an old cypress tree, and very frequently mullet jumping so high I thought they would land right in our canoe.  Of all the exquisite wildlife I witnessed that gorgeous sunny day, one site that I seen I will always remember as truly beautiful: the life of Naked Ed at Lily Springs.

        As my friend and I turned a bend in the river, we saw a sign which simply read “Lily Springs: Enter at Own Risk.

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        Lily Springs is located approximately ¾ mile downstream from Poe Springs and ½ mile upstream of Rum Island Springs on the Gilchrist (south) side of the river.  Lily is a single inlet made up of 5-7 springs, depending on the way they are counted.  The spring can only be accessed recreationally by canoe from the Santa Fe River.  Lily is a unique spring, in that the land around the pool is privately owned.  The owner of the spring is known as “Naked Ed,” or as simply just Ed.  Since 1984, he has served as caretaker of the spring. (Tfn.net) I find the fact that Ed has lived in the hut for almost ten years really amazing and interesting.

Ed not only owns the spring, but he took up residence there as well.

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Of all the beautiful places I’ve seen in my lifetime, I do believe Lily Springs is amongst the most striking.  However peculiar Naked Ed may appear to many, I feel somewhat envious of his simple life in paradise.  Although he may be a hermit, Ed has probably spoken to more people than most in the time span of one day.  Ed lives without the privileges we take for granted, such as electricity and running water.  Ed’s life is simple yet happy, and I believe those are two factors that help determine true beauty.

Works Cited:

http:/www.tfn.net/springs, Lily Springs, Gilchrist County, FL

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