Frederick Moyer at Florida Keys Concert Association

The last concert of the season was last night at San Pablo Catholic Church. Frederick Moyer gave the best performance of the season, in my opinion.  One highlight was Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata.  You just had to be there to experience it.  After the intermission, he wowed the audience with Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2.  I can assure you that he got a rousing standing ovation for that.

I took this picture while he was playing Mozart’s Variations (on Twinkle Twinkle Little Star). Notice the screen? Moyer invented this.  He has a camera aimed at the keyboard.  A projector, on the tripod, puts the picture on a piece of white plastic that sticks to the piano via static.  He can safely put it on any piano. Everyone can clearly see his hand flying over the keyboard.  Even me, in the back row.

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Frederick Moyer

Here is a closer look at his screen.

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Frederick Moyer’s Hands on the Keyboard

Don’t miss him if you ever hear of him playing on a piano near you!

 

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February 26, 2017

On Friday, we drove to Key West to pick up the car from Cooper’s Paint and Body Shop on Stock Island. It looks as good as new.  Actually, it is still new; we just bought it in August.

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RAV4 Good as New

I always admire this Bougainvillea at a trailer up the street from us.  It looks beautiful, but I’m afraid I would get cut up trying to walk through the arch.  Bougainvillea has some nasty thorns on it.

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Bougainvillea Arch

We walk to the waterfront every day and watch the ocean for a while.  This is a container ship just over the horizon.

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Container Ship Over Horizon

How exciting is our life?  So much so that we sat and watched this shell crawling along the bottom for a long time. That’s life in the slow lane. I think it was a hermit crab inside.

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We have seen Horseshoe Crabs several times this week.  I think they are mating here.

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Horseshoe Crabs

This small crab lives in the rocks below our lookout spot.  The red is brilliant.  We have to be careful and slowly, quietly, sneak up on him or he hides before I can get a picture.

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Crab

We drove to Bahia Honda State Park for our walk today.  This being the weekend, the beach was crowded.  We did luck out and get there at low tide, so there was plenty of sand.

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Sandspur Beach at Bahia Honda State Park

We got a kick out of this group.  The adults had buried the four kids in the sand.  The woman was still piling sand on the smallest boy in the forground.  But, he wriggled out just after I took this picture.

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Bury Children in the Sand

I remarked that this boy had built a sand city.  He responded with, “Thanks.  I didn’t do it all by myselft.  They helped me.” He pointed to the other kids in the water.

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Sand City

A little farther along, we saw this osprey circle over the water, looking for a fish dinner.  It came back empty-clawed and landed on this dead tree and spread its wings to dry.

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Osprey with Wings Spread

When it was satisfied with the drying job, it folded the wings back into place.

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Osprey on Dead Tree

A lot of sand has been washed away from the beach and it is about a foot or two lower that it has been in the past.. The west end of the beach is all rock, except for a narrow path along the higher grass level. We continued along the cove and all the way to the small bridge over the creek.

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There are huge mounds of seagrass along the beach there.  I asked Andy to be my scale model and next next to one to show how high it is. I could not feel any rocks in the pile of grass.

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Mound of Sea Grass on Beach

This sandstone is very pretty with the impressions of old sea plants and animals.  I don’t know what that fleshy plant is growing over it.

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Sandstone Rock on Beach

A large flock of pelicans was circling high over the beach as we returned to the parking lot.

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Allegiance – The Movie

We drove to Key West today, with friends Martin and Betsy, to see Allegiance.

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Daughter Jennifer called me from Milwaukee to insist that we go see it.  She said she and George were crying real tears when they left the theater.  That just shows how hard-hearted they are.  Or, maybe it shows how soft-hearted I am.  I started crying at the beginning of the movie.  This is such an important story and part of our history.  I wish everyone could see it as so much of it is relevant today.

The movie is a film of the Broadway stage show.  I’ve decided that is better than seeing it on stage, live.

Go see it if you have a chance.  Moving and thought-provoking.

 

 

 

Dagny Johnson Key Largo Hammock Botanical State Park

We went on another senior adventure with Martin and Betsy Basch.  I read about Dagney Johnson in my book, “Women Saving the Florida Keys”.  We left in the morning and stopped at Bayside Gourmet in Islamorada for breakfast.

When we got to the park in Key Lago, I realized that I had forgotten my camera again.  Again.  So this post features photos Betsy took with her iPhone.  Nice job Betsy!

This park was going to be a housing development.  I’m not sure exactly how it became a state park, but it involved a woman, Dagney Johnson. This is from the park website:

The park was established in 1982 with land acquired by Florida’s Conservation and Recreational Lands program. Now 2,421 acres on the northern third of the island of Key Largo, the park was named for Dagny Johnson, a local environmental activist, approximately one year before her death in 2003. Throughout the 1970s, `80s and `90s, Johnson led the Upper Keys Citizens Association, the Izaak Walton League and other environmental organizations that fought to stop the development that was planned for much of north Key Largo. Preservation of onshore communities was not the only purpose for protecting north Key Largo. These environmental activists also wanted to protect the coral reefs offshore from the adverse impacts of land development.

“Once slated to become a condominium development, this park contains one of the largest tracts of West Indian tropical hardwood hammock in the United States. The park is home to 84 protected species of plants and animals, including wild cotton, mahogany mistletoe and the American crocodile. Exploring the park´s trails gives visitors a chance to see some of these rare species of plants and animals. Over six miles of nature trails provide a wealth of opportunities for birdwatchers and photographers.”

There are plenty of reminders that the place was going to be a development.  The main entrance trail is a paved road. We were not sure what this traffic circle was about.  It has arbors and picnic tables.

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This long stone wall was puzzling, but is was a nice walking path in the cool shade

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Betsy took a few closeup pictures of the limestone rocks.

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There are a lot of Poisonwood trees in the park.  They can be identified by the bright orange splotches on the trunk.  All parts of the tree are poisonous with oil that will blister your skin.

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After a nice walk on a paved road through the forest, we came out into a wide-open area with no trees.  The path was a bit rough limestone.  Andy was happy he brought his walking stick.

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The park map said this was a wet area, but it is bone dry right now.  The red mangrove, with the prop roots, usually grows in the water.  I hope they survive.

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I was happy to get back into the woods and shade.  This was a mulch path.  The park is large and the trails are very nice.  The scenery doesn’t change much, though.

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The park is on the ocean, but there is no access to the beach yet. We came upon a park volunteer who told us that much of the rubble we saw was from buildings that have been knocked down.  There are lagoons and canals that were to be waterfront for the homes.  There are crocodiles on Key Largo so there probably won’t be any swimming in them.

We stopped at Smuggler’s Cove in Islamorada.  We went there for hamburgers, but Andy was the only one that got one.  The rest of us got fish tacos.  And, that was our day.

Amernet String Quartet

We spent some time on the waterfront in the morning.  I spotted this fish, but have not looked it up to figure out what it is.

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These two pelicans were bobbing around together the whole while we sat there.

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The fourth concert of the Florida Concert Association season, Amernet String Quartet, was in the evening at Marathon High School.
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We got there early and set up our ticket sales table.  It was quiet for a long while so I checked my watch and the brochure to make sure we were in the right place on the right day.  Concert patrons began arriving between six and six-thirty.  The doors open at seven.

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Students get into the concerts for free.  I snapped a picture of these three before the concert.

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The quartet played Haydn’s String Quartet in G minor, Op 74, No. 3.  They play with a lot of energy. Next was Kaufman’s String Quarter No. 6, “The Urban”.  I did not care for that piece, which sounded like a lot of noise to me.  I was glad when it was over.

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After intermission, they played Grieg’s String Quartet in G minor, Opus 27, No. 1.  This was the best piece yet, but it took some concentration to appreciate it.  Whether I loved their chosen music or not, I have to admire their skills.  They were excellent. Here is the audience showing their appreciation with a standing ovation.

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Sombrero Beach Walk

We took our walk today around Sombrero Beach, our city park beach. I like to walk there because there is a nice sidewalk trail around the park for after I get tired of walking in the sand. It was just an hour after low tide, so there was a lot of beach to walk on.  Here are a few random pictures from our walk plus a few others.

This picture was taken looking up Sister Creek, which leads to Boot Key Harbor.  At high tide, the water is up to the rocks.

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There is a wide band of sea grass between the park and the beach.  A number of walkways connect them.  It always looks so inviting to me to look out to the ocean through them.

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We could see the mast of this sailboat from the street and thought it might be aground.  It turned out to be a catamaran that doesn’t need much water. The dark gray part of the “beach” is the limestone that forms the Florida Keys. Wikipedia says, “Limestone is a sedimentary rock, composed mainly of skeletal fragments of marine organisms such as coral, forams and mollusks. Its major materials are the minerals calcite and aragonite, which are different crystal forms of calcium carbonate (CaCO3).”  It is rough, sharp, and wicked to walk on.

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This dove was sitting on the railing of the main picnic pavilion.  Look at that blue around the eye! Well, I guess it is part of the eye.

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A sand artist did a nice job on this dolphin.

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Andy and I also spent some time at our RV park waterfront, as usual.  We call it walking but actually spend just as much time sitting and looking out at the ocean as we do walking.

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We often see these fish.  They were traveling in a tight cluster today.  This is part of the school in very shallow water.

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I took this picture of the moon last night.  The clouds were much brighter and pinker than they appear in my picture.
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