May 24, 2019 – Footers and Vapor Barrier

This may have been the same crew that built the form for the cement slab. They had already laid out the plastic vapor barrier when I came out the front door in the morning.

They spent a good bit of time digging out footings around the perimeter and dug the dirt away from the outside of the form as well.

Those sections of rebar are for the inside of the periodic cement-filled column of cement in the exterior wall.

I can almost tell where the rooms are going to be from the pipes sticking up in the air.

This is what it looked like at the end of the day.

May 23, 2019 – The Plumber

The plumber arrived early in the morning and stayed all day. At first, he was measuring from the house corners with a chalk line to mark where the pipes need to lay and where to emerge from the cement.

When that job was done, he began to lay out the pipes.

By the end of the day, he had all the pipes connected and poking up in the air.

But I neglected to get a picture of the finished work.

May 22, 3019 – The House Next Door

A small bulldozer had smoothed out all the piles of dirt before I got outside with my camera. I was not long after that a crew of men arrived and began setting up the form for pouring the concrete. They were playing happy Mexican music on a radio. They pounded thick stakes in with huge sledgehammers. Two men stood facing each other and alternated pounding the stake. Sorry I missed that great picture.

This is what the house looked like at the end of the day.

These are the parts of our house construction that we missed when our house was being built, so it is fun to watch it happen next door.

May 18, 2019 – Dirt and Moon

We repeated our walk through the new section and across the golf course this morning. The first thing we saw when we went out the front door was a dump truck dumping dirt in the lot next door. (Can it be called next door when it does not have a door?) They ended up dumping nine dump-truck loads.

The lot at the end of the new street is a more-or-less pie shape that ends in a really sharp point behind our house.

When the new neighbors move in, this will be their view of our house.

We sat outside and watched the moon rise over the distant trees.

Full Moon Rise
Full Moon
Full Moon
Full Moon

I may have posted more moon pictures than anyone wants to see.

May 17, 2019 – Walk Around New Section of our Development

We have been watching tractors pushing dirt around across the golf course for months now. It is almost ready to start building houses. Now the roads are paved so Andy agreed to take our morning walk down our street and turn into the new section, then cross the golf course back to our house. It was a new perspective. The house on the far left in ours.

Two Sandhill Cranes were also out walking early in the morning.

Sandhill Crane

This is the view the new neighbors across the way will have of our house. Almost.

The golf course pond was full of birds.

Reddish Heron

The multi-colored Ibis are juveniles. They turn all white with black under the wings when they mature.

A good-sized flock was foraging on the golf course. I wonder if they injest pesticides there. I’ve read that the Sandhill Cranes are commonly seen on golf courses in Florida.

That walk turned out to be one mile.

A little bulldozer came and started pushing dirt around on the lot next to us! One of the men told me they were clearing up all the vegetation (weeds and grass) today.

Our view is going to change with a house very close to us.

A house next door and a whole row of them across the golf course. The neighborhood will be different when we get back from our summer road trip.

Trip to Marathon, Florida

We have been so overwhelmed with medical appointments and issues for the past six months that we have not had time for a trip to the keys for a look around. We’ve been here for about a week now and will head back north on Wednesday. This is not the time of year to visit the Florida keys. It has been hot. Even though it seems bearable with a nice breeze, I can feel the sun burning my skin.

I was craving seafood and had to go to Sparky’s for fish tacos the first day. Another day, we ate Hogfish sandwiches at Keys Fisheries. Today we ate with Jim and Bettye Chaplin at Burdines. Tomorrow, our last day, we are going back to Keys Fisheries for more hogfish. My stomach leads the way.

We have stayed inside (in the air conditioning) in the heat of the day, and I have caught up with my Florida Keys Concert Association ticket sales records.

I do have a few pictures to share.

Our RV lot looks kinda bare with the small RV and no car, screen room or patio furniture. Hurricane Irma stripped a lot of the mangroves bare of leaves. We still have some behind our site, but it is not the lush jungle it was before Irma blew through.

This is how the mangroves look behind the lots between ours and the ocean.

I was dismayed to see this “castle house” under construction down the street. I should have taken a picture of the other side. It has a large bas relief shield with dragons on it. Fanciful maybe, but not fitting with the island vibe at all. I made some snarky remarks about it to Andy the first day.

We took a drive through our favorite picnic lunch spot, Oceanfront Park, behind City Hall. It was damaged beyond use and the picnic pavilions on the water’s edge have a plywood barricade in front of them. We have been going down to the waterfront in our RV park to sit and watch the ocean.

This iguana was on the rocks across the canal from us.


One day, there were seven or eight crabs on the rocks below where we were sitting. They are super skittish so I was lucky to get any pictures of them.


I just love those bright red legs!

Black Mangrove Blossoms

The Black Mangroves behind our pad are in full bloom, but you have to look closely to notice. The blossoms are tiny.

Another day, it started raining on us as we walked to the waterfront. We turned back, but the rain came harder. We took shelter under the castle house under construction. As we waited for the shower to pass, Andy said I can’t complain about the castle house anymore.

The photo does not show it, but it was raining hard at that moment.

May 1, 2019 – Venetian Gardens Park

It was as perfect a day as days can get for lunch and a walk in the park. And, we didn’t waste it. This grill was in front of our parking space

Looks as though there was some excitement at this picnic grill recently. Having seen all the stuff people put in barbecue grills up in Big Creek, I surmise that it could have been just about anything.

For some reason, I can never remember the name of Limpkin. We see several every time we take a walk in the park and then have to look it up again. Limpkin. Limpkin. Limpkin.


There were three or four of what I call odd ducks roosted at the water’s edge. Surely there is some Mallard in there.

Odd Duck

This Purple Gallinule walking across lily pads was most entertaining. By the time it disappeared into the grasses, it was running.

Purple Gallinule

The Red Heron, not to be confused with a red herring, looks a lot like a Little Blue Heron, except for the red neck and head.

Red Heron

A Great Blue Heron was standing majestically along the shore as we walked by so, of course, I took some photos. The most interesting one was when it stopped being majestic and scratched its chin.

Great Blue Heron

The Gallinules were abundant and active today. Their feathers were iridescent in the bright sunshine.

Purple Gallinule or Moor Hen

I saw this egret catch a frog. Swallowing the frog was a different story. We stood and watched for a long while as the egret seemed to have succeeded only to spit it back out and start over.

Great White Egret with Frog

The problem seemed to be the frog’s front legs which kept sticking out at the top of the egret’s beak.

It was a dexterous trick to spit the frog out and flip it around to a different position.

The egret’s throat was bulged out. I was feeling a great deal of pity for the poor frog. I hoped it was dead early on.

Poor frog. We watched it go in and out of the egret’s mouth until we got tired of standing there. We walked on and did not see whether the egret ever got its lunch down to its stomach or not.

I have never seen a gallinule with wings spread like this. This photo will make a great addition to my bird-butt collection.

Purple Gallinule

There must have been some pest annoying it. We saw a lot of flapping and scratching before moving on.

The red heron was just a shiver of feathers the moment before I snapped this picture.

Red Heron
Venetian Gardens Canal

At one point a gallinule seemed to be fussing at us as we began to cross a bridge. Then I spotted a nest in the weeds. There were at least two black fuzz balls in there, but I could not get a good picture of them. Ah, spring! I love babies.

On the far side of the bridge, a newly-hatched Common Gallinule/Common Moorhen was out of the nest and on the lawn. Two siblings were at the edge of the nest, not quite ready to conquer the grass.

Common Moorhen with Chick

It is about the size of a newly-hatched chicken.

Moorhen Chick

I don’t think I’ve ever seen a turtle with so much moss on its shell.

Fuzzy Green Turtle

Some water lilies at the edge of the lake are in such shallow water that the flowers do not sit on the surface. This one was about a foot above the water.