Unwriting, unwriting, and more unwriting!

Editor Patricia is finally getting around to giving me some more feedback.  Big Creek is WAAAAY too long.  I knew that.  Two days ago, Patricia told me to cut 20,000 words.  It’s not really too hard as I had so much material.  It is time consuming though. So that is what I have been working on the past few days.

I am a compulsive volunteer.  At our first Middle Keys Concert Association performance, they announced that they needed a volunteer to help with some record keeping.  It turned out that they needed someone with spreadsheet experience and I am the spreadsheet Queen. It was a perfect match.  The concert, by the way, was The New Xavier Cugat Orchestra. It was a great Latin music performance featuring the music of Cugat and Desi Arnaz.  They even wore those huge frilly sleeves. We were also treated to some Latin dancing. Very sexy.

We have been affected by the great blizzard.  The second week our performers, Trio Solisti, were unable to fly out of New York.  They are fabulous and I am sorry that their schedule will not permit them to appear this year.  All was not lost.  Violinist William Hagen, scheduled for the third week, was already in the south and was able to come a week early.  He played some amazing Mozart, Prokofiev, Tartini/Kreisler, and Ravel.  The whole audience jumped up and cheered when he finished “The Devil’s Trill” and again after “Tzigane”.

We’ve still been taking our walks, which refresh me.  I’ve taken some pictures too. We’ve had some brilliant blue skies obscured by clouds.

b Blue Sky Obscured by Clouds
Blue Sky Obscured by Clouds

We have a lot of cats in the RV park. They stare at us as we walk by.
b Cat 1

I don’t know why I have not taken pictures of them before.

b Cat 2

The hibiscus (or is that hibiscusi? No, it is hibiscuses. I think you can also just say hibiscus.) have burst into bloom again.  Many RVs have some blooming in front of them.

b Pink Hibiscus

I don’t mind the clouds; they keep it cooler for walking.
b Clouds Over Water

One windy day, we had a flock of birds at the end of the canal.  Here are a Great White and a Snowy Egret. I noticed that the Snowy did not chase away his larger cousin.    There were also two pelicans, but their photos did not turn out very well.

b Great Egret and Snowy Egret

We took a short walk at Sombrero Beach the other day.  It was cold and windy.  I was wearing jeans and my new “dark orchid”, fleece-lined, raincoat as a windbreaker.  I could not believe all the people lying on the beach with nothing on but swimsuits. They must have been Canadians or Germans, or English. Those folks are tough.

b Sombrero Beach
Sombrero Beach

We came across a man blowing bubbles with one of those wands made with two sticks and some twine. It was too windy and most of the bubbles burst quickly. This one was huge!!

b Huge Bubble
Huge Soap Bubble

This one stayed together longer.

b Bubble
Soap Bubble

The heron was close to the seawall, so I got a portrait. The float in the background is not so great.

b Tricolored Heron Portrait
Tricolored Heron
b Desert Rose
Desert Rose

Martin and Betsy suggested having lunch at the Marathon Ocean Park.  We ate in this tiki.

b Lunch Tiki
Marathon Ocean Park Picnic Pavilion

I don’t know why I even noticed this iguana basking in the sun near the peak of the roof.

b Iguana on Tiki Roof
Iguana on Tiki Roof

Martin and Betsy posed for a picture for me in a smaller pavilion at the water’s edge. We sat and chatted for a long time and it turned into a very long lunch break.

b Martin and Betsy
Martin and Betsy
b Orchid 2
Orchid
b Orchid
Orchid

 

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November 23, 2015 – Crane Point

Our first outing of the day was to the dentist to get our cleanings.  I have had some terrible sensitivity for the past few months and Dr. Kiefer found a crack in a tooth.  He says I need a crown.  It could turn into a root canal too. Really, it hurts the purse more than the mouth.

I spent the rest of the morning studying Extended Warranties for the motorhome.  Here’s the thing: reading insurance-type documents makes my eyes snap shut. And the price of the policy is enough to take my breath away. Andy took me out of my misery by suggesting we go to Sombrero Beach to eat our lunch and then Crane Point for our walk.  He didn’t have to ask me twice.

After several weeks of rain, heat, and high humidity, today was spectacular. We got our favorite picnic table at the beach.

b Our Picnic Pavilion

I spotted this Great White Egret as we were walking back to the car after we ate.  It was at the same spot as the Little Blue Heron the other day.

b Great White Egret

Since I was on the pier in Sister Creek, I turned and took a picture aimed out at the ocean. That’s our favorite picnic pavilion on the left.

b Sister's Creek

Crane Point Museum and Nature Center is a 63-acre preserve and one of my favorite places to walk.

b Crane Point Museum

We walked out Crane Road to Crane Point.

b Crane Road

I love the Florida Thatch Palm leaves and take more pictures of them than anything else when we walk around Crane Point. The leaves are a couple feet across.

b Florida Thatch Palm

And, I always get a close up.

b Florida Thatch Palm Closeup

The trees were loaded.  I’m pretty sure these are Pigeon Plums although they don’t match all the pictures on Google Images. They are closely related to Sea Grapes and the fruit is an important source of food for migrating birds.

b Pigeon Plums

Porous limestone is what is under our feet in much of the Florida keys.  Treacherous.

b Limestone

b Orange Flower

b Orange Flowers

Crane Point is named for Francis and Mary Crane who built this house in 1949. It is in poor condition and not open to visitors.

b Crane House

I found these mangrove blossoms out at Crane Point. They are very small and you have to look for them.

b Mangrove Blossoms

We stopped in the Wild Bird Center, for injured birds.  Some are healed and released and a good many of them are permanent residents, like this tiny  burrowing owl.  I don’t know how it is possible, but they can burrow tunnels through that limestone.

b Burrowing Owl

There is always a pelican sitting just like this on this perch.  I think it is the same one.

b Sleeping Pelican

Here is a bird that I don’t recall seeing before. It looks as though his eye is in his beak. I can’t find it in my bird books or on line. Anybody know what it is?

b Herring Gull

This is the Adderly House, the oldest house in the keys, outside of Key West. Built in 1903 by Bahamian George Adderly, the house is crumbling.  The woman in the picture is doing some preservation on the tabby.

b Adderly House Touch Up

November 19, 2015 – Sombrero Beach

I spent four hours working on THE BOOK in the morning and then we went to Sombrero Beach for lunch and a walk.  We invited a man and woman to sit at our picnic table with us and ended up having a great visit. Joe and Tina Moore from Savannah, Georgia are here for a two-week family Thanksgiving vacation and had just arrived today by boat. They have rented a house and the rest of the extended family will be arriving over the coming week.

Sombrero Beach is a city park used by tourists and locals alike. For some reason, I did’t take many pictures and the ones I did take were not all that good. We’ll be back there often enough to get more before the season is over.

This is a Little Blue Heron, but was very red.  I spent a lot of time Googling images comparing it to the Reddish Egret, but couldn’t decide.  So, I decided the default is Little Blue Heron.

b Little Blue Heron

The tide was high for our walk again today.  I must have seen this before, but today noticed that a sea grape is growing out of the base of this palm tree.

b Sea Grape Growing on Base of Palm Tree

I worked four more hours on THE BOOK after our walk.

German Journeyman Carpenters

We ate lunch and took our walk today at Sombrero Beach.  There were three oddly-dressed young men in the large pavilion and I struck up a conversation with one of them after the other two had left.  There are from Germany.  His English was pretty good, enough to tell me that they are traveling for three years and a day.  I thought he meant between school and starting work like a “gap year”. They are in the US for two months, but are not working here. He said the costume is “old”.  I asked if it was traditional, but he didn’t know that word so I asked if it was old. I did understand that they are carpenters.  His name is Johannes.

b Johannes Wandering Journeyman

They were carrying interesting bundles and he posed with his for me.

b Johannes with Bundle

We took several turns around the park and along the beach to get two miles on the pedometer. It was not crowded today.  There were even plenty of parking spaces available. This is my picture of a little girl in a red swimsuit on the beach.

b Little Girl on Beach

This Little Blue Heron and Snowy Egret were foraging at the far end of the beach.

b Little Blue Heron

b Snowy Egret

The other two men were back when we were leaving.  They had walked to Publix for some beer. The one in the center has a terrible sunburn.

b Three German Journeymen Carpenters

I did some Googling when I got home and found a blog where someone else has done the homework.

http://jandme3.blogspot.com/2012/02/monday-february-27.html#comment-form

Sombrero Beach, Marathon, Florida

Marathon Florida has one of the nicest city parks I have seen anywhere.  It is not very big, but it has a beautiful beach on the Atlantic Ocean. Today, we stopped in the Publix grocery store for some lunch and then took it down to the beach to eat.  We found an empty picnic table near the large pavilion.  A group of young hippies was on a blanket near us making jewelry to sell.  I did not see a soul even stop to take a look, although children did stare at them as the families walked by.

Our purpose today was for me to take a long walk, my first since the spider bite.  When we finished eating, we walked over to have a look at the beach. To the east:

a Beach to the East

and to the west:

a Beach to the West

The holiday crowds have not gone home yet. We took a look and then started circling the park by heading west past the large picnic pavilion.  That is our current favorite place to sit and eat because it is elevated and has a nice view over the grass buffer zone to the ocean.  But all the tables there were taken by loud talkers with loud music.

a Sidewalk Past Large Pavilion

The park has a very nice playground for the children.  The only drawback is that it does not have any shade. There is some great playground equipment.  I especially like this merry go round, but have not tried it yet.

a Boys on Merry Go Round

There are two swings that look like small trampolines.

a Girl on Swing

The west end of the park has two sand volley ball courts.

a Volley Ball Court
Volley Ball Courts

Our other favorite picnic pavilion is in the corner of the park where Sister Creek meets the ocean. There was no one using it when we walked by.  We had taken the first available table we came to because the park was crowded and we didn’t want to miss out on getting one.

a Favorite Picnic Pavilion

There is a nice row of palm trees along the Sister Creek side of the park, but the beach is lined with rocks.  They are not too difficult to cross over.

a Beach Along Sister Creek

There is a nice pier out into Sister Creek.  A boy was at the end of the pier fishing.  He said there were some mangrove snappers under the pier, but he was not able to catch one.

a Pier on Sister Creek

The park has two toilet buildings and they always have an adequate supply of toilet paper and paper towels. There are also plenty of outdoor showers to wash the sand off.

a Showers and Toilet Building

You get from the grassy park to the beach via short boardwalks through the grass buffer zone.

a Walkway to Beach

We spotted a small iguana at one picnic pavilion.  The smaller they are, the brighter green they are.  This one had a big belly.

a Young Iguana

There are four small mahogany trees in a row along the fence near the road.  We noticed that one at one end appeared to be dead, the next one had small leaves coming out. The next one had a few more.  The fourth tree was full, lush and green. We don’t know what is going on there.

We circled the park two or three times and my foot feels just fine.

Sombrero Beach

The television weather report tonight confirmed my hypothesis of a few days ago: Winter is Over. The forecast is in the low 80s for the next week.

Last summer I got the great idea to scan all the recipes I have collected over the years.  You know, all those torn out of newspapers and out of the magazines in doctor’s offices.  And the handwritten recipe cards from friends and family.  And the cookie recipe on the bag of sugar. I dragged all of those out of the storage unit and took them with us in the motorhome. They filled a large box and three fat three-ring binders.  And, I’ve been falling over them ever since.  The scanner is way too slow. So today I decided to take photographs instead.  Today I took 347 pictures of recipes.

We got veggie wraps at Publix and took them to Sombrero Beach. It was very crowded and we were lucky to find a parking place. Then we were lucky to find a picnic table. A large iguana walked past us and into the tall grass on the beach side of the fence.  Then a young, bright green one came out of the tall grass to munch on the lawn. I made kissing sounds to get him to look at me.

Iguana

This very large tree is near the street.  I think it is a mahogany, maybe.

That looks like a Strangler Fig covering the trunk.  If so, it will kill the host eventually.  I’ll have to do some more research and a closer inspection the next time we go there.

There are many of these little crabs along the canal into the RV park.  I suppose they are all over the islands.  We regularly see this little one in the same spot at the entrance to the canal.
Crab
This yellow Hibiscus is in front of a trailer down the street from us. The pistil must be three or four inches long.  I didn’t remember that word; I Googled it. The pistil is a female part. I didn’t remember that either.
Hibiscus