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

 

Advertisements

Activity Tracker Encourages Walking

I have been wearing pedometers for more than ten years and was happy with them, except for their short life span. I didn’t see the need for anything fancier.  But, now I have to admit that we are walking a lot more with the activity trackers.  If I have been sitting at the computer for too long, the wristband buzzes and tells me to move. Then we go out and take a walk.  Another change that has made it easier is to take more, shorter walks rather than do it all at once. In the past, something (hips, knees, or back) would be hurting after four or five miles. In the last three days, we have covered over five miles and nothing hurts. It helps that we are about a mile from the grocery store and our mailbox at the UPS store.  That racks up two miles. Even taking the trash out makes for a good walk.

Speaking of trash, Cuppy, the snowman, traveled to the dumpster last week. I hated to throw him away, but there is no place to store him.  So I stood him atop my granny cart and off we went.

b Cuppy Goes to the Dumpster
Cuppy, the Snowman, Goes to the Dumpster

We have had a lot of rain and clouds over the past week or so.  It has been cold and windy too. Often, there is a strip of bright blue/green on the horizon when it is cloudy.  Sometimes wider, but usually narrow like in this picture. It might be the edge of the shallow water and grass.

b Stripe on Horizon
Blue/Green Stripe on Horizon

A Snowy Egret and a Tricolor Heron have been hanging around the end of our canal for the past few days. They like to stand on the yellow floats to fish or sleep.  Several times, they have squabbled over territory.  Other times they have been close together  peacefully.

The Snowy Egret is distinguished by his yellow feet and the yellow patch at the base of the bill.  The backs of his legs are also yellow.

b Snowy Egret
Snowy Egret

After this morning’s squabble, the heron moved to the mangrove roots across the canal.  It was there again when we took a late-afternoon walk.

b Tricolor Heron in Mangroves
Tricolor Heron on Mangrove Roots

October 31, 2015 – Big Cypress National Preserve

If Joe and Linda were any nicer, we might just have stayed parked in their driveway for a month.  I didn’t want to leave, but knew I would feel that way every morning and might was well get along with it. So, we got underway about 1045. We went south in I-75 and then switched over to US 41 at Naples. Instead of saying Tamiami Trail, Helga the GPS kept saying “Tamiamitrami”.

I wanted to stop at the Big Cypress Visitor Center to look at the alligators and birds.  I was disappointed that we did not see any along the roadway as we have in the past.  I took a few pictures.

It was definitely alligator nap time. Not one of them moved a hair. This one opened its eye for a moment and then went back to sleep. There were not as many of them as we normally see, but I can’t come up with an explanation for that.

b Alligator Eye Open

b Alligator on Shore

Here is a better look at the foot.

b Alligator Foot

b Alligator

There is a very nice boardwalk overlook with chain link fencing at the bottom to keep the alligators from climbing up on the lawn and eating tourists.

b Andy Watching Alligator

This female anhinga was sitting in a tree drying and fluffing her feathers.  (The males have a black chest, neck, and head.) Anhingas swim underwater to catch fish, but then they must dry their feathers before they can fly.  They don’t have the oils like ducks and geese do.

b Anhinga Female in Tree

b Dragonfly

This Great Blue Heron was hunting on the far side of the water.  It did not seem too concerned about being close to the dozing alligator.

b Great Blue Heron Hunting

I thought this was a Little Blue Heron.

b Little Blue Heron in Tree

But, after I walked to one end of the boardwalk and back, this Tricolor Heron was standing in the same vicinity as the little blue.  I suspect it was the same bird, misidentified at first.

b Tricolor Heron on Branch

Of course I bought another book in the gift shop.

We got to Midway Campground at 1520 and had covered 140 miles. There were no camp hosts. There are 26 RV sites and were only seven RVs there for the night. It is a really developed campground for a national park.  There is even electricity, but no water or sewer hookups.  The dump station is near the exit.

b Sao in Everglades National Park

We took a walk and then sat next to the pond for a while.  We went inside before any mosquitoes could suck our blood.