Sunday, April 23, 2006

Sunday Morning in the Yard

The yard is intoxicating this morning. The pond flowers are blooming, the jasmine is fragrant and the cardinals, wrens, bluejays, hawks, and pileated woodpeckers put on a show for me....Woodpecker photos are still dim however; I may not show them yet. They should be here for a few more days in the early morning. Listening to all the birds is thrilling...
Then later this afternoon, while finishing The Kite Runner in the hammock, I saw it. A swallow-tailed kite. I yelled its name without even realizing I knew it... I couldn't get a picture though and so you will have to imagine it.
Late afternoon was for kayaking Piney Z Lake. There were alligators everywhere and when they began to seem like little scaly motorboats all around me I decided to return to the launch. One surfaced and began a charge and I paddled backwards, splashing and making my loudiest alligator scaring burp noises. I was rewarded with a look at many red-wing blackbirds but the alligators were guarding the dredge thicket and I didn't want to threaten any nests. Since I was the only boat on the lake once again I felt somewhat vulnerable. Not too many things scare me, but alligators do!

I also ran into my friend Chuck, whom I worked with as a volunteer at SAIL High School and the Florida Folk Festival. He is in charge of this park among others, for Tallahassee Parks and he likes the outdoors as much as I do. He had a neat GPS tracker on top of his hat and it made maps on his wide screen telephone which he showed me. He told me about wheels for my kakayk and we parted with plans to chat at the Folk Festival. He runs the campground. Hi to Nathan from Chuck.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Red Wing Blackbird in a Cattail Thicket

Here is a male red-wing guarding his mating territory and gazing at his three wives!

Monday, April 17, 2006

58 Years of Wedded Bliss

Mom and dad are married 58 years today! We think it is the aluminium foil hat anniversary!

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Madonna by Barbara Psimas

I took several photos of Barbara Psimas's Madonnas at the last First Friday Gallery Hop and here are some of them.

I am not particularly religious, although I was raised Episcopalian. The Episcopalians always seemed to be mostly concerned with martinis, hats, and the Christmas Bazaar. I do have a favorite Episcopal church, however : St. Paul's in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

I also give money to the single mother fund at St. Mark's Episcopal church in PB Gardens where my mom attends. I believe in Angels, as well and I am especially grateful for their intervention, which I am careful not to request unless I really, really, really need it. .

Sunday, April 09, 2006

The Julie Hauserman Show

Last night I went to hear my MLC friend Julie Hauserman do a one woman performance of her essays on modern life. Julie is an award winning journalist who is well-known for her environmental pieces about various aspects of Florida's environment. But she is also a 21st century Dorothy Parker and has a wicked sense of humor! She had the audience howling for two hours! Click on the link to see one of her pieces on arsenic in our environment. Julie is truly an original in our cookie-cutter world. And everyone knows about my fondness for eccentrics! "What Would Cher Do?" is an example of her offbeat sense of humor!

You can read her story about Florida's Lost Waterfall in Cascades Park in the book "Between Two Rivers: Stories from the Red Hills to the Gulf." This book is a collection of writings from local environmentalists and biologists about issues of environmental protection in the state.

Just me and the Seaweed Farmer on The Wacissa

Saturday's kayak trip on the Wacissa was unique in that the only other person I saw was this seaweed farmer. It had been storming all day but that never stopped anyone in my family from going out on a river, so off I went! It was very windy, up to 20 knots I'd say but I stayed on the leeward side of the river on the way down. The storm clouds rolled and the wind blew. The air smelled like ocean and decaying vegetation.

I saw a huge, oddly flying bird cross the river and upon investigation I discovered it was a large gobbler who was perching in the top of a sweet gum tree. Before I could get my camera readied he had obscured himself! I saw moorhens, small egrets, and a few herons. All were very busy having afternoon kippers.

About two and a half hours later I began to hear thunder so instead of becoming barbeque hanging on to my aluminum kayak paddle I raced in and just missed the rain and lightening. I kayaked upstream in the middle of the river and it was a rapid trip back.

Friday, April 07, 2006

"There's a wild Gulf Hammock"

Will McLean once wrote a song about a wild hog in Gulf Hammock that was legendary because he was so much bigger than most, and he was uncaught. I believe this was the wild hog in the legend.

Wild Hog

by Will McLean

There's a wild hog in Gulf Hammock I don't wish on any man

My blood knows his hurtful tushes Darked the brown and yellow sand

Darked the brown and yello sand Wild hog!

It was on a lonesome evening Purty near the setting sun

Wasn't thinking I got careless didn't even tote a gun

There he stood, his red eyes burning, Slobber running down his jaw:

Never seen a sight so fearful Chilled me to my very maw.

Times at night I gits to thinking And the shivers colds my spine

I walk out into the moonlight: That old hog's still on my mind.

There's a wild hog in Gulf Hammock I don't wish on any man:

My blood knows his hurtful tushes Darked the brown and yellow sand

Darked the brown and yellow sand. Wild hog!

I have an old friend who hunts big game. I bet he salivated when he saw this hog. Personally, I'm grossed out by the gun.

This man, Larry Earley lives on twenty acres in Okahumpka. Although this sounds like an urban legend, it is quite true. He shot this hog in 2004. I guess he has a lot of friends who like bacon.

This hog would only have to have a seventy mile range to have been the hog of Will McLeans's legend. And he wouldn't even have had to cross the expressway. He could have gone under an overpass!

I like this song which I sing with Dougie and The Enablers aka The Morbid Tablenapkin Choir:

TAILS AND TROTTERS(Judy B. Goodenough)

Little piggy hollered in the middle of the night,"Tell me now, Mama, I wanna get it right.

What'll I be when I get big?""Hush," said his mama, "You're gonna be a pig.


"That's how it is when you get older,"You're bacon, butt, and picnic shoulder.

"All my sons and all my daughters"Are hocks and hams and tails and trotters."

"Oh, no," said the piggy, "That's mighty hard,"There's more to me than loin and lard.

"I can walk and talk, I'm young and strong.""Hush," said his mama, "Not for long.""

Oh, no," said the piggy, and he started to howl,"There's more to me than cheek and jowl.

"I'm pink and pretty, I can sing and dance.""Hush," said his mama, "You'll never get a chance."

"Oh, no," said the piggy, "I'll show you all."He went under the fence and over the wall.

He ran and he ran till the moon went down;He ran and he ran till he came to a town.

With a kink in his tail and a wink in his eye,He put on a hat and he put on a tie;

He parted his hair, bought a diamond ring,And nobody noticed anything.

"Oh, see," said the piggy, "I'm one of you."And everyone said, "How true, how true.

"He paid his money and he lived in style;Sometimes he sang with half a smile:


He's a big boar now, he's executive pork,And he eats his vittles with a knife and fork;

He often thinks of the lonesome tuneHis mama sang by the light of the moon:


Monday, April 03, 2006

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Kayaking the Intercoastal from Big Lagoon State Park

"one misty moisty morning, when cloudy was the weather..."

I camped at Big Lagoon State Park this weekend while visiting my son at UWF. The park is across the intercoastal from Perdido Key. Perdido Key sustained much damage during Ivan but it has been rebuilt with a vengeance. Here are some images from this morning's kayak trip. I crossed the intercoastal between barges. The last one out this morning was loaded with coal. I explored the marshy flats along the Key and crossed back during the incoming tide which was challenging.

This park sustained much damage from Ivan and many of its trees are blown down and have not been cleared. It is up and running though and it was quite full with spring break campers. It has boardwalks all through it running over the marshy flats.

Festival on the Green at UWF

Hey I look like that?

We went to the festival at UWF on Saturday. This was among the strange and wonderful sights!

Saturday wash day at UWF

Jon P is such a great guy. He helped Nathan bring down the laundry soap when I refused to carry it, to save us from arguing.

Pensacola Beach Sunset

This was the Saturday night sunset over Pensacola.