Saturday, February 26, 2011

Indian Serenade

We visited a nature preserve north of Boca Raton, Fl and had a wonderful morning. Jeff finally dragged me out after a few hours. It was the perfect time of year to visit with lots of babies and beautiful foliage. The sign for Wakodahatchee, which sound like a native American name, and a beautiful tri-colored heron.
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What a fish story

The saga of the great blue herons and the fish. In the top photo this guy caught a large fish and could barely carry it. He used his chest to support it. His pal wanted to share, but that was not going to happen. The fisherman dropped the still live fish in the water and then stabbed it with his beak to kill it. Then he and his chum fluffed their feathers and strutted around to see who would eat the fish until the first guy had enough and took the poor fish in his beak again. The fourth photo shows him opening his beak and swallowing the whole fish and the last photo it is going down while his friend watches the process. Note how large his throat expands. Quite an exquisite thing for us to see.
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The Bird is the Word

More birds and a gator. Top is a young alligator napping on a log. An American coot with his white face. A great egret with his green eye patch. A wood stork and a black-necked stilt (I think).
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Ooh Baby, Baby Love

So many babies. What a great time as there were nests in every tree with baby anhingas, egrets and other birds. Top is an anhinga with chicks, a nest high in a tree, a tiny island full of nests, a glossy ibis with teal friends and a moorhen with bright red face.
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I'll Fly Away

Some of our feathered friends and Jeff on the boardwalk. A large turtle, tri-colored heron, blue teals and an anhinga.
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Friday, February 25, 2011

The Sunny Side of the Street

Mallory Square at Sunset. Street performers, crowds and the main attraction - the sun setting in the west.
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Would You Like to Swing on a Star?

Oh, we do like to swing in our hammock and we found a store on Duval Street where we purchased a new "chair" model to fit in our stand. It is very cool with a foot rest, pillows and lots of controls to let you lie back and relax. Our extraordinary salesperson, Reynaldo, showed us all the ropes and how to control the thing. Excuse the pun. Can't wait for it to arrive at our house.

Kokomo Pictures

Hemingway House with his writing studio, a six toed cat and a urinal from his favorite bar turned into a beautiful fountain.


Yet another perfect weather day with a nice breeze. Jeff had hoped to go up in an ultralight, but too much wind, so we rested all morning and enjoyed watching the water and swaying palms. Finally got ready to explore and stopped for shopping at a terrific outlet with a great selection of sandals and beachwear. Then we headed to the action in downtown Key West.

First stop was the southernmost point of the continental US just 90 miles from Cuba. Then a stop in front of the Customs House with a huge statue by J. Seward Johnson who created the Sculpture Garden in Hamilton, (next to Trenton) NJ, and a place we enjoyed visiting before moving south. Next was a visit to Harry S. Truman's Little White House. On the naval base this house and grounds were set up for Truman's vacations and since has had many Presidents visit as well as hosting important diplomatic summit meetings. So interesting to see the 50's style furnishings and learn about all the history. I met a giant fig tree with its interesting "flat" roots. On to the Ernest Hemingway House and lots of information about the author and his exciting life. Got to see a few of the six toed cats and really enjoyed our quirky guide, Bob from Boston.

We did the "Duval Crawl" walking and shopping our way back to Mallory Square in time to see the sun dip into the ocean to the laughter and applause of the crowd. Then the entertainers began and it is a lively place. We chose to eat a good fish dinner at a restaurant on the historic wharf and then returned to the campground for the night.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Tiny Bubbles...

Some more photos of our SNUBA diving.
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Yellow Submarine

Later this afternoon we went Snuba diving. This is a cross between snorkeling and scuba. It was great riding out to the reef - the only one in North America. When we arrived there were several Portuguese Men of War - jellyfish. We were very careful to stay clear, but got some great photos. Here is Jeff on our dive. Saw lots of fish including a large grouper. Yum! Best sightings were a long barracuda, spiny sea anemone and a huge, green moray eel. Later we rested and then had dinner with parents of my friend Robin at a local fish restaurant. First time I ate hogfish and like it. A few boats down at the marina was a manatee! The people there were giving him a drink of fresh water and he was enjoying it.