Florida Keys

Florida Keys
Tarpon and Pelicans

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Is That Guy Wearing Pants?

 

Cudjoe Key, Florida (high 85, low 78)

 

Not surprisingly, Al picked up my cold, and now we’re both under the weather. We always take Echinacea at the first sign of illness, or if we are exposed to anyone who is sick.  Usually we can avoid getting sick, or at not get as sick for as long.  Not this time.  We changed brands of Echinacea and are wondering if that is the problem.  Anyway…… I’m feeling much better and Al is feeling a little better. 

This morning, we decided we felt good enough to get up early and drive down to Key West to watch the sunrise at the White Street pier.  We got on the road while it was still dark and in a few minutes we were parked and walking across the street to the pier.

There is a beautiful and sad AIDS Memorial before you get to the pier.  It was beautifully done, and very touching. Sorry about the garbage cans behind the sign.

KW Aids Memorial 

The names are written on the panels on the ground, not on the wall behind.  I’m not sure what those black swirly things were supposed to represent.

KW Aids Memorial

There are about 1000 names here.  All from the Florida Keys.  The Keys had one of the highest rates of AIDS in the United States, but partly because a lot of people diagnosed came down to the Keys where they were not judged and there were people to help them.

 

KW Aids Memorial

 

 

The pier is pretty and the perfect place to watch the sunrise.

There was a pretty thick cloud bank and we didn’t think we would see much sun, but them shortly it started to peek through.

White Street Pier, Key West

There were a few people with dogs and this guy was softly playing his guitar.  It was quite beautiful.

White Street Pier, Key West

Enough clouds to make it interesting.

White Street Pier, Key West

White Street Pier, Key West 

Afterwards, we took a walk along the beach and there were quite a few Key West chickens out pecking for breakfast.

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This would have been a nice spot to watch the sun come up.  Maybe next time.

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We walked around for a while, then headed up to Geiger Key Road.  It’s right next to the runway for the Naval Air Station and if you’re very lucky, you can watch some F-18’s take off or land.

We weren’t lucky this morning, but we did have a little scare.

As we were walking along the path with the NAS runway on the right and the ocean on the left, we heard this whistling sound, which sounded like a dud bomb getting ready to explode.  We stopped to listen and then Al noticed two Egrets there and figured they were just making a whistling noise.  Then all of a sudden there was a “pop.”  It wasn’t vey loud, but it came from the runway on the NAS side of the fence. We were sure it was some sort of explosive and it was a bit unnerving.  As we walked along, we heard the whistling noise twice more and we then decided it was some sort of device they used to scare birds from the runway.  

 

SO…that mystery solved, we soon had another dilemma.  There was a guy coming down the path towards us with a long sleeved green shirt, which was came down to the top of his bare legs.  We whispered to each other, “is he wearing pants?”     As he passed by us, we still didn’t have our answer, but were afraid to look too close.

After he got down the road a few yards, I readied my camera and turned around just in time to see him peeling off his shirt.   I got the answer to my question.

He wasn’t exactly wearing pants.

Or was he?

is he wearing pants? 

Like I’ve said before.  You never know what you’ll see in Key West.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Haitian Orphans-Key West Photos

 

Cudjoe Key, Florida (high 85, low 75)

Our weather is pretty much the same every day, with very little cooling overnight. The north Georgia mountains are starting to sound appealing, especially since its been to windy to go boating. This is the time of year, you need to be out on or in the water.  The seas are too rough for us, so we’re staying on land. The good news is that the Atlantic should be warming up very nicely.

The other day, I was sitting outside on the patio, and noticed a young couple with two adorable little black girls.  They were trying to teach them to ride bikes and the girls were having a lot of trouble.  I didn’t think too much of it, but later I got to talking with the mother.  It turns out they the girls were adopted from Haiti after the terrible January 2010 earth quake.   I wasn’t exactly sure what year the Haiti earthquake occurred but after learning it was 2010 and they girls ages, the younger one wouldn’t have even been born then.    Obviously, there are a lot of orphans in Haiti.  The mother (didn’t ever get her name) said they had spent up to 20 hours a day in their cribs.  That sure isn’t a great way for a child to begin her life, is it?  They were both having trouble socializing but the younger one was much worse.

She said they didn’t actually know the ages of the girls for sure, but they were “aged” to be 3 and 5 years old.   How sad is that?  Apparently, the “aging” process can get within 6 months either way.  We were speculating the older one was probably on the older side of the 6 month estimation.

The older girl was pretty shy. She wouldn’t talk or make eye contact with me, but seemed to be a pretty happy little girl.

The younger was was pretty sad.  She was obviously developmentally challenged. 

It was good to meet this nice couple who took on two very challenging girls and are raising them as their own. Who knows what horrible things happened to them.

 

Al is getting my cold now, doesn’t it figure?  I’m getting better and he’s getting sick.  I told him to take his Echinacea!   So, it looks like we won’t be doing much fun for a few days.  We are supposed to go see Howard Livingston play tonight.  Yesterday when I wasn’t feeling well, Al joked that he was going to go without me.   Now the shoe is on the other foot and I might leave him at home!

 

Here are some pictures you might enjoy from around the islands.These were taking the past few weeks. I try to never leave home without my camera.

These are white pelicans. They always hang out at the same spot each year, but it’s a long way from a road.  I had to zoom way in to even be sure what they were and I think they were getting ready for bed.

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Waiting for sunset off Blimp Road.

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Pelicans swimming with HUGE tarpon.  Notice how the pelicans are mindful of the tarpon?   These were the biggest tarpon we’ve ever seen.  They were by the docks in Key West. 

A guy was cleaning fish and throwing the scraps into the water. Normally pelicans would grab the scraps, but they were a bit wary of the tarpon.  The splash on the right side of the picture was a tarpon.  The pelicans backed off.

tarpon and pelican

Notice the pelican with his eyes on the tarpon?  He is not going to fight the tarpon for a fish scrap. Tarpon are beautiful fish when you see them underwater.  They are shiny and silver.  This picture almost captures how pretty they are. They usually are in schools.

big tarpon and pelican

Interesting signs around Key West.  I have to agree with this one.

welcome to Key West

Key West to Havana via Pan Am.

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Key West is the most bike friendly city you will ever go.  You are allowed to ride in the bike lanes, sidewalks (except on Duval Street) or even  down the middle of the road.  Of course the bikers don’t think they have to stop for lights, stop signs or stopped traffic. They weave in and out of traffic, cutting right in front of you.

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As I was walking down Duval Street with a frozen margarita in my hand, I stumbled (not literally) upon this sign.  Oops.  Of course, I have never seen it enforced.

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There are some lovely old houses in Key West and many with beautiful gardens.  There is a 12 month growing season here with no chance of frost, so things grow well.

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I loved this gnarly old tree.  (one of these days I need to get a photo of the cab driver called Bob Narley)  He looks just like you would expect.

 

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My photos do not capture the size and beauty of this huge old Banyan tree.

 

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looking up

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Not an old part of town, but still very pretty.

streets of Key West

They have house and garden tours for charity sometimes.  One of these days, I would love to tour some of these old treasures.  We’ve been coming to the Keys for years and still haven’t begun to see everything we want to see.  Guess we’ll have to come back.  :)

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This Bed and Breakfast was was pink wrapped for the owners 90th birthday celebration.

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I’m not sure this rooster was too healthy.  I hope he was just napping.

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There are chickens everywhere in the Keys.

baby chicks

chickens

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Hearing the familiar “cock a doodle doo” is so common you hardly notice.

Be safe out there and watch those tornado forecasts!