Thursday, August 26, 2010

Cudjoe Heat

I got out of the deliciously cool car and my Canon SX100 went into fog mode. Spain Boulevard off Blimp Road is a small subdivision of homes on gravel roads in the middle of north Cudjoe Key's back country. I am very happy to bring my dog here and spend an hour wandering in the peace and quiet of a weekday afternoon.It seems like an indulgence to live out of town and be forced to ride my motorcycle on a carbon wasteful commute by Bonneville instead of living in one of North America's most easily cycled cities. But I do enjoy the backwoods of the Lower Keys, and their vistas of woods and water.
I read somewhere that being out in Nature is a good way for humans to reduce their stress, as though this were some unusual discovery.Cheyenne and I figured that out a long time ago. Indeed, I don't any humans that enjoy this sort of meandering as much as my dog and I do.A private tennis court is one of those amenities I would never even consider. Probably because I don't play tennis. A decade in an English boarding school convinced me all sports involving balls are the work of the devil.
Key deer must like bananas if human residents have seen fit to put an electric fence around these examples.
The Spain Boulevard neighborhood rejoices in a variety of geographically suitable street names.These red headed Florida wood peckers make a loud tapping noise when they are at work. It makes them hard to miss, even for a nature photographer as blind as me.Cheyenne's tastes run more to puddle water.I loathe iguanas not least because they trash my vegetables. They need to be exterminated, not helped across the streets. This is my dog resting, not an iguana.
This is also the spot where they keep horses, don't they?Apparently they do. When we were in Santa Cruz, California, I wanted to walk Cheyenne in a county park in the mountains and I met a rather snotty park employee who told me dogs weren't allowed on the trails. "Why not?" I ask, incredulous. It seemed like the ideal spot to walk a dog...
"Because thre are other park users," the man said, looking down his nose at me and my dog. "Besides there are horses and how does your dog do around horses?"
"Umm, " I said, "therre aren't many horses where I live."
"Exactly," the snotty Santa Cruz county employee snipped, firmly closing the gate to Quail Hollow Park to me and Cheyenne. That was typical of California, totally unfriendly to dogs.Mind you Cheyenne wasn't particuarly impressed by my equine friend and she did bark when I spent too much time petting the horse. Then she ignored it completely.We walked on in the heat. These berries are a mystery to me, as is the name of most vegetation."Save. No Cut." We should all be so lucky."Culebras malas." Bad snakes. I appreciate the work snakes do keeping down pests but I am just as happy if they do it in the privacy of their own spaces. Aside from the levity of the guard-snake-sign, I met a neighbor of mine out exercising on her bicycle early one morning while Cheyenne and I were doing our morning constituional and Linda said she had come across a small rattle snake in the bushes. Linda is a nurse and told me the eastern brand are known for poisoning the nervous system, unlike the better known western diamondback which poisons the blood. Or some such. In any event Linda was worried for Cheyenne, and me I suppose. I have yet to see a snake but...This thing look fearsome enough up close.I was glad to see some blooms still on the poinciana but the pods were enormous.I am getting quite a collection of pictures of Cheyenne resting comfortably in the shade, this summer.And in accordance with the sign it is, quite likley, time to......this essay.