Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Ramrod Home

Summer sunrise over Ramrod Key.Even though temperatures aren't dropping the sun is, and as it heads toward the equator and points south the amount of daylight we get up here is gradually shrinking. It's nothing terribly dramatic at 24 degrees North latitude, but my morning ride home is almost entirely in the dark between 6 and six thirty.Cheyenne's walks vary in the morning, depending on my level of exhaustion and her apparent friskiness. Some mornings we walk down the street and back, a matter of twenty minutes, other mornings we leap in the car and drive out here to the Ramrod Pool.The Pool isn't actually a freshwater swimming pool, it's just a failed development, the beginnings of a canal dug into the rock and the hole cut into the rock provides a nice deep rectangle to swim in, open to tidal waters of Niles Channel, which is the body of water that separates little Ramrod Key from it's larger neighbor Summerland Key to the west.Much of North Ramrod is salt ponds and mangroves which create reflecting pools for the sun which was attempting to break out through the cloud cover. The recent morning I took these pictures, tides were excessively high following a new moon, and salt water was spilling out of the pool:During the day, especially after work, people bring their dogs and their recliners and their coolers and set up music and drink and talk and watch the water. They leave good smells for my Labrador to check out.One recent midday visit we came upon a couple of cars with dogs running around. Cheyenne shared a quick sniff, turned around and stumped off to mind her own business. She is a happy loner and prefers to nose the smells left behind rather than meet the owners of the odors. Shown below is the causeway, narrowed by high tides that leads from the end of the asphalt street to the pool. Recently the county threw down some gravel and smoothed it out to make for easier access. Rather decent of them I thought, in these troubled economic times.Across Niles Channel one can see the early morning lights of downtown Summerland Key blazing away. This distance from Highway One is too far for the sound of early commuters to carry across the water, even with the benefit of the usual southeast wind.The homes directly across from Ramrod's pool the homes on north Summerland are lit up in their isolation.At some point daylight forces it's way over the horizon and the newspaper becomes legible, as if by magic. More importantly the sky starts to light up in pinks and oranges and yellows. There's a yellow Labrador out there somewhere rooting around in the bushes ignoring the rainbow overhead. She may not be a swimmer but she is learning to wade. Then it's time to go home to breakfast for her and a deep and dreamless sleep for me.