Saturday, October 23, 2010

Big Pine South

Bright sunshine, an empty road and a dog that needs walking. I spotted a small trail leading off through the bushes and off we went.Cheyenne's pleasure at being outdoors and taking an interest in absolutely everything has been excellent for me. I am alone among the people I know who actually enjoys tramping the mangroves, so it would not quite the same without Cheyenne's company.I am never quite sure what motivates the dog. Some days she likes nothing more than to walk inhabited streets which she has to do on a leash as she isn't quite au fait with wheeled vehicles. In the woods she wanders at will, more scared of wildlife than scaring any.There were loud rustlings in the bushes as we walked, splashing and crashing out of sight and I'm sure a nervous walker would have considered the place to be littered with alligators. They were just Key deer changing their plans as they saw us coming.
As is so often the case the deserted woods of the Florida Keys are not actually that far from civilization, if you can call it that. The trail sank out of sight under a large puddle right next to an osprey pole.
We back tracked briefly and turned toward the paved road...
...where we found a sign advertising the value of federally protected lands. I'm all for it, federally protected land. Of course I guess I am supposed to feel as though I am in a minority when it comes to proof positive of the value of governance. Oh and roads too. As long as we have gas we should have government provided roads. These homes are at least an hour from Key West, the major source of work around here so they are a bit far for commuters. Other than that, a peaceful neighborhood like this with easy boat access to the protected waters of Newfound Harbor are ideally situated.
This place had a large fuel tank and commercial traps so perhaps they don't need to commute which would be nice if you like that sort of thing.
Open space and palms (and a not very visible No Trespassing sign, as usual).
I like this driveway. I think it is a lot better than pea rock. The house looked cool and breezy in the unusual west winds blowing that day.I am voting for him on November 2nd for my local County Commission seat. George Neugent used to be a Democrat but then I guess he saw which way the wind blows in the Lower Keys (outside Key West) and he became a Republican of the grounded, down-to-earth sort, the ones that leaves witchcraft and anti-gay, anti abortion rhetoric in the closet, and he offers thoughtful responses to prickly questions. He also pisses a few people off so he can't be all bad.PLus he used to live on a boat when he first came to the Keys which means we have something in common. So I vote Republican -sigh- I must have been hit on the head by a coconut recently.At the top of the street we turned left and headed towards the waters of Newfound Harbor, a body of water that lies mostly to the west of Big Pine, separating it fromLittle Torch Key. Cheyenne apparently poses little threat to wildlife. This wader was puzzled by her lack of interest in chasing a bird. It's hard to conceive where this massive trunk may have come from, here in the land of spindly saplings.
>Here's Bryce's winter home away from the frigid Canadian prairie. I think I met the current occupant cycling away towards Big Pine as Cheyenne and I arrived in the car. He gave us a cheerful wave as we passed so he seemed happy, and why wouldn't he be? The rent is right. There is free dinghy parking under the Conservation Area Boundary sign and even though the fresh breeze was out of the west, a strange direction around here, the waves were entirely manageable.Even by a Labrador ready to cool off a bit. When Cheyenne sinks into the water to cool off I judge the walk to have been a success.
Oh dear me there are a lot of signs around the car. You'd think people couldn't see the mangroves blocking the roads without them...almost as windy as the backroads of Pennsylvania.
Hidden Big Pine. It's not exactly the Rocky Mountains or the wild open spaces of the desert South West or any really big deal, but I do like it, in all it's modesty.