Monday, November 15, 2010

Summerland Revisited

Cheyenne likes to spend time outdoors and the dog door is in frequent use as a result. After I saw her curled up on the mat I moved her bed out to the porch and she immediately took up residence. I have no doubt I dote excessively on the dog but I think she looks cute while sleeping. One of the things about getting a dog from the pound is that you know she has been treated harshly or at best with indifference and that makes me anxious to help her make up for lost time.But one can't snore away a beautiful Fall afternoon so we piled into the car and drove a couple of miles down the Overseas Highway to Summerland Key. I had to mail a package and I figured it had been a while since we had been out in that neighborhood so she might find it interesting.She waited quietly while I mailed off my package at the Post Office Mile Marker 25 but when I pulled across the highway and stopped she knew it was her time. She was off. The county has been blocking off these back woods roads, those that were planned for developments that never happened but the big yellow barricades leave enough room for pedestrians and Cheyenne isn't shy.I had planned to walk the subdivision around the homes, as Cheyenne frequently enjoys the suburban walks, but she wanted nothing of that on this occasion. She took off smelling and tracking and back tracking like a blood hound. Then she paused.I didn't bring the paper, or anything else to read so I was reduced to playing with the camera.It was a reminder of just how seasonal my life is, in this land of no seasons. Actually I can define them clearly enough in their own way. Summer is hot and humid and relatively windless. Winter is dry, windy and cool and humidity is absent except just before the arrival of a cold front (which come every ten days or so on average).So in the summer Cheyenne doesn't want to to walk as far and urban walks are easier because they can pack a lot more interest into a shorter distance. But in winter she seems to like long back woods rambles so I expect we will return to all the old haunts over the next several weeks and months. This would be the time of year I too walk more and swim less, a lot less, if at all.I like the mangroves in winter when the mosquitoes are absent and the winter whistles in your ears as it blows across the wide open spaces. And even though the mangrove flats look unremarkable I always seems to find some odd thing to look at, be it a bird posing or an old can of iced tea shrivelling up under the stress of sun and sea air.Walking the mangroves puts me in a contemplative mood especially as I almost never meet another soul out here. Perhaps stories of rattle snakes put people off, or maybe it just takes a weird perspective to find anything of beauty in these endless plains of short scrubby trees.
Old gravel quarries fill with water and make impromptu lakes, even though the Keys have no hills or rivers or any other distinguishing geographic feature.I took this next picture with a 2000th exposure. But mindful of gripes about dark pictures......I also took one with 1250th exposure. I like the picture above better than the one below.I also like the darker picture of the two below:
Cheyenne at rest is a thing of beauty but I am just prejudiced, I guess.