Thursday, February 24, 2011

No Name With Friends

There are times when friends want to walk their dogs with you, so you pile into their car and let them drive.Being a passenger is novelty for me, and for Cheyenne the novelty is that as we travel she can get my attention.Chuck and Wayne are practicing letting their Vizlas off the leash and this trail on No Name Key is isolated enough their dogs will be safe and will come back. They did. By February the southern reaches of No Name are dry enough to walk, and yield views south across the mangroves and the waters of Bogie Channel, the water that separates No Name from Big Pine Key.Wayne. He was having a better time than appears in this picture. A fine figure of a man.Dead trees. I love the views from this part of No Name Key.Wayne was fascinated by the dead car sitting and decomposing on the dried mud. Chuck watched with the patience of man not in a hurry.How this Buick got here and why it was left here to fade away in the salt water and salt air we will probably never know. It looks, by the type of plastic to have been left here long after Alpha 66 was using this island to train for the Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba. Wayne was fascinated by the differential flaking apart in the semi-submerged marine environment.When I pointed out that metals in this climate don't last nearly as long as we are told they will, Wayne told me to take a picture of a beer can rotting almost before our very eyes. Supposedly these cans will last for centuries when dumped; this one is rotting away even before the label fades. Tootie (or Zuzu, I can't tell them apart) started to urge more progress, so we left the scene of the wreck and plunged inland through the mangroves.One last look at Bogie Channel and the Overseas Highway Bridge to West Summerland Key......and we were back in the shade of the trees. Chuck led the way, waving a stick to fend off the cobwebs built across the abandoned trail. "I feel like Cardinal Woolsey," he announced, one of those incongruous statements that make no sense in the middle of nowhere. He was comparing his stick to the crosier carried by Sam Neil, Cardinal Woolsey in the TV series The Tudors, and when I remembered that the homoerotic romps of half naked men has been a staple entertainment in their household the comment suddenly had context. I have started watching The Tudors on their recommendation and it is indeed splendid fun, a soap opera in costume with a vice for every taste.Cheyenne's vice is mangrove water and now she is training the boys' dogs to do the same.They however, did not seem to find the tannin infused waters of the mangrove swamp as appetizing as Cheyenne does. She will seek out these puddles and wallow in them and drink them and spurn my water bottle back at the car. And no, her peculiar habits cause her no gastrointestinal problems. Bryce wondered how bad she smells after her immersions. I have had swimming Labradors in the past and the trick is to use Head and Shoulders shampoo on their weekly baths. Then when the dog gets wet she smells not of wet dog but Head and Shoulders. I was told years ago that dandruff shampoo is really good for washing poison oak out of a dog's fur. And yes, I know that weekly baths are excessive but my dogs' coats look great with weekly shampooing. And form time to time she snags chocolate too... I have no idea how my dogs flourish with all the fears and phobias that are attached to modern dog ownership.The ride back was fun for me, as I got the seat of honor so I could take pictures from the front seat of the anglers on the bridge.It was a lovely day, brisk and breezy and sunny. Not everyone was well wrapped up for the cool north breeze.Even the Key Deer were out noshing. A fawn......and her mom.They may not be naked babes but you can't accuse me of never being cute.