Saturday, April 16, 2011

Duval Walk

I had never previously met the bucket drummer but I have heard of him. My wife thought he sounded very musical, though sometimes people call the police late at night to have him moved along. He has a city permit as odd as that may sound so you are likely to hear him when walking Duval Street. I wonder if anyone ever posts a slogan on their windows suggesting beer is something other than good? Was it not Ben Franklin who said beer was God's way of telling us he loved us? On Duval Street, most especially at night that sentiment is frequently taken to extremes and shouting and hitting are messages of a different kind in relation to beer. I saw this dude, shown below busy eating with his sunglasses on tipped all the way back over his head. It looked foolish to me, as God gave us pockets to take care of such unconsidered trifles, about the same time he was issuing us with our beer allowance. It occurred to me, slow as I am on the uptake, that this might be a fashion statement, in which case it is even more stupid than it first appeared. "Hey! Look at these lovely munchkins that just walked in!" called the singer at Ricks. The photo is not good but I could hear riepe and bobbie in staid Canada whinging over my shoulder so i did my best on the fly. Had my wife not been there I'd have stepped up and asked them for a threesome in their hotel room.
And if you believe that you'd probably also believe that Kermit;'s has opened a second location for Key Lime Pie. I guess he moves at a slower pace than the defunct Blond Giraffe which popped up all over town and went bust with the economy.
Key Lime Pie be damned; we had a date at the theater.
It was a lovely evening in Key West and we enjoyed playing tourist for a little while. Everyone should, from time to time.

The Sugar Apple

I used to think these creatures were geckos or lizards or something. Apparently I was all wet and they are in fact anoles- which sounds like a rude body part but is in fact a kind of lizard. Or something. Anoles have this bizarre capacity to inflate a gourd in their throat and create a bright red sail.All of which is fascinating but has nothing to do with anything because around the corner was the object of my wife's desires. The Sugar Apple has been around for years in Key West selling homeopathic stuff and vegetarian foods and the like. One hesitates to know exactly how to describe a place that once was alternative but nowadays this kind of stuff is majorly mainstream. My wife went inside to get her stuff and I enjoyed the afternoon glow outside. Sugar Apples are one of my favorite fruits (Wayne is another). The sugar apple is also known as the custard apple and they have a rather nice illustration of one on the store's website which has a link at the bottom of this essay.
I first tasted a Sugar Apple in Grenada years ago when my wife and I were sailing the southern Caribbean. The fruit looks like a big fat pine cone and when you break the skin this grainy sweet custard spills out with big black seeds embedded in it. I was totally hooked and my wife had to prise me away from the vendors' stalls at the outdoor market in St George's I got so addicted to the things.
Last year she found a Sugar Apple seedling at a nursery and I have been watering and fertilizing it assiduously. When it finally bears fruit I won't share it with anyone. That's a promise.

Cudjoe Walk 3

The camera perspective makes the car look like it is miles away lost in the distance. I could have walked to it in a minute.I snatched a few quick pictures of pine needles, blue sky and rocky trail before my dog called it quits and looked longingly back at the car. The Florida sky was just perfect. The clouds were being blown along by the crisp Spring breezes that continue to blow, keeping the humidity at bay. I call them the Florida colors, green white and blue. I know everyone's dog is their favorite but Cheyenne perked up when she read the comment about being the star. I think she is the smartest Labrador to have crossed my path.
She has noticed that when she gets covered in mud she gets a quick going over with the outdoor shower when we get home. So now she studiously avoids mud holes and primly comes back to the car as clean as she left it. I am rather sorry to think the shower has spoiled her fun.

Florida is filled with all shades of green including these palmettos which are everywhere .

Cudjoe Walk 2

I miss walking the woods. There I've said it. Cheyenne humored me for about a hundred yards then she took up her "This far and no further" attitude.There's this house on the north side of Cudjoe Key and it looks to be quite a nice house in the usual stilt house sort of way. There's a boat parked in what would be the driveway, if it weren't so overgrown, and there is patio furniture on the deck and everything. But it is abandoned and overgrown. I have been watching it revert to nature for several years. Who knows what the story is.It's hot and empty and... did I mention it's hot? They say that for a Floridian a good parking spot is a place where there is shade. This shaded Harley was looking quite attractive as it sat there waiting for a rider. Cheyenne dismissed it with a sniff.
The big limestone rock in the picture below is a warning not to drive into the canal. I felt like jumping for a quick swim. A friend of mine said he and his neighbors have stopped swimming in their canal since one of them spotted a bull shark swimming around in the canal.
The rule of thumb for anglers around here is not to throw the bits into the canal when you clean your fish.

Cudjoe Walk 1

I generally carry a motorcycle magazine or the newspaper when I walk Cheyenne these days. In winter she romps, in summer she paces sedately. Then she stops, pants and finds a patch of shade.I look around, enjoy the view and read a few paragraphs, contemplate my mortal coil and generally feel good about being with my dog. I sunbathe, she shade bathes and we pass the time. Cheyenne seems to really enjoy sitting and watching the streets as much as actually walking when the temperatures are this elevated. I don't think Cheyenne notices the decorative details I see when we're out and about. One day I want a sailfish like this on the side of my house. I wonder if my wife would agree. It would be rather ostentatious for someone like me who doesn't even fish. The calm days of summer aren't quite here yet, we are still getting winds blowing from all points of the compass but the canals are nice and flat. This next picture is your classic Lower Keys palace, a nice big lot, stilt house, and room to park an RV with a canal in back. Who could ask for anything more?
Cheyenne was shade bathing as this Sportster came blatting round the corner.

That's what Cheyenne loves to do when it's hot, just sit there and watch the world go by. A serene way to spend a baking afternoon.