Friday, May 20, 2011

Meadows Homes

There's always something to see on a walk through the Key West streets, and this time of year as temperatures reach 90 degrees under clear sunny skies a short urban walk is what suits Cheyenne the best.My wife was given a banana plant as a gift and I have appropriated it as my own because I've always wanted one. While "mine" is now barely 18 inches tall it is flourishing on my deck. As a result I take a great deal of interest in the wide green leaves I see around town. I am reminded of a comment I heard third hand that house plants grow in the wild in Key West. Summer is hot of course but Spring is hot and relatively quiet. It's between seasons and I was quite surprised to find myself alone as I wandered around trailing my dog. I met a friend entertaining some out of town relatives on a porch but the streets were empty.In the evening people come out and walk their own dogs around here a lot but perhaps I was early and I had the afternoon sunlight and the lengthening shadows to myself.It wasn't really a wooded walk but it was quite relaxing as Cheyenne trotted back and forth nose to the ground and with leash fully extended I had time to look up and admire the canopy.Key West: the other urban jungle.

More Snipe People

Standing on a slightly submerged sandbar far from the world at large is something everyone should do at least once.
I have traveled a great deal in my life and have been amused to observe the impact a movie had on elderly Baby Boomers who know notices the inevitable and rapid passage of time. "Bucket List!" they shout, hoping to recreate the wonder and curiosity of a lost youth by getting to expensive nowheres.
I have found the prospect of growing old not all worrying as I know that I took advantage of every opportunity to step off the career ladder when it was presented to me in my youth. Offer me a promotion and I was gone, two weeks notice and a loaded motorcycle please. My wife, rather more organized than myself enjoyed a career and lots of travel so we step toward old age and dissolution in tandem. All of which is to say you don't need to buy an airline ticket to see Macchu Picchu or Victoria Falls or some other exotic thing to complete a valuable experience to enable you to face old age.
Learning to float with a book or an iPhone in hand could be a start. Someone asked me recently if I felt life was slipping away too fast, and seeking Zen peacefulness in a hectic world might help. she said. Not really I replied. I take pictures as the use of the camera forces me to be mindful of the moment. I don't look very Zen hauling a large boat through the shallows, do I?Being mindful of the moment helps to slow things down and varying the deadening routine does the same. Take a break if you still can and do something different. If you are one of the millions looking for work and not finding it, because it's not there, I cannot begin to imagine how to do something as facile as "break the routine." For the rest of us they will demand more and give less, our corporate masters so while I can I take the time to look around and take pictures.

I enjoyed seeing a catamaran identical to my old cruising Gemini 105 pull up in the shallows at the beach. I hope they spent the night in peace and quiet long after the small buzzing boats with loud stereos had gone home.

United Street Poinciana

Oh glorious flame trees, it is your season once again.The bursts of orange have broken out across Key West and I caught a fair number of them on United Street.
They are lovely trees and they make a cheerful sight during the summer.A lot is made of the architecture of Key West, the old homes, the white picket fences and the pitch of the roofs, but without trees none of that would amount to half as much.The city has an actual tree commission which gives permission to homeowners to cut down trees and is also designed to preserve heritage trees.

Cheyenne found something tasty among the fallen poinciana leaves, the blossoms themselves she ignored, though there are plenty of them drifting down across the rain parched landscape.

An essay on the poinciana trees of Key West is pretty much an annual obligation. My 2009 effort with a more detailed explanation of these trees and their various names is here: