Thursday, June 2, 2011

Dear Oh Deer

One couldn't be quite sure were they gamboling or running away, but they were in fact tired of being watched and they split the scene. Key deer dive into the underbrush and vanish. Once they are out of sight they are gone completely. No Name Key has produced a fair crop of deer this year which either means they are showing up in public looking for food or they are reproducing at high speed because there are lots around. I don't think the drought helps because greenery is withered everywhere this year.I don't often come to No Name Key in the summer months. What makes the island so pleasant in winter cold fronts makes it terribly hot in summer. All those trees keep the winds at bay and the trails are much warmer in a cold north wind than you would expect.And you wouldn't expect to find people fishing under the full Florida sun, but it takes more than that to keep the fanatics away, apparently.I followed a big old construction truck from the gravel quarry on No Name Key across Big Pine Key and I can only figure the driver was from out of town because every time a Key Deer poked it's head out on the grass verge the big old truck lumbered to a stop as the driver stared at the deer. Locals pretend to be blasé about the deer so when I see them I stop and photograph them to prove I'm just a visitor.I caught this one sticking it's tongue out at me, so I did the same back. Cheeky bugger. They are quite rude these deer. This one was completely ignoring one more of those signs favored in the Keys to tell people what to do and what not to do. I was surprised to see Key Deer type animals photographed in St Johns, US VI, by this resident of the British Virgins: http://thebvis.blogspot.com/ She took a vacation across the water and met a Key deer. I had no idea Key Deer lived abroad too.

Flagler Dawn

Fire Station Three looks like the Alamo as the sun comes up around six in the morning. We are approaching the longest day and photo opportunities must be snagged now if they appear on the ride home. So I stopped my headlong flight home and took the time to get the picture I had seen in my head for the past week. In summer I usually use Flagler Avenue to get into and out of town. When traffic is lighter there are just a couple of traffic lights on this street as opposed to the crappy surface and numerous lights on North Roosevelt Boulevard. In winter Flagler seems to get as crowded as North Roosevelt and the advantage of long empty ride through town gets lost. Tourists take North or South Roosevelt when they come to town, to head either to Duval (North) or the beaches (South) but you can't hide a thoroughfare like Flagler from the snowbirds, so in winter it gets crowded...The back side of the fire station, facing Flagler is just another blank wall. Forget the Alamo comparison! Habana Plaza got an art deco type face light after Hurricane Wilma flooded the place from the ground up and through the roof and since then the owner has apparently gone bust according to the paper. I don't mind at all how this strip mall looks. My wife and I used to use the air conditioned laundromat here when we lived on our boat in Key West and we'd wander down to the end of the strip to get a con leche while we waited. The guy who operated the Riviera Café was a grump to beat the band and we used to amuse ourselves seeing how many grunts we could extract in one transaction. I need to go back with Chuck on Guam to break the ice, as he's the man for that. On the other hand perhaps we should leave one coffee outlet to the Conchs who need respite from outsiders.My imagination works overtime because when I ride past this place it looks North African or Middle eastern to me, the arched arcade, the rather cool outdoor seating arrangements and so forth. Rick's Café I'd call it if I wanted to get the title of world's grumpiest barista. I would make a terrible host.It's absurd isn't it? Here's my wife's scooter parked on a main thoroughfare through New Town......and I think it looks lovely. What a town.

Tift's Alley By Night

By day these alleys around the entrance to Mallory Square are pullulating with people, but by night not so much.

I set my pocket Canon to the sepia position and to my surprise I rather liked the results.

I left the Vespa in the free parking on Wall Street and took a stroll. I was a block from Lower Duval yet I was alone. It was lovely.

That was a side shot of the Waterfront Playhouse a place we like to patronize in winter when they put on some worthwhile plays.

The scabby mossy walls surround the open seating area for El Meson De Pepe, a Cuban eatery popular with visitors.

The sculpture garden is a wildly eccentric exhibit in a town like Key West. The heads are those of people who made their mark and they are preserved on limestone rock pillars. Locals call this place the Pez Garden thanks to the resemblance to Pez dispensers...

Finally-people! No longer alone in my alley but they went one way and I went back to work.

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