Thursday, August 11, 2011

Funny Palm

Captain Key West, a man of the sea, told me to look out for something odd he'd just noticed on his way out of K-Mart Plaza headed to Kennedy.

He was right too, he usually is. How often do you see a healthy flourishing palm split down the middle?

You have to look hard to spot it.

It's right where he said it is. Now I need to thrash his pants off at miniature golf.

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No Name Woodlands

No Name Key under hazy skies, hot sun and no one around.

I never know when I take Cheyenne for a walk if my choice of location will suit my fussy dog. She let's me know too, as she'll stop, look hard at me and turn around pointing the way we've come when she has had enough. If I keep walking she'll just stop and stare at me. She never barks, limiting herself to very expressive body language.

It turns out she was ready to re-visit No Name Key, and while I farted around with the camera seeking the correct exposure she wandered off into the woods. This power pole is one of two planted on No Name by Keys Energy to test the holes and see how power poles sit on the electricity-free island. Like there is some weird substratum of soil that attacks cement around here or something. A group of residents has been struggling to get commercial electricity while another group has been fighting to keep No Name as it is, dependent on solar panels and noisy generators. And the experimental poles sit where they were planted waiting for a decision one way or the other. Welcome to the Keys.

It seems a walk on No Name suited princess this day because she soon reappeared and peered out from the trail head, waiting for me to get a move on and join her. We plunged into the wilderness together.

Cheyenne was having an excellent time so I got to to play with the camera a little more. Lacking flowers I went for bark. Not the dog kind.

Some of the trees looked like badly roasted joints of meat. I have no idea who or what set fire to them but pine trees on Big Pine and No Name have been devastated by blight so there are lots of tinder dry stark trunks pointing skywards. Perhaps they attract lightning.

If they burned that hard you'd think the whole island would have burned.

Happily pine trees are coming back. Here we see the main components of wooded areas in the Keys, scrubby palms, thatch or silver mostly, and stubby pine trees. Throw in some nasty scratchy manchineel (poison wood) and some red mangroves and that is the bulk of the growth.

Fungus, looking good. Cheyenne was still busy and I had nothing to read with me so I cast the camera around and pointed it at things.

My tatty fuchsia Crocs will soon be replaced by the brand spanking new ones Amanda sent me from the British Virgins.

This is wet season so amphibious footwear is important. I don't just own pink Crocs, I use them.

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The Alley

I frequently hear much lamentation about parking inOld Town and in winter it does get tight so if you plan to park and not walk any distance at all to your destination you might need to think again. I find the old city hall parking lot on Simonton at Angela to be quite useful when I'm in town in the car. You can use cash or a credit card at the meter machine and for a buck and a half more or less you have solved your parking issues.

Best of all there are a couple of alleys that take you in different directions toward excitement and fun. The short alley cuts through Bank of America to Southard Street. The long alley is a source of wonder and delight for any dog with half a nose. Ask Cheyenne.

Graffiti with flair. And barely used beer cups for passersby with the DTs.

A young woman in an excessively short skirt stumped passed us as we ambled. I had pulled over to let her by as she was tailgating me on Simonton and seemed like she was in a rush. I got to the parking space well before she did. Youth before wisdom...

Rudy Molinet has his office here. I've met him a few times and he seems like a nice guy. Besides which he writes occasional commentaries in the Citizen extolling the virtues of gay rights. In the rest of Florida such worthy sentiments fall on deaf ears. Happily we live in Key West.

If you like a decent wrap this is the place. They have more wraps than you can shake a stick at. Plus Lobos has a nice shady deck to eat on.

Someone has been in the habit of feeding the pigeons. As usual Cheyenne was perfect and went about minding her own business while they squabbled over breakfast with a chicken.

I've never heard of this place but the menu looked different. A quick glance showed some fruity nouvelle tropical style dishes. I think this place used to called Opera serving Italian.

Across the alley there lurks an oldie but goody.

Which also Faces Duval Street.

I am quite fond of alleys and this one works very well for me.

It looked empty but that didn't last long. Key West's finest penetrate every corner of the city, even on foot patrol.

Bicycle Officer KA and Officer Loman say hi. I'm glad someone enjoys working day shift.

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I am no fan of the gruesome t-shirt shops but this one I liked at least in the design. I also like the suggestion of Key West as the home of long curving beaches, parrots and lurid green drinks. It's not my Key West at all!

And yet...who says it's not my Key West? Smathers Beach looks a bit like that curving strip of golden sand on the t-shirt, I have a couple of recliners at home to enjoy the view over the salt ponds. I may not have lurid green drinks at home but I know where there's a bottle or two of Yuengling and Smithwicks. Good enough, all told.

And the vegetation on that t-shirt is all around me when I walk my Key West.

Check this out; a poinciana still blooming strongly on Angela Street.

There has to be a nice sandy beach somewhere near by for a gardener to fill a flower pot with this lovely collection of sea shells.

This next picture, if I were in the habit of naming things, I would call a study in pink.

I enjoy seeing leaves growing through picket fences. They look like they are making a break for freedom.

A fence like this is a reminder on an urban walk of the fecund nature of Key West, bursting with life, such forceful life that it cannot be contained. I'm no botanist but I like watching things grow in Key West.
Flowers not t-shirts.

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Odds And Sods

There are days when I head into town with no idea where my exploration will take me and what will fall before my camera's all seeing eye. For instance I never set out to take a picture of a large crowd of trash cans huddled in front of one of Key West's superb Old Town residences, like peasants petitioning the squire.

My! I thought to myself. What a lot of rubbish we do generate...

Cyclists I always like to photograph and this one impressed me with his visible sense of purpose and his huge back pack. Dude, it was ninety six degrees out the and the pack looked enormous from the sweltering sidewalk. Really, it did at the time.

Key West, Conch Republic, 8 square miles surrounded by the bluest, prettiest waters in the world. Reality is much further away.

For instance I'm sure they have trees in Ithaca, wherever that is, but do they have trees that grow scuba gear? How about that for a reality trip!

And do they have miles of available free parking for powered two wheelers in Ithaca? Well that they probably have but I'll bet they don't use it much in winter, which is when scooter parking gets busiest down here, well south of reality.

Well, there we have it. Who knew I'd end up speculating wildly about some place in New York I've never been and likely never will. You never know what will happen when you walk the streets of Key West with a camera.

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