Monday, October 17, 2011

Tree And Sky

I am determined to say nothing about rain. Or bleak grayness. Or my fed up state of mind. Hello tree:

Pretty tree.

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Watering The Garden

Therese is snug back in Paris hunkering down no doubt for a hard core winter such as northern Europeans are used to, meanwhile her creations in my yard appear to thriving, against the odds.

Therese's idea of recreation is to spend time at the plant shop and pot her purchases all round our house thus making the place look nice. Aside from the fact that I am totally unversed in the art of making things grow, I have an abiding belief that plants don't deserve to be killed by my hand. On that score I am doing well.

My Key Limes are sprouting late but finally in abundance and my pomegranate bush, a gift from Dolly and Robert won 't stop producing fruit. I pruned it a bit last Fall and it worked wonders. More of the same no doubt this year. That and Milorganite, a fertilizer produced from Mid Western human turds ( I kid you not!) that is guaranteed not to burn and kill plants. My kind of nitrogen.

Cheyenne enjoys the fruits of my labor too. She actually uses her raised lawn bed I made for her to lounge in, and she loves drinking muddy water that my pineapple shoots are growing in. Dirty water is mother's milk to my Labrador.

I am learning to enjoy looking after the plants. About now is the time to be planting vegetables for winter crops because seasons in the Keys are reversed. And one big advantage of all this damned rain is that time spent watering is zero. I have to find my Zen doing other repetitive tasks.

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I really do feel bad for Texas. The Lone Star State is in the middle of an epic drought, soil is drying up, cattle are dying and rice is shrivelling up in the paddies. No such problems here in the so-called Sunshine State.

People like to scare me when I talk in a carefree manner of the pleasure I get walking my dog in the mangroves. Snakes! They warn; Rattlers! Which, when you see these islands semi-submerged doesn't seem very likely does it?

More and more rain is expected for at least half this week and yet it seems we are already at capacity. The water level here is almost up to the roadway...

Though Cheyenne bravely tried to lower the level single handedly. She thinks it tastes good.

Gray skies overhead promised more rain and frankly I've had enough. I have no idea why we couldn't lasso some of these black clouds and haul 'em off to Fort Worth.

The thing is I like the idea of being holed up at home with a decent movie and and strong drink on a rainy afternoon, but after the first twenty four hours of continuous drenching rain I am sick of it. If I wanted this crap I'd be in Seattle. I live here because I want sunshine and swimming and sitting on the porch and ...and... and now I sound petulant.

Oh well.

Things could be worse. I could have run out of strong drink.

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Drowning By Motorcycle

I was a little bit surprised when our relief showed up at work exactly on time, exactly as usual. All night long it had rained and rained hard leaving half of Key West under water. Police officers on patrol reported streets all over Old and New Town were underwater.

Reports of flooding at the triangle, the sole exit from Key West seemed like it might pose a problem but I already had my plan: ride the sidewalk. Ha! Which worked well enough except for the moment an eighteen wheeler came by at full speed kicking up a helluva bow wave.

The car in the picture below was stuck in the water with its four way flashers doing their job. Cars swerved around at full speed which completely justified my riding the sidewalk in my opinion. Safety first, always.

As I stood there getting wet and trying to take steady pictures, and failing, a man in a parka came by with a hose. Watering the landscaping? I asked, incredulous. He grinned; fertilizer and pesticide was the answer. It still seemed a little daft to me though I expect I looked pretty stupid too riding a motorcycle under a waterfall.

I thought a picture of the shiny bridge to Boca Chica might express some of the awesome challenge of riding home after five inches of rain had fallen the night before. It doesn't though, does it? It just looks wet, which it was.

Of all the wet rides I've taken it might not have been the worst ever though it was close, and wet certainly. I made it home in one piece despite several tailgaters and quite a few determined high beams in my face all with a side of strong cross winds. My dog came down first to greet me.

My wife passed me on her own way to work on flooded Stock Island while Cheyenne and I planned a luxurious morning in bed. And don't forget the heroic Bonneville which never missed a beat. I love this motorcycle.

It looks good, it rides well and is never any trouble at all. Which should be a lesson to us all. Face the future as though you were a modern Triumph Bonneville.

Oh, and by the way there is nothing but rain in the forecast for the next three days, and so far the heroes of Keys Energy have kept the electricity flowing without interruption. Hats off to them.

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Wet Dog

It was a moment snatched out of a day that was once again soaking wet most of the time. Even when we did get out of the house yesterday it was clear we shouldn't get too far from the Faraday Cage that was the car.

Cheyenne is such a threat to wildlife this guy took one look and ignored both of us. As we shall see.

Gray clouds look spectacular as they pile up overhead. The rain up the road was so bad my wife called from her car to tell me that perhaps maybe I should re-think riding in to work. I cut her off. I am man; I ride my Bonneville.

Cheyenne is dog; she walks, and tries to avoid swimming.

"Private Property" indeed. Enjoy!

Free as a bird soaring overhead probably looking for some dry place to spend the next week.

The rain came down as predicted after about twenty minutes. Cheyenne was reluctant to cut her walk short but with obvious distaste she did agree to amble back as the rain increased in intensity. "Come on ,Cheyenne!" I called but she just sashayed along, tail swinging, eyes squinting against the raindrops.

The heron was still there looking indecisive.

The highway was,as my wife reported, a mess of rain and idiot drivers with their headlights firmly off. Luckily I only had half a mile to drive along it.

The space under the house looked as dark as the Bat Cave, at three in the afternoon. This weather sucks.

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