Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Black And White And Lovely

A few pictures taken along Elizabeth Street in a low light dusk.

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Lesotho In Key West

I am always on the look out for strange tags in Key West and in a state where front license plates aren't issued, the space will frequently be filled with joke tags -Conch Republic, Last Flight Out - and foreign tags typically from the Bahamas and the Caribbean with Cuban tags making their embargoed appearance from time to time. But...Lesotho?

If you want to know more about this Southern African enclave look here: Lesotho Wiki

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Gray Key West

The weather this winter is weird, not in a directly threatening way as has been seen elsewhere this past year, but we find an absence of patterns that should be familiar and to some extent reliable.

Winter in the Keys is a matter of observing the arrival of cold fronts sweeping across the country from Canada. Between fronts the days are supposed to be cool and bright and sunny with a light southeast breeze. Perfect conditions for Northerners to ride out blizzards blasting their neighbors "at home."

Instead we find ourselves living through gray days, under cloud cover of no clear parentage. The humidity grows like a poison cloud bringing a dash of summer to December. Then it rains, apparently at random for a little while and then the clouds clear, temperatures remain high and the sun comes out.

Not that I'm complaining, this is a lot better than the alternative, but it is very odd.

If I were well enough to ride my motorcycle this is the time of year I don't worry about carrying my waterproofs in a saddlebag. and this year that would be a fateful decision because water falls out of the sky apparently at random.

It may be gray from time to time but there is still lots of sunshine and temperatures manage to stay at stay at least in the high 70s. What's to complain about?

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Coughing And Spluttering

I find myself in the rather uncomfortable position of sitting at home on the couch, unable to lie down for fear of drowning or suffocating in a fit of the most severe coughing, as I succumb to this very nasty cold circulating through the Lower Keys.

This has led to me becoming a reader of my own blog. And by that I mean I am sifting through photographs I took last week as I felt the cold coming on and now as I assemble them they bring me a piece of the downtown that is as far out of my reach as if I were snowbound in North Dakota

And Key West does look good.

I have tinnitus, a short attention span and a horrible hacking cough that deprives me of breath.

All of which is rather gross but pausing to check out the streets and trees and gables of Key West helps. The views are soothing to a burning chest in some way inexplicable.

Like an absent vacationer I know Key West will be there when I get back, but for now these pictures are as close as I can get.

How ironic.

My friends and colleagues who have suffered the earlier stages of this awful illness tell me they are still coughing weeks later. That's something to look forward to.

These are the people who make fun of me for collecting and hoarding my sick leave. I am grateful for that now more than ever and glad for my sober work habits. It's just too bad time off for being sick doesn't feel more like vacation time.

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Seeing Red

I suddenly noticed there were splashes of red everywhere on the streets.

What could I do but record them for posterity?

Much of the red is in the ubiquitous bougainvillea.

Then there is the human-made red decoration

And across the street the first public library opened in Florida.

It's not quite red but I decided pink was close enough.

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Key West Flora

Of course I loved the word on the wall, but seeing Cheyenne give it her all made me think this spot might be a dog toilet which took away a little of the charm.

Happily Cheyenne subscribes to my approach which is to pass on through, take pictures or smells away with us and leave no trace of our passing, so she is never moved to mark her turf like so many dogs feel compelled to do by cocking a leg. But she does like sniffing other dogs' marks.

It's very hard for me to walk this streets and not look around to find a picture worth taking.

Most places in this country the season for blooms and blossoms is long past but down here it is just getting started.

Palms are always flourishing.

And bougainvillea is swamping streets and gardens everywhere in the Keys.

Even a trim white picket fence serves as a restraint to the burgeoning fecundity behind it. This may be winter, technically, but stuff is growing!

This orange expansion is chemical not organic. But it looked good in the afternoon sunlight.

Everything is bursting beyond it's limits this December.

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