I was working this past weekend and i was sorry to miss the battle of the bars which I had wanted to photograph for some years. I guess 2015 might the lucky year for the that summer oddity. The other thing which I had to miss, a one off was the memorial parade for Peter Andersen, the man who sustained the Conch Republic image single handed until cancer got him. I should have liked to have been there for that parade instead of being at work. Oh well.
I have photographed the Mannillo Trail previously, three years ago it turns out, which was before the great uncontrolled burn that swept through this part of the Key Deer Refuge. The modest wooden infrastructure was burned down, boardwalks and platforms and handrails were gone for a while. I wanted to see how much was restored but Cheyenne wasn't having any. She stopped for a while in the heat so I got to remember Mannillo's contribution to the Refuge:
And to explaining how to deal with people with disabilities:
Cheyenne's preference for a limited range should have convinced me to come back my myself later, but I'm sure in winter after the cold fronts cool things down we'll walk all the way to the end and listen to the silence together.
She is the world's most stubborn dog and I have learned that she knows what she likes. Walking the gravel trail in summer is low on her list.
People who try to force their dogs to do what they don't like puzzle me. Dogs are smart enough to have a reason why they do what they do if only we were smart enough to listen. Besides, dogs aren't human so if you spoil them they don't necessarily turn into human-type monsters.
I have found that if I really need Cheyenne to obey I jusdt have to put an edge in my voice and she comes running. The rest of the time, away from traffic or humans or deadlines, I figure she gets to do what she wants.
So I get time to play with my camera.
And everybody is happy.
Drive up Key Deer Boulevard, north from Big Pine's sole traffic light and one you are past the Blue Hole look for a gap in the trees on the left. And there you are, the long and the short trails for your pleasure. Wilderness in the Keys, not as good as a parade for a local notable, but not bad at all.