I found myself in the middle of Key West after a few hours of overtime and there was my dog, awake and perky in the car thanks to the cold weather outside and she was ready to walk, notwithstanding the unearthly hour of two in the morning.
Though cold Cheyenne kept a surprisingly brisk pace for a 14 year old Labrador. In between striding like she owned the town she stopped and sniffed and I got to snatch a few moments here and there to take a picture. I find Key West terribly evocative at night.
There's no one around except from time to time a scooter, a cyclist or a taxi rush by, breaking the darkness for a moment, then silence returns and the shapes settle back into their half lit shadows. I love this stuff, it looks like nowhere else within two thousand miles, maybe further.
It's not just the absence of snow or other winter surprises. It's the restoration in the half light of the true nature of the 19th century buildings that populate this miraculously preserved square mile or two of old anachronistic buildings, as much lived in today as they were when built.
I've done my share of living in old houses and for me the pleasure lies in looking at them, not struggling to maintain them and their foibles. I'm glad there are people that want to take care of these money pits.
Cheyenne needed watching because she got so wrapped up in the night smells that intersections meant not very much to her and I preferred to snag her with my hand than shout and crack the silence barking at my dog.
I did that once and she jumped as though stung but the noise was too much. I like to let her off leash when I can as she seems to be less driven to walk in a straight line, taking her time, circling, pausing and getting more out of the walk when she is untethered.
Of course I can't let her roam like that during the day but in the dead of night...plus I get to take pictures without the wobble induced by the leash tied to a perky dog. She's actually very patient with me when I pause to take pictures and when she's off leash she stops every now and again and checks over her shoulder to make sure we know where each other is. She's a very easy dog to walk.
Cape Dutch above, Key West library below, the oldest library in Florida:
The inside of the library looked perfect for some midnight reading, no disturbances.
And then reality intruded on Fleming Street. Flashing lights, emergency services. all the stuff I had left behind an hour ago. Time to go home.