Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Rusty In The Woods

This one I took in South Georgia when we stopped for a break near Brunswick and the extensive pine forests penetrated by sandyroads. 

Not Rusty

Sister-in-law Geeta (with a hard G) has lived here since the 1970s doctoring in Appalachia. 

Not a swimming dog:

Celo in November

A break from 80 degree temperatures and trash piles led us to the mountains of Western North Carolina, Rusty and I. A mix of rain upon arrival followed by hot sun and icy overcast mornings is a reminder how much I enjoy the endless summers of Down South. Rusty might disagree but he is too busy running through the bushes and leaf piles wondering how squirrels can ignore him so effortlessly. The Little Toe River was the target of our walk yesterday, today I am told by my in-laws, something more strenuous. 

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Celo Vacation

Rusty and I are on vacation this week, returning to my sister-in-law's place (above) in the mountains of Western North Carolina. It will be about four days of walking the woods and taking pictures and struggling with feeble cell phone signals and occasional wifi outages...mountains have their issues.
The weather forecast calls for dry days with highs around 60 which might seem cool for the tropics but it's usually quite comfortable with some sun and no wind and a few clothes. Celo is a private community of people living off the land as much as they can  in the woods outside Asheville which is itself a fairly crunchy university town filled with shamans and healing auras and goddesses and stuff like that.
It's a great place for a change and a rest. I'm excited to be going back. I think he will be too after we complete the 16 hour drive. Luckily like everything else Rusty is very good and patient in the car.
It took Rusty a few days to get used to huge forests and fallen leaves like he had never before seen in his short life on the streets of Homestead. Once he got the hang of it he  really ran the woods as you might imagine. It will be good for both of us to get away for a few days and see mountains and walk trails and enjoy a crisp refreshing change. My wife has to work so she will keep the homestead in order while we are away.
Cheyenne used to like Celo too. I'm always sorry to come away but its too rugged for me to live there full time. Mount Mitchell, the highest point on the east coast overlooks my in-laws' place and it gets pretty snowy and cold and wet and foggy and damp at these elevations many months of the year.
When it's sunny it's perfect. When it's not it gets pretty harsh after a few days of struggling with real weather. It is pretty. North Carolina Highway 80:
A bit of wilderness is good for you. 
Gone a week and then back to the grindstone. Pictures here and on Instagram at michaelconchscooter
Brother-in-law Bob:

Sister-in-law Geeta:

With daughter-in-law and grandchild:


Saturday, November 11, 2017

Cemetery Sunset

I haven't walked the cemetery in a  while but was prompted to recently when  I got a call at work about tourists who found themselves locked inside after hours.  I wondered how they managed to miss the sign:
I determined to take a wander in a corner of the cemetery close to the entrance that I usually overlook. I saw a whole family lined up and its this sort of thing that makes you think.  Its not just historical this cemetery, its the place where stories of daily living in Key West get their final punctuation. The son died before his parents.
I love wandering the graves and thinking about these lives neatly encapsulated by dates, some have pictures and the Conchs especially love to add a little drawing of some activity important to the deceased:
Then I came across this gem, close to the gates yet one I had not previously noticed. "Killed by plume hunters..." helping create the Audubon Society, ironically named for the artist who killed to paint.
Here's another one and this photo shows how tough it is to get the light right for photographing tombs. The name on the right is Howard England who was the dude hired to restore a decrepit and forgotten Ft Zachary to it's proper status:
A close up of this exemplary employee's  photo:
 The light was fading, winter hours are in effect and it was only around 5:40pm.
 I wished I could have lingered but I still have to earn my living on night shift.

 I could not resist the pun:
 There are so many graves in the cemetery and many show they are still remembered:
Above ground burial is a good idea in a town built on rock with a high water table. The original cemetery was on the south shore of Key West until a hurricane tore it up and scattered corpses in an undignified way sometime in the mid 19th century. They moved the cemetery here on what was the edge oft own at the time.
 And people keep dying.  Most people in party town don't notice but in my work I take the calls when someone dies at night and before morning the funeral parlor clears the body out of sight, detectives finish their on site investigations and the paperwork is signed off so the city awakes to another day, none the wiser of another loss.
The cemetery is also a short cut across the middle of Old Town. I rather like that amalgamation of the living and the dead though some people get annoyed by transient traffic, even the respectful sort.
 The military plot commemorating the USS Maine sunk in Havana in 1898 and giving rise to the US take over of Puerto Rico from Spain and US monitored independence to Cuba. Key West had the hospital facilities for the casualties of the explosion.

 Well remembered:
"We will never forget you..." Her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren left that sentiment in Spanish, because Key West is a melting pot in a world President Trump wants to be white.
 Falling night, 911 calls.