Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Boca Chica Beach

I have no idea why but Rusty hasn't wanted to go to Boca Chica Beach in a  long time. I'd bring him and he'd sniff and two photographs later he was sitting by the car. Then last week all that changed and he was totally into it. Why? He wasn't saying...
To my surprise Monroe County has chosen to clear the old road and turned it back into a wide easy to use path. It used to be open t cars but a hurricane, Wilma as I recall in 2005 wiped out the roadway and it was reduced to a  footpath. It's a popular spot for dogs though why this sign (below) is necessary I don't know. Picking up seems obvious but perhaps I think too highly of my fellow humans.
On the other side of the path the US Navy has rebuilt the fence torn down by Hurricane Irma in 2017. Not much ambiguity here:
Boca Chica is a training base and squadrons visit from all over the US and Canada to practice dog fights and aircraft carrier landings and take offs. They make quite a bit of noise but we were spared.
Boca Chica manages to look good most times I visit and this was just another lovely morning.

More signage that in a perfect world would be too obvious to state. Rusty ignored it but I always carry a plastic bag. Happily they have taken away the rash cans that used to be posted here. I took this picture in 2016 shortly after Rusty came into my life:
 All they did was encourage people to pile their trash and it was very difficult to empty the barrel.  Now the message is backed up by no trash cans:
The fishing boat was slowly making tracks. I find the telephoto on the Panasonic FZ1000 quite effective. The FZ300 has a longer lense but it gets badly jagged in JPEG at extreme distances and I am too lazy to shoot in RAW photo mode to correct it. The FZ1000 has a bigger sensor and does a much cleaner job even if not at such huge distances. 
The  sign on the telephone pole has been wiped clean...
...on one side.  The warning used to be "get ready for what you may find" (gay men enjoying themselves) but that apparently is no longer acceptable. Just another sign of changing times I guess. 
I did some bird watching while Rusty rooted around as usual.

The pile of rocks is still there with more detritus dangling everywhere. 
And more irritating aphorisms:

This innocent piece of wood put me in mind of a green man staring angrily across he clearing:

I noticed the hammock swinging close by an old Cuban chug that washed ashore. There are far fewer refugees trying to cross from Cuba since the US ended the wet foot/dry foot policy which allowed Cubans who landed to stay. 
Still a few do risk their lives out there while we swing at our ease on the beach.
A  man named Raphael started piling rocks after the aforementioned Hurricane Wilma, just another person attracted to this beach in ways that defy explanation. Like this guy I saw there the year after Red died:
 The original builder of the bothy on the beach was known as Red and he has apparently gone to his reward, well remembered.

We walked to the end of the beach where you have to wade across a cut to get to the rest of the wilderness alongside the old State Road 4A  but the tide was high and I wasn't wearing my Crocs and I don't think Rusty was particularly interested, happily for my sneakers.
The old Navy fence rather the worse for wear:

Back at the car Rusty wasn't ready to go. So I got out my Kermit chair...
...and struggled to take a selfie with my security guard at my back:
Other essays I've photographed over the years at Boca Chica Beach: