I was pretty sure this weekend was going to look pretty glum not only because of the weather forecast but also by virtue of the fact I was not scheduled to work. So in the spirit of earning some peace and quiet later in the day I got up well before the crack of dawn and hustled a not unwilling dog out into the blizzard. It was a long time before dawn's crack appeared as I hadn't calculated the cloud cover which kept everything dark until almost seven in the morning.
It was of course pitch black when I pulled up alongside a pick up truck already parked with some dark shadow inside. That it was occupied by a very interesting retired engineer who is it turns out a dab hand with a camera was not something I would learn till later. Meanwhile, having left my flashlight in the car as I am hopelessly optimistic by nature, I stumbled around in the dark impatiently expecting the dawn to show its crack at any minute.
Rusty was instantly busy and after a quick check to make sure I was okay he darted off to check on the lay of the land. He can see in the dark and has no fear of anything that dog, so while I was minding my step he was trotting off into the night. Traffic isn't an issue as there is a cement barrier separating the path from the road and besides he has a healthy fear of cars; don't we all these days.
Eventually the sun did come up not with any great force but that was okay as I was in my shirt sleeves and not feeling the cold, because it wasn't cold, just windy. For some reason the rain held off and we walked the beach the two of us watching the live show off shore.
Its a very odd thing walking through the upturned trees and dead limbs killed by Hurricane Irma even while pondering the fires burning up Australia with flooding in England and heavy rains causing mudslides in Italy and snow storms Up North and here I am in shorts and sandals walking a December beach.
The reef keeps the waters south of the islands pretty shallow so waves don't build even though the ocean looks violent enough. The weather forecasts offered us a possibility of winds to 60 mph and and sudden thunderstorms.
And for some reason Rusty decided to pick a fight with a stick. He never plays with toys because I guess he didn't grow up with much frolic in his life. He got pretty frolicy with the stick.I sat and watched the day develop.
It was pretty nice. I have a habit of looking over the horizon but days like these, cool perfect weather and dramatic views are a healthy reminder you don't need mountains and valleys and rivers.
Mind you, an occasional mountain would be cool. I'd love to have a huge granite monolith rising up out of South Florida. Imagine a frosty pine covered mountain with alpine lakes and... well probably not. We'll have to leave that to Colorado and keep our coconuts and bath warm waters. Fair exchange.
This isn't swimming time though. While I was glad to see the shortest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere pass us by it's not going to be warm enough to swim until the time change in the Spring. Something to look forward to.
Rusty liked the cold weather we found in Pensacola at Thanksgiving but he enjoys sunbathing and napping in the air conditioning too.
Back in the parking lot I was approached by the man in the truck. "I saw a dog down there in the dark," he said. "I had no idea where he came from." We talked about the photographic possibilities for dawn in the Keys and he owned as he had sold a couple of pictures of that there tree to National Geographic. If you check Ivan Sebborn's website you'll see why. He's been all over the place and takes some superb pictures.
My wife is away until the New Year, until then the boys cope alone with, rain, wind, Netflix and take out. A state of affairs fit to leave one envying anybody.
Better go for a walk.