Saturday, February 6, 2021

Familiar Ground For Rusty

In the early days of this blog I used to get roundly berated by people who thought I should be a botanist and thus able to name plants at random. I am not by nature a collector, especially as I feel more like a nomad if I have any nature at all and nomads don't collect stuff. Besides all that I find myself unable to retain names and genera and species and all that stuff, be it of butterflies or of botanicals. So when I do manage to retain something vaguely useful I am impelled to share it. Behold the Traveler palm:
I like traveler palms because they are spread like symmetrical fans and I like symmetry. They also have a bit of a story behind them which may or may not be true but which I find charming nevertheless. They are called traveler palms because they save travelers who encounter them in arid places the social distinction of dying of thirst, a rare fate in the United States but not unknown. I have read further on these palms and found an account written by someone who wanted to test the theory. They said the liquid inside was rather black and foul but someone desperate enough might be able to drink it. You have been warned. I'd like to think they got their name from providing shade to hard pressed travelers but in the end they generally just look good. Better than the rather raggedy example I managed to find. I love them all and you will too when you see them rising above Old Town Key West.
I was busy photographing Telegraph Lane romantically lit at 4:30 in the morning when Rusty made a find of which he was very proud. I never see him eating street food yet here we have photographic evidence that he is eating a found tortilla. I have no idea why and were you to slip him a piece of bread under the table  during dinner he would ignore it. I guess road grime makes it irresistible. He put in me in mind of Cheyenne the vacuum cleaner of rescued Labradors who swept up anything remotely edible like a furry Zamboni. Rusty has a remote relationship with food, enough is plenty and the rest he ignores. I get the feeling he's just happy he doesn't have to chase and kill his own supper these days.  I hunt roast chickens in the supermarket and my wife portions them into his kibbles.
I had an artistic impulse so I hope I can be forgiven. These are the little blue lights leading up to Teaser's strip club at 218 Duval. In focus they are rather boring, and dare I suggest out of focus they aren't much better but  you have no idea what it costs me psychically to take an out of focus picture. Here it is. Pure Art.
I went to Teaser's once to not be a spoil sport when I was trying to be a manly man on a night out but it was not an experience I would recommend. The place was black with flashing lights and reeked of desperation, women to make money and men not to feel lonely. I have come to the conclusion I am wired differently for some reason. Buying human flesh is not my bag and if she doesn't like me because I'm weird I'm not able to notice that she does like me only because I have dead presidents in my hands. Remind me to tell you about the night out I had with naked women, fried chicken and the interrupted lap dance. I need to learn to improve my ability to make small talk if I want to hang out with manly men.
I like my solitude, my camera, my dog, the night drive down Highway One and the cool winter nights in the silent streets of Old Town. Rusty makes Duval Street his own hunting ground at these lonely hours, always wanting t repeat his rounds on the same streets, checking places he knows and likes. My dog is smart but he is a bit of a homeboy. If it weren't for me he would probably not travel at all.  Next week we go to renew his three year rabies shot, a piece of paper we store with our passports. I hope next year we will have it ready if needed on our way north to Alaska, I also hope he will be delighted to be there with us. Meantime home slice gets his Duval walks.