Sunday, April 16, 2017

A Place To Rest

St Paul's Cathedral on Duval Street at the corner of Eaton Street has the pride of place among churches in Key West.
It is a relatively imposing structure in the tourist zone. I took this picture last summer when the poincianas were blooming and which they will be soon again to give that added dramatic splash of color:
The interior is everything a church should be in my opinion, a calm restful place, encouraging meditation, and it is doubly pleasant as a place to duck out of the bustle of Duval Street. The noon organ recitals are an excellent way to get off the street and sit back and listen to something you may not be used to hearing.
It was Palm Sunday last week and around here it's not hard to find suitable greenery to mark the day:
The church is known for it's impressive stained glass. This church, as solid as it appears has been blown down a few times by storms. Windows in buildings like these are frequently protected by sheets of transparent plastic to prevent windblown objects damaging them.

I was sitting in a pew contemplating my navel when a stranger strode up to me and asked me if I was an Episcopalian, the denomination of this church. I looked blank and he went on to tell me, out of the blue that he was a Catholic and he was marveling how closely this church resembled the churches he was familiar with. I mumbled something about High Church formats and how such gaudiness is not always appreciated and he moved on absorbed in the shock of his discovery. I relapsed into meditation grateful for the renewed serenity.  
Outside the church is another of those public art works consisting of a poem in cement, and very fine they are too even if some young heathen prefer to scuff them with their feet:

So much to see, a 90 minute Conch Train tour is a very good idea if you can follow along. The check out the places that struck your fancy.
Back at my scooter I found a Chinese look alike. It's such a direct copy of a Vespa that the company in Italy filed a lawsuit and the Chinese company was forced to shut down at a Milan motorcycle show for infringement of patent:
And so home on my Italian studly Popsicle.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

R And R

I am finding my life is circumscribed by work, exercise and sleep. I am rather surprised to find it so. 
I find my morning walks the most calming and meditative part of my day. Rusty is my companion but he runs back and forth as I walk and because he's a dog he leaves me room to think or not as I wish. I talk to him but unless I'm asking him to reassure me by putting in an appearance he pretty much ignores me.
Then he pops out of the bushes in front or behind me, tail flying like a banner behind him and he trots off with all the confidence of a well loved and much trusted dog.
I wonder how those dogs walked on a  leash on the same paths day after day don't go out of their mind in boredom. Some do of course barking and pacing all day. On days when I'm not working I take him out in the afternoon as well when the sun is setting and we do it all again. 
 He spends the middle of the day, after he has spent some considerable time running...
...snoozing on the brick driveway or secure under one of our cars watching the world go by:

Our neighbors marveled at the dog, not fenced but free to go where he pleases who stays tucked up at home, drifting in and out through his dog door, wandering downstairs for a bit, napping on the chaise longue on the deck, taking in a little sunbathing perhaps or snoozing on the bed





 And then I go to work.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Getting Around

It was a rainy  day in Key West, a sudden thunderstorm dropped rain and all units returned to base to park their patrol motorcycles under their roof at the Key West Police Department. I the intrepid Vespa rider pulled up to take cover while I pulled on my waterproofs, my Frogg Toggs for my ride home. The Vespa had to stay in the rain as the Road Kings were all neatly in their spots, their riders in cars to get through the tough weather break. I rode home 23 miles. In the rain. 
 
I have noticed that Rusty accepts me departing the house if not willingly at least with forbearance when I do it on two wheels. I suppose he sees no place for himself so he sits at the top of the stairs and watches me pull on my helmet and get astride my bike and leave. When I leave in the car without him he sits on the top of the stairs but with his back turned after he sees me climb in the car without him. "He looks angry" my wife said one day. I guess he doesn't like being left behind.
I go to exercise most mornings at eleven and return close to two o'clock. On the way home I might go downtown to take some pictures,
...or sometimes I take a  side road and look for pictures for myself or perhaps for a scooter tag forum. This one at the end of Blimp Road was tot snag a tag posted in Idaho showing  a"hill billy ventilated road sign." I knew where we had one of those and it made an excuse to ride three miles up Blimp Road to admire the whitecaps and snap a picture.
I then took a picture of the Vespa 150 on Spain Boulevard and tagged it "Your scooter on a dirt gravel or sand road" which didn't last long as someone in Virginia  got his Suzuki scooter in the dirt right away. By then I was home.
It's been windy in the Keys for a while now which is a nice way of keeping summer at bay. The temperatures are cooler and mosquitoes are somewhat suppressed and it was blowing so hard they even pulled Fat Albert (in the background)  to earth.
These bright windy days are lovely to look at. I am riding my Vespas much more than my motorcycle these days because they do 60 miles an hour, enough to keep up with traffic but not so fast as to tempt me to pass or speed and thus earn more tickets. And any long distance trip I might be tempted to do with the motorcycle these days I'd rather do by car to enjoy Rusty's company. 
So on the Vespa I race downwind gaining a handful of precious miles per hour -what fun!- and upwind home I ride a machine that struggles to hold 55 mph into the wind and I take advantage of every hedge and building and cringe as I cross the windswept bridges that slow me down...Util I get home to himself:
There he sits in the driveway sunning himself, grazing on grass, un-fenced free to come and go inside the house and out as he pleases. Rusty he wonder dog.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Highway Dawn

I took this picture without adjusting the white balance for the dark morning skies, and I liked the result looking at the Bahia Honda bridges, old and new.
Thew bridge with traffic:
A slow cloudy dawn in the distance:

Seaweed pushed into the shore by the wind:



The rising sun shining on the branches:
Another great start to a new day in the Florida Keys.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Wildlife

I ended up watching rapt as a group of wading ibis snacked on some abundant water borne food in the rapidly shrinking mud puddle. I hope they are as fascinating to look at in pictures which I snuck through the mangroves as they were in person.







Rusty waited a few minutes for me before we took off again together.

At the end of the street we met another of his neighborhood buddies, Pablo, who came out and played for a while. Rusty the formerly shy and scared stray now has friends on several different islands where we walk.
Pablo's Dad told me about this trail which I had not previously seen so we added it to our rotating itinerary of places to walk:
It got to be quite warm as the sun was up and we were waiting for the cold front that would cool temperatures off very nicely in another twenty four hours.
I played with my Lumix camera while Rusty checked out the surrounding bushes in person.

And at the very limit of the camera's 600 mm telephoto with some digital telephoto magnification added I got one last bundle of feathers perched on a branch:
A two hour walk that sent Rusty to his bed when we got home, to sleep, perchance to dream.