Abstract, Animals, Birds, Black and White, Butterfly, Caterpillar, Damselfly, Florida, Hike, Humor, Insects, Merritt Island, Misadventure, Nature, Photography, Story, Sunset, Swamp, Video, Water, Wildlife, Writing
The Swamp may one day claim my body. This past weekend I was found sinking into the muck, yet again. I never mean to deviate out into those gurgling and gushing, reedy and thrillingly mucid marshlands but something always draws me in.
In this case, it was vultures…
A great cluster of black vultures descended right in the middle of the great sprawling mire below and I just had to go tumbling down after them.
They wheezed and grunted and hopped about in a frenzy as I sloshed near. Then in a great charcoal gust they fluttered up and adorned the palm trees above, their crinkled heads bent with sharp, bilge-water brown eyes studying me, looking like dark-frocked, feathered judges scowling down at me.
I sifted about looking for a corpse. To no avail. Disappointed, I continued on. I was soon slopping along in happy oblivion until the mire became a river and the reeds turned into mangrove trees; and even then I ventured further. A tiny gator slipped away and a flurry of silver bodies slapped the surface of the water as they swam away in a fast flash. Little black minnows danced in the golden, tea-stained waters bathed in warm sunset.
Suddenly I remembered that I do not live in the Swamp and that these ruddy parks always have a blasted time-limit. I turned and squished back toward the great sprawling knoll where the path was. I clambered and crawled up through an impenetrable green fog of knotted grass. A merry wind casually chucked vulture feathers, globs of yellow pollen, sticks and burrs into my wild, tangled mane as I clawed along like a blind bear.
At last I popped onto the trail, adorned in Swamp.
I began to concoct a haphazard smile, realizing the squeak had issued forth from a wide-eyed dog-walking lady that had been startled by my sudden appearance. I guess she had no idea someone had been crawling around in the somnolent mire below all this time. She rapidly gathered up her canine companion and shielded the small and thoroughly fascinated terrier from my ghoulish and slovenly sight. The pair darted away as I said with a stumble, becoming entangled in some gigantic weed I hadn’t noticed, “Lovely time for swamping, eh?!” She didn’t reply…I don’t think she heard me…
I immediately became distracted by the lake on the opposite side and soon found myself in the water, yet again, joyfully fiddling with the camera. Time was forgotten yet again as the sun was swiftly hoovered away and squeezed to rust. The phone deep in my pack tootled but I couldn’t be bothered with attempting to dig it out, so I continued to film as I slowly made my way back.
Then I heard a great booming cry warble across the glimmering waters glazed in purple dusk, “PARK CLOSING!”
Oh dear…THE TIME!
I tried to assure the little black dot (that was an irate ranger) that I was hurrying as I called out, “I AM COMING! DON’T WORRY! BE RIGHT THERE!”
He was miles away…well, perhaps just one mile.
I wasn’t very near and the wind was probably erasing my calls, so I gesticulated wildly in order to encourage the ranger that I was hurrying. He continued to hop up and down.
Then I started splashing back as quickly as possible.
And then I crouched down in the water to film a rock.
“PARK CLOSING!!!!! PARK CLOSING RIGHT NOW!!!” came a very jarring, caterwauling cry.
I decided I should put the camera away…this was a very difficult chore as my arms suddenly weighed about 18,000 lbs.
I managed to make it back and even avoided being pounded by the red-faced, snowy-mustached ranger as he crammed me into the car and Sir rapidly peeled away (well, rapidly for a tortoise, that is, as Sir is a very sedate, I mean careful, driver- to the outraged ranger’s dismay…). I was able to obtain enough footage for a few wee videos featuring some minute creatures. Here is one below, shot at Pine Island Conservation Area in Merritt Island, FL. Thanks for drizzling by,
A fortnight into the 2014’s great nascent, and Sir (the somewhat crabby super-model) greets its sunny, smiling visage with…perhaps an ever-so-slightly surly, tongue-protruding, sort of attitude…for reasons…I am rather foggy on, at the moment…
Anyhow, onto more smiling things- some new portraits of Sir and some of his, er, affectionate, comments. Cheers,
“And so, as I listen to a series of clicks reverberating through this foggy window, I leave you with a song that describes just how I feel below. Farewell. (I only dream that these nefarious images never, EVER find their way onto the great world-wide Web).”
And from Sir, a wee holiday message:
“A happy holiday and she’s dressing me up again…
“Now she is forcing me to pose as some sort of sick Clouseau Doolittle for infamous VIDEOS of me being barraged, assaulted, beaten, bitten and viciously pecked at by a sea of rabid, wild creatures!
“‘What ART!’ the expert torturer chimes with the dead glaze of that stupid camera poking in my face.
“I certainly hope these beastly things NEVER EVER find their way onto the Internet…”
Jubilant holidays, a most happy Christmas, and a glorious New Year to all.
“Merry Drink-A-Lot” sang out some boisterous boaters this past weekend during the Holiday Boat Parade…
It was about 80 degrees Fahrenheit outside with a flimsy breeze.
“More flamingos and palm trees than Christmas trees and reindeer!” one man observed exuberantly, as a boat fluttered by, sporting an illuminated string of rather awesome LED flamingos pulling a sled, with great green and gold, swaying bloaty palm trees billowing up from the stern.
“HALLLOOOO! MERRY CHRISTMAAAAAAAS!” came some soggy, sonorous voices, slopping up from the brackish darkness. What were these strange things?
“Oh my…those are paddle-boarders!!” a wee lass cried out.
Indeed they were. Paddle-boarders completely saturated with blinking, twinkly little battery-operated LED lights. One man waved his red illuminated paddle high in the air and the crowd squealed with delight. I felt a strong urge to burst into a husky-voiced and rather guttural Christmas carol, but resisted…
“This is better than fireworks!” someone suddenly exclaimed. With the air of a serene sage, I nodded to the black night in agreement, as more and more brilliant, light-adorned, sirening boats shimmered by.
She was rapidly removed from the dangerous spot.
I strode up and swaggered about the slick, rigid pavement where the child had been, in order to scrutinize the sea of boats a little more closely, when suddenly I found myself slipping.
Whale…I was planted there until, suddenly, a twinkly boat came careening up and I bolted into the air, only to find that my left leg was out of order. Apparently, it had gone to sleep. With an astoundingly obnoxious and rather obvious old sailor’s limp, I managed to hobble out of the way.
A hound barked behind me.
What a sight. Yes, it was grand. It was brilliant. It was blazing (and me flash was so violent it nearly sent a poor man tumbling into the rainbow-glinting drink below, blinded by the beam…I do not think he was all that comforted when I spat out, “Oh oopsie daisies! I had no idea it was that bright!”)
Yes, blazing indeed, and…far more exemplary than fireworks, I’d have to agree.
Black and White, Cars, Charging Station, Chevy, Climate Change, Eco, Electric, Electric Motorcycle, Electric Vehicles, Elon Musk, EV, Events, Florida, Global Warming, Green, IDEAS, Innovation, Nissan Leaf, Orlando, Photography, Plug-in, Rain, Science, Technology, Tesla, Volt, Wekiva Island
My idea of the perfect, jolly splendid time on a Friday evening must include sustainable technology. Singing and cavorting with wind turbines, doing pirouettes and cartwheels with solar panels, or being assaulted by ambulating infants as I roll about in puddles with a scintillating series of electric vehicles are all absolutely stellar plans for a mind-blasting good time for me. Throw in some owl sightings and some squeaking bats swiveling in the sky, and I have reached Utopia.
So, this past Friday night, Sir and I sluiced over to an electric car celebration, er, show, rather, in Orlando, organized by I.D.E.A.S. (Intellectual Decisions on Environmental Awareness Solutions). Local owners of the Chevy Volt, Tesla, and Nissan Leaf, along with two electric motorcycles, displayed their vehicles. Despite the drizzle of rain, there was quite an ebullient crowd, charged with the electric current of inspired ideas for the future.
I must note that I found it exceedingly difficult to resist bopping one of the fine motorcyclists off his two-wheeled, gently cooing, electric chariot so that I could proceed to ride off into the bleary sunset, squealing away pure puerile elation.
“Environmentally friendly cars will soon cease to be an option…they will become a necessity.”
“One must generate electricity in a sustainable way, as well as consume it in a sustainable way.”
“People will say, ‘Well, don’t electric cars create pollution at the power plant level?’
“It should be noted that for any given source-fuel, it is always better to generate the power at the power plant level and then charge electric cars and run them, because power plants are much more efficient at extracting the energy than internal combustion engines in a car.
“Power plants are at least twice as efficient, and usually more like three-times as efficient. Even if the whole world were always to be powered by hydrocarbons, it would still make sense to do electric cars.
“But, of course, we must also find a sustainable means of generating energy. I think the main candidate for such energy generation is actually solar. I think the physics of this is rather obvious.”
-Elon Musk, quote from a lovely Oxford talk that can be seen Here
“Sustainability is a new idea to many people, and many find it hard to understand. But all over the world there are people who have entered into the exercise of imagining and bringing into being a sustainable world. They see it as a world to move toward not reluctantly, but joyfully, not with a sense of sacrifice, but a sense of adventure. A sustainable world could be very much better than the one we live in today.”
―Donella H. Meadows, “The Limits to Growth: The 30-Year Update”
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”
“I think anyone who likes fast cars will love the Tesla. And it has fantastic handling by the way. I mean this car will crush a Porsche on the track, just crush it. So if you like fast cars, you’ll love this car. And then oh, by the way, it happens to be electric and it’s twice the efficiency of a Prius”
The night was humid and tangy, heady mist hovering in the air. The sky was low and moldered with deep purple cloud, reflecting in swirls the city’s incandescent glow.
I oozed along the gritty path, sweat creeping down my neck. Feral cats caterwauled and twirled ahead. I stopped to gaze at them when I noticed the black silhouette of a rabbit- a domestic rabbit- right amongst a sea of rowdy felines, ferine.
“Are you trying to catch that rabbit, too?!” came an excited exclamation from a female voice.
I swiveled around to face a beaming woman with a crine of giant, lemon-hair outlined brilliantly in the gauzy strobe of the path-light. Her smile beamed through the darkness.
I must have had a sickly, rabbit-besotted look on my face as I stuttered, “Oh right, certainly so!”
“I’ve been trying to catch her for DAYS!” the woman boomed as her Siberian husky-dog companion stepped forward and my hand warbled gently onto the top of his silvery head.
“Well, I’ll gather her up then,” I said.
“It’s just about impossible! Oh PLEASE if you catch her will you give her to me?! I really want her!” cried the lovely blonde-haired companion to canines.
“Oh right,” I murmured, gazing into the gelid blue eyes of the great dog, his tongue lolling.
A dyspeptic sort of smile crackled across my ruddy visage, imagining a rabbit taking up residence with this fine canine…
Then came a gust, the lass bugling with a touch of doubt about her elongated words, “GOOOOOD LUUUUUCK!”, as the ashen-grey sled-hound suddenly javelined forth, hurrying the dog-owner quickly away.
The rabbit shot into the woods at approximately 90 mph. Hum. Not like the usual wild rabbits that seem to always swarm at my feet, darting up to me in the millions, as if I cram my shamrock socks with carrots and don stylishly-leafy celery stalks behind my ears as a nice accent to my Timothy hay wig…
I wobbled after the rabbit. The air was like still water.
In complete darkness, amidst some kind of inky-black copse of tangled bramble and twisted trees, I was compelled to kneel down for a moment to brood about how to gather up the creature. My hand found itself lightly alighting right upon the head of the long-eared creature.
“Ooofffeee!” I muttered and the rabbit dissipated.
I puttered about and decided that I could decipher just where the lagomorph would emerge, out of this great patch of weald. I swirled all the way around to the very back of the deep patch, where I knew there was a quiet spread of grass, quite secluded.
Astoundingly, my pathetic bit of rabbit psychology proved correct as I came beetling up to the creature gently grazing and barking off more rambunctious cats. One cat, I noticed, had just assembled himself into a wobbly pouncing position.
The mouse-lovers sprayed away as I appeared, but the lettuce-lover seemed shocked and merely gawped at me. I had done it. I could see it in that glazed look hovering in her wide doe-eyes. The rabbit-charm never fails. Twelve seconds later she was in my arms, purring, whiskers tickling the neck.
Having never held a rabbit before, I carried my new rabbit-roomie off into the darkness, to soon take up residence with some wee-woodland-creature-fearing cats and greens-flinging, hay bequeathing humans.
After some months, however, a depression overtook the cilantro-and-carrot-gobbling being. She was in need of a fellow long-eared companion, it was concluded.
I was off to the park again, this time with Sir, to muse over where to obtain this new chum for the rabbit that had strangely become known to us as Gandhi-Poe Lassie. Would there be a rabbit at the shelter, perchance? Perhaps we should check the online ads.
We were not haunting the park more than three seconds when Sir spotted a white-blazed, pink-nosed, black pet rabbit huddled against a yellow parking curb. Oh my.
It seemed our musing was over.
He bleated to me, I got out to attend to the rabbit, and Sir sped off to go get a cage and a net from the house just down the way. Hmph. Who needs those things?
I began to radiate rabbit-charm when a human being approached from behind, yet again, and the wee woodland creature darted underneath a parked car. Oh dear.
The approacher was an octogenarian woman looking to vacate the park. Her instant assumption was that the rabbit now crouched beneath her pale Lincoln car was mine, and that I was of in the habit of stowing pet rabbits under whatever cars I liked, whenever I felt like it, regardless of consequences and who I might hurt.
Well, I am not one to sway about and attempting to explain things. I am one of action. I decided I would get right to work gathering up the creature.
I was nervous, however, and my radiating rabbit-charm was askew as the woman stamped impatient feet and huffed to the heavens about the oh so grueling oppression of the Impetuous Youth, of which she readily decided I was most assuredly a member of.
My crawling about and cooing beneath her car seemed to exacerbate her aggravation, and did nothing to entice the rabbit to scoot elsewhere. I attempted to snag, and he would shuffle out of reach every time.
The Lincoln-owner decided starting the car might help. The rabbit seemed to find the gentle bombilation of the engine relaxing.
At last, I decided to bellow and have convulsions underneath the car, to the automobile-owner’s audible dismay, and the rabbit slipped out of the shadows and pranced across the way in order to perch on some coquina-limestone outcroppings. Obviously, he did not find it prudent to while away the hours under cars with humans having fits.
I oozed sheepishly out from underneath the vehicle and the grey-haired woman sputtered a rapid, “THANK YOU!” at me as she speedily evacuated.
Some onlookers smiled as I wobbled over to the limestone. A grin had manifested itself on my face as I recognised the look the lagomorph was beaming at me. Yes, I knew that look- “Right-ho, pick me up, all ready to go now.”
There was a hazy film hovering in the rabbit’s auburn eyes. He was charmed. He was almost smiling as I scooped him up and hoofed it home, as at last, the heat was quelled by the commencement of a gentle, sluicing rain. The rabbit, named Bunion Claude, seemed to like the soft shower, and purred in my arms.
And so, that was how I became rabbit-roomies with the two fine foot-slapping, white-cotton-tailed creatures. They adore chasing the trembling cats, gobbling red leaf lettuce, and munching hay from my wig as I pat them contentedly on the head in a sort of rabbit-loving haze.
“It is hard to resist a flatterer who gets it right.”
The top compliments of me olde, barnacled life have been when I was mistaken for a whale (I wept, I was so honoured- can read that story here if so inclined), called a “shark whisperer” (adinparadise, a dashed lovely blogger, called me such only very recently, the thoughtful dear lassie!) and told I look identical to the sibilant stone-creature dubbed “Gollum” from the “Lord of the Rings” films.
(Never have managed to catch a wee glisk of any of the films, and fear I have also neglected to read the books, but I did see an advert once, and blast, I really do look just like that gorgeous, bulbous-eyed stone-imp!)
Right-ho, so, to celebrate being called a whale, amongst other dashed precious things, I thought I would share a silly, wee video featuring a day in the brine. Perhaps it may reveal why a smiling toad might just be mistaken for a whale when engaging in the delicate and suave art-form of falling out of the ocean.
Thank you for sluicing by,