poisonwood is worse than poison ivy but 1 in 10 of us is immune
West Lake photo op
Saturday, March 16, 2013 – Happy Birthday, K!
Woke this long-sleeved morning to find the same young German couple (who’d spent an overnight last week) across the road from us again. He was first to roll out of the rental (they slept in that sedan last night) and told me they’d done a whirlwind tour of Florida, even spending a day at Disney World. (They left the Glades for that?!)
our dinner guests from site 63
Yesterday J and I did the Nike Missile tour again (the tour didn’t exist when we first came to the Glades) and we were lucky enough this time to get Ranger Leon for his unique perspective. He’s retired Coast Guard, sports a gray ponytail and is a history nutbar (O’s word), and so we got an unusually informative spiel leading up to a big surprise: the Park acquired one of those very Nike Hercules Missiles last November. One of the preserved Missile Barns is no longer empty. “I’m saving the best till last,” Leon said more than once. No wonder the Park has now gated part of the road to the site, which cuts off my nighttime panther troll, but oh well.
Those Nike’s took off with an instantaneous bang, far different from Apollo’s Saturn stately rise! They reassured the entire Miami area in the ‘60s, though it seems the Russians in Cuba had missiles, not bombers, and even the Herculi would have been ineffective against those.
just in case the button was pushed
Another drawback were the atomic bombs installed in 1/4 the Hercules. They were intended to bring down whole bomber fleets at once. Not emphasized was their fall-out on our own citizens!
bored GI painted the infantry’s real worry: mosquitoes!
Yesterday meant another Friday closed library, and so we drove south through the Park again, walking the boardwalk through the snarled mangroves at West Lake, picnicking at Paurotis Pond (in blinding sun, S&S), owl-checking (fruitless) at Mahogany Hammock, and finally sunsetting at Pine Glades Lake.
Monday, March 18, 2013
Balmy morning, much warmer than the last two weeks. Said good-bye to Ramona (22) and Philip (21), the delightful couple from Cologne who were off to NYC today (and had slept through their alarm!). Shared our dinner with them the last two nights, which J appreciated especially because he got to practice his German. They were endlessly patient and dear, so polite that I had to gently draw the evening to a close. Phil reminds J of E, and his going to NYC now will be at nearly the same age as E’s in 2005.
nabbed a signal at 62
Visited the Redland’s Farmer’s Market yesterday, hadn’t been back since meeting E&S in Big Cypress. Parking was a nightmare, as usual, but we managed to find space (next to a Lexus, no less) in a gouged-out field along with dozens of other vehicles. (Twizzler’s easy to find with its bulky cargo bag!) Bought 8 ears of sweet corn for dinner, and a cup of coconut slices, S, to give to Ramona and Philip. A squirt of lime juice and, voilà, dessert!
(I’m now huddled in the Twizzler, pecking this out on my iBook, the only way I can see its screen in daylight. J’s on his favorite (only!) bench in the jungle of the Gumbo Limbo Trail.)
School buses lumber in, disgorge their pent-up occupants, all of whom wear the same kelly-green t-shirts, damn rambunctious out of the classroom. Otherwise it’s sedate birders pulling into free parking slots, wearing long-lensed cameras, often puzzled why some cars wear flapping blue tarps, perhaps soon to find out what those commonplace black vultures have in mind for their car’s rubber.
take my word, they aren’t deterred
dog daze at the Homestead Library
my morning hike turn-
West Lake boardwalk