Monday, February 29, 2016

In Between

I'm working on the Florida Report (other than boat tour), but it isn't done yet, and won't be tonight, what with the chiropractor and stitch and bitch*, plus still being travel-tired. I mean, I had the whole weekend to recover, and I somewhat did, but I'm still tired, unfortunately.
*And getting back a bit later than otherwise tonight due to waiting with a friend after SnB for the police to come look at her car, which was in a bit of an accident while she was inside: she came out to a note from a good Samaritan** who had seen another car hit hers, twice, while trying to park, and got the plate number
**I really hope that was legit, and not some scam of its own. I want to believe...

To get the trip with frequent-flier miles, I ended up taking a return flight that landed near midnight Friday. The flight itself was fine, largely because, faced with only middle-seat availability, I splurged and paid extra for the even more space seat, and ended up with three seats to myself, which was wonderful. However, waiting for the luggage, then waiting for the parking shuttle bus, then waiting for another after the first one was full, then going to check out of the lot and having to read the woman the code on my prepaid voucher about 10 times (her scanner was down, but still), well, all that meant it was 1:15 before I was home, and though I was in bed about half an hour later, it took me a long time to fall asleep, and then I woke up about 4 times to use the bathroom, due to all the water I drank, and, well, I was a zombie on Saturday. (I had lunch plans with a friend, but she had to reschedule, and that was probably for the best.) And still tired Sunday, and still tired today; slightly headachy, too. I'm going to bed.

But hey, don't forget to vote tomorrow, if you're in a state with a primary! We sane people have work to do, this year.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Florida Report: Boat Ride in the Everglades

Based on the photos I took last week, I can break the trip report into two halves: the boat tour, and everything else. So here is the boat tour!

This is out of the National Park at Everglades City, and as the guide pointed out, it's the third-largest national park in the lower 48 states (behind Death Valley and Yellowstone). We've done the tour a number of times since my parents moved to Florida (20 years ago this fall!), and a lot of the pictures are similar from one year to the next (here's 2013 and 2015, for example), but I'll share them anyway; my blog, my party.

Osprey on manatee zone sign:
And another, with a much bigger nest.
These guys all seem to be looking the same way:
But I think that was a coincidence. Terns are the weathervane birds, not cormorants.
A little further out, as often happens, we encountered some dolphins. They swam around and under the boat, and when the captain moved faster, one of them followed to swim in the wake. Really, really close, as it happens.. I got a few pictures like this:
Before I got this one:
So that was fun. And it was a beautiful day.
We weren't on the sunset ride, but it was late enough that birds were filling their spot, what there was of it as the tide was quite high.
Which is clearer the closer we got.
Unusually (in our experience), the majority were white pelicans, which are not the ones that are in Florida year-round.
It seems so funny that they all cram onto this spot. It's not like it's the only sandy ground in the everglades.
But I guess if the cool kids start going there, everyone wants to be there.
I love this one guy standing on the driftwood.
We moved on from there at last, and noticed this bare tree that was also pretty popular.
Not a bird on the tree with leaves, as far as I can see.

I asked about this, by the way, and apparently it isn't something that is used when a shark is encountered.
Apparently the name or type of the boat is a Shark, and they are required to carry this, which is a locator beacon or something, even though they aren't out after dark. Good to know, I guess.

And that's the boat ride!

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

A Teaser from the Boat Ride

Most times I visit, we go over to the National Park in Everglades City and take the boat ride. It runs about 90 minutes, and you see many birds (pelicans, terns, osprey, and more) and often dolphins. They aren't always this close, though:
Also, while pelicans are a common sight, white pelicans are less common, but there were tons of them.
Just hanging out, all squished together; it was high tide, so they would get more space as the tide went out.

More later!

Friday, February 19, 2016

The Night Before

I've reached the "wondering what I'm forgetting" stage of packing. Not that I don't have a very detailed packing list, which I consult and cross things off, but ... still. This is who I am, in spite of the fact that:

  • The suitcase is packed with some clothing, the bath kit, and some other "things," the usual mix
  • The rolling carry-on is packed with the things I either don't want bouncing around (computer) or potentially getting lost (yellow blanket) in the suitcase, and the things I want/need to have in transit (snacks, toiletries, book, knitting)
  • The things I have left to do/pack/get in the morning are highlighted

Really, though, I'm about ready. Mary Ellen and her husband came over to get the keys, and see where things are kept for the care and maintenance of Carlos, and he was his usual friendly self, by which I mean he grudgingly allowed a scritch under his chin, then retreated to the other side of the bed where "you can't see me." The goober. Perhaps he will warm up once I'm gone, but I kind of doubt it.

So where am I now? Well, I ate something, and though it's not at all late, I am pretty tired, so I imagine I will be in bed early. My fingers will be crossed that the weather overnight does what they say it will, which is turn from snow to rain and not accumulate much. Just let my plane go when it should!

Thursday, February 18, 2016


As I mentioned, I picked up another hyacinth at Trader Joe's last Saturday (it's a weakness of mine, in winter). Here it is, Sunday morning, just peeking out.
And Sunday night, visible progress.
Monday morning.
Monday night.
Tuesday morning, getting close.
Tuesday night, closer.
Wednesday morning, pretty much fully out.
And Thursday morning, no doubt. (And devil horns.)
It is bloomed. It smells divine, and has cheered me numerous times this week.

So did something else I got at TJ's, in fact.
Yeah, man. Mmm-hmm.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Color, Symmetry, and Promise at the Greenhouse

So, to the greenhouse!

I had the usual wonderful time, though I thought there was a little less color than in previous years. Perhaps I grow jaded? I did see signs talking about their plans for doing major work in the greenhouses, so there may have been some minor changes. Still, it was good to be there, and not just because of this:
Ahh, breathable air!

Outside, a sign to appeal to the punsters.
As always, I don't linger long in the cooler cactus rooms. Moving on, and there's some color!
And more, daffs and some sort of blue-bell thing.
You can tell what was drawing me closer.
Color, I say!
And fuzzies.
Don't forget the fuzzies.
Or the spikies. Always look up!
These things fascinate me.
 And this, well, it makes me think of grlic coming out of it's wrapping.
Up there again!
Be my valentine. Hot pink...
And light pink.
Finally a little green. I like the pattern to this one.
Back to color!
I looked at this one and couldn't figure out which way it started growing from.
And this one just made me think of the mandrakes in Harry Potter.
As did this one. You can see it walking, right?
Ah, color.
 This splash of green cascading down...
Delicate little flowers.
Somehow I feel like a peeping tom, looking in at this.
Ready to pop.
Big and odd, the center of this thing.
While this is clearly woven.
Color and symmetry
 Another proto-mandrake. It looks to be outgrowing its pot, and are those eyes on the front?
Ripe and not so.
 Big leaves.
Coiling around to visit other plants.
Spikes on the leaves!
 Little lanterns.
Umbrellas, up
 And drooping
I so wanted to pluck one. (I didn't.)
Curly leaves
What is that at the center?
Oh my.
Flower poking out.
Sort of
And more.
And what is the next thing?
 Now I know what a Jerusalem cherry looks like.
Ready to pop
Any time now
Raised eyebrows
The ones at the top? This is what they look like before they pop.
All promise, no show.
These look like game pieces. Or puzzles of some kind.
In one room, I caught a sudden whiff of something lovely. I looked at what I was closest to, which appeared to be small daffodils.
But when I bent closer, that was definitely the source of the scent, mmm. Oh, look!
Narcissus, eh?