Friday, March 16, 2018

Someone Else For Dinner

We were in the kitchen this evening when hubby called out, "Look!"

The cheeky white tail deer nibbled a bit at the fallen maple tree branch, then sauntered off. But not before having a good look through the window. And to think I said only yesterday that we hadn't seen many deer this winter.

Friday, March 9, 2018

The More it Snows (Again)

We were complacent if we thought Spring was on the way. All week it's snowed on and off

We've had two power cuts, a frozen drain, a flood and dozens of fallen branches. Did we leave Florida for this? Is it payback for lounging in warmth for most of the winter? But when the sun comes out..

You would almost pay to come here

With a free art show. Ice crystal fantasy.

A touch of Jackson Pollock 

 And guess who's

Coming to dinner!

 I put up the feeder again and from nowhere they were there. How did they ever get through the winter without us? 

Friday, March 2, 2018

Goodbye Florida Sunset..And Hello Winter

We must be crazy. This is what we left. A beautiful, warm, Golden Beach sunset.

And back in western New York, after a false dawn, a couple of vaguely mild days without a flake of snow on the ground, on Friday morning .... 

 This happened

All that snow on the hanging baskets - that was just overnight

They had warned in the weather forecast that the snow wouldn't be normal snow. It would be extremely heavy and wet and snow shovelling could be dangerous - might bring on heart attacks and so on. Well the trees were certainly bent out of shape.

 With all that weight. And huge branches came off the maple trees all morning.

And the arborvitae by the drive - the bits of them that survived the deer onslaught - were bent right over like triumphal; arches

Even our 4WD got stuck at the end of the drive, in all the heavy snow the plough dumped and I had to dig it out. They were right in the weather forecast.  Plus we had no electricity and no telephone.  I trudged up the hill to try and get a mobile phone signal. We hardly ever get one at the house but this sometimes works. Except not today.

The lane was pretty though.

Coming back, I noticed the variegated dogwood bush was squashed flat by the snow.

But this afternoon we looked out of the window and discovered a kind neighbour had come and ploughed the drive and disappeared before we could even thank him. That's western New Yorkers for you.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Cars in the Sun

First a car show of a different kind. This is the view when the drawbridge off the island goes up. Not quite Tower Bridge but we do have three of them. It's a common occurrence - usually to let some tiny sailing boat through on the intracoastal waterway - but the cause of much aggravation. It means you can never be quite sure how long it will take to get to an appointment. The other day we were stuck even after the bridge went down again as there had been some sort of accident on the other side. The woman in the queue in front of us started getting claustrophobic, exited her car and yelled at us all to reverse or  "We'll never get out!" So we did and it took a very long time, especially as the person behind us was a timid reverser. I sympathise with that.  And all that is even without the everyday traffic accidents during "Snowbird Season", an alarming combination of out-of-towners who get lost and people who shouldn't be driving in the first place. Every day holds a horror story of the driver who screeched across four lanes at the last minute right in front of us.

But back to a much more pleasurable car experience, the ubiquitous car show. Florida in dry season of course being the ideal place to show off your wheels. This was at the local classic car dealer's. I have mixed feelings about pickup trucks but would have taken this little Corvair home.

And of course, being Florida, here was a dressed-up golf cart.

 People wistfully wandering around inspecting engines.

 And wow! A Lotus Elan! And one of the real classics too. (With no insult intended to my little Elan S2 back in Blighty. That's Norfolk mustard too. )

This "Galloping Ghost" had some history, apparently.

And this one some nostalgia

Love the colour but wouldn't have dared try to park it.

There was lots of this sort of jokey stuff

Including bird nesting boxes (aka bird houses in American) made out of old number plates

 And this, for which no comment is necessary

They like their furry dice here too

Note the election bumper sticker..

 "I'm all shook up", he says. And he's yours for 699 dollars. Or Nearest Offer. (Or is that the price of the car?)

A 1935 Auburn Boattail Speedster. Yours for a snip.

And of course a cute Thunderbird

And a Batmobile

Note the poodle trim

Did she just give him the push?

 Fill it up for you Madam?  Except the Americans say "Fill it".

C'mon, let's get out on the open road!

Aw shucks, we'll have to wait for the bridge.

Alas the blog's Florida sojourn is nearly over. Departure for the frozen north is imminent.  Watch this space!

Monday, February 19, 2018

Foggy Dawn

The weather warning on Saturday predicted, "dense fog". There was none around our house but as I went south on my early morning jog, mist was enveloping the airport. 

A strange thing to see palm trees looming out of the fog

And a landscape more suited to the north - to autumn and ghosts and headless horsemen

I wonder how the alligators and bobcats that haunt the golf course like the fog? They are of course very much alive.

Mist surrounded the fishing pier too.

And against the moody pastels of the sea and sky there wasn't a pelican to be seen. Like the tiny planes at the airport, they had been grounded in the fog.

Until, as I turned northwards up the beach,  here they came

He wasn't bothered. Best stick close to the ground.

There were a couple of white egrets there too - a less familiar sight.  There must be rich pickings at the moment. 

The next day I was at the beach enjoying the sun when a man picnicking with his family caught what looked suspiciously like a baby shark. Everyone flocked around taking photos. It was about 18 inches long I'd say. Enough to give you a good nip on the ankles.   It didn't stop me going in for a swim though, the conditions are perfect now - just as we're leaving soon to go up north.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

A Hill in Florida

Yes, there really is a hill in Florida. We drove past it at the weekend. People come from far and wide to hike up it and relive the experience of using their climbing muscles and re-activate their distant memories of the North where the land isn't endlessly flat.  There was another hill we once encountered in Florida. It had a gentler slope than this and a resort at the top called "Alpine Chalet" or something like it. They have to make the most of what they can get. The one pictured above is called Celery Fields and is of course an artifical hill, In the winter there's a ski lift. All right, I made that last bit up.