Thursday, January 29, 2015

Florida Fantasmagoria Part 2

Here's a small selection of quintessential Florida. Although admittedly this first one could be almost anywhere in America. 

It's Pick Your Church time..

Another gated community going up. This one's more Albert Memorial than Taj Mahal

Here's one they made earlier, with a nice water feature. Your Home Owners' Association fees at work, folks!

You never know what you might end up following on the road....

 And at what pace..

Time we got that old plane out of the barn...

Beats "Don't Feed the Pigeons" any day.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Florida Fantasmagoria

Amazing what you can do with a few garden tools.

Beats pink plastic flamingos any day.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Golden Beach Gets a Makeover Part 2

Since what was missing was a lot of the beach itself,  through erosion presumably, I suppose something had to be done.

So our idyll was temporarily disturbed by various items of heavy machinery, all making a loud noise and bleeping mercilessly through the night.

 While a couple of miles out to sea, fresh sand was being sucked up and channelled through a giant pipe, to be dumped on the beach.

 The lads didn't seem to mind though. On the contrary, it seems they'd discovered a new restaurant.

The machines have now left us alone but probably not for long, as they've got a lot more beach to do and they work very slowly.
So far the results are impressive and there's now a bit more to Golden Beach.

Incidentally you might wonder why they do this in high tourist season - ie in winter. It's because, in the spring, they'd disturb the turtles. Turtles before tourists any time. Nice to know they've got their priorities right, my neighbours say. The tourists might have a different opinion.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Golden Beach Gets a Makeover Part 1

  Here's a flashback to October - to our calm, peaceful beach..

Where the beachside eateries are dig-your-own

And sand, sea and sky come together in pristine perfection

Popular with locals

 And fishermen

 Lovely at dawn

 And in all weathers

But hang on a minute -

Isn't something missing here?

 The story continues....

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Any Slovene Speakers Out There?

This  90 minute TV Interview with Dora Zebot (not unrelated to this blogger) on her 93rd birthday is a tour-de-force. It also pulls no punches.
No apologies for posting this here, as it does describe, possibly, my family's very first contact with America. (And I'm darned proud of her! )

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Bravo Benny

I've been to see The Imitation Game, the biopic about Alan Turing, the code-breaking boffin of Bletchley Park. Benedict Cumberbatch excels himself in the role of the eccentric genius. I hope he gets the Oscar.

   It was a thoughtful and gripping telling of his story, even if it took some historical liberties and a reminder, if any were needed, that those who would re-imagine the human race to eliminate all oddballs and "imperfect" people are making a very big mistake. A.Hitler should have taken note.
   Funny, though, seeing it in the company of Americans, who all swooned in unison as Downton Abbey actors showed up in various roles.
   Since I've lived in America I've really started to notice the Americanisms  in films and books supposedly about Britain and there were plenty here.   For example, I never heard the word "coworkers" in Britain. Last time I looked, we talked about "colleagues". I first saw "coworker" written when I came to America and assumed it had something to do with farming.  Not to mention using "smart" to mean "clever."  I doubt that was in common usage among academic types in Britain in the 1940s but I'm happy to be corrected.

But it's amazing that the policeman was allowed to get away with the P word. And I don't mean because of its politically incorrect connotations but because Americans don't know what it means. They think a p**f is an unruly barnet and happily sell "Anti-P**f " shampoo.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

A Sea View

 Well technically an Ocean view, or even more correctly a Gulf view, since we are on the Gulf of Mexico (something that never crossed my radar when I lived in Britain)  is of course at a premium. I note that glitzy Florida is starting to make inroads here. These people have found themselves an enviable position to build their new house.

Nice Moorish touch, that. Or is it Olde English?

Others may not be lucky enough to have a prime beach slot. They have to be content with languishing a couple of streets away. But they still go to extraordinary ..

...and even more extraordinary lengths (or is it heights?)... enjoy a water view. Well each to his own.

Monday, January 12, 2015

More Neighbours

 Of the non-feathered kind. These little chaps have rich pickings here, especially among the expensively-landscaped gardens.  They seem quite fearless .....

 Though they'd be well-advised to keep away from him...

This was actually a rather puny alligator, catching some sun at the pond on the way down to the Paw Park dog beach  (I always smile at this juxtaposition). And he was behind the fence, though I suspect could quite easily have wriggled under it, if he could be bothered, which I don't think he could.
  I still regret not getting a photo of the armadillo I saw at dawn a couple of years ago, scuttling across the road, his little toenails tap-tapping on the tarmac before he deftly disappeared into a drain. Since then, I've tried in vain to see another one.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Bird Ballet

Just off busy Route 41, also going under the misleadingly romantic moniker the "Tamiami Trail" (Tampa-to-Miami. Get it?) is a weird little Paradise.

Sandwiched between housing estates in a typical out-of-town arterial road drag, a large pond and a small island popular with all kinds of birdwatchers.

To deter marauders, the pond is infested with alligators.

Leaving the birds on the island free to build their nests, socialise,


Primp and preen

Enjoy an evening cocktail

And generally

let their hair down.

 And at the end of the day

As sunset approaches


And more home in

Herons, egrets, ibises, anhingas et al,  swooping and wheeling like mini pterodactyls

 Jostling and shuffling with guttural squawks

Until everyone finds a bed for the night.

 This is the Venice Rookery

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Monday, January 5, 2015

Christmas With Palm Trees

 Dateline: SW Florida
Weather in Cattaraugus County: 11F, minus 12C, Snow likely

Seeing we're not quite at the 12th day yet...

(Though tell that to Epiphany Cathedral, which celebrated on the 4th. They of all people should be able to count. )

And here's a puzzled-looking snowman.

Which I spotted on my way to sit on the beach.