Thursday, May 26, 2022

Our Last Sight of Golden Beach...


..for a while...

 We postponed our journey north until I could negotiate stairs on my pins but now we're off, supposedly saying goodbye to temperatures in the 90s, high humidity and hurricanes. (Actually the temperature in western New York next week is projected to be - yes -  in the 90s. The difference being that it won't be in the 90s for too long and we might still get a frost.)  But staying on in Florida a bit longer gave us a chance to see the Royal Poinciana at the end of the road in all its summer glory.

Nothing quite like that up north and we won't be seeing palm trees for a while either. The other day I managed to hobble around the arboretum to see their selection. Prettiest is the Ponytail Palm.

And here's a European  Fan Palm - European?

And a Cuban Royal Palm

A Florida Thatch Palm

And a Bottle Palm - I wonder if its named after the shape of its trunk

And that's just some of them. They are exotic and romantic but palm trees are a pain in the neck to have in your garden - you have to keep picking up the dead fronds and trimming them is a complicated science. They can look sweet at Christmas though.

But exotic though they may be, with their palms and palmettos and creepers and live oaks and Spanish moss, Florida forests can't match the forests of the north in beauty. That's something I'm looking forward to.

Monday, May 9, 2022

Peace and Quiet At Last

 Dateline: Golden Beach, Florida

  It's frustrating, in my current largely incapacitated state, not to be able to make the most of that blissful Florida coastal time when a lot of the northern visitors have started to leave. Traffic is lighter, the beaches and restaurants are emptying a bit and it is lovely here, with the rainy season not quite started, hurricanes not yet on the way and the sea turtles starting to nest. Well I can enjoy it a bit. There's less gardening noise and even less building noise - although the new house on our street still hasn't been finished. The workers turn up sporadically, half-heartedly saw a few things and then hop off home. The house has a gleaming metal roof which looks terrifyingly hot - and when it rains it must be like living inside a steel drum. But metal roofs seem to be all the rage at the moment. It seems it's a very long time since the old house was knocked down and the new one started. Everyone hopes we'll soon lose the portaloo, the beeping reversing trucks and vans and cars parked all over the place and get our street back - until the next demolition that is. But it will never be the same again, with the new white edifice with its grand entrance and tiny window slits like some fortified castle, lording it over the smaller houses. Personally I saw nothing wrong with the old house - not to mention the beautiful tree which was sacrificed in the name of progress. But sadly it's happening everywhere on the Island.

And speaking of hopping, the other day, with my new-found freedom of using a walker instead of crutches, I managed to hop and shuffle from the car to the boardwalk at Caspersen beach. (Golden Beach doesn't have a boardwalk - you have to negotiate the sand dunes and I'm not quite ready for that.)

See what I mean by emptier?  Maybe I'll be able to get a swim in soon.

Tuesday, May 3, 2022

I Come Hopping Back.....

 Dateline, Golden Beach Florida

Thank you for your patience! If anyone is still out there, that is. Alas I have been out of action with a bad skiing accident (so much for our trip to Europe!) but I hope I'm now on the mend (graduating from hopping on crutches to shuffling behind a Zimmer frame - or walker to my American friends) and getting all too used to bring waited on hand and foot and ordering poor hubby about. He in turn has come up with magnificent gourmet meals and a show of patience that is  more than stoical. I am immobilised for a few weeks but at least not quivering in a basement in Mariupol, for which I fervently thank God.  While we were away the frangipani burst into bloom

though unfortunately the rest of the garden is a sad shadow of what it should be. There's been a drought for a few weeks and there's a vista of shrivelled annuals, depleted honeysuckle and a passion flower vine stripped by the fabled caterpillars I was mistakenly nurturing. And where exactly are all those butterflies? The electricity people came and chopped down a palm tree we didn't even know we had, so that's left a big gap. Frustratingly I won't be able to do anything about anything, probably till we're back in the autumn.
Anyway that's a quick progress report. More to come soon.