We've had a pretty good wind all night, and more forecast for the next 24 hours. Here's how it looked from my deck at home at 5 o'clock this morning.
Here's a picture of my makeshift scarecrow at camp. I really am trying to make friends with my raven neighbors, but it's hard sometimes.
For the past few weeks a nearby raven has squawked incessantly from daybreak to nightfall. It has caused me to reconsider my neighborly efforts.
Yesterday morning a raven was perched atop my woodpile 20 feet from the palace and I was thrilled when I stood and talked with him and he sat, listening politely. He seemed to agree that the morning was pretty fine and I think he was considering my offer of a cigar and a glass of wine in the afternoon.
About then Boomer headed to the woodpile to offer greetings, no doubt. At that the raven sprang straight into the air and immediately plummeted, face first, smack into the ground.
Deja vu. I think that is the same dunce I had on the deck a month ago. He must have fallen from the nest and conked his bean.
For the next hour I watched him pogoing around the yard screaming out that wretched noise we've been inundated with for the past weekends.
Every few minutes one of the adults flew in fast and low, dive bombed the obnoxious critter that I have named Francis, and threw some food at him.
That's kind of a roundabout way to get to my scarecrow - but there's the story. Whenever I see one of those crazy neighbors flying in this direction I fling open the lid of my barbecue and flash it, like an old man in an overcoat at the park.
Heh heh... take that Francis.
Longtime friend Steve Nicholson is in town for a summer visit. Among other talents, Steve is a great photographer.
Following an amazing afternoon golfing together we boated out to camp for the night to reminisce, share stories, and weave some lies into the palace skies over glasses of star speckled wine.
Here are a few shots my friend captured on our boat ride to camp. I think "happy " describes my face and my mood. It's a reflection of the man behind the camera.
It's way too hot for a bonfire tonight, but we have the fire pit table in place at the Palace awaiting the cooler evenings of late August and September.
Meantime, a July night at camp ...
When Mary and I were in Key West we rented a charming, tiny villa - a pretentious name for one-room cottage - half a block off Duval Street.
Once we had scattered the roaming roosters and ducked in beneath a living archway, vine and flower covered, we emerged in a lush oasis, surrounded by trees, vines, flowers, birds, and an occasional cute little Florida lizard, hosting our villa and a swimming pool.
The wine was rich and the ambiance exquisite.
Mornings I'd wake early, slip quietly outside, and walk a few blocks down Duval Street to Captain Mario's where I could enjoy a long, leisurely breakfast on the sidewalk while watching the awakening of the city - or sometimes the late revelers sneaking noisily home for some shut eye.
A few days in January were truly astonishing, and delightful as hell. As a short term tourist I can't claim anything more than an overview, but I saw enough to know I liked the place a lot and will have to - just have to - return.
From the skateboarder coasting down a side street, upside down, head on the board, feet in the sky to the old black guy pedaling a three wheeler down Duvall at dusk, flags flying, spokes lit up, boom box blaring the blues to the men in drag riding the Cadillac convertibles blowing kisses to cheering sidewalk bystanders, it was clear that this crazy key isn't typical middle America or mainstream Canada. My impression is that it's as cool as New Orleans or Fairbanks, Alaska, two of my favorite places, both exploding with loveable crackpots and marvelous eccentrics (second only to Sioux Lookout which I love the most, but which has no crackpots or eccentrics).
Now the good news! Last week I discovered a writer I had never heard of. Jon Breakfield has written two very funny, very clever novels tickling and massaging the ongoing story of his life, with wife Gabrielle, dancing among the Key West characters and adventures. They are glorious reads.
I will probably read them both again as I wait for Jon's next novel to become available in about a month. I hear it's a detective crime/thriller set in Key West.
It's always nice to discover a new writer (well, Breakfield has been around - he's not really a new writer, but he's new to me, and he's good -well his writing is good). I'm excited...