Saturday, July 6, 2013

As July deepens

We went to The Mango Factory out on Pine Island again today, Jack's mangoes. When it comes to growing mangoes, Jack made it an art. Back in '64 he planted his seedlings 33 ft. apart so that, full grown, each tree would enjoy full light. Today they're the best on the island. Hell. I'll say it. Best in the world, though we are dedicated to putting that idea to the test. So, with that in mind, we came home with a couple of bags of big, right off the tree, mangoes. Should last the week. Thanks, Jack.

Mango Jack.
What's not to love about this guy?
(picture on the wall at the Mango Factory)

Floridians are funny. Seems a lot of them don't much care for mangoes. Must be those shady backyard homegrowns. Anyway, there was a  good old boy and his wife also at the Mango Factory today. She was walking around the bins, basket on her hip, obviously excited to be at the source while he followed behind, arms folded across his chest, chin tucked down. She'd hold up a mango for his approval and he'd mutter, "I dunno", "You decide", or "I'm not gonna eat 'em". But there was also a fellow there from the Caribbean. He had the Eye. Lucky we got there when we did. Like us, he was stocking up.

Finally a couple of Ibises came by.
They like to graze the grass after a good rain.

As far as life on Alligator Creek is going, DD (Diego's Daughter) the squirrel and I have a nice little thing going but it's very low key. As you may recall, last time we were here, my everyday, all day peanut party turned tragic when the hawk noticed it so this time I'm doing things differently. DD has breakfast, a few peanuts, and that's it until late afternoon. At that point, if I'm on the screen porch, she comes up, looks me in the eye, quietly chitters a bit then goes back down, I follow, put a few peanuts around the Pineapple Palm, refresh the seed for the doves, and that's that. Simple. One other squirrel occasionally drops by which turns immediately into a skirmish but otherwise we have a quiet little scene going. Much as I'd like to be all things to all squirrels, I can't.

Tonight I'm sitting out on the screen porch as usual, the monitor brightness turned to the lowest setting. The frogs are chatting in the dark and the little guy who buzzes like a warehouse buzzer is buzzing back and forth with his friends and Sonny Boy just got back from wherever. He wasn't gone long. He took his mom's car which she didn't seem to be completely down with. He's 51 but you know how niggly parents can be. Usually when he does these little runs it's around midnight, I assume after they go to bed. Also, thunder continues to rumble in the distance and, between flash torrents of rain, guys along the creek are setting off their remaining fireworks. The last ones were directly across from where I'm sitting and just past the mangroves. I'm not wearing my glasses so they were especially sparkly and starry. If that was the last of it, it made for a grande finale. The mangroves are also occasionally back-lit by lightning which is nice and, after a week of really heavy rain, five times the average, Alligator Creek is beginning to smell rather heady, like a swamp.


Roy said...

I never ate a mango. I think I had some mango jelly once, but I can't say it was extraordinary. I would be happy just to get a hold of a good tomato. Last night at the 75th St. Brewery while eating a hamburger, the tomato slice slipped out and I ate it (or tried to) separately. It had ABSOLUTELY NO FLAVOR. Nada. It was kind of disgusting.

Sorry about the squirrels. They are fickle and quarrelsome, but capable of loyalty given the right motivation. As you once said, (much to my amusement) who can know the mind of a squirrel?
Your posts are reminding me of James Lee Burke's lavish descriptions of the delta. You should perhaps consider a murder mystery set in the swamps.

asha said...

Sorry to hear about your tomato experience. It's that way it is now, isn't it? Thea Bella grows the BEST tomatoes in the world, well with a little bit of help from her mom and dad. The BEST. I had totally forgotten what a tomato tastes like, or rather, that a tomato has ANY taste at all.

DD is doing okay and I love that she doesn't mind me much. She's like her mom that way, knows humans have some use. Other than that though she, like all her species, remains inscrutable.

I'm flattered that you like hearing about Alligator Creek. It's all I've got at the moment, unless I want to dive back into the truly fetid swamp of American politics and "society".

Okay. Gotta go prove I'm not a robot now.