Thursday, September 26, 2013

Notes along the way

Alachua temple

Stopped at the Hare Krishna Temple in Alachua yesterday. Had a brief but nice chat with a couple who live there. They are second generation devotees. In other words, they were born in the movement. Like the devotees in New Vrindaban, they were quick to acknowledge New Vrindaban's bad old days during the '70s. That's the period my kids and I lived there.

Cool Al's code. Behave or leave.

We are in Jackson Mississippi tonight. Had dinner at Cool Al's. It's a burger joint but one of the only places in town that offers vegetarian and vegan food. We both had the Jamaican Burger and sweet potato fries. Fantastic. Four stars.

Tomorrow's destination: Amarillo Texas, about a 700 mile drive. With lunch and stops it will be a 13 or 14 hour day.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

It begins

A journey of 2800 miles begins with the first step.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The last of it

Rainy day on Alligator Creek.

There was an all night frog symphony last night on Alligator Creek. It was stupendous but forget about sleep. That giant sprawling tropical plant to the right of our poor little flood-locked mailbox is the frog palace/opera house. It's been raining like hell since yesterday. The drops are so big they're blops. And yes, thunder is rattling the house and the lightning is way too close. It's very unnerving since I learned that lightning can strike twice. I even heard about one guy around here whose house was hit three separate times. Once is enough! Everyone is laying low, even the lizards. I guess it's better that way. We leave in the morning. No more good-byes. I would like to say good-bye to the Gulf but it doesn't look like that's going to happen. I'm not done packing but this is the last of it. The hard part. The details. Then I'll clear out the screen porch where I spent all the lovely, buzzy evenings of summer, the sweetest with family, and that will be that. Done.

The last of it.

It wasn't much of a squirrel party this year but, hey, nobody died. I stuck to putting out peanuts and bird seed only in the morning and evening instead of randomly all day. A hawk did drop by now and then but the yard never became the big hunting ground like before. And, things being quieter, I had a chance to try out a little squirrel whispering on Dd. If you remember, she was the first one to show up after we arrived. I know. It sounds absurd, but actually it's not. Horses, squirrels, even people...the same principles work for everyone. Too bad I'm out of time. It was just beginning to get interesting.

One last screen porch wildlife rescue.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Mockingbird Arias for Autumn

It's a warm, sunny morning here on Alligator Creek and just this moment a mockingbird, perched on a frond in Frida Kahlo's pineapple palm, is singing her wild heart out. She's doing it all, from "Pretty Bird" to never-to-be-written Arias, one replacing the other with equal speed. Today is the Autumn Equinox, that brief moment when light and dark are equal. Now the days grow shorter and the night long.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Snoring bird

A bird is snoring somewhere out along Alligator Creek tonight. It's a soft chittering sound. Maybe birds don't snore. I don't know. I don't care. In my mind's eye I see a bird napping in the mangroves, head resting on its chest, beak nestled in its feathers, snoring away under the remnant of this year's Harvest Moon. Even two nights later, it was about the biggest, orangest moonrise I've ever seen. I wonder if birds dream about the moon.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Voices in the night

Tin can voice bug is quiet tonight for the first time in a couple of months. I miss him. However the frogs are chatting away about the nearly full moon and the wet cool night. They don't croak like other frogs I've heard. Still their rubbery-voiced, wet bellows conversation in squeaks, trills and purrs is delightful. This is the second to the last Wednesday before we leave so, starting tomorrow, everyday for the next week will be our last.

The Scarecrow

There's something interesting going on with Chipotle. They are blending business and bio-ethics. Not a first but a good video. If you haven't seen it yet, check it out.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Back to forward

Now the family has come and gone and it feels pretty empty around here. Even the light feels empty, as it does when the sun is in sidereal Leo. But the bug or frog or whoever it is who croaks like a stick drumming on a tin can is singing in the mangroves tonight and in just over a week we drive back to Nevada and, shortly after that, leave for China. These are the good old days but I never want to forget how it used to be staring out the window at a dead end world.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Life at the beach

Holy cow! I'm so in the rears with this thing. Life is streaming by. Something must be said of the days past. They were good. We walked on the beach early the other morning and came upon the Turtle Patrol checking on a loggerhead nest. In this particular nest most of the babies had already hatched but this morning three were struggling to the surface.

The sun was fully risen. The birds were out. A very dangerous time. Thea, Kristiana and I joined a small group of beach goers helping the volunteers protect the hatch-lings on their long journey to the nearby sea. Two of the babies were still a bit misshapen from their time in the egg. One had a lagging flipper, the other a slight hourglass shape to its shell. We, the human shield, guarded them as they struggled over clumps of sea grass left by the night's high tide. They labored up, down and across valleys of footprints in the sand. The first one sprinted across the wet shore and disappeared under the waves accompanied by cheers and camera flashes. The seagulls were far down the beach but, as just to be safe, one of the men in our group followed it into the water to ward off any possible death from above. It didn't matter. Baby One swam out and, as if from a secret fold in the universe, seagulls appeared and snatched it up and away in spite of our mad waving and shouting.

Just then Baby Two reached the sea and swam out into the waves. This time we were ready and determined to ward off the ravenous gulls. We waved and shouted at the sky. The guy in the water jumped and splashed. Baby Two was snatched up anyway. An aerial battle ensued, seagull on seagull, dive bombing, screeching, dipping, twisting. Baby Two dropped back into the water to more cheers and sudden hopes. It didn't matter. A seagull swooped down and claimed our darling and the battle resumed, rolling down the beach like a storm.

Baby Three continued its perilous journey toward the waves. Generally loggerhead hatchlings emerge from their nests in the sand at night when it's cool and the birds are asleep so, at this point, the Turtle Patrol intervened. They scooped it up into protective custody with a promise to all they'd return in the dark and release it to its fate in the sea.