anaisninja: me and bitsy (Default)
Squiddo's family and I drove out to St. Pete for some fishing Wednesday evening. Nothing was biting, but the raft was in the car, so I blew her up and rowed her out.

First time rowing here, and it's beautiful. The bay warm and calm as bath water, up in the tangley mangroves, there's egrets, herons and pelicans all doing their nails and shit. No bugs, that's no small feat in Florida. Perfect. I'm thinking for the hundredth time how much I love it here, and having the weird feeling that South is where I want to be, where I have to be.

I'm hugging close to the shore, waiting for thunderheads to roll over, scattered storms in the forecast to keep in mind. Clouds pass, the sun busts through and I'm off to the first islet I can see. There's all manner of birds out there, and it's maybe 100 yards off shore. Why not, I'll row out and back.

It took some doing getting back. )
anaisninja: me and bitsy (Default)
At the risk of echoing predominately geriatric sentiments, of rocking the jasmine-scented, cornbread and watermelon eating, shooting and fishing with the boys cliche: I love Florida.

Everything here is alive. Bright flowers, heavy foliage, fruit trees, succulents and cacti all dine at the same table. Improbably purple jacaranda blossoms bring traffic to a standstill, sea grapes grow leaves round and large as tea cups, mangroves wade on tiptoes in the gulf, nothing is out of reach for the live oaks. The greenness, the water, the air itself radiates sound and sentience, reading clocks by mockingbird, flycatchers, nighthawks, chuck-will's-widows.

All climbable surfaces are subject to lizards in the day, geckos at night, and anything with six or more legs whenever they please. I cleaned the mansion of a multimillionaire in a high-falutin' gated community the other day and found an earwig in the master bedroom. No house is impervious to insects in Florida.

Wandering down the sidewalk in my neighborhood, I saw an egret. Ibis and sandhill cranes strolled in another, I found a great blue heron dumpster diving with Bonaparte's gulls by Tasty Home Cookin'. Pelicans, cormorants, eagles, vultures and kites can be your neighbors at any given moment.

The crows here talk as most seabirds do: all top of the throat and treble, so as to be heard over the ocean. If you've heard baby crows trying on their voices - they all sound like that here. It's adorable, and I've gotta get my dialect down.

We're in the middle of a drought here, but the nights manage to feel and smell of rain anyway. After three years of the high and dry country, any trace of moisture in the air smells like ferns, moss and ozone to me. Night + warmth + humidity + wind = my favorite hallucinogen. Throw in a package of Blue Raspberry Patch Kids and I'm set.

That which lied dormant in Summit county has awakened, charmed into a world far better than dreaming. There's so much to tell, but one story at a time.

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