Saturday, October 31, 2009

Life Bird!

Limpkin. We looked at a lot of swamp to get this guy.


That’s an Apple Snail he has; his favorite food.

Friday, October 30, 2009

South Florida Birds

Black Throated Blue Warbler.


Green Heron.


Tricolored Heron




Thursday, October 29, 2009

A new place

A new place for this trip anyway. Crystal Lake RV Resort in Naples, over on the Gulf side of the peninsula. We haven’t been here since the last time we were in Florida, 5 or 6 years ago. We like it. It’s a nice place to be.


On the way here, we met up with a dish repair guy north of Miami, in Hollywood, to finish up a repair on our television dish. The television dish is fairly new. We got it last January, so it’s pretty soon for something to go wrong. It has been out of commission for a couple weeks though; ever since the chain that controls the elevation broke. The chain was rusted clear through; the result of only one winter on the beach in Texas. They have beaches here in Florida too, but the guy here had never seen anything like this. Must be that persistent Texas wind.



We have never seen anything like the drivers around Miami either. They’ve been watching too much television here; too much Miami Vice and NASCAR, resulting in too many adrenaline moments for us. The most extreme move was passing us at 100 mph Talladega Style, then going three wide on a two lane stretch of Freeway. That’s just not right.



We’re glad to get out of there alive. We’re glad to have Annie back. We’re glad to have the television dish back. We hope to have the rear air-conditioner back after the mobile repair guy comes tomorrow. We’re getting by on one air-conditioner in the middle of a South Florida heat wave. This afternoon we got 95 degrees.



On our way here we passed a Boatswagen driving down the highway.



http://boatswagen.com/default.aspx



Life on the road.



8,395 miles.



http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UTF8&hl=en&msa=0&msid=107013362562471418011.00046ff7cac9ae98ff560&ll=27.974998,-82.001953&spn=8.744855,19.665527&z=6



Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Annie

We got her back from the Vet Hospital this evening. There was lots of wiggling, squirming and groaning; most of it from Annie. She is not great; she’s at about 75%, but it’s great to have her back. We’ll continue the medication and nurse her back to health.

The Pancreatitis is a direct result of the Brat-wolfing episode. That overload of fatty food made her pancreas go postal. An inflamed pancreas trashes the entire digestive system and is very painful. An inflamed pancreas has to be calmed down before it does permanent damage to other organs.

Annie spent four days in the hospital. Any nourishment, and all drugs, were intravenous. She has a Poodle Cut on one leg. It has been five days since she has eaten. She gets small amounts of food and water in a gradual return to normal.
Welcome Home Annie!



Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Annie Update

 

Annie is still in the hospital, but I’m happy to report she has now taken a turn for the better.  Pancreatitis seems to be a matter of the body poisoning itself.  Once it gets started, it can be hard to turn around.  She was pretty bad for a while, but is now responsive again.  She’ll need to stay longer, but it appears she is going to recover.

 

Monday, October 26, 2009

Revenge of the bratwurst

 

The great Bratwurst Incident was Friday.  Annie felt bad on Saturday (understandably).  Then she got worse on Sunday and could barely walk.  Sunday was a travel day for us, and we ended up at the Emergency Vet Clinic in South Miami that afternoon.

 

Annie has Pancreatitis and had to be admitted to the hospital.  They treated her intravenously with anti-nausea, antibiotics, and painkillers all last night and today.  She wasn’t very good this afternoon, so she’ll spend at least another day there.

 

Poor Annie.

 

 

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Sunday

 

We’re not in the Keys any more.  Our reservation at Bluewater Key ran out.  We had to let the bay view go and head north.  We’re back on the Peninsula; in Homestead, between Miami and the Everglades:

 

http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UTF8&hl=en&msa=0&msid=107013362562471418011.00046ff7cac9ae98ff560&ll=31.840233,-93.076172&spn=16.796288,39.331055&z=5

 

 

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Unsolved Mystery

Me, I eat brats for lunch. Judy cooks them for me in bunches and I eat one or two a day. But today, we have an unsolved mystery. Judy cooked fifteen brats. Now there are only ten.




Five brats missing. No way to know what happened to them. I know if I ate five brats all at once, I’d feel terrible…

Fifteen brats on a plate on the kitchen counter cooling. Twenty minutes later, only ten. If only we had a clue…


Friday, October 23, 2009

Fort Jefferson

The fort takes up an entire island. The bricks and lumber came from Pensacola, 500 miles away. The cement and stone came from New York, 1,500 miles away. The concrete foundation is 14 feet wide and a mile long, built Below Sea Level! You can walk the moat wall all the way around the fort. A moat to protect against attack and against the weather. Bastions from which they can protect the walls.


The fort was built for 400 cannons, and designed so 125 of them could simultaneously work the same target. No square corners.




A burrowing owl has adopted the fort, living in the remains of the main powder magazine. He’s in this picture.







Thursday, October 22, 2009

Fort Jefferson

Fort Jefferson is one of a chain of forts built for coastal protection in the mid-1800s. It protected access to the Gulf of Mexico.


Twenty foot thick walls. Sixteen million bricks. Three levels of cannons; 400 in all. Parapet. Bastions. A moat. A 50,000 pound 15 inch smoothbore that would launch a 300 pound shell three miles.


Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Wednesday's bird list

 

1

Brown Pelican

3

2

Double-crested Cormorant

12

3

Anhinga

2

4

Tricolored Heron

2

5

Cattle Egret

1

6

White Ibis

18

7

Osprey

3

8

Northern Harrier

1

10

Red-shouldered Hawk

1

11

Broad-winged Hawk

2

12

American Kestrel

8

13

Peregrine Falcon

1

14

Western Sandpiper

2

15

Laughing Gull

4

16

Royal Tern

11

17

Eurasian Collared-Dove

4

18

Mourning Dove

3

19

Common Nighthawk

1

20

Belted Kingfisher

2

21

Cliff Swallow

1

22

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher

2

23

Northern Mockingbird

2

24

Palm Warbler

9

25

Common Grackle

3

 

 

Yesterday

Judy and me. We don’t do tours. We prefer to wander around on our own bumping into things. We wanted to go to Fort Jefferson in the Dry Tortugas though, and you can’t drive to Fort Jefferson. The road ends in Key West. Fort Jefferson is on a 16 acre island, Garden Key, 70 miles west of Key West, so we signed up for the boat trip.

It has been windy from the east for several days. Wind plus water equals waves. Our boat got to wallow in following seas on the way there. That was weird. It was a harder-edged trip back, pounding into the oncoming waves. The Key West end of the trip is sheltered by islands all the way out to the Marquesas Keys. It’s shallow and the swells are broken up into chop for that part of the trip. Outside of that, it’s a deep water crossing. Not huge seas; six feet, but a boat making 25 knots (mostly) and a wind blowing 20, made for a lot of unhappy people. I suppose it could have been worse. Only one person had to be taken away by ambulance on our arrival back to port in Key West. Some of us took Dramamine to minimize any motion sickness. Neither Judy nor I suffered any ill-effects from the trip.

The ride over and back was entertaining. It was like a Disneyland ride. Know the rule about moving around on boats? “One hand for yourself, one hand for the boat, at all times.” We got to practice negotiating our way around while holding on to the boat with two hands at all times. We got to ride on the bow while it was calm. Before it got rough we got to go into the wheelhouse and visit with the boat captain. Deb, the tour guide, was helpful in locating and identifying birds; we got two lifers on this trip. The Brown Boobies were perched on navigational markers around the island. When it was time to start back, Deb got the captain to swing the boat out around one of the nearby sand islands, Hospital Key, so we could get the masked boobies. We didn’t get pictures of either bird, but we got good looks at each.

We didn’t really drive the motorhome out into the Gulf of Mexico, but we couldn’t resist putting one more pin in the map for Fort Jefferson:

http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UTF8&hl=en&msa=0&msid=107013362562471418011.00046ff7cac9ae98ff560&ll=40.313043,-107.314453&spn=30.104187,78.662109&z=4




Tuesday, October 20, 2009

And then...

Big Daddy makes sure he gets his share.








Tuesday

Not a lot of birds, but a good list at Fort Jefferson in the Dry Tortugas today:

1

Masked Booby

12

2

Brown Booby

6

3

Brown Pelican

4

4

Magnificent Frigatebird

200

5

Northern Harrier

1

6

Sharp-shinned Hawk

2

7

American Kestrel

8

8

Peregrine Falcon

3

9

Whimbrel

2

10

Ruddy Turnstone

15

11

Laughing Gull

50

12

Royal Tern

25

13

Mourning Dove

5

14

Belted Kingfisher

2

15

Northern Flicker

1

16

Palm Warbler

6

17

American Redstart

4

Monday, October 19, 2009

Monday's bird list

1

Anhinga

1

2

Least Bittern

1

3

Tricolored Heron

2

4

White Ibis

6

5

Sharp-shinned Hawk

1

6

Common Moorhen

2

7

Mourning Dove

5

8

Gray Catbird

1

9

Northern Mockingbird

2

10

Northern Parula

1

11

Black-throated Blue Warbler

8

12

Pine Warbler

1

13

Palm Warbler

6

14

American Redstart

4

15

Northern Waterthrush

1

16

Common Yellowthroat

1

17

Indigo Bunting

1

Iguanas

Junior poses for a portrait.



Then he comes in for a bite to eat from the camp host.