A grand time

Young artist at work

We socialized this evening with a talented family. This is the youngest member. His smudging technique lead to proud, stained hands (kid-friendly, edible ink). VERY artistic!

I want a hat like that (not really)

Tristan de Luna y Arellano statue

Tristán de Luna y Arellano statue, Pensacola, Florida.

Hard to imagine what this area was like when Tristán and his crews arrived in 1559, without the high-rise beach housing, planted pines, roads, vehicles, master-planned communities, signage, drainage ditches, fast-food joints, and putt-putt mountains.

Scenic cubed

Up eats view

We ate tonight at a second-story restaurant with this view across the Apalachicola River and the creeks and whatnot that feed into East Bay. The light was behind us, that is, behind the building, and our view was superbly lit.

Small geography reminder: Atlanta’s Chattahoochee drains into the Apalachicola.

Ceviche Apalachicola view

Those bird-dots off to the right are coasting pelicans.

The morning began with heavy rain that tapered to light rain, both under grey skies. As we drove north, we could see a thin layer of blue above the horizon, and by the time we stopped for lunch (a detour into GA to visit Sweet Grass Dairy’s shoppe), it was full out bright sunshine!

Our weather fortune stayed reversed! Great day!

Suwannee River downstream

The Suwannee; WikiPee says Stephen Foster took out a syllable to make the syllables work.

Not sad and dreary here, although it’s been overcast much of the day. (And it’s raining at the moment.)

Actually a fine adventurous day!

Reptiles continue to be well-represented among our wild-critter sightings. Got two more snakes today. One raccoon. Many shoreline and wading birds. Watched a flock of white pelicans soar overhead, spiraling upward in lazy ovals, real eye candy as the sun caught them broadside.

Also, tourists from outside San Diego, nice couple. Vehicle had CA plates, so they’re ambitious! Said this is their walnut(!!) farm.

Lots of planted pines interspersed with palmetto volunteers. Cypresses and cypress knees. Oaks of many sorts. Large blue-violet irises in a few flooded ditches. A species of yellow-flowered weed. …and men-eeee moooore!

Flat flat flat flat (but I’ve mentioned this recently).

Closer to…heaven, etc.

Baptist church cedarkey

Baptist Church.

The high points of Cedar Key are staked out by various civic-ceremonial structures. The Baptists and Episcopalians got two of them.

The community got one, and put the water tower there. After all, drinking water is a scarce and valued commodity in these—and many other—parts.

The final peak (such as it is) is capped by an “Indian Burial Mound.” Much of it has been borrowed away, and what’s left looks rather eroded. So you understand what you’re looking at, the retaining wall label clarifies….

Indian mound cedarkey

Note that an easy stroll around the Key’s streets gave me several flights (registered by the Fitbit), unlike the flats we explored around Crystal River yesterday.

FL is flat flat flat flat

Palmetto frond backlit

We made a great wander of about two miles across old fields and what counts as forest-like areas in this part of Florida (massively altered by humans several times over). We covered some ground, for a nature walk.

And after that and other footsteps here and there, I checked my Fitbit and it read over 8100 steps—and zero floors*. I climbed a few sets of steps here at the hotel to make sure that it wasn’t broken; nope. It’s just Florida.

* A Fitbit floor registers after about an eight foot ascent.


Tent under oaks Spn moss

Our overnight setup. Still breezy at dusk, but we’ll be toasty.

Took the boardwalk trail at Okefenokee, and saw many types of critters. Not that many insects (thankfully!), but they were there. Watched a pair of orange-billed brown-feathered ibises (not sure what the “name” is) for quite a while. Watched a pair of raccoons come down the boardwalk toward us, then head off in the bush (interesting dismount from the boardwalk, using the edge detail as a “hand”hold). Also saw a singlet, and wet tracks of another. Didn’t expect raccoons! Also saw a blacksnake (not sure what kind) in the water; not poisonous. A leopard frog (big). Anole. Turtles (high humpy smooth shells; pretty big). Minnows (well, small fishies). White egrets and herons, several species.

We saw ‘gators on the way in, sunning. That reptile thing. (Okay, only two, but still: gators! dinosaurs—essentially!)

Driving, later in the day but still day and not dusk, we saw a black critter, not sure what, disappearing into the brush. Didn’t see head/face. Furry tail. Body size medium. Black. Closer to the ground than a dog, and fluffier tail. John said he thought it most like a small black long-tailed bear. I thought: not sure WHAT.

Fingers crossed; no skeeters or ticks. (Yet.) Fingers very crossed!

Ham ’n cheese sam-itches

Standing lunch

Long-time readers may remember too many posts mentioning my standing desk. Today we tried a variant: the standing picnic lunch.

Until next time!

Party s over

You know the party’s over…when you’ve hugged your guests goodbye, and the venue is quiet, and you’ve put the tablecloth in the washer.

Ten cm shroom-lees

King oyster mushroom duo

I’ve found displays of these giant mushrooms eye catching and alluring for several years, but today, spurred on by an equally curious K, we bought them, and tried them and can report: mushroomy! You have to pare away that base material, with a rubbery texture and sawdusty growth medium embedded. I then cut them into rounds and sautéed them with shiitakes (Lentinula edodes) and “regular” oyster mushrooms (Pleurotus ostreatus) to make a simple side dish. Perfect with asparagus, salad, and this tasty Asian-inspired barbeque.

Conclusion: you will find king oyster mushrooms (Pleurotus eryngii) on my groc list again soon.