In wonderment

Clean steps

We destroyed some micro-ecosystems today. The black gunge on the front steps and sidewalk is gone. Only the main part is now power washed. Still need to get the street-sidewalk, and the part along the side and back of the house.

I sorrowed a bit for the lost living things, but only a bit. I pleasured more in the clean.

We humans do rearrange our environment, and not just for subsistence and housing—the functional stuff. We also do it for aesthetics. Do other species do that?

PS: Happy Leap Day.

Spring blooms

White hyacinth

Sometime while I was gallivanting south of here, this hyacinth opened. Not the most flattering photo….

Data gathering

Check your weight

This looks like a brand-new model, all shiny and not at all dusty like the ones I remember from my childhood. I still haven’t figured out how your weight and lucky lottery numbers connect.

Two-word phrases

We had several sightings of “fog smoke” signs (no photo) along the highway. Since we experienced bright sunshine, we remain unclear about how to recognize this condition. That was the first two-word phrase of the day.

Rocket garden KSC

Our first stop…this “Rocket Garden,” or so the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex signs described it. I guess they’re all real, and not copies. They kindly broadcast a live “tour” of the garden periodically. We caught part of two of them, both the same voice, one disconcertingly similar to Rachel Maddow’s.

Atlantis pano

This is the Space Shuttle Atlantis, somewhat distorted by the pano process. It is huge, and I was happy that we could see it for real—not a copy, not a mockup. The two words? The business end (terminus?) of the arm (made in Canada and liberally decorated with Canada/maple leaf logos)…is the end effector. That cylindrical thing you see to the far left is the end effector.

Umbilical interface

This stencil is from a lower flank of a space shuttle fuel tank. Self explanatory (another two-word phrase, teeeheee).

Unthemed photo duo

Fried oyster plate

Fried oyster plate. Two sides: cole slaw and green pea casserole.

Had to try the latter because I didn’t think I’d had it in any version, plus the waitress said it had bacon in it.

Recipe is pretty close to mac-cheese minus most of the pasta and substitute about one-quarter that volume with peas; vary the flavorings a bit by adding a few sautéed onion slices and some crushed, fried-up bacon.

Now I can say I’ve tried it, and skip it the next time.

Sunset beyond

Reflected sunset light from a dark parking lot behind shipping containers used for storage. I particularly like the security light, its pole and electrical lines.

Global market example

Darien angel

A carved marble (pretty sure) angel, definitely not concrete. Lovely. This is your pretty picture and not the title image.

Jellyball fleet

The first boats are the jellyball boats; the ones downstream closer to the mouth of the river are shrimpers. Jellyballs are a certain jellyfish that they process here by the boatload and send to China/Taiwan (if I have the story right). They are desirable because they are unusual in having a bit of crunch, I hear.

This illustrates how the world economy can link to fairly small, far-away places to extract even a single resource.

Two grand times

Beach skeleton

Other than eating (yum), I participated in two major activities. The first was a tough bike ride. This place is flat (no hills whatsoever), so that’s saying something. Turns out that riding a bike that’s maybe five or ten years old, and that’s never been lubricated and has stayed near the ocean…turns out that means you’re likely to enjoy decaying bearings and substantial persistence.

None of the bikes we used would coast farther than 30 feet (not exaggerating)…and my pedal bearing(s) started going maybe two miles before we got back to our mansion. I was red faced from the sun-heat, humidity, and effort by the time we got back to our temporary home base.

But I made it!

We explored this beach then headed back, so it was at approximately the half-way point. It was quite an expedition.

Tabby at Chocolate

Our second expedition was much easier on my knees and hips. However, taking an old school bus on a tour of the same environment does not mean things are easy. We bounced a lot. There’s been too much rain for them to fix the road, so we had lots of deep puddles to crawl through, and lumpy soft sand to negotiate*.

The kicker is that all of us that had Fitbits concurred—we got thousands of steps for bouncing several miles in the old school bus (one escape hatch in the roof was covered in pieces of lumber…).

The photo is of surviving tabby ruins at Chocolate plantation. Hundreds of slaves lived and worked here. It must have been miserable. We had an easy time of it—no biting insects; we could resort to the shade, and we had plenty of cold water, and, most important, were tourists and not enslaved workers.

* The worst was when we passed the not-too-long-dead cow. Pee-eeuw. And we had to pass the vulture-bait twice. We are tough ladies and survived.

Light and night

Atlantic moonlight

Two pelicans soared right over our windshield just before we got to the parking area for the ferry. That was mid afternoon. Well after dark, we strolled down to the Atlantic beach to see the moon trying to cut through the thin cloud layer.

Empty pool marble statue

The lights from the mansion we’re staying in illuminate the empty decorative pool out front, with its marble nekkid lady. Curiously, the nekkid lady next to what was the indoor pool has a marble towel over her nether regions.

We have the run of the place, from the circus room upstairs to the bowling/pool/pingpong room—with a pirate theme—downstairs. Our group is fourteen and only two are sharing a room, so this place is much larger than a McMansion.

Meaning, even…obscure

Depending on your point of view…

…either the above or the below is irreverent.

Stove conducting

Mushroom saute

First, I sautéed mushrooms. Then I chopped veg, got a pot of rice going, and started the iron skillet heating. Finally, I threw it together. The latter is the step that some recipes would indicate takes something like five minutes. For me, it’s more like fifteen.

Tuna steak plate

Here’s the final plate. The seared tuna steak is under the green onions on the right side.