Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Kayak Camera Safari

The glassy waters of the Rainbow River . . . a kayak . . . a camera . . . all the makings of a great day as I quietly glide up to some wildlife in its natural habitat. The Hobie Sport kayak has a peddle driven propulsion system that frees both of my hands for fishing, or photography. A nice way to go. :)

The Anhinga, or "snake bird" swims underwater in pursuit of prey and is often seen spreading its wings to allow its fur-like feathers to dry.

Look close and you can see an Anhinga's neck and head above water giving the snake-like appearance.

Dinner just caught, the Anhinga hops up on the dock step to eat.

Well, that's it for today's camera safari . . . no snakes or alligators. Maybe next time . . .

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Humans are SO Easy! LOL

Did I ever tell you how simple minded and easy to manipulate humans are? All you have to do is look at them with a set of big brown eyes, wag your tail, smile, and hop on their laps. That's all there is to it. They'll give you anything you want after that, he, he, he. This doesn't always work with Pete, I think he's catching on . . .

After using my night vision eyeballs to find Sherry & Paul, I used that technique to get a nice warm lap in to shelter me from the cold air. Pete called for me and here's Sherry saying "Go on Oscar, it's OK with Pete." Being all too cozy, I stayed right where I was.

Uncle Ron's huge hands can give me an "all over" massage in no time flat . . .

Aunt Prisc has a knack for awesome cooking and I drool whenever I think about the chance dropping in her kitchen. Yum . . .

Grandmother, what can I say? She's the perfect little granny and she's just my size! She's knitting me a doggie blanket.

Ooooh, aaaaah, that's just right, keep it up . . .

Friday, January 22, 2010

Eggs at the Tampa RV Show

After Myakka State Park, Oscar & I joined Paul & Sherry Cavenaugh and we went to the humongous RV show in Tampa. Cued up in line for the entrance, for you can see our kayak in their rear window.

We initially parked close to the entrance and were soon joined by a bunch of "sun blockers" who all started up their generators ... soon we were getting dizzy from all the fumes. Soooooo,

We headed for the meadow in the back 40 and relaxed for a couple of days while we marveled at the myriad of ways people can build RV's. In the evening, we broke out the grill and had us a fine steak dinner . . . Jake & Judy, some new friends in a Casita from Washington state,joined us for some solitude and friendly discussions of life . . . life is goooooooooood.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Florida - In search of warmth

The hippie wedding over, Oscar & I joined the wedding couple on their honeymoon (!?) in search of warmth. We went south and stopped in at Manatee State Park, near Chiefland, Fl. As you can see from our attire, it was a bit chilly yet. Even the manatees were too cold to make an appearance.
So . . . we kept motoring south to Ft Desoto Park, south of St Petersburg, voted best Florida park in 2005. Absolutely beautiful! Here we are arriving at Ft Desoto Park.

Each campsite is separated from the next by a dense layer of tropical vegetation. Oscar insisted I snuggle the Wonder Egg between some palm trees at the end of the site. It looked right at home, for a Texas egg, that is . . .

It was still cool so I took Oscar to the dog park so he could run around, warm up, and meet some new friends. Here he is saying hello to Karen, who is dressed like an Eskimo even though she's from Virginia.

Right away Oscar started organizing games with the other dogs. This game was called "chase the flag on the dog" and Oscar is explaining it to one of his pals. Can you see the flag?

That flag was quick! On the right closing in rapidly is one of Oscars bet new buddies, non other than Doogie Bowser, DDT,E (Dandie Dinmont Terrier, ESQ)

And it maneuvered rapidly too . . .

When evening came, Oscar was content with enjoying the sunset.

On the following day, Oscar said we'd find warmth at the beach. Kinda makes sense, but no luck.

Chuck, Oscar & I went to Ft Desoto to see Battery Laidley. Its mortars were used to guard the entrance to Tampa bay in 1902. they could propel a 1046 lb projectile 6.8 miles and penetrate 6 inches of an enemy ship's steel plating. Chuck shows just how huge those guns were.

Oscar insisted I get a closer look inside one of the big guns . . . as I was looking, I heard the small chuckle of a little dog going "He, he, he . . . this'll teach YOU to ask me to swim in alligator infested ponds!" Sensing a pending loud noise, I quickly withdrew my head only to see Oscar standing with a lit match. Good thing he was too short to light the fuse. Phew . . . that was close. (I thought we'd settled that thing about the alligator)

Still seeking warmth, we bid farewell to the honeymooners headed out for Myakka State Park.

Didn't find heat on the ground so I took to the top of the trees in the Canopy Walk hoping for a temperature inversion. No luck.

On one of our walks, Oscar & I came across some cool cabins built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930's. They can be rented out by folks enjoying the park's trails and bird habitat.

The canoe rental concession had little business due to the cold temps . . . brrrrrrr.

On our last day at Myakka, we came across this unlikely pair soaking up some rays as the days were just starting to warm up. I asked Oscar if he'd like that swim now and he simply harrumphed. (Picky dog . . .)

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Hippie Wedding at the Beach

Folks, HELP! Pete's going goofy on me! Let me tell you about it and see what you think.
We have these real cool friends, Chuck & Geri. A couple of spirits from the 60's who have fallen head over heels in love. They decided to get married on the beach on New Year's Day . . . it was a real"hippie wedding".  All attendees had to wear something they called tie-dye. (humans can be strange sometimes)

All said, it was a beautiful moment . . . here are Chuck & Geri 'in the clinch" after the vows.

That kiss really put a spring in Chuck's step as they greeted the crowd.

Now here's why I'm concerned about Pete. Just LOOK at him! (aauugghh) The wedding couple enjoys his Native American Flute playing and asked if he'd provide some pre-wedding music. So Pete went out and found this tie-dyed outfit and even got a hat with a ponytail to go with it!!! (It could have been worse, I guess, he could have simply worn a dyed tie !!)

He even had a battery powered amplifier slung over his shoulder on a red hippie guitar strap with yellow sunbursts. I really don't know what got into him.

When we got back to the Wonder Egg, I rolled on the floor with laughter. Pete had enough of my jokes about him, so he put me on a leash and took me to this local pond and told me I should go for a swim. I didn't think that was funny!

Well, we patched things up between us, packed up, and moved on to more of our rolling adventure. I wonder where we're going next . . .

Monday, January 4, 2010

Outrunning the Rain & Cold - Nice try!

Like the title says, leaving the rain & cold behind was the plan. But every time I opened the door of the truck, Oscar would stick his head out to check the weather and look up at me saying "Not yet , Pete, keep driving." He finally reminded me that "We are in charge of our attitude, no matter what the circumstances are!" (What a sage little puppy he can be . . .) So we got down to relaxin' and havin' fun . . .

Here's one of our stops - Poche's Fish-N-Camp, Breaux Bridge, La. Close enough to the highway to be convenient, yet far enough away to leave any trace of road noise behind, it's a quiet, family oriented destination with 50 acres of stocked fish ponds. You can practically fish out the back window of the RV if you're so inclined. Kids were outside with their parents day & night competing with the seagulls for some tasty morsels. In this picture of the Wonder Egg, you can see the quick flash of a hungry seagull on the prowl just above the truck. I believe we'll be back here again with grandkids. :)

Having a new kayak, we're on the lookout for great places for a bit of river relaxing. We found just the spot for when the weather warms up a bit. Adventures Unlimited
Located on Coldwater Creek, north of Milton, FL. Adventures Unlimited offers various water excursions for the canoe or kayak. You can enjoy anything from a 2 hour to a 3 day excursion meandering down remote rivers, peering into crystal clear waters or stopping at a pristine sandy beach for a picnic. Nice, real nice.
Here's Oscar's method of staying out of the puddles while I set up camp. HA!

At the very southern tip of the Florida panhandle, you find St George Island State Park where you can go camping, fishing, kayaking, birding, shelling, or just to enjoy the beach. The park has something for everyone. We thought we'd set anchor here for a little while, meeting some old friends and making new ones.

Sand dunes and pine trees . . . the Wonder Egg was right at home with it's pink flamingo dancing in the breeze.

Oscar has new best friends, part of the Schroeder family from Georgia. Paul is a Professor of Geology at University of Georgia. He travels worldwide with groups of students conducting research . . . sweeeeet! The kids are outgoing musicians, here are Hillary (floutist) and Dusty (french horn). We had a good time around their campfire.