“Take a good look,” Montier Potter told us yesterday as we floated amidst the mangroves just outside the Ten Thousand Islands National Wildlife Refuge. “This time next year it may not look like this. The ohl is gonna hit the Florida panhandle today, and they got no idea when they gonna be able to stop the ohl.”
After the tour, in the gift shop, the locals hanging out were vocal and upset. They know what the hell is going on and they are pissed.
I’m off to some mother-daughter bonding this morning, but I hope to have some pictures up later from the back country. Beautiful.
Maven has an excellent post about the area. Read it.
A dark maze of mangrove islands and sinuous waterways set amid sparkling, clear tourquoise waters define the magnificent Ten Thousands Islands National Wildlife Refuge. These ever changing islands, covered in dark green mangrove trees, serve as roosts for birds and nurseries for many species of fish. Quiet undisturbed beaches, shaded by sea grapes, gumbo limbo, and Jamaican dogwood, lie along the Gulf of Mexico. On all of the islands, black mangroves with their pencil-shaped pneumatophores mix with red mangroves with their tangled prop roots and the less salt-tolerant white mangroves. North of the mangrove forests is the fresh and brackish water marshes that are carpeted with cattails, bulrushes, cordgrass, and black needle rush. Small ponds and prairies intermix with white and red mangrove saplings. Small islands in the northern part of the refuge provide enough high ground for slash pine, live oak cabbage palms and pigeon plum.
Our first full day was spent at NASA.
The next morning we left for Naples and after about a four hour drive we arrived. We got settled in and hit the beach. Mom, who owns three weeks of a time share here, said she’d never seen the beach so busy, even on Memorial Day weekend. I only half-snidely said, They probably think they’d better get down here before the oil arrives.
Needless to say, it’s very warm. And humid. And I’m loving it. On one side of our condo we can see the sun rise over the marina, and the sun set on the other. Birds are everywhere, it is green and lush and just what I needed. Just enough sightseeing to feel like we aren’t completely wasting our time, but the fully appointed kitchen lets us eat in when we want.
Yesterday we went on the Dolphin Explorer. We had the two guys at the top of this page as our guides. It was marvelous. They know what they’re doing and they also use the trips to catalogue the movements and activities of the dolphins. We saw lots of them as well birds, birds, birds. We also visited Keewaydin Island, to shell, swim and snap pictures.
We’re off to the Everglades today…see ya.
It’s been a busy day…
On my way to work I noticed that the Highway Patrol was out in force this morning, and I thought to myself, I better keep an eye on my speed. It would really suck to get a ticket on my birthday. And my mind slipped quickly to that unhappy place I’ve been before: pulled off to the side of the road, window rolled down and handing my insurance and license to the … Oh My Gawd! My license expires today!!! Crap!
An hour and a half detour to the DMV and then off to work, where I had to get all my work done and make sure all loose ends were tied up by the end of the day since Sweetie and I will be jumping on a plane for Florida tomorrow morning. We’ll be gone a little over a week.
We’re off to Orlando (Kennedy Space Center) and Naples and the Everglades too. Posting may be light for the next couple of days, but then again, maybe I’ll want to share a bit of our adventures.
In the meantime, I’m trying very hard not to think about how much I’m going to miss the critters, especially my little black puppy, Nina. Daughter and Son-In-Law will take good care of them. Still, nine days…