Archive for June, 2015


The destruction is wholly vulgar.

Mega mechanical monsters,

chewing, digging, snapping,

freshly gnawed and mutilated

conifers in their wicked wake.

Minutes earlier tall and sheltering,

deemed no longer desirable,

their death sentence unprotested,

mile upon mile expediently delivered.

I smell the sweet fragrance of pine…

strong. -The sweet smell of death.


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Pen Shell on the beach at Sanibel – a beautiful heart for you.


When friends suggested I follow them to Florida in April, I accepted without hesitation.  We were driving to Jacksonville, where we would separate and each go in different directions.  They were attending a wedding in Orlando and I had many friends to visit.  It was an excellent plan.

Preferring night driving, we left at midnight.  At 2:00 am, we made a stop for gas.  I left my car and found myself facing a gas hose that was twisted like some demonically coiled snake – a pet peeve of mine.  After returning the hose to its proper and usable condition and beginning to fill my tank, I then fell over said hose and landed on a concrete curb.  Although I drove the next hour sitting on an ice pack, the result was a 8″x5″ black and blue mark on my sensitive derriere.  I wondered if my bathing suit was going to cover it.

My friends then took some unfathomable remote short-cut? and I wondered if we were about to relive some sort of Deliverance scenario.  Grabbing my cell to inquire if they really meant to take us into some deep, dark netherworld of menacing forested mountains with a plethora of nocturnal wildlife:  Surprise – no cell service.  We crawled along for the next hour to avoid ten (that I counted) herds of deer, and swerved to avoid two skunks locked in a romantic interlude in the middle of the road. The only other thing I remember passing were small cemeteries, which seemed ominous. Upon our return to civilization, I was relieved to learn this was not the way they usually drove to Florida.  It was the only time I have ever made myself carsick while driving.

Things I Learned:

~ In the south, there are businesses that specialize in fire ant control, which momentarily made me question my destination.

~ People hitchhike…with their pitbulls.

~ There are armadillos who rejoice in their ability to rut and destroy manicured lawns.  I am aware of one who met his demise via a golf club by a fellow who preferred his lawn the way he paid for it.

~ You should never put sea shells in your swim suit unless you are positive the original occupant has vacated.  My shell bag was full when I began doing this.  Soon after, I felt and saw something that was black and looked like a giant leech attempting to extricate itself and its shell from my bra.  This is not a creature you want to see traversing your boob.  It was a Fighting Atlantic Conch, and I expeditiously returned him to his underwater world where he belonged.

~ There is an east-west route across Florida called the Florida Cracker Trail.  I was driving late one night, looked at my GPS and discovered my route identified as such.  Being a Yankee, I was slightly disturbed by this and researched it.  After the Civil War, northerners called the people who inhabited this land Florida Crackers and the route was commonly used for horses and livestock.  There is actually a Florida Cracker Trail Association that vows to keep history alive and sponsors an annual horseback ride across this very old trail.

~ The south still has the best grits in the world.  I love them with butter, but I learned many southerners prefer them with gravy. Why can’t my local Perkins serve me grits???

~ White egrets will become extremely tame and daily visitors if you hand feed them raw shrimp from the grocery store…if you have nothing else to do with your cash.


My friends’ friend, Penny, who has a voracious appetite for shrimp.

~ I learned you should never feed these guys…


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