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32409papaonegg-1 There he is, Papa crane
sitting on the egg. I have been
there twice this am to see
if there was any progress, but it’s still an egg.

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So I am still waiting like an anxious, expectant, overdue mother. Any day

now the colt will be hatching. It’s probably close.

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Here are the folks, mama is the rusty color on right, though Papa crane has also gotten a bit rusty too.

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And here’s a pretty flower on the ground

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The lake the cranes are nesting on this spring, how I wish they were still nesting
on my marsh like last year.

Unfortunatly, it’s way too windy to fish tonight. Cool winds are whipping up to 25mph and standing at the lake earlier, I could tell it was not worth it as the bobber would just be swimming right back for shore quickly once I cast. So I have included some photos of fishing last night and the heron. The photos below include todays look at the Mama crane and her egg, the heron, and some extras. The crane’s beak is also looking rusty!  Finally some roses are starting to bloom!
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Today my good friend Sonja picked me up because she does monthly articles for the Sanford Herald. She is researching a piece about Sanford Florida’s produce heritage.
Sanford Florida was the first place to pack produce on ice and ship it north.  But I will leave the story for her to tell and you can buy a copy of the Sanford Herald in a couple of weeks.
Personally, I was trying to pull off taking a photo to accompany the article. Actually it was just fun taking produce pics.  After checking out the old Farmers Market, we stopped at a small produce market on 17/92 right next to the newer Farmers market.  100_0435 It had no name, but when you walked in, there was beautiful produce that looked well selected.   There were walls and bins full of interesting packaged spices an many other food stuffs. It was all so colorful and happy looking. Some veggies and fruits were swaddled as sweetly as if baby Jesus were a mango in the manger.      The cukes looked green and they had tiny potatoes and lovely persimmons. (look for my pictures later at   http://offshoot2.wordpress.com 100_0425

After all that produce and of course buying some fruit for later, Sonja and I went to one of her Mexican favorites,   100_0445 Tortilleria La Mexicana.
We roamed the aisles in the grocery side looking at all their produce,
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they had a wide variety of peppers and fresh quesa cheese and there was also a meat counter.  We ventured over to the restaurant and had a very filling lunch for $5.95 each. I had two quesadillas filled with cheese and veggies with rice on the side, YUM! They were so fresh. Sonja had tacos with cactus and other things I could not think about eating, I have no sense of adventure for spicy food. We both agreed it was a piece of Mexico in Sanford!  100_0449We wandered further and landed up at the old Sanford Amtrack station that now looks like a crack house. 100_0441 100_0442 .  The new station has a shuttle service that offers people the option of going into downtown Sanford if they have a long layover time.
the new station is now only basically an auto-train depot. 100_04431

We looked around Goldsboro and side streets, the Bettye D. Smith Cultural Arts Center where I would like to see if I can organize an art showing.
All and all I encourage you to get in your car and go explore your city, or one near you. It is amazing what you learn and our little Sanford is full of history. Plus Sonja and I love to talk ‘smack’ about our own old history being as we are close in age and have many common denominators. We aren’t quite the ‘Golden girls’, let’s just say we can remember the days of college in the 60’s:  riots, Tricky Dick, war, love, Woodstock  and peace and the good old days. We worshipped at the altar of Led Zep, and Jim Morrison. Loved Bob Dylan before his electric guitar.  Sonja married her man who graduated Harvard and played in a band with the Allman Brothers. We were the hippie generation. Sonja stayed in school and went on to get her Masters  and I dropped out of college after hurricane Camille blew it away.
How’s this for a photo out of 1969? Abbe and the father of her kids captured in time.
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That’s Valentines Day for all you kuckleheads who have tuned in to see something related to a health issue! Actually on the radio yesterday I heard it called SAD Day, Singles Awareness Day. But it was awonderful day! The sun was high in the sky. I went to Mennelo’s Folk art festival with Pam and saw the booth of our mutual friend Madeleine  100_5016 who makes these adorable “nicchos”, small hand painted, Mexican tin boxes with adorable things inside them. Then on to Winter Park for lunch at Chef Justin’s, (excellent salads and great french fries topped with parmasan cheese.)  Thank you Pam! We went back to her home so I could see all  the work she has prepared for her in-frared and manipulated  photography for her exhibit in downtown Orlando at The Office on Robinson Street March 16th.  It will be a stunner of a show!
Then rushed out to pick up wine and candy and hurried home to catch a forty-five minute fishing session with the usual crew and off to Valentine’s Day dinner with my daughter and her boyfriend at his very swank home.  AND WOW – did they threw out a bang of a VD dinner! There was shrimp, lobster tails, chicken and crab legs, vd-1

Also salad, fettachini alfredo, garlic bread, fruit, chocolate mousse, cheesecake and a huge personalized frosted sugar cookie. And after that I felt like I had died and gone to heaven! It was the bomb! Then we had asti-spumonte to drink with lots of strawberries and vd2 then we watched a movie and I went home at 11pm. My younger son had come home with a huge bouquet of flowers waiting for me! dsc05408

What more can a mother ask for! I even had leftovers so I didn’t have to cook at all today! JT, my daughter’s guy sent  me home with a big solid chocolate shaped fish and a heart shaped waffle maker, so this morning you can imagine what I had for breakfast! Waffles with chunks of melted chocolate and some with blueberries too. When I have stroked out, you won’t be seeing anym0re blogs! As for my other son, I will go and make him reciprocate this week when I go to visit him in Tampa,  I know I will get treated like a queen there too. How lucky am I?!!!!!!!!!!

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Cardinals everywhere lately, they come early, stay late. I hear their sweet-talk most of the day.When I came out this morning, Ringo was waiting by the stump, pretending to be invisible to see if he could fool some birds, but he didn’t,  they would fly right over him and laugh on their way to the bird feeders in my trees. One little sparrow was on the stump as Ringo was looking straight ahead, (click on pic and it should enlarge.)  I brought Ringo in for breakfast and once his belly was full, he was asleep for hours on a chair on the porch. While he slept the cardinals, woodpeckers, mockingbirds, sparrows, doves and others flew around looking for seed.
On the news New York looked so cold and about to get worse with all kinds of snow. There were power outages in the northeast and some airports had to delay flights by 5 hours because of the snow. It looked so crazy out on the roads where the flakes had even packed Las Vegas. I’m glad there is not any snow and cold like that down here! Right now the citrus is ripe and loaded on the trees and the doors and windows are wide open. If it’s a white X-mas you want, feel free to stay up north, you can keep it,  I’ll take the mild, sunny winter of Florida anytime, (this coming from an Ohioan transplant)!  Right now the trees are humming with birdsong, the ducks are swimming and quacking on the lake, the flowers and oranges blooming, our roads are teeming with snowbirds and Ringo is snoring – it’s in the upper 70’s,  Ho Ho Ho…

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Sunday morning and very bright, better hit the 70’s today so I can take my reptilian self and come out of the heated house.
Fishing sucked last night, the heron and cranes were fighting over territory, the cranes always win. The baby crane is due in another month to be exiled, I keep watching for the signs that the parents have had enough of him. I am always happy to see the new babies in the spring. What will I do today….

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Ever get out the clippers and start trimming away at dead follage and suddenly, whamo, a sting here and there? Well, today I was out trimming the bird of paradise and bent over and there on the underside of the leaf was a good sized wasp nest inches from my head. Luckily I didn’t disturb them as the wind was blowing a lot and I think they mistook my motion for the breeze, It seems the wasps around here love the undersides of plants like this bird of paradise. I hate it when I’m gardening and get stung. Sometimes I don’t even think about it and get right under my plants and pull weeds only to find either the damn ants are attacking my feet and hands or bees are building some prime real estate. I did clip off that leaf and threw it in with the leaf trash as the wasps flew off. So the next generation on that particular leaf won’t be waking up to join the garden party of “let’s sting the the host”.  I see a few regular bees, but mostly these wasps who will make their nests on light fixtures outside or anywhere they just want to piss you off from. I had several near the front door where they would build and I would knock it down and they would rebuild and I would knock it down, and then I sprayed and that helped for a while. I guess you just have to accept that this is just about natures ‘natural selection’,  they seem to select places that I naturally appear…

Today looks better for us so far, hurricane Ike is way south of here and hopefully he will stay that way, EXCEPT, he is headed toward where my brother and his family live and have lived for 25 years, Key West.
I don’t want it to go there either as they are just enjoying their house they had to rebuild after Hurricane Katrina flooded it with 2 feet of water. You don’t hear much about what Katrina did to the Keys, but it was very bad down there too. Though their new house is built up nine feet,  the big worry would be the wind.
They love Key West, my sister-in-law and neice will get out of the way of the storm, but not my salty dog little brother. He will stay and hunker down, (or up in his case) and try and weather it out. I am hoping it will have down graded at that point to a Cat. 0ne from passing over Cuba. We have about 36 hours to see what will happen.
The other pictures were my happy wake up flying things this morning. The cranes were happily sitting down over looking the lakes, the white heron was a wonderful unexpected surprise and so many butterflies
are all over. Everyone has told me that they have lots of variaties coming through their yards.
The water level is up which is good because in another 6 weeks that will be about the topper for the winter months. At least so far we have a decent level in comparison to last year at this time. These tropical systems are certainly helping us recover from drought, but some places around here are still too wet. Homes still underwater. Let’s hope that the wings for Sunday include a fast moving Ike that weakens and does not do too much more damage to the people and property it decides to land upon. I feel fortunate that the hurricane shutters can stay in the garage and we can look out at the bright sunshine and breathe a sigh of relief, at least I hope this thing does not come back to bite us….

  This afternoon at around 4:30pm, the first rain bands arrived, it has been like a typical afternoon thundershower … so far, heavy rain and now nothing, but the sky does look full of things to come. There is no wind, all is quiet for now. The birds are active as always around a storm. They say Fay may be slow to move so there could be flooding, my garage in one corner collects water, so hope Fay hurries through and does not linger.
  And then there is the NEW storm behind Fay ready to slide into the next tropical depression, here we go like 2004, but so far it’s been a breeze, well, no breezes yet….

Butterflies come and go around here like everything else that has wings. I love the slow ones that linger. The flowers they love are beautiful enough, but when a butterfly lands on top, it’s like icing on the cake!

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