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I don’t get it, normally the nest should be finished by now. This heron has not progressed much at all. The male flies in for a bit in the morning, then flies off, have not seen him return when I leave my fishing post.  Yesterday they were both in the nest at 7:30am having a nice meeting, the nest looks a bit fuller, but I would have thought it would really be a thick tangle by now.
then the male left.
and was gone.  The cranes came minus their baby, I think they might have finally gotten rid of him.   That means in a few months, maybe Feb, or March, a new one or two will arrive.
The anhingas came in pairs yesterday, two males were hanging around drying off their wings.   The male on the metal was very bold and let me get quite close.   The wings are a gunmetal gray, very cool contrast.  

This morning while taking out the trash, I saw the male heron fly to the nest.
They did not get close, just stood and looked around. He did not even bring any branches.   When suddenly a third heron flew over and landed on a branch above the male .  
They all looked at each other and the one on the lower branch took off.
And off it went into the nest two yards over. So what is going on? Is the male serving two females?  Was the heron that took off the other female going back to her nest — was she just checking out the competition?  Maybe the male is trying to establish a heronry, of having a few nests that he can service?   The other nest is the one normally used each year by the herons. Having the one in my yard is a dream come true to have them so close, but looking at how flimsy it still is, the male needs to bring more branches.  This nest is looking amateur compared with what my herons built a few years ago.  The tree in the neighbors yard is higher up and much more secluded.   I will keep an eye on this. Did not fish last night, it’s too cold for me, only in the 60’s yesterday for a high and that is like being in the 30’s for my blood.
Last night I did stop by my daughters as she was working on a Pabst Blue Ribbon cake for her sweet boyfriend.  It was so cute. Her cats were so cute and their fur is growing back.  They were sleeping on their cat tree, but perked up to say hello.   I love their little flat faces and soft bodies. They will be getting a fourth cat as their cousin Sasha is coming to visit them near X-mas.  Oh Baa Humbug, time to get a move on for the day,
take care until tomorrow….
P/S, rat traps still empty, but waiting just in case…

okay, the title is a lie, I can’t take night pics yet, even though I keep pressing buttons, moving settings, and get sucked dry by mosquitos, for all that, I am useless at night photography. The second lie, there was no visible moon tonight, that’s from the night before, whatever day it is now. We were supposed to get all this horrid weather and it passed on by with just a short period of rain and alot of tv hoopla.
I went to Gateway Photo group last night and got the names of good printing sites, and Danielle was kind and patient as she tried showing me how to work my camera settings, but I have to look at more tutorials and find the way to keep this shutter open, my cameras play tricks on me at night, I think they are actually tried of being molested and want the mosquitos to kill me off.
Today I did some holiday shopping and came home, and as I rounded the corner and got on Country Club, I noticed lots of waterfowl at the Mayfair CC, so I had my camera and parked the truck and walked over to the golf course hoping not to get whacked in the head – though maybe it would default my head settings and I could go to bed)
I saw woodstorks, 
A woodstork who thought he was a commorant.  
Lots of crows flying all over,  cranes of course. what would a golf course around here be with out cranes?  And then I went home before my luck ran out.  The heron has progressed a bit with the nest, though I did not see the male all day.   She sits and sits and waits, but I think he has been seeing someone else and twigging up her nest!
She looks quite forlorn.  My fat mockingbird was posing as always by the mailbox, she has such bright eyes.
No eggs in her nest though.  There was an elephant  on my mantle. 

I just threw that in to see if you were paying attention.
I hope tomorrow we will get more rain. I must explore mpix.com for having photos printed, their prices and quality seem really worth it. Metallic paper is so cool if the photo is right. I am wondering if I should try a few for my crow photo exhibit in April.
Just threw that in as a tease.
Okay, I went back out and could not get anything with recognition. But as I was walking back toward the house, the moon popped out for a few seconds 
In between the thick clouds, there was an opening and the light gave me a quick shot with whatever setting I had on.  Hey, at 4:46am, I will take what I can get literally… Ah, if only I could photograph my dreams, they are amazing….

First, rat update: the traps remain unsnapped, and I do not hear any foot prints, I am sooo knocking on wood hoping the last of them were trapped.  So far, so good.
Heron update:
Wow, they are new at this. This young heron drops a lot of sticks, she has put this nest in a very wide “Y” of the branch. The building is going slowly, and the male stays away more than he is coming to bring branches.  This is how it looked early this morning.

It looks like a tangled mess.  AND — on Wednesday night they have said we will get a cold front with winds up to 50MPH!  Unless she sits there like “Horton Hears  A Who” on that nest, I am getting anxious it will all blow away.  As of now, all I see is her standing over it, looking for her mate who seems to ignore her more than help her.
I ran to the tax office to pay my property taxes and stopped by the marina to see what was exciting. Not a whole lot at all.  But here’s a few pictures.  

Now that I think about it, I saw a lot of  ‘white birds’  and no pigeons down by the one tiny pond across from the marina.  I drove by the buildings on the “island” and saw some of the same old same old ducks so I parked by the memorial eagle statue to look at the water. I did get rewarded by those carp or cat fish that suck air. 

They stand straight or lie on their backs and suck air.

The boats looked clean, air was fresh.

I say that as there was trash in the water and it looks dirty despite the blue reflected from the sky and the extra blue tint I added to the pictures.  Did not see any gators or other water birds like osprey.
I came back home   , the road was ‘less traveled’ at 11am.  I gave up my zoo membership this time around. So I drove home because I was going to pick up my new glasses at the mall. That 20/20 Superstore changed my RX so much, I will have to try them out a few days and see how the change works. So far, my left eye feels a bit cheated and might need a bit more power. I hate to think I have to go back to that damn store again to get the RX right!
On the way back home, there was a hawk sitting on a fence near the red light,
By the time I ran all over, when I got home it was almost time to fish. I gathered my goods and walked with Ringo to the lake. I discovered that my heron that fishes with me is not part of the duo building the nest. I think she is the original mother of one of them.  She was waiting for me. 

As was a beautiful pink and blue night with near full moon.  The moon seemed quite shy tonight and blushed a lot as the clouds passed by.

The water itself was reflective of the deepening shades of pink.
I caught two bream and the heron was well fed.
Left the lake as it grew dark and the mosquitoes came out.  No videos tonight,
just an artistic rendition of Ringo as we left the lake, now pray for rain, but no wind for Wednesday….

It’s officially holiday season! The turkey was pardoned, and today is
“pre-thanksgiving- manic-rush-tostartcookcookcooking-wash-freshsheets-dusting-blowoff porch-and pretenditalwayslooksthisclean” day. Even though we are going to my nephews for turkey day, there will still be hungry hordes here looking for food all weekend.
Last night I fished as is usual, with the cast of usual suspects, both male and female herons flew over. The male left, the female stays with me and got rewarded with 2 fish. They have not made a nest in their usual tree, or I have not noticed any activity up there in days. instead they came from the north east, wonder where they are nesting?  (male)
female —  The turtles were obnoxious as usual.  There are three big soft shells and numerous small cooter types.  The night was cloudy – they said we would have a good rain today and we have had some nice showers. The water meter yesterday was
at  2.98 and falling fast, a foot below the summer peak of 4.17. Will read it tomorrow am to see if the rain gave it a boost. we have to have more before winter makes it fall much more.
The sky was full of clouds and crows flying off. The fishing was not great, but it’s always fun to absorb that quiet time.  The cranes had been by and were grooming as usual.  and I tried my hand at macro photography which takes a lot of patience, no wind, good light, a tripod and knowledge of aperture which I am learning
I tried frankie and Ringo  Ringo did not cooperate.  Then I tried flowers and tiny spiders  

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This morning is totally gray and rainy, had to make pancakes for Adam, I have found that Hungry Jack wholewheat blueberry complete is AMAZING, you only need water, but I cheated and added Sugar cookie eggnog, (mybad!)   and of course, top it off with light whipping cream to counter act the egg nog.  I had to top off the whipping cream after eating my pancake –  YUM!
So better get cooking, have things to get done…now go, get outta here, quit reading, that’s it….
Ringo dreams he is a B. Kliban cat   http://www.eatmousies.com/

Up by 4:24am, ugh, wide awake and it is dark outside.  But watching the early sky after 6am was worth getting up for.   The sky was orange and blue, UF colors for you Gator fans.  From early on it changed into wonderful patterns with a “cold front” going through that really meant nothing cold for the weather here.  That’s at about 8-8:30am.  As it approached noon it was still fun to watch.   And yesterday I took a photo of my fence that is now covered because of one red passion flower vine. 
I also have notice an adorable mocking bird hanging out near the mailbox and discovered she has a nice hidden nest inside the carolina jasmine bush. 

4:30pm it was still a sight  and the pink came and took over fifteen minutes later.   The heron came to fish,   and the cranes are being meaner and meaner to the baby crane. They chase him off all the time now.
Here’s another afternoon pic  and finally
the sun started setting, which turned the sky gorgeous, but I didn’t feel like chasing the sunset tonight.  The trees are too thick to the west.
The heron and I fished  and he got fed.  It was another nice day, but with only 3 hours of sleep, I am worn down and know if I go to bed before midnight, I might be back up at 4am. Still debating trip to Tampa.   

100_6682-1re This was the most colorful thing for most of the day. The promised rain that slammed Alabama, didn’t even fill the bird bath!  We hardly had a thing.
All day I finished up with pricing, bagging, and organizing to have my stuff ready for setting up on Friday.   What a mess I made, finally about 1am I vacuumed and everything put on the dining room table.  100_6745re This was taken around 10pm. Whew, glad it is all put away.
Earlier I had fished. The sky was truly beautiful. The clouds came in waves,
100_6688-1re then it settled into gray woolen puffs stacked in layers.  100_6685re Then patterns of sorts  100_6693re The heron came out to observe –
100_6687re It is the female heron. She watched for about a half hour, but since I was spending most of my time avoiding 4 turtles, she flew toward the center of the lake and chased off an anhinga. I bet she was about 300 feet away when I hooked a bream and it broke through the water splashing which alerted her and she flew right over for a meal.  She stayed on and suddenly the male heron appeared and he is a big one too.   100_6706-1re Much larger than the female.  they still have not gone up to the nesting tree, but I bet it will happen soon. they bwill be lugging branches over my head. It’s fun to watch them fly off with all kinds of sticks for the huge nest they make. I wish they would use one of my trees like they did 3 years ago, but once my red maple fell over, they probably felt vulnerable as it shaded them so well.
It got dark again so early and the mosquitos are terrible. It is still quite warm, though, right now it is about 60 degress outside and is only going to be 71 – now that is cold.
Guess, I will drag my body off to bed, yikes how will I get up on Saturday to be there before 8am, I have to be nuts! Good night, or rather good morning, catch up with you later….

Today started the same as always which is always a smile getter,   DSC04351re
The sandhills came flying over the lake for breakfast.  I then checked the rat traps and nothing – no bodies, where do they hide? I even did what the Massey guy mentioned, he said to throw away all rotten fruit under the citrus trees because he said a pheromone is emitted from rotting fruit that draws rats from all over — perfect I thought and brought a rotting grapefruit in and put some of the pulp in the traps. It was obvious today that not all rats are drawn to rotting fruit!
DSC04349-1re The butterflies were busy and this one had gorgeous silver inlay on those delicate wings! It really glimmered metallic when the sun hit the underside. I didn’t capture it in the photo, but it was a fine Gulf Fritillary example.  Ran errands and saw this egret running through the parking lot near Marshall’s  100_6472re He posed briefly but had places to go, so did I.
Back home the sky was gorgeous,   100_6451re full of lines and swirls.  The planes were on their way to destinations unknown, but I am going to call the airlines and request the pilots that pass over the lake at night while I fish, wave.
100_6455re They could drop off some peanuts on their way to Sanford.
I got dressed and ran over to the cutest little coffee spot in Debary, The White Cup coffeehouse at 17/92.  Two of the Gateway group members, Ed and his wife Nan were having a reception.  100_6473re They were given excellent wall space by the owner who also serves a mean cup of different coffees, cold and hot, also tea and smoothies and she has a menu with many goodies.   100_6475re
Ed and Nan  Cogle are world travelers and you could tell from both their art styles that they loved India.
What is also evident was their love of wildlife too.  Ed does photography, Nan had a mixed media approach.   100_6476re They had a nice reception packing the innards of The White Cup.  I even met a guy who was just there to get a great cup of coffee and the art was a big bonus. Art IS a big bonus. I tried to get my family physician to have an art wall in his brand new doctors office he just moved into, but he didn’t. I think it would be welcomed by the patients to have photos and art by local artists to stare at as they sit and wait and wait and wait. I would have even changed it out every couple months, that’s how it would work in Abbesworld, art would be much more employed and enjoyed by the public and as a means to inspire others. So if you are reading this and own a business, please give local artists a shot at displaying their work.
As I was about to leave, Ed was taking some photos,  100_6479re I took some also to show you that you need to SUPPORT THE ARTS!  Go out to a gallery, check out the Heathrow Arts Festival at Colonial Town Park this weekend, or pick up a brush, pen, camera and make something. Find the artist inside yourself and maybe even discover something you didn’t know you could do.  And if you happen to be on your way from Sanford to Debary, stop by the White Cup and enjoy the owner, the beverages and the art. Also — please remember that next weekend  The Gateway Center for The Arts in Debary is having a Holiday Boutique with lots and lots of artists selling their goods for the holidays. There will be table after table of artwork for all  to enjoy.  So through the week I will keep bugging you to go.  I will have a table too so stop and say hello!
Now put away part of that paycheck of yours to buy something out of the ordinary for someone this holiday season – Buy local art!    100_6504re

(pictured is a cup I will have for sale featuring my photograph, “lee’s alien dinner”)

Some of these place want $40bucks a rat trap and $40 to remove EACH trap, Damn varmints are expensive. Massey was over $400 bucks and that includes the year of pest service spraying for everything, destroying microcosms of worlds beyond the human eye. They will get rid of rats and come back and do more traps until they are gone which is a good thing, but somehow I don’t like all the spray everywhere outside. Ingesting a cloud of toxic crap around my perimeter does not thrill me and knowing my cats are sitting in out there surrounded by mini doses of agent orange and then I am holding them and loving on them excites me even less.  They say it’s hardly dangerous, (unless one reads the label),  a conundrum of sorts.  I rather like natural rat killers myself,   71109ringobluesB-1re but I’m keeping Ringo away from those traps.
Tonight went to Gateway Center for the Arts at 17/92 and Saxon for Photography Group meeting. So many talented photographers who are excellent at what they do. When we left, it was a beautiful moon nestled inside the clouds and again, I tried taking a few pics and they sucked, but here is the Abbe interpretation of the moon and its’    faces tonight:
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Another one bit the dust! Went up to check traps and one held a bounty – YES!  Tonight I will be listening for the pitter of little feet. I did call Massey for a free inspection, ‘guestimating’  how much do I estimate the service will be? Over $300 for the pest control and traps are ala carte — will let you know what the estimate is. Tomorrow I will put aluminum mesh over my plumbing stacks so things cannot get in and out. I don’t want to say I have won until I hear no running above me. Hopefully no weaned babies are up there.  So for now, I reset the Victor traps and let them sit in waiting. From my results, those traps are instant death!   100_6369re
Since the daylight savings time went into effect, it has affected my sleep, I wake earlier, but go to bed the same. I have become lethargic around 10am, and have had to nap an hour for the past two days. This is not how I operate.
This morning I was up by 5:15am and of course it was actually getting light. I opened the back door and heard the heron close by wailing. He was sitting in one of my pines.
022re It actually stayed until after 8:30am. The cranes flew over for an early birdseed breakfast.  DSC04207-1re While I went out and cleared my lakefront of weeds. The water is going down so I can pull in some of the stuff clogging the shore line.   100_6371re And maybe soon, that area can look like the part I was able to clear further along the lake.  The weeds are locked together like webbing and pull in in blocks.
100_6373re You can see from this picture where my neighbor’s property still has the weeds next door.
The cranes came along and thought my weed pile was a play pile and pulled weeds out and tossed them about, dancing and jumping, they had a great time and I enjoyed watching them.
The baby had an itch  034re – the heron stayed out of their way safely in the tree.
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That’s it so far on the Rat Wars,  Victor can call me any time for an endorsement…

EEEEK! Last night the trap snapped as I was walking down the hallway to the bedroom. I screamed knowing above me was a rodent in a neckhold. But let me back up with some nice photos from the weekend.
First yesterday was rather dreary, thought we might get some rain finally, but nothing but a sprinkle. My lemons are looking good as they start to ripen. 100_6204re and the hibiscus are blooming nicely.  100_6197re and the lake was quiet with it’s graceful lilies.  100_6201re
I would rather be outside than inside with rodents over head. But my brother drove up from the Keys with his wife, sweet Penni, so we got to spend the afternoon together and went to Fuji for sushi dinner.  It’s always great to see my little bro. They left after 9pm and Adam was at home and I was walking down the hallway and heard a sound like something had snapped. I then realized it was the trap and got the ladder and peeked into the attic. I heard a rodent run and looked for the trap, it was kind of hidden by insulation, but could see something in it, didn’t want to stay with one rodent still running around.
After going to bed at 4am, I woke at 8am, that was after waking several times dreaming of rats swimming around the attic. I awoke twice really panicky. Finally I got up at 8am, but waited till Adam was up before I made noise going up to the attic. I pulled the fishing line and on the end was a dead rat in the trap, he died very quickly! Those big Victor traps do the job! So the good news is, one less rat to infest mankind, but the bad news is, there is still another, or possibly more. Tomorrow I will call a critter place and see if I can hire one to put the traps way in the back where I can’t reach.  I want to be rat free! What if they have a family – YIKES!!! I put up two traps today and am going to get glue strips.  Wonder if we will have two snaps up tonight, that would be delightful!
As for today – went outside to weed and heard the heron making a familiar call when it is in the tree where it normally nests.  100_6257re That is always a great sign, and maybe it means Fall is here, though the temps have been record hot all week in 90’s still.  The crows were out this morning too.   100_6245re, even saw two crows kissing.  100_6249-1re
Most of the day was warm and overcast, got two trash cans of weeds for Wednesday and didn’t even go fishing. Through a bit of bread out there and just minnows ate it.  The time change means things will be dark earlier, I don’t understand why we here in Florida even need to “Fall back”? What’s the point? We should get out there with enough petitions to stop this nonsense.
At just about 4:30pm, looked like it might rain, but again, clouds passed on by.
100_6277re Look at that view, my cranes, the little lake, my wonderful neighbors, these are all the pluses, but am feeling that itch for new scenery, maybe it is time for a change, a bigger lake or a lake community with a place to fish. Am thinking seriously of moving on somewhere…

 

100_6142re Taken at Horstmeyer’s in Sanford

Well…I put the boombox with Helter Skelter from Across the Universe on the house side attic opening and Adam had a Halloween tape with cats screaming and people screaming and we blasted, and…. nothing, frigging nothing. I walked around the perimeter of the roof, didn’t see a thing. So I took the leaf blower up in the attic, left it on it’s side for 5 minutes  —  and that’s the new mission, DISORIENT DISORIENT DISORIENT!  I figure that blower blasts at decibles much higher than the boom box, (don’t worry, I plugged my ears.) I’m wondering if I do this several times a day, will it disorient them and make those critters leave???  One of us is going to be disoriented by the time this is through and yes, I have traps up there and thank Julius for his genius idea of knotting fishing line on the traps so the animals can’t run somewhere with the trap attached, Thanks Julius. Now Bobbo on the other hand felt that since I like fishing, I should give up my regular fishing time and put bread and peanut butter on the end of a hook and cast out into the bowels of the attic and wait and see.  Naw, not happening Bobbo, not missing my outdoor fishing for indoor rodent wrestling.
Well, the traps are set, I will continue to blast off the blower at weird times and see what happens… Is this how we lost Osama to the mountains? What if the rodents headed for my walls, maybe the neo-con strategy is really a lose-lose situation,  Meanwhile…

Yesterday my buddy Dee-dee and I went to Horstmeyers in Sanford, I had never even heard of it, so we drove over and what a super nice weed and feed kind of store.
100_6152re They have a ton of horse tack and horse supplies, lots of seeds, hay, and even live chicks. The help was nice and the place is very clean and appealing.  Here’s some photos –  100_6147
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100_6139-1re So if you need some pet supplies, tractor supplies, a saddle, chickens and even baby ducks and bunnies in season, fertilizer, local honey,  head on downtown to Sanford and enjoy the ambiance over there, it’s like being in the country somewhere up north!

We continued down toward the marina looking for wildlife and say the usual characters near the marina,  100_6167re 100_6157re The ducks came right toward the truck like they were getting roadside service. There was one yacht decorated for Halloween.
100_6184re ummm, wonder what made the water swirl to the left of the boat. I saw my favorite duck I will call “Blago” with his great hairline
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We noticed a bus sitting along the river that said Stirfrytv.com on the side and the same dog on the bus was on a leash outside the bus, I looked it up at home and it is a goofy news spoof channel.  100_6155re

But the cutest thing that made us both laugh was a man wheeling around his four terriers in the back of a homemade cart attached to his bike as he rode them around and they seemed to love it, so I leave you with better creatures than I began with…
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100_6131re THIS IS SPARTA! 158e2a0ab585e2c0
Frankie inspects the bounty, we are on a mission! Somewhere in my attic is a mouse, or worse, a rat or even worse, plural—EEK!
I hear the foot prints over my computer desk. I thought it was a squirrel for a while and figured it would leave, but then noticed that there was mouse crap in the garage. I took everything out of the garage Tuesday and uncovered a nest of some lose, torn plastic and inside was birdseed and nuts from the bird seed, a nice stash for a mouse wanting to eat at home. Then I pulled an old antique mirror away from the wall and saw a big field mouse or a young rat and she ran. I had the doors, both the door to the outside and the double garage door open, but it hid behind a desk. I found Ringo and brought him out with me, he sniffed around and stopped at that nest and sniffed and sat . I pulled it open and 8 baby pinkies were in the nest. Ringo baby sat  100_6092ringore and the mouse must have snuck out.  I pulled everything out and looked in all nook and cranies. Next strategy, put the squealing babies in a box and put them up in the attic with Ringo, I was hoping their distress would bring out a sympathetic rodent.  Ringo bounded up the ladder to the attic and I sat up there and watched him disappear, but it was hot up there, I came down after five minutes, Ringo stayed about fifteen minutes, he didn’t bring anything with him, but went inside and plopped down on the kitchen floor to cool off. It has to be 100 degrees up in the attic because it is mid nineties on the ground. I brought the babies down and left their box outside figuring maybe the mom would come back or maybe there was some nice snake who would be quick. Sorry, I do not want 8 more rodents around here.
I had my son put expanding caulk in the place where the air conditioner wiring goes through between garage and outside.  100_6132re And sealed up everything, EXCEPT, the roof long vents, that is where they had to have gotten in,  100_6134re – they are open and have plenty of room to welcome the weary animals who get tired from climbing the roof. I bought wiring to try and rig inside the vents, but not just yet!
What’s next? Strategy planning, first I called the critter removal places, it’s either a free inspection and $250 with no guarantees or even more depending on what they find and the services they deliver. I have found they clean up and repair damage. It’s $89 for some to come set the traps and then a few days later another $89 to retrieve and remove the dead animals. Everything is ala carte, one place says they have a 5 and 10 year guarantee, but who knows if they will be in business when you call them in a week to pick up the traps? That makes those mice worth their weight in gold. What I need is three hungry feral cats to go out and have a field day! But since that isn’t feasible and I don’t want Ringo up there around all that insulation anymore, THIS IS WAR!
I have employed neo-con thinking, screw the Geneva Comvention stance on these rodent terrorists, forget it PETA, unless they want to come save the animals. I am going to employ Abu Ghraib tactics — loud loud torturous music supplied by two boom boxes simultaneously blasting music at full blast from the two attic access doors.I am looking at music choices now and will load a DVD later with our special rodent removal songs. Right now I am researching the music our military used on terror suspects. AC/DC, Britney Speirs, Metallica, I am scrutinizing, but at this point, I am considering Hendrix, Judas priest and even a bit of William Hung, remember that guy, Keith Olberman was obsessed by him.  794a297b8143fa02 We will experiment a bit, and when we come up with the right mix, we will blast from the boom boxes and I will be standing by with my camera to see if there is any exodus. If it works, I will sell my rodent revenge mix for $19.99! That will save people a lot of dirty work, and a lot of financial pain!
If that does not work, we will switch to plan B — dehydrating/bloodthinner D-con biscuits and big traps. Plan C- is the default pet removal –   Stay tuned….
71c3916b4c9ab0c0 This rodent image caught my eye, what the Hell???

 

Last night ther heron came down and fished with Ringo and I. He stood in the water, I stood at various places on the lake, neither of us caught anything, but that didn’t matter, I was glad to have the heron back. Every morning I keep going out to see if it is on a branch in it’s nesting tree.
100_5388-1re 100_5392_edited-1re Earlier I had been out in the yard taking pictures

of dragonflies, they are everywhere and will stop close to me as if they are as curious about me as I am about them.  DSC02660re

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The butterflies too were all over.  DSC02583-1re DSC02498-1re

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We now have a small bunny that appears from time to time .   DSC02490re The little guy came when the cranes were here and Papa crane chased him off.  Baby crane is still changing color, his eyes are still lighter and he does not have the red crest yet, though it is coming in little by little.
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Ringo was busy under the bushes eating a long blade of grass.
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The band of brother mallards are still hanging around with the pekin ducks, but Carbs is nowhere to be found. Have not seen him in weeks.
Fishing is horrible for some reason, even with the harvest moon tonight, not one little tug on the bobber.  100_5429re 100_5421re 100_5453re

Tomorrow night I think I will go to the marina and take some pics of the moon coming up over Lake Monroe.  It’s just such a treat to see it so close and so big.  The anhinga sat up in the tree and watched from his vantage point.   100_5410-1re It was a good night for moon gazing and bird watching, just not for fishing, only for feeding turtles.
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It was time for my daughter’s cats to get shaved again, I had to go over and wait as the mobile cat shaver did his clipping.
Now, I have three cats, one of them is a real cat, the other two are luxury items like my daughter has.
Ringo, RingoandRaccoon71209-1res epitomizes ‘Catdom’. He is the real cat, he hunts and eats his kill, he challenges raccoons, possums and even dogs much bigger than he is. Ringo’s personality is larger than life, he thinks he is a full blown lion and acts like one. 72709RingomeetshismatchB-1res

Ringo plays with snakes for entertainment, My daughters cats play with battery operated mice. My other two cats, Frank and Sealy, 000_0874res have been with us 17 years, they like being indoors, cuddling and finding a good place to sleep around the house. Not Ringo, he likes it outside and doesn’t even mind getting wet.

He is the boss of the neighborhood, has been for about 8 years. Everyone knows Ringo. He belonged to my neighbors next door. When I moved in with three cats, Ringo decided he fit right in and adopted my porch as his too. When Ringo’s folks moved away, Ringo ended up staying here. I have chronicled the details before.  Ringo for some reason terrorizes the cats next door, they call Ringo “psycho kitty”, but getting back to my story, neither Ringo nor my other two cats have ever needed grooming, (though I do brush them from time to time.) The luxury cats my daughter has are beautiful rescued Persians, they are her children and are treated as such, no, I would say they are treated like royalty. They might as well have their own silverware because they have everything else.  Cats like these are good for the economy, they have every cat toy there is and if you go back and read older posts, they have lots of cat condos too. They also require cat groomers, they keep people in business. I love it though after the cats are shaved, they feel wonderful, soft as anything, like Chinchilla!  This is sweet Coco before being shaved:  DSC01918re
and this is her after:  DSC02235re She doesn’t mind being shaved at all. Not Musa, he hates it, I think he was Sampson in another life –  Musa before:  DSC02119re DSC02239mus1re

Musa, is very mad when his hair is gone, and he is less of a bully to his two female companions. As for Lola, she is so adorable and loves loves loves being brushed,  DSC02114re, so as long as you brush little Miss Prissy, she is happy with or without hair, except when I tried to take a photo of her , she bolted upstairs under the bed, thinking I was going to make her get shaved again.  DSC02243re
You wonder why go through the trauma? Persians get so matted and throw up a lot of furballs and hair floats all over the place even when you vacuum a lot. These cats are luxurious, pussy cats. Not Ringo, he’s a cat, he  would probably fight someone tooth and nail if they tried shaving him!  71809ringoyawn-2re So where am I going? The cat-egories don’t really matter do they?  Anyway you look at it, they are all loved unconditionally and that’s the truth.
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On Wednesday I had to run by a storefront I had seen before, but had not entered. That would be HobbyTown USA right next to BooksAMillion in the shopping center behind Seminole Towne Center Mall. What drew me in was the train model village in the window. I had to have a look after being with the ‘big guns’ over at Amtrak.
I wish these photos would do it justice, but the display is elaborate! The detail and time spent getting this set up must have been pretty tedious. There are details in this small scale set that include a fireman rescuing a cat in a tree.  The water fall, the landscape, just amazing. The whole display belongs to the owner of the store and the employee said it was very old.
The place itself has all types of hobby items from airplanes, to cars, to paint supplies. It is very orderly and well stocked. Kids must love it, especially the miniature car racing track. Have a look:
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DSC01641re DSC01637res This is no flat display, it has hills and valleys, a big dip where the water falls, this took a lot of planning. There were train sets of different scales and all the accessories too.  Anyone with children might want to check it out, and that includes adult children who have hobbies, like the model airplanes with motors – it looked like a lot of fun was just waiting to be had!  Here’s their link:  http://hobbytown.com/flsan
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DSC01653re So grab your spouse, child, grandchild, neice, nephew, neighbor and have a look. Gotta be something there of interest!

100_4582-1res Unless you are putting your car on the train, or picking it up, there’s really no need to go to the Sanford Amtrak Auto train Station.  But I wanted to see some trains and I have only passed by the train station two times in all the time I have lived in this area, (since 1985) and do love trains, so I figured, why not look up close.  The original station opened in 1971, and was taken over by Amtrak in 1983. This new terminal was dedicated in May of this year.  The colorized photos below are of the old abandoned station in the old location not too far from the new one.  I took several photos of it last April for a show called The Abandoned Florida exhibition at The Gateway this year. This is how the old Amtrak Station used to look.
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The new station is smaller and not much to look at, but first, I had to get someone to let me have permission take photos so they didn’t think I was doing something sinister. They have signs warning people that Amtrak is monitored 100_4587res and it is, the area is not large, they can easily monitor crazy, older ladies with a train fetish, or someone worse.
I started at the waiting area, 100_4580res a clean space under a tent.   So if you have to wait for your car, looks like you won’t have a problem finding a seat. At one time Sanford did take regular passengers, but they quit that a few years ago I guess to become the ‘auto-train” only station.  There is a gift shop too, and a very nice lady was busy with her work.
100_4581res I don’t know the arrival and departure times, but I did see one train come in with all the red flashing light, horn honking pagentry a train deserves upon arrival.
100_4577res 100_4591res I saw a funny sign  — was it for the passengers or the trains?  I guess trains are quite romantic when coupled, haha. 100_4578res

There were a lot of wonderful angles and lines in the shots. — Trains have such a wonderful feel and symmetry to them don’t they? To see more photos or ‘artsy’ trains, check out
http://offshoot2.wordpress.com
Later I stopped at Hobbyworld in Sanford and took photos of their wonderful train display that is very old and belongs to the owner, but by accident I deleted them. So tomorrow I shall have to pop over there and put them up tomorrow. It was quite an impressive display.
So Monday morning was fun feeling the largess of Amtrak trains and the tiny details of models. And thanks to the Amtrak people for letting me take pictures.  Now, I wish they would go all the way to Key West and I would hop on board!

It’s Sunday, the week flies by in nano-seconds anymore. The good thing is that hurricane season is coming closer to the end.
This morning had the cranes right outside mooching for the loose bird seed on the ground.
000_0305res They have gone and a soft rain is falling on the lake. The cardinals have taken the cranes place.  DSC01556res And as I write now, it is sunny again — that’s Florida!
Thank goodness we have had no pythons come crawling through here YET as yesterday they picked up an 18 foot Python about 20 miles away that was being kept in a risky enclosure. A snake like that when hungry could do some serious eating, like kids!  snakeres
The owner said the 300 plus pound, 18 foot snake gave his daughter rides – SAY WHAT? It was fed about 4 rabbits a day.  I noticed on Yahoo a story about a python that ate 11 guard dogs, that wasn’t in the US, but it could be the way pythons are showing up here in Florida these days. I’m sure people are letting them go because they can’t afford to feed them and they grow so large.
I can remember in the learly 90’s when we were involved in the Central Florida Herpetology Club, the people came to meetings with snakes around their necks and arms, (they had to be bagged and caged during the meeting.) There were lots of vendors selling ‘herps’ of all kinds; turtles, lizards and of course all types of non-poisonous snakes. We have had ball pythons, rat snakes, Texas longnose snakes, milk snakes and Brazilian Rainbow boas. We lost some of them in the house from time to time, (but never told any of our guests that when they visited.) And we let our boas swim in our pool once in a while, climb the banisters, but Aaron, the snake’s caretaker grew bored and we sold them.  Not once did we let any go, oh take that back, we did let our mean mean yellow rat snakes loose in the woods, (those were the snakes that bit me,) but they are native.
Today, we still have the same cats we did when we had the snakes, and the
prospect of seeing a 12 foot or longer snake in my yard would be a bit unsettling. So I will just focus and show some pictures of the more delicate flora and fauna.
The flowers are bright this morning, spider lilies were wet.  DSC01553res
The canna lilies bright red. DSC01554res DSC01552res The Meyers lemons are getting bigger and bigger, can’t wait till they ripen.  The water in the lake is still up nicely, though fishing is still bad. Last night I caught a turtle. The fish are not biting. The cranes were though, they did not realize Ringo the cat was so close and Papa crane almost got him.

So that’s how Abbesworld is going today so far. How’s your day?  DSC01562res

The day began with the titmouse banging into my window again as I sat paying bills and looking for art opportunities around town as I write an art submission blog, http://art4submission.blogspot.com So feel free to take a look and see if there is an opportunity for you.  100_3696res
I did finally grab Adam and head for the Drivers License Bureau to change a title which will double in price after September 1st. We know they have to make money somehow. That was a two and 1/2 hour wait! Actually we took our number, and then ran a few errands and came back.
It was slammed!
Finally we headed downtown to pic up my enlargement from Roger McNichols of RT Art. He lives in a wonderful older neighborhood downtown and has artists traipsing in and out all day and night picking up their work. He and his wife Trish have massive equipment, he dry mounts, stretches canvas, giclees,  uses textured paper or whatever you want, he can probably do.
http://www.rt-art.com
Right on his street was a beautiful fountain, and I mean on the street literally.  DSC00725res It looked very European down Washington Ave.
Adam and I drove toward home and I told him we would stop and look around Lake Lily for some wildlife, usually I see turtles and birds. We had passed several lakes earlier and saw nothing.
We passed all the new condo/shops near Lee Rd.  100_3714-2res WOW, they really looked good, (and I improved them with color and filters as they would look in Abbesworld).
We parked near the lake and began to explore when suddenly Adam was surrounded by faces and beaks that were all works of art! (have a few larger views at   http://offshoot2.wordpress.com
100_3717res Adam looked like he was in the middle of a new Sy-fi  movie- Zombie Bloodsucking Ducks. They are used to getting food from people, and what happens if they don’t get their way? …They just waddle away
We actually smiled all the way around the lake at face after painted face, each with such unique markings – I love the Muscovys. But, I don’t need to tell you, like a good writer I need to “show and don’t tell”…
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DSC00764 copy DSC00780-1 DSC00788res When we got back in the car, all we could think of was how happy Carbs would be if he lived here! No band of brothers, (BOBs), the mean mallards who always chase him off. We wondered if we could kidnap Carbs and throw a box over him and take him to this park??? Carbs is not like these ducks, he is still very shy of people. I am not able to get too close to him, even when I feed him some birdseed and bread, he waits till I am about ten feet away before he will come to eat. If only he knew we were doing it so he could be so happy and never again have to worry about being chased off.  We plotted ways in the car. I think we need a big net and a box – ummm, it’s something to think about, kidnapping a duck for his well being.  Just tonight I saw the BOBs chase him and peck him as he hurried away through the neighbors yard. It breaks your heart because Carbs is so happy until the mean mallards come and dominate him. We did not witness one incident of a duck bossing another one at Lake Lily. The egrets were bossy, but not any of the muscovys we saw.  Carb’s wings just don’t work or I’d map quest a direction and tape it to his wing and send him off. And, it is way too far for his flappy, yellow feet to carry him.  What shall we do? Stay tuned and don’t quack about this too loudly until we deducked the situation. I have a feeling I will dream of things like strapping him with a remote set of wings, or hitching him to a kite, or even dreaming of him with wings that hold the power of the wind. I can’t wait to go to bed and dream in deep Rem of muscovy art and Carbs being in the land where he can conduck his life with no fear of the BOBs!  41409BOB&ElvisC-1res The BOBs with Elvis in March. Elvis flew away and have not seen him since…
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I saw the cranes out there looking to make trouble. cranes on porch

They came on the porch knocking over the cat’s water and food, then they went outside and were rooting around in my garden. Then I saw them playing with something, tossing it and then running off. I went outside to see this adorable freshly killed mole.  DSC06169res It was so cute and very very soft and very dead with ants starting to climb all over it for dinner on the go.  So I picked it up and tossed it back to the cranes and the father crane had a ball throwing it all over the place. He even retrieved it twice from tossing it into the water.  DSC06176res
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They had a lot of fun with mole toss. The male was so funny I made a little video and attached a link to it so you can see what I have to put up with all the time, and I love it…

72509desk-1res This is the desk in early afternoon after coming back from downtown Sanford.  Today I was wearing my Winnie the Pooh mantle and Winnie, (Abbe) was on a quest for honey. I remembered that Sanford was having a ribbon cutting for the “posts” the city built and the new brick road they made at 17/92 and First Street.
postssanford I take a lot of windshield pics while driving, it makes driving more interesting- ha ha –
The festivities were in full swing besides the regular Saturday Farmers Market. They had a band playing outside The Tuned Up Music Center and lots of booths set up along the way. I really came to get my honey since my last bottle is running low from last week. I knew Bill Frederickson of Frederickson Apiaries would be there in his booth with his samples and decided to go to Sanford instead of going to the Lake Mary booth. Sanford was having  a ‘party vibe’ going on.
I started out my quest at Fringe, Kim Johnston the owner was there, she loves vintage clothing and jewelry, hats, shoes, anything from “time removed”. I love her pink shop and looking at the pins and artwork. Next door to her is an antique shop with furniture, knock knacks and even old Beauty salon chairs and the old bones of a canoe hanging from the ceiling.
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email Kim:  fringefx@gmail.com   phone 407-320-8016 for info on both shops.
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Then on to Divine Mother Earth, a very cool, India inspired clothing and accessory store.   http://DivineMotherEarth.com The shop was so colorful and had some sexy clothes too, I need to learn belly dancing.
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Passed by Big Fish Little Pond which was closed and then headed toward “The Clock” where the market is. That meant passing the local newspaper, The Sanford Herald who had all their photographers out among the crowd taking pictures for a story or two, (that might have been why everyone was so nice, they probably thought I was with the Herald, umm, they might be really disappointed that this is just another local blog, I’ll let you know if I get any complaints.)
Next I visited Hot Pots – the ‘paint your own pottery’ studio that was highly organized and full of inventory. (I need to ask her to come over and take a look at my desk,) http://wwwHotPotsSanford.com 407-688-POTS – Hey, give a call and have a paint your pottery party!  HP2res
Over at Jeanine Taylor Art Gallery, it is never a disappointment, The artwork is world class literally, she sells to people and collectors from all over the world.
http://www.jtfolkart.com – the working artists who have booths inside could not be friendlier, and the talent in that building is immense. I was able to get photos at the shared booth of Cindy Sturla who had her sweet camera shy dog Molly and Stewart Jones, if you like the feel of a good water color, if they don’t have it, they will paint it. jt-1res molly-1res

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I found artist Aurore Brunet around the corner with her vivid paintings.
http://wwwaurorebrunet.com She was on the floor working on a large piece.
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Her work was fun with wild color, it made me smile from the vivid intensity –    Please go visit over there and “Support the arts” – And say hello to Mary at the front desk – she runs a tight ship!
Back to the street and I came across too booths where people are trying to educate us to the environment. KFB-1res I don’t know what makes me take the angled shots, but this was the booth of Keep Seminole Beautiful,

http://KeepSeminoleBeautiful.org
according to their non-profit website:   KSB provides a variety of services to Seminole County including the coordination of a number of activities and events. These include Anti-Litter Projects, River, Retention Pond & Lake Clean-Ups, Educational Gardens, Water Conservation Programs, Community Block Grants and other projects… They would gladly address any questions regarding gardening problems, water projects, etc.
Next to their booth was Friends of The Weikva, a local group who are also a non-profit org who monitor anything that impacts the Wekva and Little Wekva river. http://www.friendsfowekiva.org Both groups are made up of wonderful, caring people who want to help keep our Florida environment as pristine as possible for the future protection of our beautiful nature. You are welcome to join them and volunteer for river clean ups and other projects.
wekres-1 book-1re Jim Robison, “Historian For Hire”, is a seasoned writer of books dealing with Florida history. His latest book is a joint exercise with the help of non-fiction writer and videographer, Bill Bellville of Equinox Documentaries is titled:  Image of America, Along The Wekiva River will be out in November. This book is all about the events that have shaped the waterway. Both have impressive credentials and a vast supply of knowledge for their subjects. Jim Robison is available to speak to groups, his number is 407-677-4004 – his email: jimrobison@cfl.rr.com. Bill Belleville’s Equinox Documentaries website :
http://equinoxdocumentaries.org
I went into Maya Books & Music 407-321-6504 where they have plenty of books for sale and Kenneth Dittman, a numismatist also has an area where he has jewelry  and coins and art for sale. http:wwwkenscoins.net
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Finally I was at the heart of the Farmers Market. There was some wonderful singing going on and a flurry of activity that goes along with having booths full of spices, art, fresh fruit and veggies, candles and all the Farmers market stuff.  But I just wanted honey.FA-1res honeyre

Bill and his wife Marion have the Happy Bee Honey Farm, also called Frederickson Apiaries., they have been beekeeping for 30 years.  This time I got Summer Wildflower, though my all time favorite is still Orange Blossom. They have all kinds of flavors, I’m loyal to what I like. I even got a bigger bottle – I swear I drink this stuff!
By then I was ready to go home, it was sooo hot! I made my way through the crowd, took a few more pics:  potter-1re
bikes On my way home I took a few more windshield pics:
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and that was that, all that for a ‘fix’ of honey – well, I learned a lot along the way and now you did too.

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