Friday, May 28, 2010

Pitfalls in Paradise

Coons, possums, armadillos, giant tortoises, orange snakes--the other day as I was getting some wash off the line one of these little leaping lizards even jumped on my hand.

For some reason known only to myself I imagined an island would be void of such wildlife. Not! Palmetto Bugs: Fancy name for BIG roaches. Michelle's sister, Elaine, had the "greatest cup" of home brewed Java ever awhile back; greatest cup, that is, until she discovered a "Palmetto Bug" had somehow managed to get brewed right along with the coffee grounds.

But island living is rich. Last night at sundown, Michelle and I watched dolphins roll just across the road, not a hundred feet from shore. The evening before, millions of dragonflies picked that precise moment to come out, then filled the world with their helicopter movements. Needless to say, we now have zero mosquitoes. The day before that, I found washed on our beach a very large barracuda's head. The birds had pecked out its eyes but Good Golly Miss Molly! what a lethal set of razor blades in those jaws! Nary a shark seen yet but with 'cudas this size prowling I say "Sharks? What sharks?" Yesterday, fifteen swimmers up the coast at Clearwater were zapped by stingrays.

Despite the risks to life and limb, there seems no shortage of humanoids on the beaches of Manasota Key. The young and the old, the fat and the spare, the strong and the muscle-bound, the weak and the creaking, all God's chillun MUST cross our draw bridges to take the salt, so it seems. Speaking of swimming: Michelle and I swim every day, few exceptions. Some days, like yesterday, I swim twice. In the morning, the water is still and mullet shoals feeding against the sand bottom are crystal clear. In the afternoon, the wind and waves pick up and Nurse Goodbody and I lay in the surf and let the sand and salt scrub the sin right out of us. Total therapy. Awful awesome. Never get tired of it.

This here blog is winding down. My next website is almost up and running. If I survive the rays, sharks, 'cudas, and leaping lizards, I'll post a link to the new site.


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