Sunday, April 29, 2012

High 89 Lo 67 Sunny and warm niceSorry no everglade pics Sorry no pics later

I am sorry the pics did not download or upload anyway they did not load.  I will try to do this page again in a couple of days with pics so until later you can imagine what things  looked like LOL

 These pic are from the Everglades.  WOW a must see place.  We are planning to come back on our return trip to Fl.  The pics below are from a walk, man I wished I had done this when I took the pics.  I can not remember the name of the walk, but it was nicely done and great.  On some of the pics you will see just how close you are to the wildlife here.  The alligators are will feed and well rested.
Great Egret.  I added this pic after the text and can not put in correctly sorry.  Notice the beautiful flowing feathers on the tail.  My understanding is that the birds were killed back in the day when hats with feathers were in style.

 This is an Awhinga or snake bird.  This is a female because of the tan head.  The males are all black.  They are also called snake birds because when they are "floating" in the water their bodies are under water and their curvy neck and head is all you see and you think it is a snake.  I did not get a pic of one in the water, but when I first saw one in a lake "floating"  I thought something was very wrong with the "duck" that was sinking with a broken neck.  Tourists lol.

 This is the male Awhinga.  They spread their wings out like this to dry them.  There will be trees full of them with their wings all spread out. It is quite a sight to see. 

 This is a Cormorant  or Awhinga male feeding. I find it hard to tell them apart in the wild.   They spear their fish and then work them to the point of their beak, flip it and swallow them hole of course, no teeth and all.  It was very interesting to watch him doing this process.  Not once did the fish leave his beak. 


Alligators resting  and stretching their  jaws 
 Great Blue Heron
 Bird of some sort
 Wood stork
 The second stop in the Everglades National Park   Night time in the Everglades. The small light in the pic is the reflection of our flashlight on the eyes of an alligator.  There were fire flies there too, but very hard to get a pic of them. 
 After traveling the Rockys in Canada and Alaska all summer we thought this sign was so funny
 This is a lake in the Everglades and on the other side is the nesting area for many of the larger water foul of the area including the Roseate Spoonbill.  This is the closest that we got to them this trip.  They are so beautiful. 
 Great Blue Heron in flight
 We have been lazing around using the pool and all.  I will be, as the cowboy song goes  "brown as a berry" soon.  We have added another stop on our way to Branson, MO and that is Bristol NC.  If you are a racing fan you will know this spot.  We are stopping to see a truck race this time. 

Friday, April 27, 2012

High 81 Lo 56 Sunny continuing Spanish moss lesson, Merry, rig, swimming

 This is a continuing lesson on the Spanish Moss.  While I was reading up for the blog I learned that the moss blooms in May - June ish and that the flowers were very tiny as well as the seeds as you might imagine.  So I was on the hunt for blossoms.  I found them.  The first pic has the blossom out of focus because my camera wanted to focus on the reference (my finger).  But this lets you see how small the flowers are.
 This is the flower in focus.   This is like the poinsettia in that the flower is the very small thing in the middle of the green leaves.
 The beginning of the seed pod.
 This is the very beginning of the seed pod.  I'm still learning how to place the pics in order and I am a slow learner.
 This is after the seed pod has literary sprung open.  Remember this is on a very small scale.  That said it is interesting how much bigger the seed pod is than the flower.  But after thinking about it, in most all plants the flower is much smaller that the seed container as it were.
 Blue Jay's back
 Blue Jay's front

We have moved to Clermont, Fl.  We will be staying here for 3 weeks.  We need to have the RV and car checked out, oil change etc.  This ALWAYS means big bucks.  The RV takes around 20 quarts of oil etc.  Everything is big with the rig.  Then we will be ready for our trip up the east coast for the summer months.  We are only going as far east as Virginia this year because we had a later start getting out of Fl. 

Merry, our dog, has developed a cough so we have been taking her to the vet.  Well we thought we had it solved, but not so much.  She is at the vet now  for X-rays, heart and lungs, and  blood tests for other infections and other vet stuff.  She was not happy when we got there and less happy when we left her there. This too will set us back, but what can you do when a member of the family gets sick. 

We went up to the pool yesterday  and had a great swim.  Almost all of the winter guests have gone home, up north, and so the pool was almost empty.   I am not one for bobbing in the pool with a colorful noodles like most of the people.  I am there to swim and so it is great to get the bobbers out of my way. 
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Monday, April 23, 2012

High 79 Lo 61 Windy (20 - 25 mph) most of the day

 This morning I took a walk along the Peace River and saw many interesting things.  As I am walking I am amazed at how many colors of green there are in this world.  It is also too bad I can not send you the sounds of the river.  The birds are singing and some are just yelling, I'm sorry but I have to tell it like I hear it.  The cicadas are out and buzz-humming like they do, the hawk is out screeching.  The pic above it the hawk.  I tried to look him up, but there are just to many and I was not close enough to him.  This shot was taken into the morning sun.  The camera has a sports setting so I can push down and hold and it take a pic every nth of a second until I let up so the next shot was great.
 This bunny was on the ground below the hawk ..hummmmmm.  I watched him for a while then looked up toward the sound of the hawk, looked back and he was gone. 
 This is Steve's other brother Steve by the river.
 A flock of ducks.  I also tried to look them up, but I'm not sure.  As my baby bro would say, oh it's just another ugly "brown" bird".  He's right there are a lot of them brown things flying around.
 This is a White Ibis I had pics of him before with very red legs and bill, not so red to day must not be mating season now.
 Notice that long long bill of his.
 When I first came upon this guy I thought young Ibis, but upon looking in "the book"  They say there are no Ibis brown with white spots and streaks.  This guy is a Limpkin
 This guy was out in the middle of the river sunny.  I watched for a time and soon his head went in and he just rested.
 Saturday we went to the gulf coast side of the state to meet with friends have lunch and played cards.  We met them years ago in N.C. at a RV resort.  They are going to be in N.C. again this summer and we will be able to meet them again there for more lunches and cards I am sure. 

Rog and I have been working on the body of the RV trying to repair the little mishap that happened in Washington last year coming down from Alaska.  I will show you the whole process when we get it completed.
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Friday, April 20, 2012

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High 85 lo 63 Rain last night and I hear Thunder of in the distance now. GREAT!! Spanish Moss

Spanish Moss (pics are on March 23rd post) 

Spanish Moss  is an air-feeding plant  found mainly upon cypress, gum trees, oaks, elms, and pecan trees in South Louisiana and Florida. It is not a parasite and does not live off the trees upon which it grows, nor is it harmful to the trees. It has been noticed, however, that its presence on pecan trees tends to reduce the yield, owing, no doubt, to the fact that to some extent it shadows the buds of the fruit.

Spanish moss is not propagated by seeds but by fragments or festoons. These fragments are carried from tree to tree by birds and the winds. Birds frequently use strands of moss in building their nests, and in this way distribute the festoons. Evergreen trees seldom have moss on them, for the green leaves tend to ward off the festoons carried by the winds or dropped A moss which springs from a festoon or fragment grows to a great length, often reaching 10 to 20 feet. In the early summer this plant produces a very small yellow flower, hardly visible to the naked eye. Moisture and dust from the air produce all the nourishment necessary to keep the plant alive and growing. The plant absorbs water readily; it is, in fact, about twenty-five percent water.
The fiber of Spanish Moss was originally used for mattresses, and in upholstering, and in the construction of mud and clay chimneys. It was also used extensively for binding mud or clay in plastering houses. In more recent years it is used almost exclusively as a filler in overstuffed furniture and upholstery.  Now we use it in landscaping and potted plants to retain moisture
Spanish Moss  consists of an outer bark of a grayish color which protects the fiber within. This bark is mostly sap and vegetable matter and decomposes very rapidly when moistened sufficiently and placed into piles. Within this bark is a very resilient, wiry fiber which is the commercial moss was widely used in overstuffed furniture, upholstery, mattresses, automobile seats, and cushions of various kinds. No known insect will attack moss fiber, eat, destroy or live within it. Moss ranks next to curled hair in resiliency. That is why it is desirable for use in upholstery. Moss was  not widely  produced or handled commercially in any states other than Louisiana and Florida. 
I also read that during the Civil War wool was hard to get a hold of so the soldiers would weave the ginned moss, which resembles horse hair, into horse blankets.  They said they were durable and cool for the horses.

Your lesson on Spanish Moss; aka tree hair or Spanish beard. 

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Tue. April 17 (tax day) High 84 Lo 64 Cloudy later

 There was a time I was not blogging and I am not sure why, but I did take some pics and I thought I would share with you.  On our way across this wonderful country of ours we try and visit the capital of each state.  This is the state of Washington's capital.  The flag was interesting.  It is one of only 4.  The people of Washington were excited about being the 42nd state so they made a flag with the correct number of stars ready for the day to fly the very first flag after they join the USA.  Well the US officially adds states to the union  on the 4th of July and I think Idaho slipped in on the 3rd and foiled the plan of being the 42nd state and thus the 1st flag with 42 stars was not to be.  There was never an official  flag with 42 stars like this.   
 The capital building. We were told that it was built with timber money.  There are still a lot of trees in this state.
 Mt Rienier just sitting out there in the middle of no where.  We had just come down from Alaska and this mountain seemed so dramatic all alone.  I know that the mountains in Alaska and Canada were higher and more of them, but because there were so many altogether they did not seem so tall.  But when you are all alone wow
 Seattle  sunset The city looks really beautiful

We are lazying around today. It is so beautiful here and so comfortable.  I understand the humidity is low around 40%  lol I am so use to 9% in the desert.  With this down time we can fix things and the all important deep cleaning and go over the inventory in compartments to see if we really need or want it.  I would rather be traveling, but...
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Monday, April 16, 2012

Monday, April 16, High 85 Lo 61 Cloudy

 The stuff needed to do fiberglass
 The compartment being fiber glassed.  Notice the corner, it was to the front of the compartment touching the black pipe to your right when we first saw it .  I was so worried about the traffic and all I forgot to take pics.
 The man fiber glassing the compartment.

Now the rest of the story.  Along about say March we were heading north, back from the Keys and while we were traveling down the road we were talking about things.  One of those things was tires on the rig.We have learned important things while talking with people in the tire biz, but upon learning important things you must act upon them in a timely manner.  I'll get to that in a moment.  The thing we learned was tires only last about 5 to 6 years and then they begin to fall apart.  The reason given is that tires today are not made of rubber, but a synthetic material.  This is important because rubber releases an oil as it rolls down the road and thus the rubber remains pliable and would not become brittle over time. They would tend to wear out not fall apart.  Well our tires were 6 years old  and we were talking about the next stop we needed to buy 6 big tires for the rig.  This meant big bucks, but needed to be done. A blow out is not good on many levels.  We could be in or cause an accident, damaged caused by the debris to us and others on the road,  having to fix things on the fly costs more, and time sitting beside the road.  We find getting things done that takes time can be a problem for full timers on the move and then being places that do not have the services you need. Our next stop was for 2 weeks so we were going to get the tires.  Well 23 miles from the resort on I 75 during rush hour we had a blow out.  It was the inside left rear.  I really felt sorry for the people behind us because of all the flying debirs But Rog pointed out that our tow car took the first and hardest of the debris, so most was deflected by us, which is only right since it was caused by us.  Well we got the tire changed, no one was in an accident and the damage to the rig was slight  when you thought about what could have happened.  The compartment that was damaged was the one with all the sewer pipes to the house none  of them were touched.  You can see many cuts in the fiber glass because Rog had to cut it out to push and pound the corner back out.  We give thanks to God that everything turn out and all is well.

Well this is my first try at Pyrography.  It is really harder than I thought it would be, but I am wanting to find a cute little birdhouse to try on next then. I will know if this is for me.
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Sunday, April 15, 2012

April 14 High 85 Lo 62 Sunny

 It has been a while since my last bogged, no reason.  I did think I had a problem with uploading pics, but I did not know until my tech guy (Rog) looked into it and it was nothing, really nothing I could have been blogging and uploading all this time. 

Well really not much happening here.  We are in Wauchula, Fl. now.  We decided to get some dental work done while in Fl and it has turned into major dental work.  Well that said we think that we will be done with the dentist in 3 weeks.  This resort is very laid back and relaxing, another way of saying there is really nothing to do but lazy around.  We do go for walks along the Peace River.  One day we saw this White Ibis. I was reading up on him and it says when it is mating season their legs and bill turn a bright red.  Guess what time of the year it is?  This guy is looking for a tasty frog, insect, or fish. 

We have an e- reader for books.  We find that is easier than carrying a lot of books with us.  Well it is hard for two people to use the same reader at the same time.  So we decided to purchase another.  We went out and got a Kindle Fire.  I really like it.

Rog has found it necessary to go to the hardware store from time to time and I usually stop at the magazine area and look.  Well I found a book on Pyrography.   It is a fancy word for wood burning.  It really looked interesting.  When your home is so small and mostly filled to capacity with the necessities in life your hobbies and fun things to do have to be on the small size.  So a wood burner is quite small.  They have projects big and small, but the ones I thought would be doable were, birdhouses and jewelry.  Well to practice and see if I really want to do this I am working on paper.  You use a heavy watercolor paper.  I am working on a rosebud.  I will post tomorrow (maybe) and see what you think. 

Rog has been working with fiberglass.  He needed to fix the compartment and the back of the rig.  I will post pics of that and the details of why he needed to later.
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Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Easter to All

 This is Steve.  When we arrived and set up camp here it took Steve a couple of days to set up his own little camp.  Someone before use had hand feed him I am sure.  He is so tame.  For a wild animal he is too tame.  I am pulling back my hand in this pic because he was going to get on it.  I don't want this to happen  for a couple of reasons.  One being he may bite me and the other is I am sure he has fleas and other bugs that will bit me. 
 We settled for a spot to put Steve's seeds.
 This is where Steve takes his naps right above the place where his seeds are placed.  Smart Steve, no one is going to sneak in and get his goodies
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/Wash Day Hi 80 Lo 55 Sunny and a bit cool for us at night

 Today is cleaning day.  Rog is cleaning the outside from top to bottom.  We know people that don't even hose their rigs off.  We find this a great time to look at the little things on your rig.  For instance their was a screw missing on one the air conditioner shrouds (covers) that could have caused a big problem.  We are hoping it will get rid of the rattle we hear.  Also when cleaning the driver side window with an abundance of water we found that it leaks a bit. so will fix that problem too.  Besides finding problems the rig really looks nice and shiny. 
 He uses a nice soft brush to keep the paint pretty.  We do not have pics of the two of us drying it off.  He used a new wash and wax solution and it worked really great.  While we were at it the car got a both too.
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Tuesday, April 3, 2012

April 3 Hi 89 Lo 65 Sunny no rain no wind

 I must remember when doing the blog to go backward when loading pics, so you can see the story unfold correctly, but today we will start at the end of the story and go to the beginning.  Awhile back I saw on Groupon a deal for riding a Segway .  Well, Rog and I thought this would be great fun , but after research and talking with the Segway people it was determined that I should and  probably could not operate said machine.  Rog really wanted to do this so off we went.  Don wanted to try them out too so he joined us.  In this pic you see the group. tour guide and four in the train, leaving for a 1hr and 15 min. trip to a park and then to the pier and back to see Cocoa Beach and the Atlantic Ocean.  Rog is in the lead behind the guide and Don is bringing up the rear.
 Rog has received his 5 min. instructions and has master the Segway in the parking lot of the Hilton where the Segway people are housed.
 Don is now receiving his instructions.
 Rog is the first of the group to get on the machine and learn how to balance and make it go.  Stand straight and you stop. Lean forward and you go.  Lean more forward and you go faster. To turn you lean the handle to the direction you wish to go.  The Segway will turn a full 360 where you stand so no lessons on backwards, besides if you do backwards wrong the machine will dump you on the ground.
 The guys are really thinking about this whole thing
 The Segway place was all the way to Cocoa Beach on the Atlantic side of the state, some 73 miles away.  The appointment for the ride was 9:00 AM so we had to leave at 6:30 AM and this is what the sun rise looks like in Florida.  We got to see the sun before anyone else. There was heavy fog earlier and you can see some in this pic.
 This is the resident sand hill crane family.  The baby is really getting big.
 We also have turtles here.  Not sure the name, but will find out later.  They hibernate in the winter here, not sure why.  They will dig a hole and stay there for 3/4 months.  The park fences them off so people will know where they are and will not dig them up by mistake.
 My understanding is that his one is a little one.  They are just starting to come out and look for a mate, so the next adventure is digging a place for the eggs.  His mouth is open and he is eating the plants.  It is interesting to watch because he does not stay in one place very long at all.  It is more like pruning the plant.
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