Friday, October 28, 2016

Naples, birds, and beach

A quiet week in Naples. Still no giant influx of seasonal  people yet-shhhhh. As I talked about in a previous post we've jumped into the restaurant scene ahead of the crowd. Made it to Panevino, Nemo's, and O'Mei (fabulous Peking Duck) so far.

A river otter stopped by outside our lanai chewing furiously away on something. They are the most wondrous creatures sleek, playful, and perform ballet moves in the water.

For those of you who are early morning risers, this shortening of daylight is surely making you a bit crazy. Well it is for me anyway. I do get to see some lovely sunrises but getting up in pitch dark to start my morning walk is a bit disconcerting. Daylight savings is going off in a little over a week which will help, but only briefly. The dark short days are descending upon us.

And this is the mystery fish that lives in our canal. Pretty sinister looking I think. I've talked about it in the past and it's still here, actually have seen two, but that second one is elusive. Mark believes its an invasive species as he knows a lot of fish and doesn't recognize this. It might be his duty to catch the beast.

Threatened Wood stork
Birds, birds, birds. This is just a sampling and most of these, if not all, live here year round. There's a whole other list of birds who only visit for the winter.

Interesting way to move large machinery
A theme for the day?
I wound up on the fishing end this time
Blissful beach visit this week. Hardly any people, mostly cloudy and mild. Great for me as I'm going for the nature, sketching, photography, and reading. Not a sun worshiper - do they even exist anymore?

Our ugly duck (Muscovy) is back. We feed him once a day and he would happily eat many times a day if we let him. Not sure this a good idea but there it is... And I was briefly worried we were eating this breed but come to find out there's a white duck called Pekin which is used in Peking duck. Relief.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

The party that is Miami

And wild and crazy Miami it is. I swear to you there's no need to pay the expense of planning a trip out of the U.S. if you have a yen to visit any Latin country. Just come to Miami. A merging of many countries (Venezuela, Brazil, Argentina,Cuba, and others) where English seems to be a second language. Every night a party (this I wouldn't know about - we don't stay up late!), and more grand restaurants than you can count.

view from our balcony
So join me on my morning walk. You won't see a lot of people in my photos below but there were a ton. People jogging, walking their dogs, escorting their kids to school, walking to work with men in suits and fashionable women walking in flip flops, holding their 5 inch high heels. Didn't get a photo, but the guy in full business attire on a stand up electric scooter was quite the thing. Love this walk and all the entertainment.

Translation: 5 minute parking
I walk by this cute cafe everyday  - going in one of these times
The famed Miami Circle of buried ancient Indian structures
Icon hotel Easter Island replica statues
Mandarin Hotel's fake beach - no natural sand on this man made island

Fun times with friends at a famous Miami landmark - Joe's Stone Crab. Amazing food!

The employment for some -window washing for high rises. Not for the faint of heart.The tallest building in the background on the right side is where the crew diligently works. Took this on the 29th floor so goodness knows how high that is!

Cruise ships at port this morning. Just four, sometimes there are double that. The waterways are crowded around here.

It can be peaceful here too, as this gentleman shows -meditation is everywhere these days. We're back to the other side (Naples) tomorrow. A quieter place at least for now - season has not arrived yet.

Friday, October 14, 2016

And back to Naples

I am back in the land of swaying palm trees, perfectly sculptured landscapes maintained by massive crews, and heat and humidity. It will be some weeks before the perfect 70's are here. And I was wearing hat, gloves, and jacket to walk at Star Mt. right before we left.

I was excited to see river otters but I don't think they were excited to see me
Cuban Anole lizard - non native and mighty large - this one was 14"
So far I've seen a giant lizard, otters, ducks, rabbits, and assorted tropical birds. Mark has moved a small lizard from inside to outside, and a teeny tiny frog has hopped away from me and hidden itself somewhere in the condo, otherwise we would save that too. Do not know how they get in. Quite a different landscape in every way from Star Mt.

Tiny yoga class next to me - a reminder to sign back up for classes
Of course went marching to the beach as soon as I could. Very quiet, season is not yet upon us and the weather has been surprisingly mild. This mile long beach is a 5 minute drive, public and nicely maintained, and the price of admission has gone down, not up. Where does that happen?

Bird of Paradise
Orienting back to this way of life as it will be the constant for a number of months to come. Already had dinner at a favorite (Nemo's) seafood restaurant with good friends and plan on exploring more. We're getting a jump on those restaurants that are good but do not handle seasonal crowds well. Some sadly will have to be avoided until the madness has diminished. Miami next week with Mark. Another kind of adventure.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Tiffany's fall visit, golden leaves, cattle, and more snow

This past week has been awesome, with the last bits of Paul and Sherry's visit coinciding with Tiffany's arrival. The magical aspen leaves are all but gone and every year its the same: happens in a flash. Now there's a bit of sadness in the air, at least for me, as not only are our company all gone but we leave in a couple of days as well. Having to watch the hurricane situation since we're flying into Miami. Hoping its all passed by and done with minimal damage for everyone before we head over that way.

Camp 4 visit
Yak on the way to town
Tiffany had a very low key agenda for her visit so we trekked back and forth to Crested Butte and did a lot of eating and a small bit of shopping. Ryce, Secret Stash, Montanya - and Soupcon and Ryce and Montanya were firsts for Tiffany. She approved.

Ohio Pass - Tiffany's second day and we hurried to catch some of the last great color. Still a fair number of leaf watchers on the road.

Tiffany and I walked in our woods on the lush golden carpet of leaves, to bond with the cattle, and most especially the deer. We had a whole group practically surrounding us while we sat still on a log. Magic.

Color going, going, going
Snap, snap, snap. Gotta catch the last of the color.

Boy did we run into cattle drives, its definitely that time of year. Ranchers are bringing them off the fields and mountain pastures that they've been living the life all summer. Some are trucked off for sale, but a lot stay in fields close to home base so they can be fed and looked after through the long, long very snowy and cold winter that is our norm. The Star Mt. cattle are still here enjoying their last few days of freedom. They have doubled in size in 4 months, amazing.

Can you believe it, Tiffany has never had Mark's paella. Well that's now remedied. Yummmm.

Tiffany spotted a large herd of elk quite some distance off Ohio Creek as we drove home. Used my great lens to zoom in. Lots of success with our hunters on our private hunting land but sadly not for Paul. Next year!

Late breaking news - snow this morning! Second snow of the season, which as I write has almost melted as the day's sun blazed.

Last quick visit to CB for lunch today - Ryce of course, Mark's choice. It's time to go but still hard to leave.

And on the way home lookie here. Our Star Mt. cattle being herded away. Bye bye, glad you enjoyed your summer stay.