Sunday, May 06, 2007

Pacing The Cage ... A Bit Of A Sunday Ramble

It is that time of year in the world of evil government school teachers with hidden agendas, in which everyone involved in education can feel the end coming, but we're not quite there yet. Everyone involved is pacing the cage somewhat ... except for the parents who will have to be around their little darlings for a few months.

The next few weeks will be a blur of end of the schoolyear awards ceremonies, baccalaureate, exams, and graduations. It will pass like a ride on a roller coaster and soon that magical day will come when an entire summer spreads out before you like an endless sea. That 2:30 bell on May 25th is a singular moment where not a second of summer has been used yet, it's all out there waiting for you.

Remember being 12 at that moment? Remember the possibilities?

Here at Pure Florida, we will have yet another graduate as my chicks insist on growing up. Emma will graduate on May 19 ... she's exempt (all A's) from her final exams, so tomorrow is her last day ever of k-12 public education.

After Emma, we get a break on graduations as Junior will just be a sophomore next year. I read somewhere that "sophomore" means "wise fool". Hmmm ...

The flycatchers are singing (howling at the moon?) this morning as I type. They are incessant chatterers, even in the heat of the day, they go on. The clear blue sky above has worn out it's welcome and we want grey,stormy, rainy weather to replace it. Spring is always dry here, but this one seems especially dry.

Last night, I went to Walmart and ran into Fred my reclusive neighbor who cleans his forest floor too much. He told me I was looking younger and whatever I was doing, I should keep doing it. (I had just gotten a much overdue haircut and trimmed down that Groucho Marx moustache). We discussed his failing vision,the deer we share, and the lack of rain and then he moved on.

When I exited Wallyworld, the sky was full of cumulonimbus clouds and looked promising. By the time I got home with my groceries, the wind had picked up and it was thundering and flashing.

I had not seen lightning or heard thunder since late 2006.

I clicked on WeatherBug and sure enough, there were severe thunderstorm warnings for my area. To the point where the NWS specifically mentioned Otter Creek about 7 miles away. "Watch for strong winds, flooding rain, hail, and deadly lightning" ... isn't all lightning deadly?

Anyway, it seemed like a sure thing rainwise, so I settled in for a good storm and a netflix movie, "Fastfood Nation".

The storm promptly blew somewhere else ... not a drop of rain at Pure Florida HQ. Arrrghhh!!We really needed that rain. Between the drought and the deer, my garden is struggling, but I can pick beans and squash this week. Tomatoes are palm sized but still green.

Sweet potatoes, peppers, and watermelons have all been deer cropped so they have to releaf.

It's a challenge ... this gardening thing.

Do you ever get scorpions in the mail?

My usual mail routine is to grab the mail from our oversized rural mailbox at the end of our sandy drive and deposit it in a messy pile on the kitchen table. Last week, my hands were full of mail, laptop case, camera, Bubba the mug, and keys, so I just tossed it all on our bed.

A little while later Mrs. FC came home and went into the bedroom to change out of her scrubs. She wasn't in there long before I heard a squeal and a "Come here right now!" command.

She was pushing down on the pile of mail when I walked in. "There's a scorpion in the mail on OUR bed!"

I told her to just keep pushing and went for a jar to capture him for a blog pic.

I found a jar, she lifted the mail, and I slid him in. He stayed in the jar all night in the kitchen and the next day I took him outside for a pic. These little scorpions are common under loose bark on dead trees and under fallen logs around here. The sting is pretty wimpy ... like a small wasp sting. I had one crawl up my jeans once while kneeling down putting in fence posts. Not knowing what it was , I swatted my pants leg when I felt the crawliness and he stung me about 3 times before dropping out of my pants. (He stung me on my calf ... since you were wondering)

After the picture, I took the little arachnid out to a dead tree and let him go.

"And now for your moment of Zanne" as John Stewart might say if he were a blogger.

Katie and I passed this ruin on the way home from the refuge last week. I had to turn around and photograph it. The scene reminded me of the wonderful images Zanne captures at "The Farmer's Wife" blog.
That's not a hill in the background, just some taller pines. We don't do hills here in this neck of the woods.
Over on the sidebar, I've added "Great Products From Florida". Those are not Googleywoogly adds, just links to products that are excellent and made here in Florida. I'll add to it as I find new stuff (good stuff) from the Sunshine (darn it!) State.
Coming up this week:
Naked Deer Photography
Emma's Prom Dress
Our Beach Walk ... continued
... and whatever else I can stumble into.
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pablo said...

Here in Kansas City we're getting a loud and boisterous rain storm. Nice that we devoted yesterday to putting in the bedding plants -- wish we had put in more.

Missouri has scorpions, and I've even seen one at Roundrock, but I've never received one in the mail.

We have a college graduation coming up next weekend and then that's it for my offspring (well, there is the graduate school graduation next month for the daughter, and eventually med school graduation in four years for #2 son).

You're right about Zanne's photography.

Floridacracker said...

Congrats on the grad! I saw where Kansas got hit hard with Tornadoes again.
Just some rain would be nice.

robin andrea said...

You want rain? We got rain. Too bad it's 3000 (or more) miles from you. I'd be happy to send you some in the mail. No scorpions though, I never put those in the mail.

Congrats to all the grads. Woohoo to Emma for having all A's. I remember the first day of summer, when school let out. It was the best day ever.

Deb said...

Windy and cloudy around here. We're hoping the rain holds off, since the tarp covering the new roof boards is ripped. Doing what I can to divert rain your way.

I think all occupations should have a mandatory summer vacation! We'd all be so less stressed out.

I wish I had been exempted from finals for straight A's! As it was, we seniors had to turn in our student ID the week before finals, and on my ID was an "honor pass", which meant honor students didn't need to beg for a hall pass. So suddenly us honor students were denied our freedom for the last week of school. My homeroom teacher fixed the situation. Anyway, congrats to Emma!

You can keep your scorpions, no matter how benign they may be. Yesterday I had the honor of pulling a tick off Mr. Attitude's genitals.

threecollie said...

Congrats to Emma on grades and graduation. Such a big, important time. I love the end of school as much as I did when it was me getting the vacation. I am not sure you can call what we do all summer vacation, but it sure is great to have everyone home. Girls have one more week and finals, Alan until late June. Yeehaw!

misti said...

Regarding the perching of swallotail kites, we saw two land, albeit not for very long and the picture turned out not that great, in Big Cypress last weekend. Lots of swooping from about five birds and then one landed on a dead tree and then we realized one was already sitting there too.

Sorry I don't have it set for bigger views but if you look at the dead tree in the middle, that's a swallotail sitting there.

SophieMae said...

Love that 'ruins' pic!

We had sky rumblings, as well, but nary a drop of... what's that wet stuff called? It's overcast today, so just maybe...

SUPER job on yesterday's pics! I have some video of a mating pair from a couple years back, but no stills yet.

Tallahassee has a big farm operation behind one of their wastewater facilities that attracts hordes of MS and swallowtail kites. If you're ever up this way in August, check it out.

ImagineMel said...

whew...and I thought it was just me...

Floridacracker said...

YES! We want rain!!
Send it C.O.D!

Mom chores listed as "other duties as assigned", but not explained in the prenup. I prefer to call it "leave without pay" as opposed to summer vacation.

Maybe it will quit snowing by then ;)

I went and looked. Great shots! I used to love the Loop Road when I lived in NPS housing down there.

Cool site. What a smart way to clean water.

Nah, it's all of us.

LauraHinNJ said...

Oooh - I love the doggie pic!

I'm going to ignore the part where you try to make the rest of us jealous for not having the summer off!

Floridacracker said...

That's my Feather dog! She's a sweetie.
Hey, I work pretty hard for free during the summer. Stay tuned.

Laura said...

You should ramble more often! I've never had a scorpion in the mail, but I sat on one once and he wasn't too pleased about it, as evidenced from the growing angry red mark on my leg.

Most of our HS parking lot will be empty this week as the seniors follow Emma's suit and opt out of exams instead. I wish we'd had that option when we were in HS!

great pics today as always. I especially loved the doggy pic!

Cathy said...

I know how pleased you are for Emma. These milestones are precious. They are locked in our heart forever.

Scorpions. Common? Eewwww. I almost photographed the tick I found in my hair yesterday. Like your wife, I just hollered (screamed) for my hubby. I love men - what would we do without 'em?

Sandy said...

First of all congrats to Emma on all those A's and on her upcoming graduation.
My 12 yr old grandson went to HS today because 10 days ago three 7th graders set fire to the middle school. They're deciding what to do for the remainder of the year with the middle schoolers. They're thinking of sending them all back to their elementary schools to finish up the year. It's a big problem.

I also got a scorpion in my jeans once too while kneeling down in a forest and lifting rocks. I thought it was a wasp and undressed right on the spot. I didn't get stung though.

Floridacracker said...

I guess I was in a talkative mood.
I got a kick out of Feather's nose pose too :)

Not daily occurences, but they are out there.

I teach middle schoolers ... why am I not surprised?
What a mess.

Doug Taron said...

Great post! I've never seen a scorpion in Florida. We have them here in Illinois, but you have to go way down to the southwest part of the state to see them- something I've never done. I liked the picture of the ruin. Like many of your photos, it inspires in me a desire to collect bugs there.

Anonymous said...

We have 'em all over the place down here, Doug. As Fc said, though - they're not the "run-for-your-everlovin'-life" species that grace the American Southwest.

I am writing this on 05-07-2007. Fc, you've outdone yourself over the last few posts. Great job.

Ya aint lookin' so bad, neither. Keep taking care of yourself.

Floridacracker said...

I'm thinking we could find some decent snakes in there too. Probably a ratsnake or two.

ahhh, I bet you say that to all the bloggers ...