Saturday, July 24, 2010

Gecko Crunch And The View From On High

Here's the view from the chimney of PFHQ. I'm up there a lot lately.

The pucker factor is as high as my perch ... I don't know how those sheer vertical rock wall climbers can stand it.

Looking this way, the cedar siding encased chimney is at my back. The dormer nearest the chimney is tres, tres convenient as I am able to brace myself against it and paint the chimney siding with a brush on an extension pole.
It's pretty exhausting since I am essentially doing a modified chimney (coincidence) climb, ... you know, the kind where the rock climber braces her back against one wall of a narrow vertical opening and her feet against the other wall?
I prop my little hand paint bucket in the angle where the vertical chimney meets the steep slope of PFHQ's roof line, brace, dip, and then lean to paint.

Every part of me, mostly, is tensed and working to hold position and paint.

It's hot up there too, so I tend to save chimney work on this side for the last painting of the day, when the temperatures have cooled down to 93 or so.

Did I whine enough?
Any pity out there?

It's not all misery and heat up there. The picture above is the view looking south from the chimney.
A few days ago, as my paint ran out and my supply of sweat was dangerously low, our pair of resident barred owls landed on a branch a few feet away. They were shoulder to shoulder, as close to each other as they could get.

They just sat there watching me.
This would be the day I was strictly business and did not bring the camera up with me of course.

Today, I'm going back up to paint the chimney trim, but I'm going to do something easy like the porch ceiling first while it's hot.

My two weeks of training in Gainesville is now complete. Yesterday, I took the slow way home. It was a hot afternoon and almost nothing was moving in Devil's Hammock, but the wildflowers were blooming.

I apologize on this one, I just took it yesterday and I haven't opened my Florida Wildflowers and Roadside Plants field guide yet to ID it.
Feel free if you can beat me to it!

There are times in Florida swamps when I have NO problem picturing the Carboniferous Era scenery. I wouldn't be surprised to see a dragonfly with a 3 foot wingspan to zip by.

I had worried a little about our resident gecko. There are two and they like to snooze in the gap between the siding and the trim during the day.
With all the powerwashing and brushing of paint, I was concerned we might have accidently smooshed 'em.
So, last night I was relieved to see the chubby one up on the porch ceiling.
As I watched him, a spider came strolling by ... danger close ... and sure enough, the gecko snapped him up!
I dashed in for the camera and got this heavily cropped shot. You can see a spider leg sticking out of his mouth.
Now I have some homework to do, but I have some excellent photo ops coming up on the way to two more days of (different)training next week.
Whatever happens, I'll share it with you.


Felicia said...

You're brave to go up on the roof and do all that work up there. And I've never seen a gecko like that around here before--what kind is it? Very cool!

intuitive eggplant said...

Great photos, as always. Love those wildflowers, and that's a stunning photo of the gecko. Meanwhile, FC, are you in for the Smackdown? Today's the day.

Nancy Ortiz said...

This is my favorite blog. Amazing the stuff you get up to, literally! Meanwhile, thanks, FC. Nancy Ortiz

Sayre said...

I've spent so many hours on roofs in the past (swept them for pocket change when I was a kid) and I've spent some time as a rock climber too - but these days, vertigo makes even the top of a ladder swoony. Makes me feel a little uneasy about when we finally do get around to painting the house.

Floridacracker said...

That is a mediterranean gecko. Very cold tolerant and the two here have been porch residents for years now.

Ack! I thought it was Sunday!

Thank you so much! I am so glad you enjoy PF!

I just keep telling myself ... "Think of all the money you're saving, thing of all the money ..."