Sunday, October 24, 2010

Hydro Biking

We went to Hudson, Florida to visit long time friends, Terry and Darla.  They live part of the time in their house on the canal that leads out to the Gulf of Mexico (which you can see in the photo). Terry and Boyo decided to go Hydro Biking.   A person sits on a bicycle seat, pedals with the feet, and guides it with handle bars...just like a bike except there are floats to keep you aloft.

There are several canals to explore, and they were gone quite a long time.  It is a fun and relaxing activity provided you have a comfortable seat and don't wander out the channel to the gulf.  The Hydro Bike is only used on flat water.                             Boyo says, "It's fun!"

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Little Feat-Free-Clearwater Jazz Holiday

One of Boyo's favorite musical groups is Little Feat.  And we couldn't find a better place to see and hear them than at Clearwater's Jazz Holiday, their 31st annual free four day happening along the western Intercoastal Waterway of Florida.  The headliner was Doctor John (aka Night Tripper) and the Lower 911, but we were there for Dixie Chicken, one of Little Feat's long time hits.  No disappointment there.

Coolers, food, and drink were not allowed with you at the gate, just your lawn chair and enough money to buy a beer, a glass of wine, or something less powerful and your supper of which there were many reasonable choices.  On the seafood front our choices ranged from fried frog legs and gator to the usual shrimp.  There were Greek gyros, hot dogs, wood fired pizza, red beans and rice, or fresh BBQ items.  It was a beautiful warm evening no matter what you chose to eat.

The crowd was appreciative and reminiscent of our Friday night Boardwalk concerts in California except that the music started at 5 and ended at 10 pm.  Mostly it was an older crowd, but I saw this girl and her dad enjoying it all.  She asked him for the phone to take a photo.  2010 meets 1973.  Lowell George would be happy to know that his music is still making fans.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Bob Dylan at the USF Sun Dome October 7, 2010

Last night we went to see Bob Dylan and his band play a concert here in Tampa, Florida.  Where else but in Florida could you buy a $60 ticket to see Bob Dylan in concert on the day of the performance?  Well, maybe it is more than a lack of culture in Florida, maybe the warm weather just draws folks out to the beach and they get too tired to do much else afterward, maybe Jimmy Buffet is just too much more of a draw for the parrotheads, or maybe the times have truly changed.  I don't understand it.

But we had a great time.  At the stroke of eight, the band stepped out onto the stage, followed five seconds later by the man himself.  A silent twenty minute film preceded their arrival.  There was no opening act, no prerecorded music. Bob Dylan played guitar, his B-3 sounding organ, his harmonica and sang it all himself.  There was a bass player, rhythm guitar, lead guitar, keyboard/banjo player, and a drummer; all totally into the legend.

Bob played and sang 17/18 songs, all with his raspy voice.  The man turned 69 in May.  He wore a light grey hat with tiny red and white feathers tucked into the headband, black pants with two reddish/pink stripes down the sides, black pointy shoes, a black jacket with silver buckles, and a striped shirt with a bolo tie. (The only other time I saw him, he was a man in a white suit on a spiritual quest.)

When I first looked at him through my binoculars, I thought, "Oh man, we are all getting old."  But we could see that he was having a lot of fun up there.  He would look back at the keyboard man, grin, and stick out his tongue. His energy was there; we could feel it as he sang and played, the audience could feel it when they sang along..."How do you feel...",  and the band could feel it as they backed him up by playing their hearts out.

Pompano Beach, Florida

Touch down at the Ft. Lauderdale Hollywood International Airport was 10:15 pm, but it was like it was 7:15 pm for us.  That was good, because we couldn't find our condo in Pompano Beach until midnight.  We almost walked to the beach that was only a block and a half away, but we nixed that over getting up early to take a sunrise stroll.

We did not make it for the sunrise, but it was a beautiful, warm and breezy day with waves breaking close to the beach.  The first thing we spotted were yellow taped areas marking off an area about 10-12 square feet.  Upon closer inspection we spied a cautioning tag attached to the marker closest to the water.  It warned us that if we disturbed this area in any way, shape, or form, we would be cited with a $50,000 fine for abusing a turtle nesting site.  No identification or date was written, so we did not know when the tape was placed nor what kind of turtle was involved.

I spent some time looking up what Pompano Beach had accomplished in helping the potential newborns to survive.  In 1999 a law was passed that lights nearest the beach were to be turned off so as not to distract the newly hatched turtles away from the water.  It is usually the bright full moon that draws their attention towards the sea.

There are three kinds of turtles that use this area for nesting:  loggerheads, greens, and leatherbacks. The loggerhead turtles' peak nesting time is late June into July.  The gestation period of 53-55 days would have them hatching in mid to late September.  The greens are a little earlier nesting, while the leatherbacks are unpredictable.  The marked areas we saw must have been a late loggerhead nester.  I wonder if anyone will come back and watch the little guys and gals as they head off to the water?

Once when we were in Mexico, we stayed at a housing development on a beach where nightly runs were made along the beach to discover turtle nesting sites.  If one was discovered, the Mexican Marines that were on patrol, would dig up the eggs after the mother laid them, place them in styrofoam boxes packed with sand, labeled with the date, and placed in a storage shed until the due date for hatching.  Once they started to hatch, the turtles were herded towards the edge of the water with humans lining the way.  We were told that about 75% of the turtles would survive. If they were left to fend for themselves, the eggs would often be dug up by the locals for food, or if they did hatch, raccoons, foxes, and birds were the on land predators; in water, fish and other birds would attack them so that only about 3% survived.  By the way, we got to see a mother turtle lay her eggs there in the bright full moon off Mexico's western coast.