Tuesday, March 14, 2017

BIG cactus

On the same outing featured in yesterday's blog we came across quite a few of these giants growing in a nature area generally north of Lake Wales, FL. These sub-tropical habitats are full of visual surprises.

Monday, March 13, 2017

US Air Force

in a vertical, formation climb at the Tico Warbird 2017 Airshow in Titusville, FL, March 11.

This precision demonstration team is led by Lt. Col. Jason Heard who has more than 3,000 hours of flight experience, 788 of them in combat.

The 40th year airshow opened with the Tiger Aerobatic Team parachuting a giant US flag as the National Anthem hushed the patriotically attentive crowd.

Also featured were an aerial dog-fight between Snoopy and The Red Baron flying samples of their famous WW-I bi and tri-wing airplanes.  ...and a F4U Corsair ...and a P-51 Mustang; the latter two a couple of the finest warbirds ever designed in this writer's humble opinion.

You've seen a precision marching band explode into it's next formation.  Here's how it looks when the Thunderbirds start that process with flight at low-level and mind-blistering speed.

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We heard our geocaching colleague groan as we exploded our own formation of bush-searching, geocaching style before she could get into position for the shot.  Naturally, we recreated it in the interest of artistic expression...and I immediately found the little cache container almost in front of my nose.

Moments later as we had paused for a rest-break along this caching walkway near downtown Lake Wales, FL we were treated to a visit from a friendly family of Sandhill Cranes.  That's mom and pop and two chicks (below) also enjoying a shady pause in their day.

On this caching outing Sue and I along with our caching friends GOC+me were guests of mutual
caching friends Bill and Diane near Kissimmee, FL for a three-day romp in their area which featured the Trek Ten Challenge of hides in local nature areas.  That challenge wound up at the Bok Tower Gardens in Lake Wales, FL itself a featured vacation destination.

Another highlight of our visit was my achieving my 5,000th geocache find
which turned out to be a very specialized kind of caching event in which Bill and Greg specialize called "Whereigo" caches.

The three couples of us were together in southern OH two years ago for a bicycle/caching outing during which I celebrated find #3,000.

It is the vast array of cache types combined with the wide-ranging locations of the hides and the fellowship of enjoying the hobby with classy friends that make me truly thankful I discovered this activity just 5 years ago with Ohio local friends, Mark and Nancy.



Sunday, February 19, 2017


One of the best benefits of geocaching is the delightful places and experiences it delivers as we wander from cache to cache.  Here's a sample:

That's Sue, also known as Skagway071 in geocaching circles, doing some photography in a large bush near Ft. Pierce, FL.  The amazing but common bush is a Sea Grape plant which grows in profusion in the sub-tropical climate.  Absent heavy rain the plant could provide a quite comfortable campsite.

Here she is again showing her consternation with this Rube-Goldburg style creation of a geocache:

We found this concoction of PVC plumbing hidden in a well camouflaged kitty-litter container in a park's palmetto scrubland.  The upper right side of the concoction was a tube, secured with a luggage lock that contained the log we needed to sign.  The only thing we needed to do was decipher the combination from numbers displayed on the outside container.  *Gasp*.  We'll be trying again someday--hence her consternation.

Not all experiences are confined to the boondocks.  Here we are at a fine dock-side restaurant in Port Salerno, FL.  That's Sue, lower left with our caching companions, known as GOC+me enjoying some nautical ambiance while our lunch is being prepared.

A week or so earlier we were at a geocaching event at the huge Jonathan Dickson State Park near Jupiter, FL where we encountered this theatrical gal presenting her tee for all to see:

And so it goes!

Tuesday, January 31, 2017


We enjoyed a geocaching outing today and, while working just northwest of Sebastian, FL, saw at least a dozen of these curious critters along one county road.  They exceeded in number the total of armadillos we have seen in six plus snow-birding seasons in the Vero Beach area.

This photo was done with a cell phone by caching partner Betty (Boop) Maus who winters in our RV park.  Although, while commonly viewed as a sub-tropical animal, they have pushed their range as far north as Indiana.

Several of our team clicked away with their phone cameras and this critter, obviously aware of our presence, didn't seem to mind terribly.  I later learned they have poor eyesight, thus explaining its inclination to munch some Armadillo lunch while generally ignoring us.

Sunday, January 15, 2017


"Editor's Note:  When I changed telephones recently to a Samsung Galaxy 7, I lost the ability to download photos for use in the blog.  That problem continued when I lost that phone and replaced it with a Samsung J-3, or whatever.

Since photos are a key component of my blog entries that effectively shut down publication until I recently discovered a work-around so I will be using that in the interim to get back to the pleasure of sharing stories with you."

Square Dancing in the Florida Keys!

That's Sue and I with Homer Magnet, a popular Ohio square dance caller, and wife Susie preparing for lunch at Sloppy Joe's Bar in Key West.  Sue and I drove down to the Marathon, FL area where Homer has a snowbird calling gig and enjoyed a delightful dance with their local dance club.  The following day the four of us romped around Key West where we shared some geocaching with them

There is a cache at the southern-most tip of the US and another at the Zero "0" mile-marker for US Highway 1.  Sue and I logged both of them while Homer and Susie participated.  What a hoot!  ...and I am convinced that visit likely will be the highlight of our season.

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Geocaching near Melbourne, FL--

The clue for finding this cache was stated simply as "Palmettos".  As you can plainly see Sue and our friends Greg and Leslie are standing in the middle of forest of those plants.  We failed to see the humor in the hint but found the cache regardless.  It was a tiny container glued into a softball and lying near the roots of one of the bazillion plants represented above.  Greg was on his knees to make the find.

Local geocaching friends who own the Space Coast Geocaching Store put together the day's caching romp in Melbourne's Wickham Park.  Our caching team besides the four of us included good friends Mike and Linda from Columbus/Marion, OH and Betty, Elaine and Bev from upstate NY.  We signed the cache logs as Team OHNY.

During our hike of several miles while finding 16 caches for the day we encountered numerous Gopher Turtles.  These creatures live in sandy burrows everywhere in the state and politely endure pesky photographers, like me, doing this photo from just a couple of feet at nearly turtle eye level; with my apologies, of course.

Friday, December 16, 2016


This enchanting Christmas light display was done by Scott and LuAnn Trumpopwer on Abbeyfeale Rd., Mansfield.  There are larger light displays around the county but none with this delightful and creative artistry.

Do yourself a favor and put this on your must-see list during this Christmas season.

(Abbeyfeale Rd., is a short connector street that runs west from Lexington Ave just south of Sturgis to Wood St.)

Sunday, December 4, 2016

From today's headlines

"Madonna Bashes Donald Trump at Miami Show:  I'm Ashamed to be an American"

Guess what lady, I'm also ashamed you are an American!