Friday, July 14, 2017

GOBBLE, gobble, gobble, gobble, gobble

Picture this:

I was sitting on my upper deck and sighting in my new .223/5.56 Ruger Mini-14 Ranch rifle.

For those of you not familiar with this caliber, it is very noisy and at that point I had fired about 15 rounds.

While I was evaluating my latest five rounds I noticed movement under my hanging bird feeder (about 30 feet away) and there were momma wild turkey and four chicks snacking on seed messy songbirds drop from their untidy munching habits.

I was astonished momma turkey would be in my woodsy neighborhood, let alone being that close to me and my noisy gun.

This thing is so loud I put on my hearing protection before I get it out of the gun safe.

Well, maybe not quite that loud.

Meanwhile, I sat there in plain sight of momma who kept an eye on me while she and her chicks enjoyed lunch.  Probably 10 or 15 minues worth before they wandered leisurely back across my driveway and down over the dam.

Thank you God for yet another of your visual, natural treasures.

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Did you notice the somewhat odd headline? typographical representation of momma and her 4 chicks.  😊

Tuesday, June 6, 2017


Geocaching brought Sue and I to the village of New Haven in southern Huron County Ohio.

There in a side lot beside a town church we found this "Little Free Library".

It was a gaily painted little box about 6 cubic feet in size and full of books.  A few for all ages.

The rules were simple.  You may help yourself to a book if you like but please leave one in its place.

No library card necessary here.  In fact there was not even a librarian any where to be seen.

The geocache at the site is a project of Girl Scout Troop 50393.

We found that nearby geocache and reflected on how nice this country could be if a little slice of Americana like this could be found on (and survive) in neighborhood streets all across our land.

Thanks Girl Scout Troop 50393.  You brought a smile to our hearts.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Be it ever so humble...

That's the south end of a mostly northbound cat snoozing in her much-too-small abode in our Florida camper.  I think Sue may have bought this gizmo while Daisy Mae (her cat) had most of her growth to adulthood remaining.

But, as you can plainly see, it doesn't really matter.  In fact, the cat never once even got into this warm and fuzzy thing for a year or so until, one day, Sue offered this warm and fuzzy thing to a friend (and cat owner without a warm and fuzzy thing).

Whereupon, Daisy Mae promptly zipped into the cavernous opening and refused to come out until the visitor was long gone.

Not sure the building inspector would approve this 19 cubic-centimeter space as a suitable dwelling for Sue's cat but we keep it hidden anytime the inspector appears to be in the neighborhood.

Don't want any lawsuits from a bleeding cat-house inspector who tries to condem Daisy Mae's obviously comfy digs.

Friday, April 21, 2017


I shivered in pleasant spirituality as the rising sun snuck under a residual storm cloud Easter morning on the beach in Vero Beach, FL.

Cetainly I was witnessing a celestial sign of the very triumph sought to be celebrated this day.

For the past 60 years or so my tabernacle has been wherever I paused to give thanks to God for life's blessings and pray that I always would be worthy of his grace.

In the summer of 2016 I discovered my son's church, now known as Storyside in Bellville, OH, and became a very active participant.  Soon, I will be back in OH and anxious to resume my immersion in God's house of wonders.

Meanwhile this baptism on that Easter morning was a symbol of one Christian's commitment to forever holding God's hand while another peaceful soul renewed her solitary celebration on this day of resurrection.

A Very Belated

Sue and I attended sunrise church service Easter morning at the ocean in Vero Beach, FL and I did some nice pictures of the service but was unable to get my DSLR camera to play nicely with the laptop so I could not process my photos and publish a blog story.

Since the laptop is achieving geriatric status itself I simply planned to wait until I got home and turn this challenge over to my computer-shop friends at KOSI in Mansfield--thinking the likely solution could be a new laptop.

But, just today I wondered if the problem might be in the card reader since I had shifted to Windows 10 awhile back and might not have "driver" software that could make the card reader and laptop friendly playmates.

Turned out my also aging cardreader was obsolete.  I promptly bought a new one, and was able to salvage my pictures.

Here's a photo of us celebrating Easter dinner on our patio that day with a family of our friends from Syracuse, NY.  That's Sue on the far left, then L to R;  Eva Tordson, Wendy Smart, Dee Weeks and hubby Dick and Brad Smart.  Eva, Wendy and Brad are brothers and sisters.

Not only was the occasion part our continuing celebration of Easter but it gave Sue an opportunity to prove her capability in the camper's kitchen, a skill, heretofore, mostly suspect with our good friends.

Jokingly, of course.

Thursday, March 30, 2017


Mama Sandhill Crane appears to be calling cadence as she marches her new chick around a residential yard near Stuart, FL recently.

We believe the adult is mama because her partner made his disapproval quite evident about her giving her lessons in such close proximity to humans.

Typically, she appeared to ignore him.

Actually, this cavorting pair was about 50 feet away from us and my cellphone camera.  The photo was cropped rather severely...and, the birds are commonly seen in neighborhoods such as this.

In fact, Sue watched traffic grind to a halt on a very busy US Highway 1 near Vero Beach recently as a pair leisured their way safely across the road, completely ambivilent to the restrained urgency of the pesky humans.

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.