Saturday, December 13, 2014

Where Was I? Fair Warning! Photo Heavy.

Computers are machines and connections depend on other machines. Not all of the world, even in America, work that way. That's about all I can say about that! Since I have a LOT of photos and this connection is slow, I'll give it a try and see what happens.

One last drive across the bay with Robin, coming back from Alabama.
Leaving Niceville and intending to go to Panama City, I knew I'd have to cross this in the Turtle. The first big bridge and yes, my little frission of flutter-o-meter was working overtime as I approached it. But all was well. I didn't fly off the bridge or causeway.

It's a beautiful road along the coast but I was ready to pull over when I saw this nice little rest area amongst the cottages.
Stretching my legs, I saw a flash of pink on the other side of this structure. And then the surreal world became the real world.

There was no one around, not even a mouse.

This might have been the most weird tableau. 

This came a close second. 

Christmas, meet Mexico Beach, Florida.

A place across the street. 

No, it's not tiny but I really like this house.
Then it was back on the road, heading toward Apalachicola. At this point, my phone still wasn't working, which meant my GPS wasn't working. Luckily, the map on the phone WAS working. Buying a M A P is about as easy as locating a working phone booth these days.

I sort of felt like I was home, but on some sort of brain spinner drug.

I'm not sure why he looks so worried. Maybe because there were very, very few tourists?

Beauty on the bay

I've never seen a working boat with two names but apparently Rodney and Candy are strong partners. 

I disturbed birds. Again.

Need I say anything? I think not

A boaty tree

If you look closely, this was once a 'coin operated laundry'

This place was full of old and new. I almost passed it by because it looked like it was full of new things I've seen (and ordered) a few hundred times. But there was more.

Across the street, before I went inside, was this place.
The last time I was in Apalachicola was with my daughter Sarah, about 20 years ago. There were still cheap delicious oysters to be had and while it was a good southern small town feel, things were going on. Since the BP spill, life has changed dramatically, for humans and other living beings. I didn't stop for oysters.

I love this boat. It wouldn't fit in the Turtle though.

Hey, Jonny! Lots of this fencing for you!


Time to head for St. George Island State Park. I hadn't really read a lot about this, thinking I was going to Panama City for the night to be with friends. But, from hardly any traffic, suddenly it was crazy traffic and I couldn't get to the road where a turn was needed. By the time I got myself back where I should be, I was past Panama City, had a traffic headache and decided to keep on going. What a surprise!

Leaving Apalachicola on 98 takes you over a l o n g causeway and fixed bridge. Suddenly the GPS was working again. Turn here, turn turn. I turned onto a perfectly asphalted road through a neighborhood of huge homes on the water and had no idea where I was going. Turn here, turn turn. I turned. And gasped. A causeway and bridge stretched out over the water as far as I could see. With nothing but water on either side. A few thousand things went through my mind - the joke we make about a bridge to the states, a dream I've had most of my life where my vehicle turns into a bicycle turns into a skateboard and then the bridge ending in the middle of the sea. This was that bridge.

I kept driving. Oh! Land ho!

Mostly holiday homes and another long road.
 Finally, the park ranger station.

Out of all the rangers I've dealt with, this guy turned out to be kind of a jerk, a huge exception to the kindness, funniness and helpfulness of every other ranger.  It all worked out but this guy needs another line of work.

The first bird I saw. I know cardinals aren't a big deal to many, but when you haven't seen one for many years, they are very special.

My first walk, to the bay side. The land is about five miles away.

This was sitting on the table. 

It was late in the afternoon when I got there so I hung around for sunset. Well worth the cold wait.

Another great fire pit. 

More info on tree tapping for turpentine. 

What a great boat home!

I didn't see any gators. 

This is either a really old bird or just very content. It was there when I headed for the Gulf side and there when I got back.

The campground is four miles from the ranger station, down this road through dunes.

Heading to the Gulf

Wish I'd found one of these clams to try!

Birds know how to find them.

Still there.

 I'd heard this woodpecker and finally found him far, far up a pine tree.

Back on the bay side later that afternoon.

I watched this one for maybe half an hour. For once, I didn't interrupt a meal in progress.

I can't even remember the last time I saw a horseshoe crab. As a child growing up on the east coast of Florida, ocean on one side and Intercoastal on the other, we saw them often. Prehistoric looking but alive. Unlike this one. 


Too bad this wasn't prime time sea glass. I left it for a few more sandings of time.

She hopped right up to pose for me

I'm pretty sure this is a mockingbird. What a face!

Another cardinal brightening the world.
I could have stayed another night (or month) but it was time to head out and see what was next. I was cold. And a little tired. So like a blind savant, I headed back to a comfort zone, the zone of Ochlockonee, where I was welcomed back like a long timer and given a primo site with the river right at my back.

I'm not sure what is going on with me and these birds. Maybe they are my totem bird?

Another cardinal. Must be cardinal time.
Two nights to re-coup and re-enjoy this beautiful place.

The back of my site. 

Though I'd not been gone long, trees had changed with the weather. 

The path I didn't walk down the first time had dried up enough for this time.

Cool trivia

I was wondering if I'd see deer when this sweetie appeared, sticking out her tongue. If that's not the Universe saying ha-ha! I don't know what is. 

She stayed awhile and then strolled into the brush

I don't know why this tree stump captivates me, but it does

I never did see the raccoon

Sunset on the river
 And then it was time to go south. The cold is starting to get to me.


Before I left, one more walk to the river. I swear there was a slight sheen of ice.

There was still one more magic moment, though I didn't know it yet. I'd seen no more white squirrels this time, in fact, hardly any brown ones either. I figured like all smart creatures they were someplace staying warm.

And then, as I was almost at the ranger station, there she was. A white deer. Her head was mostly brown but her body was all white. My camera was in back so I could only grab my cell phone and by now she was heading into the brush. Can you see her?

A ranger I'd not seen before was standing outside the station. 'I saw a white deer!!' I called out. She grinned. 'Oh, you got to see her!' 'Ok, she's real, then, a white deer?' I asked. Yes, she's real and she's been seen various places around the area. A good omen. I was on my way.

Have a see what you see Saturday! Do something allowing the splendid.

p.s. Forgive any glaring errors, I'm going to stand in the sun instead of editing!


  1. I love that part of Florida. That antique/unique things store in Apalachicola, was it called The Tin Shed? We stopped there a couple of years ago while on vacation. Debbie fell in love with a flamingo yard wind ornament, but since we were flying home, she didn't buy it. Our son, who lives in Florida, was with us, secretly bought it and sent it to her for her birthday. Oh, and we have a yard full of Cardinals, usually in pairs, and they are always special to see. Wonderful blog and photos!

    1. It was the Tin Shed! Great place and lots of temptation. What a sweet thing for your son to do, bravo for him.

  2. your bird fotos are getting better and better....keep up the good work...
    miss you..................

    1. Thanks for sharing the many magical moments!

    2. Thanks, Nadeen! That means a lot coming from you.

      Anon, you're very welcome. Sharing them is a big part of my enjoyment.

  3. I think this is something you will enjoy seeing..!