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Imagine, you were born and once lived happily in a Levittown community on Long Island.

Your home town of Roslyn Heights was a Levitt built community….this pic is of a Levittown that was built further away from NYC out on the Island than your home, but it was the same type of community.

You didn’t mind the winters and made piles (ahahah) of dough out of shoveling snow as a kid.

This was my life as I grew up.  Here is a picture of South Park, Roslyn Heights and the house I lived in. Back in the 1950’s we got Nor’easters (snow storms) that blanketed the homes and streets and, thank God, stopped school!

But during college, maybe before, something snapped inside of me and I wanted wide open spaces….I wanted the wild, the untamed, the jungle or was it the wild west? Okay, I really wanted to see, Where the Boys Are*, in Fort Lauderdale and be one of those guys the gals were after. That worked out well and Florida became just that sort of jungle I was after.

I had no idea how Florida, land of melting sun, would attach itself to my soul but it did.

Now, I’ve lived here since ,errr,,, 1972ish?

I’ve had a wonderful time in the surf—I love to surf waves.

This is me catching a good ride.

My wife and I had a rabbit who lived out back in Micanopy in his cage. One morning we awoke to look out and find a bob cat on top of his cage…..that started me thinking….(Don’t go out at night to pee…..)

Apparently, I’m not the only one to have found nature at my door step here in Northern Florida

Heck, I knew I loved this place of wonder, a place of untamed nature.

But I never lost my eye for the power of that nature as well… We landed on the moon, but maybe we don’t control gators?

It’s okay to count on fences to a certain degree…

So there’s a beauty and danger to Florida none of us Floridians should forget.

How about a night dip in the pool?

And then, only twice, I saw in person and close up by mistake, a Great Horned Owl…They can fly up to 40 MPH and have been known to pick up and kill 60 pound pets!! Our dog, I suspect, was attacked twice by one in our fenced in backyard—where he never goes at night anymore.

 

This is a shot tripped by a night camera….

I was running in the woods about thirty years ago when I saw a beast of a bird…it seemed to stand more than three feet tall and when he took off his wing span was about five feet! Just wow. I once saw another Great Horned Owl as I drove down Rochelle Road outside of Micanopy. The bird took off before I reached him and traveled over the road for about one tenth of a mile right before our car. That bird’s wing span seemed to almost reach from side to side of a double lane road–no joke. It was as if we were seeing a dinosaur.

I’ve fished the swamps for over ten years in my younger (err risky?) days….and there’s a beauty to a swamp—not a McDonald’s or Starbucks to be seen.

But always, there are gators. How many gators?

( Those eyes all belong to gators.)

This is the Alachua Sink in Alachua County, Florida. It’s about  one mile from our home. And this shot, by John Moran got him nation wide PR. His photos have appeared in National Geographic, Life, Time, Smithsonian, the New York Times Magazine and on the cover of the National Audubon Society Field Guide to Florida. Dale and I were lucky enough to canoe down the Suwanee River with John, a time I’ll never forget for many reasons but one of them was having a wart hog pushing against my head from the other side of our tent as I slept at night as he rooted for food.

So, I’ve rooted here in Florida. I love the ocean, always have. And, I love to grow food as my father from Iowa taught me to do. Of course, we have a garden as any Floridian with the space should.

At six months , Shadow, didn’t know he wasn’t me, or human, exactly, and he helped me weed…I miss that help now.

You might be able to see, but at one year old, Shadow figured he should eat green beans right off the plant as we did as we picked them! He stopped eating green beans at about age two.

Once, I was drying herbs out in the front yard in foil sheets when a cop came by, stopped, and walked my way with a grin and his hand on his gun…I smiled and said hello… He looked down at my tins of herbs and said, “What do you have here?”.. “I’m drying herbs!” He wasn’t convinced so I walked him over to the garden and showed him the plants….”Well, I thought I had you busted for pot!”

I can’t blame him….but I didn’t add that I might have learned the entire process by growing and drying pot in my twenties:-)

So, we grow pineapples, too….

Mounds of oranges and grapefruit, too.

It’s all good. This city slicker found a home in the Northern Florida woodland, and I love it.

Heck, the tomatoes came in like a champ this year; Dale canned many.

From Levittown to the wilds of Northern Florida, I’m good. I don’t miss the hustle up north, the quicker pace of life or the traffic. No, I’m good with the gators, bob cat, owls and other critters. The sky here is open to see, and the ocean wind still washes the peninsula by four or five each afternoon. Gainesville is just 60 milers north of the Sub Tropical line. We live in a jungle of 24/7 year round growing just about. The birds love it, and so do I.

Cheers– thanks for visiting.

Hope to hear from you soon!

Franque23

*https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0054469/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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(Click to enlarge the pic!)

That’s how we watched the TV series back in the day: in black and white. Thing is, we can argue about the color of Jesus all centuries long but The Lone Ranger, the real deal, was a black man named, Bass Reeves.

Reeves is on the left—the real Lone Ranger.

This revelation started when I couldn’t get the theme music of the Lone Ranger TV series, William Tell Overture, out of my head while at work! It took another day of brain churning for me to figure out why. As a kid, I believed in this masked man who sought to right the wrongs in the world. My white hero in his white hat, guns blazing while riding a huge, white horse was sorta like a horse ridin’ Superman. Now, I suspect the music came back to me due to all the troubles we have in our country, and from an internal longing that someone other than Mighty Mouse( come on—he’s not real!) would come save the day!

Anyway, This pestering racket of a theme song lead me to look into the history of the show.

Just wow… I was amazed to find this….

“What Reverend Haskell James Shoeboot, the 98-year-old part-Cherokee Indian, was about to tell Burton(the man researching the Lone Ranger) would persuade Burton he’d stumbled upon one of the greatest stories never told.

Born in 1838, Bass Reeves was a former slave-turned-lawman who served with the US Marshals Service for 32 years at the turn of the 20th century in part of eastern Oklahoma and western Arkansas known as Indian Territory. Though he was illiterate, Reeves became an expert tracker and detective…”*

Reeves as a slave took his owner’s name. Near the end of the war (he fought for the south) Reeves traveled to Oklahoma doing odd jobs and learned several Native American languages.(I suspect this is when he learned to track.) The government appointed 300 marshal’s to tame the west and—Reeves was one of them…

 

Reeves, you guested it, is in the red circle.

“…Federal law dictated that deputy US marshals had to have at least one posseman with them whenever they went out in the field and often, the men who assisted Reeves were native Americans”.*

Soon, it became evident that this Reeves fella could out shoot, out ride and captured criminals better than any lawman in the west. He wore a white hat unlike most other marshals and beneath him galloped a huge white horse.

He gained a swagger as his arrests piled up. How many arrests? It’s written this one man captured over three thousand men who’d gone bad out west. In one day, as the history goes, he arrested thirteen men at one time!

These three thousand criminals all went to Chicago’s prison and it’s there guards learned about Reeves from the inmates. The first radio show about, The Lone Ranger, was produced in Chicago in 1933.

But how did Reeves become so successful?!?! We all have heard about how, Tonto, the Lone Ranger’s sidekick helped him track criminals.  Well, ‘Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus!’

This is the only magnificent picture I could find of the real Lone Ranger and Tonto together. Tonto was said to be a Potawatomi Indian – the same tribe that was forced to move to Oklahoma.

Bass Reeves was famous for wearing disguises to help in his investigations and arrests. He dressed as beggars, hobos, farmers, city slickers and lunatics to get his men and it paid off. One night, he walked 28 miles to a homestead where two wanted men were said to be staying. For authenticity’s sake, Bass dressed as a man who’d been robbed at gun point and lost everything. He put three bullet holes in his hat, wore worn out shoes and scuffed up clothing. The mother of the two wanted men answered her door and Reeves quickly got inside with his story and stayed for dinner. Soon, the women’s two sons returned and they all had a time talking. Reeves was asked to stay the night.  He handcuffed the two criminals while they slept and walked them 28 miles back to his camp with their mom yelling and cussing at Reeves all the time. But, why did Reeves go to so much trouble!!! The reward for these two men was Five-Thousand dollars….a huge sum back then, and Reeves left nothing to chance.

This is Reeves with his wife; he spent his money wisely on her attire, don’t you think?

So there was a Lone Ranger and a Tonto…

But they never looked like this. They may, however, had conversations like this IF the nicknames used on the TV show were fact based.

Loosely translated, Tonto might mean, ‘You don’t know much…’ and Kimosabe,… “In Apache, it means “white shirt.” Who knows — maybe Tonto also had to do the Ranger’s laundry and was actually constantly reminding him to avoid grass stains. In Navajo, on the other hand, “kemosabe” translates as “soggy shrub.”**

Of course, TV producers heard the stories and wanted a show. Thing is, Reeves was the wrong color for a TV hero back then. The solution was to introduce him in black face, which they did. The original black mask worn by the first actor portraying, The Lone Ranger, nearly covered his entire face. It was policy at the time for a white man to wear a ‘black face’ or black mask of some kind when portraying a black man on stage.

The whiter The lone Ranger became by legend, they smaller his black mask.

There it is! Bass Reeves was a truly extraordinary hero for law enforcement in the history of the west.  And, oh, one more thing—about those silver bullets the Lone Ranger was said to leave as calling cards. Actually, Bass Reeves left silver dollars. Really! Bass had that much money.

Hi-Ho Silver… Bass made a killing at law enforcement. He died a peaceful death in 1910. I suspect, as a master of disguise, he never cared that no one knew who he was. He got the criminals, the gal and the money—that had to be enough.

This statue honoring Bass Reeves was recently put up in Fort Smith, Arkansas. The statue is bronze, but our ‘white’ hero, the Lone Ranger, was definitely Black.

Franque23 rides away until another day!

*https://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/film/10131675/Was-the-real-Lone-Ranger-black.html

**http://www.word-detective.com/2011/07/kemosabe/

 


Our steps look like someone ate too many frank & beans. None of it’s my fault but that I did it. I’m completely innocent here but for a few troubling facts and reality. And you can’t avoid the crappy view if you intend to reach the lake from our place without taking a long hike to the Sherman steps. Thing is, in the end of it, there’s nothing good to say about this job’s outcome. The minute I started I knew it was coming out all wrong.

Getting to the bottom of this is the only end. Here’s the deal; I need a lawyer and so does Thompson seal PR, labeling people and promoting thingamajigs. Why? In the world I come from words have meaning and one of those words is,’Transparent.’  Transparent to me means something like, unlike a brick wall, and not now you see me, now you don’t. Transparent means the opposite of you can’t see thru it. Okay, to be clear, transparent means just that—it means see thru, a non-cloaking invisible coating of sorts you don’t see.  So what’s up with this product?

(Okay, I love the 200 font bold Caps  ‘Transparent’ signage in contrasting color verses the zero font white script Cedar wording and script lettering. Sure, there’s a bar graph below all that but I stopped reading at, ‘Transparent!)”

Imagine yourself in my world of rushing to three stores while on vaca to buy this product in order to get nine cans of it, enough to do the job. Then, hold a hand over your left eye, the one I don’t see well out of and grab yourself three cans of transparent waterproofing stain along with brushes, sprayers, masks and ice cream…of course. See? That’s why I wondered why this sealer looked a bit off as I poured it in my sprayer. “Who knows, products these days….”

It’s amazing how a six hour job can go down the toilet in one minute. I’d gotten the pressure right in the sprayer so my first blast covered the top two steps at once.  There’s just nothin’ like seeing dark brown paint come out of your clear coat sprayer. “What the heck?” is not at all what I said. “Well, it’s only the top two steps!” Nope, I never said that ,either! “I could leave just these two steps dark and get the clear(really transparent) stuff for the rest/”…..hmmmm….

The thing about having the top two steps a zillion times darker than the 26 others is if you miss the first two steps at night, you’re going all the way down.

So, I finished the top 28 steps in the not transparent ‘Transparent’ brown coat and then brushed them as I would the, ‘I really am transparent,’ stuff we always use. There’s a funny idea, right? It seems about the worst thing a person can do is try to brush this brown sealer unless, that is, you like the frank & bean look. (Trust me-this will never catch on)

(Click the pic for a much worse view.)

It’s sorta looks like someone on the dock below couldn’t get up the steps in time; they just got pooped out running up and it all went down hill from there.

Wrap those two problems up and the whole mess could be wiped cleaner than a roll of toilet paper—they are clean, right? Now, I’m wondering when that toilet paper study will come out stating that cave men were right to use their left hand or non-poisonous leaves. Forget this, the bright news is they call me glitter boy at work because I have used lots of glitter in displays over the years at our library(trust me-this is the only reason) and miraculously the Transparent really clear coat seemed to come out with glitter in it! So, yeah, I’ve never had glitter form in the clear coat after more than 30 years of doing this job!

Glitter everywhere.

I had to laugh; we have poop color or glitter coat? I’m stickin’ with the glitter and dumping the frank & bean steps next year…

Cheers from our steps, and don’t slip!

Franque23

 


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Have you ever noticed the Jimmy Durante* size nose on the front of your dog’s snout?

That dog nose has it all over your nose; a dog can smell perfume from two miles away!

But what has this to do with Lake Bonaparte dog days? Well, it’s true I’ve bragged plenty about the time three years ago when my dog, Shadow, leaped 28 feet off our dock for a ball!

This is the moment; a twenty-eight foot leap that we measured.

But I think this year Shadow took being a dog at the lake to a whole new level. Actually, it’s scary. I mean he turned my four grandsons into dogs with a simple flick of his tail.

I’ve got them just where I want them….Shadow.

The next thing I knew, the boys were crawling around inside and out as if they were dogs! They were rolling around on the lawn, on all fours, barking and pointing like a bird dog…(Shadow, as a  Catahoula Leopard dog, is 1/4 blue tick hound).

I’ll teach them my pointing tail trick...What happened to their tails, anyway?

I’m hoping they omitted the butt sniffing thingy dogs do—not sure, I mean these are boys!

Shadow is about 100% of the time guarding us, or is he keeping us in place?

Does Shadow imagine he’s going to church?!?!

Who’s the real captain of this boat?

I’ve got them reading…..

Okay, timeout for a hug…..

Wait, Isaiah’s got it! Time to hug AND read!!! Shadow, the Great.

It can be tiring training four boys to be dogs.

 

Okay, this is my, ‘They are really screwed up,’ tail…..Shadow.

There’s this magic allure that emanates from dogs even when they’re drooling for your hot dog. Shadow is our dog, but sometimes I really have to wonder. Heck, he’s got me scratching his belly night and day and holding doors open for him whenever he wants. I panic if his water bowl gets low and I’ve about sold my soul for all natural dog treats and food.

You are now under my power…like forever, dude. Shadow

I only carry your socks in my mouth because you think it’s cute.

Guess how many times I’ve absolutely decided that this time, THIS TIME, I was going to drive away on an errand without him and then changed my mind?

Nope, your guess was waaay off…Start thinking about the figures in America’s National debt and you’re getting close.

Orange you gonna take me? Dude, I’m going with you, now get the keys…

Sure, I sleep in some days…when Shadow lets me. Who can sleep with a cold nose on your cheek? Unfortunately, I thought it was funny the first time I didn’t budge from bed once awake and Shadow hiked up on the bed to trample my face. Now, I’ve got two choices in the morning—either I lie comatose in bed without opening an eye, keeping my breathing pattern sleep-like while daring not wiggling a toe the slightest bit OR I get face-dog-paw trampled until I get up.

I’m not gonna admit to being in the rain while walking Shadow or waiting for him to come back home. I know that person looked a lot like me, your honor, but it’s a case of mistaken dog food, no, I mean identity.(Am I low on dog food?)

I do think dogs love to stick their heads out a moving car window for the rush or air, but they also are taking in an entire universe of smells as we speed along.  The book, Nubs,** is one of many amazing true stories about dogs who traveled unreal distances to reunite with their loved people—dogs have a uncanny sense about direction and life in general.

Of course, there’s more…..

“Interactions between people and dogs can be beneficial for both species. Increases in β-endorphin (beta-endorphin), oxytocin and dopamine—neurochemicals associated with positive feelings and bonding—have been observed in both dogs and people after enjoyable interactions like petting,”https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/is-the-gaze-from-those-big-puppy-eyes-the-look-of-your-doggie-s-love/

Maybe one more doggie fact for those lake lovers who follow their dogs around…

“Accordingly, behavioral studies of dog cognition have revealed similarities of dog behavioral traits to humans. Dogs have been found to engage in gaze following similarly to human babies , exhibit selective imitation  similarly to human infants, (Dogs)….observe photos of faces roughly similarly to human adults and to link photos of objects to objects themselves .

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3641087/

This last finding in bold is why we have Shadow’s picture on a magnet on the refrigerator at his eye level…I thought this picture made him happy when I first put it up and now I know it does.

There’s no place like the lake for Bonaparte dogs, so I guess ‘us people’ followed?

Cheers

Franque23

*Jimmy Durante

*

How do you like me, now?

Bonus picture of us building the dock about 10 years ago…Sherman cool dock in background

**https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6557929-nubs


It’s impossible to miss the beauty. It was more than the three day drive up to the lake that split my head open as I looked at the lake during our first moment getting there. The colors of the lake displayed a vibrancy seldom seen in any urban center or sprawl. The  sky paled above the lake’s deepest blue waters; the green landscape never appeared so inviting. The warming earth beneath my felt felt like home.

Every day, no, every hour up at the lake shakes out a different tone as the breeze rustles the trees. Each day features an ongoing exchange of wind and water that forces waves near and far to rise and fall or, at other times, and mostly at morning or night, flattens the lake’s surface to the look of a mirror. This is when reflections take the lake’s tapestry over and commands attention to every watery detail so neatly bound to the look of the shore.

Image may contain: cloud, sky, outdoor, water and nature

Thanks to Susan  for this picture…

A crane lazily cuts across the sky; a school of nipping brown trout dot our bay’s surface water as a darkened circle that moves left to right. A hawk whistles from above and turns my head up where I see the white wispy clouds streaming from the west are gaining size. The shoreline cedars blast scent and contrast to the whitest black and grey birch. The humming bird wings by to dot the, “Oh My!”

Aptly put, Lake Bonaparte is an onslaught of beauty to behold for the jumping young, strapping aged or the resting old. The lake is always game for the viewing. The sun-twinkled waters or rain laden storms that move across the lake spark the imagination and ignite an internal yearning to be closer to the nature of our life. The peace of the place seems all so easy to attain but so far away, and all at once. Do a cannon ball on that thought. I don’t care who you are—a cannon ball into the lake will do you good; it’ll put a smile upon your face.

We’re facing the sunset…taken her down. a nightly ritual.

This shot seemed to burn the camera lens!

Sometimes, I just have to laugh. How could I be so lucky to be at Lake Bonaparte? How could all of us who abide by these shores be so fortunate? Life is a weave and there’s a spin to it, a stitch of fate that sets us where we are. I’m so glad this thread is part of my life. For almost seventy years now via my parent’s or my own footfalls I’ve made it here.  There’s so much to be thankful for, right? There’s so much to take in.

This has to be one of my favorite shots of Bonaparte…and I don’t remember if I clipped this off another’s posting or not? Forget.

I love the light in the clouds above.

From a few years back….

There are endless postcards of Lake Bonaparte to send, right? And all of them are kept safe inside—there’s a comfort to this, trust me.

cheers

Franque23


A day like any other.

Anyone might agree, it’s a dull day. The rain came early and it seems to have no intention of leaving. Hedging all bets, the weather men say there’s a good 100% Chance of rain…not sure, but does this mean it may not rain at all? Nah, they got it right today. Rain drips from every flower petal, the deck railings and the roofs tops. You gotta know the earth is loving the drenching. And I’m not sure why birds would enter the bird bath in the rain but they do, maybe some sort of double your pleasure.

Have you ever noticed how we all love to see light? Holiday lights come to mind, and the lights of a huge city as seen from a distance remain fascinating to behold.

Dale and me are caught in a glass reflection as we look over the lights of Nagasaki.(Thanks to our daughter’s sharp eye.)

There are so many moments when the vision of light moves us—  disco lights, fired up logs on a dark night…

We keep the fireplace going most nights up at the lake.

There are fireflies to chase and flashlights to make faces over. Have you ever watched the snow as it drifts through a street light’s glow? There is the first morning’s light…

And the silent last glimpse of the sun as it goes down.

We gathered to say goodbye to David Morgan in passing as the sun slipped down.

Our lives are about light.

The rain means we won’t see the sky here as we seek it, so full of light, but only as it is—a mass of low hung grey to darker clouds, twisted as multicolored taffy that appears as fluff balls that float above. Yes, when we seek the sky we seek the light.

Lake Bonaparte East Shore cloud says hello.

Lake Bonaparte dazzles sunlight in so many ways.

We want to see that burning globe above us turning on the earth’s light switch so shadows abound as birds sing and butterflies flutter in the wind.

Always, it’s the light; the light in the sky, or as it reflects on the sea foam or clouds above.

Thing is, today, this wet, drizzly moment, brings other thoughts to mind. Who doesn’t sleep in better on a rainy morning not meant for having to go to work?  And, maybe, a rainy day is good for offering a glimpse of a new prospective, a new way to count those clock hours often so busily rushed by task and obligation during a day like any other.

An early morning mist hugged Lake Bonaparte as the morning sun touched several tree tops.

I’m thinking about the sky; the one we long to see and the one we often don’t.

The beautiful daylight with it’s streaking wisps of clouds, meandering white billowed clouds or crisp clear blue without a cloud in sight hides so much in plain view. It’s odd to think, but the daytime that lights our way is also a veil. That sparkling luster above reflects our hopes when we look to it but that light is the bottom of the truth above. The truth lies in the stars above our daylight sky, in the darker canopy that lingers beyond what our eyes can ever see.

Looking up to Lake Bonaparte’s night sky.

This is Mud Lake, Bonaparte. And, it’s time to hurry home.

The universe’s light is shielded from our view by the daylight. Those bazillion stars shine overhead whether it be day or night but that vision is often swept past our sleeping heads as we dream of better days. We nestle to sleep beneath the ever present reality of our place in the universe, beneath the map stars create that speaks to our existence.

Both taken from Bull Rush bay, Lake Bonaparte. Credit I believe goes to, Ross Franquemont, our retired U-2 pilot in our family. Check out another of his….from the U-2.

So we hurry in the daylight and sleep at night. Oddly, it’s the night time stars that show a greater light. If we could just wake up each day and take a moment to understand how small and yet interrelated our place is in the universe. There’s the thought that people should take time to envision what they hope for the day before it kicks off in order to have some sense of control over their day’s purpose. Perhaps, if each of us were to think of ourselves as no better than the ants that march by but also no less than the stars over head we’d come to an understanding that might yeild a peace to our lives and the world. I’m not sure.

I’m not sure why we love to see the light that shields the panoramic spectacle of our universe from our eyes. What if we saw both during every waking hour?

From Bull Rush bay, Bonaparte sundown.

So, as the rain falls and thunder rumbles, I’ve dreamed of the starlight, of cooler nights warmed by the light of a campfire. I’ve thought about us, and how we all wish life was better but none of us seem to see a way to make it happen. There’s so much to see each day. Maybe, if there was less to see. Maybe, if we at least saw the stars every night things might get straight. Call me a dreamer, but I’ll wish upon a star any time—they’re always there.

It’s just a day like any other? I don’t think so, not ever.

Franque23

 


Image result for Marvel images

The reason few people talk about this movie’s end is no one knows what the hell happened! That’s about it for my spoiler alert but for anything that could’ve happened did, and still might. Christians consider Death the ultimate beginning while Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, and Sikhism (and other religions)think we come back around over and over again. If you ask me, this movie was produced by all of these religions during an all night drankin’ party. Whatever, I recommend the party and the viewing. But what’s this all about a “weird loop”?

The Weird Loop.

Okay, the Weird Loop as promised, but first about, Stan Lee. To me, there are few people in the history of Mankind who have touched as many lives as this comic book creator, writer, editor and publisher. Along with the help of two associates, Stan Lee gave the world superheroes—Spiderman, X-men, Iron Man, Thor, the Hulk, the Fantastic four, Black Panther, Daredevil, Doctor Strange, Scarlet Witch and lovable the Ant-man. There are a few generations of kids who have grown up believing they might be as great as these superheroes in their own way! Really, only the entire network of Disney can rival the success and influence of Stan Lee when it comes to his impact upon our children and, I think, society. These superhero’s have woven our dreams, our hopes and aspirations.

It’s also important to note with regard to my interest, I spent the past 13 years distributing the comics throughout our Library district on a monthly basis, as well as shelving and maintaining this collection at the branch where I work. So call me dialed up when it comes to Marvel superheroes.

Image result for Marvel images

Image result for Marvel images

Well, almost randomly, by luck, my wife and I planned to go see the new Avenger movie this afternoon along with my wife’s half-brother, Jim, and his wife, Cindy.  By the end of this movie, I’d guess most viewers were left with a euphoric smile on their face and a body that felt like a truck had run it over. I was no different as we waited for Jim to pull his car up to the curb to save us a dash through the rain.  We shared idle chat while waiting.

“I  met and knew, Stan Lee.” I heard the words but thought it must have been a thunder-clap. Did Cindy, a person I’ve known for over thirty years, just casually mention she knew Stan Lee?

“Wait! What? (Kapow!) You’ve met Stan Lee?” This was rattlin’ my Skrull!  Holy Kree! I’m the one who’s met by chance or otherwise a plethora of famous people, not Cindy!* “What the hell?” My open mouth caught rain drops.

“Yes. I was in college in the 70’s at New Port, California and took class from, Professor Townsend, author of, Boundaries.” Quiet Cindy continued. “They threw a dress-up, surprise party for Professor Townsend for his birthday. Jim and I dressed up as(something like Romeo and Juliette—mind you, my mind was blown) and in walks Stan Lee!”

Oh how I wished I’d asked what Stan Lee had dressed up as…can you imagine?!?!?

“So wait, the real Stan Lee was in the room, at the party and stuff?”

Cindy casually went on not realizing I’d melted into the side-walk of alternative reality. “He stayed all night, laughing, sharing jokes and other stuff…”( “Other stuff,’ is code for whatnot’s at parties in the 70’S.)

Okay, ‘I’m standing next to someone who has spent time with one of the most influential people on earth and I never knew it until now?’ Cindy kept talking about the party but I was wondering how I might rub my shoulder into hers! When would Uatu arrive and cease my endless watch for reality? I was in hyperspace warp yelling, “You wouldn’t like me when I’m angry!”

I pretty much blabbed gibberish(my readers are nodding, Yes!)the rest of the drive home. I thought about jumping on the car hood and yelling, “Why did I not know this, Cindy!!!” Zap! Blam! Would I ever piece together what was left of my former self?

Nope.

But then I remembered: “Just because someone stumbles and loses their path, doesn’t mean they can’t be saved.” I had to re-group and note,, ‘you can find friends in super unexpected places.’ Cindy’s experience and interest in Marvel characters had come from ,’left field.’ Her story had only proved, ‘The door is more open than it appears…we can walk through it, and sometimes run.’***

Have a super flight through Life….

Franque23

*Here’s the deal on some of my history.  Seeing the Avenger’s: End Game with someone who knew Stan Lee without me knowing it is much like the rest of my life. For one example, walking randomly down East Hampton’s Beach with a  new gal friend and having Paul McCartney drive a dune buggy up with his wife and say hello. Of course , it turned out my new gal-friend was seeing Simon….so much more of this in my life, but that’s for another glob.

** https://www.amazon.com/Boundaries-Henry-Cloud/dp/0310241804

*** These are just Seeing the Avenger’sof good quotes in Marvel Comics…

The movie version…

Image result for Marvel images

 

 

 

 


(please click the pic for a larger view)

Goldfinch are dazzling to the eye, a 1/2 oz blaze of chirping, yellow color in the male, soothing greenish beige in the female. How, ever in the name of sanity, do these birds, no more that seven inches long, make the trip from southern Canada to Mexico or South Florida and back each year?!?!? They just do; it’s a wonder.

It started at my feeders about two weeks ago, around March 1st, with one or two Goldfinch standing on  my sunflower feeder. They’ll eat sunflower seeds, along with a diet of various wildflower seeds and even tree sap for energy, but they vastly prefer the taste of thistle.

I quickly ran out and bought several hanging socks and put four of them up.

Boom! A flock started to arrive over the course of the next few days. At first, I had four, then twelve at one time. Now? I have eight sock feeders up and about 38 to count at a time feeding on them. I suspect we have about 60 goldfinch hanging around in our yard.

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( These are pineapple plants in the background.) Goldfinch make a most pleasant sounding, high-pitched racket as they rest in trees before making their approach to eat. And their presence often attracts other birds we rarely see….

This is a Red-Bellied Woodpecker. I’ve seen the Downy and the Pileated* woodpeckers for years, and when they hit the feeder it’s quite a mess with sunflower seeds flying every-which-way, but this is my first sighting of the Red-Bellied woodpecker…. here’s a clipped photo so you can see much better how the bird looks.

Recently, I’ve gone to buying large bags of thistle to re-fill the store bought thistle full hangers they sell for about 5 bucks each. A twenty dollar bag of thistle will re-fill about 15 hanging socks…so it’s quite a savings.  Of course, the Goldfinch hang around for only about three weeks tops on most occasions , then they are off headed south or back up north as they are now for summer in southern Canada or the northern U.S.  This means you have to time your purchases just right or it’s easy to get stuck with thistle. These birds most likely will not eat any saved, old thistle during their next flew-through. Goldfinch are picky; they like the thistle seeds to be fresh.

 

I sit and watch the carnival of Goldfinch feed most mornings while they’re here.  But this shot is also to picture a super African violet growing right now by the window… neat.

Another sighting of a Catahoula being hypnotized by the Goldfinch. These windows are Shadow’s ‘TV’ and he loves it when the finch come to town.

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Shadow suffered  severe lacerations on his body on two occasions this year and both were at night in our fenced in yard. First, a foot long razor cut slit his chest through three layers of skin and then a longer, more severe laceration along his forehead and back the second time to the tune of 3200 dollars in vet bills-he’s lucky to have survived the second attack.

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I figured it was a large wild cat of some kind, and a similar attack happened to a larger dog living down the road from us two months ago. Both dogs were well confined inside fenced in yards and in each case the dogs did not even bark, but returned home with these massive injuries….the amazing night tripped photo below brings up another possibility.

Really? Just wow. I still lean to the large wild cat idea.

I’m thinking they’re about 18 finch in this picture.

It’s great to let go, relax, and watch these little birds bulk up for their up coming journey. At this point, the eight socks need to be re-filled every other day!!

Cheers from Spring in Florida, I hope. It can freeze even in April here in Northern Florida during some weird years. I think it was around 1980 when it snowed clear down to the Bahamas…so there’s that. I’m not looking that up, just winging the date from memory:-)

Franque23

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


They next few minutes will amaze your mind.

The next few minutes will make you question your hearing.

The next few minutes will warm your heart.

How’s this for starting off the season right?

Just listen….

Thanks to Barbara for sharing this with me…

Season’s Greetings

Franque23 oh wait….now I see they have another and several more…this one’s neat

 

 

 


Ah cranberries! Life is too short! Soon, I’ll be rollin’ out of here so I butter have fun before it’s gravy time. Eventually, I’ll be nothing but soggy leftovers wattling my way to de-boned. Life isn’t a piece of cake no matter how it’s sliced.  But can I have seconds?

On second thought….

The more years pass, the more I look like a Thanksgiving turkey.

I’ve grown a turkey neck and a nice plump belly along with a nibble, gobble face. Gizzards! Life is moving at break-neck speed. I’m still walkin’, but maybe without my head! (My dad used to talk about seeing chickens and turkeys run around after their heads got chopped off!)

If I’m not gobbling while stuffin’ my face, I’m wobbling on ancient toes—the ones attached to what my wife used to call,’perfect feet.’ Please pass the bunion; I’ll have another: two just isn’t enough.

Ever see a turkey’s knees? Never mind, just look at mine in beach shots for a quick overview. Turkeys like me are essentially bald but they have feathers. Me? I have a feather duster.

Racing to the bathroom is when I strut my stuff.

 

And about that famous roasted turkey smell as it wafts through the house. Here’s the yin-yang of this turkey-talk: if only a whiff of me smelled that good after doing garden work!

Nope, my flowering youth has been turned upside down and slowly roasted in the sun by years looking for scratch.  My young self has been basted and tented; my clock has been cleaned but for a smidgen of a second left before that big timer in the sky goes off. But, is there pie in the sky? Yep, soon I’ll be car-soul-rolled and placed into a container to be stored until moldy.

Wait! I’d like more seasoning! Another sprig of a spring with more summering would do nicely.

Cheers-I hope you had a good one!

Franque23

 

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