May 1, 2016

First Sunday in May

After three weeks of company, which I thoroughly enjoyed, I woke up this morning with nothing on the agenda. Beach walk time! It took me two cups of coffee to realize that today was May 1 and my dog-eared and soggy April tide chart had expired. I gotta give Commodore 64 the credit for giving us computers in the home, computers which over the years have turned into personal electronic devices driven by many operating systems, all of which can tell us the high and low tides of any given day on God's green and blue Earth.

Evelyn was here walking the beach with me on the first weekend I saw lifeguards actually guarding lives from their official red towers. I think it was April 22. In the north Memorial Day weekend starts the lifeguard season but here it's a month earlier. Today when I set out for my low-tide walk there were no lifeguards on duty in Melbourne Beach or even at Nance Park in Indialantic; however by the time I finished my walk the MB tower was occupied and a yellow flag flew behind his or her chair.

I'm still trying to recover from a borderline bronchitis thing I've had going on now for two straight weeks. Today was the first day in two weeks I felt any energy upon wakening, so I was eager to have a walk. I'm so tired lately and feeling so old. It was good to hit my 10,000 steps before 11:00 a.m. though it wore me out.  I hope that by this time next week I feel better.

As usual I'm posting a photo of my beach from today's walk.  "Crowds" (I say crowds because here, right now, crowds means a few dozen) of people were forming at Ocean Park and Nance Park, but in between, my walk was all but deserted.

Birds and a few neighbors.  That's my beach!

April 5, 2016

Prettiest Day So Far!

This morning I had my semi-annual dental exam and cleaning. My dentist, Dr. Collins, is located around the corner on Ocean Avenue in the historic former Villa Marine hotel, built in 1912. Some of the rooms at Collins & Montz have great views of the river, which on a nice day provide the calming sight of sailboats gliding up or down; great for taking your mind off all that poking and scraping.

My right foot, specifically my expensive big toe, was bothering me so badly that when I took my beach walk at low tide today I almost turned back.

I plowed on because it gives me more joy to walk that walk than the pain gives me pain, if that makes sense.

Below are some photos from today.  Please click on each photo to enlarge them.  You can actually enlarge them further if you click a second time!

On my way to the dentist, my neighbor's blue mailbox amid tropical flora looked so pretty.

Halfway down Avenue A toward the river I turned around and took this shot of my street. We're looking east here, towards the ocean.

Round the corner and heading south. That's the Indian River and the plants are at a neighbor's particularly tidy and well-planned front beds.

Avenue A at Riverside,  looking north. Oleanders, hibiscus, lovely coral bougainvillea in the back.

Between the palms you can see Billy's sailboat moored out in the river.  This is near the Melbourne Beach pier.

After the dentist I went to the beach to walk.  This is looking south on Atlantic Ave. That little pathway goes to the Ocean Park Beach parking lot; the house on the left, oceanfront, is owned by my friend from Alabama.

At the end of Avenue A, looking north on Atlantic Avenue. The ends of Avenue A, Avenue B and Sunset all have sandlots and beach access steps. Otherwise you never see cars. All the big oceanfront homes are on the right in this picture.

North west corner of Atlantic Ave. and Avenue A.  This quaint cottage is one of the originals.

I couldn't resist an ocean shot.  It was such a pretty day.  Literally, not a cloud in the sky.  No humidity. Walking the beach was such a pleasure.  I'm trying to enjoy it before the heat and humidity make it hard for me.

Click on the YouTube icon to see this video of a Great Blue Heron in high definition. You will be directed to YouTube.

April 4, 2016

Beach Walk 4.4.16

Another beach walk.  Low tide was around noon-ish, so I figured I'd set out around 11:00 a.m.  I had a little time to get some things done. My big goal was to move the patio furniture from the pool area to the deck, on the safe side of the pool fence, so I and my friends could sit around the table and not have to constantly prevent toddlers from falling in the pool. I corralled my neighbor Billy and begged him to help me extract the umbrella from the umbrella table out back.  It took some doing but he was able to make things work and get it all set up nice. Now, we can sit on the deck and eat or chat, the kiddos are safe, and life is good. Thank you neighbor Billy!

Nike+ Report: Avenue A to the beach, north to Indialantic, and home again.
Holding my Vionics in my left hand. Here are my Fitbit Flex and Nike+ GPS Watch.
Look at those colors!  What a difference from the last couple of days.
I have the beach to myself.  In fact, nearly the whole coastline.  Not bad for 12 noon.
Looking north on my way home, I just had to show my non-Florida friends how amazing the colors are.
I like this blue house a lot.  Bahamian/Colonial balconies, metal roof... all the right stuff.  I think it's an Atlantic Ave. property.
Any local will tell you, this photo isn't lying.  This is what you see on a sunny day in April.
I took one more picture looking north.  It was so clear I could see the curve of Cocoa Beach and the tall buildings there (or the VAB, not sure), but that won't show up in this photo.  
Heading home, here's my hidden stairway through the dunes.
From the first step this is what you see. Look! Some people.
One of my favorite sights along the walk home.  I adore how the mailbox is engulfed in shrubbery.
Another favorite sight is my across-the-street neighbor's beautiful coral bougainvillea.  Love the wildflowers too.
I used to think the crotons looked harsh, but now that I'm used to them I really admire their colors.
My jatrophy tree. It's still a little bit early for butterflies but as the summer wears on it will be swarming with swallowtails.
Here's a close-up of the jatrophy in case you're wondering.  It's normally a shrub but mine was trained into a fine little tree.

April 3, 2016

Beach Walk 4.3.16

This morning's walk at low tide was north to the third lifeguard stand, Nance Beach Park in Indialantic. It was windy and a bit cooler today which made it very pleasant. Absolutely no surfers and only two recreational fishermen. Tons of shells! I filled my pockets with some goodies.

Miles: 4.5
Steps: 10,798


Cloudy and hazy at first, the north wind blew everything south and the sun came out.  Above, some kind of sandpiper.
I was surprised to see a duck walking along.
It flew away as soon as I tried to get closer.
Skimmers (black) and Royal Terns hanging out in Indialantic where we usually see them.
Sunny to the north.  You can see I had the beach to myself.
Blue skies!  So good to see the green ocean again.
I like these dark green palms with long fronds.  I will have to look them up but I'm thinking they're coconut palms.
One of the houses I like along Atlantic Avenue in Melbourne Beach.
Cool picture of the waves, edited with a filter.

April 2, 2016

Beach Walk 4.2.16

Click to enlarge

The ocean reflects the color of the sky and this morning's sky was gray, so it was a very monochromatic scene at the beach this morning.  The only people out were a few surfers and paddle-boarders, a couple schools of porpoise, some walkers, and this Great Blue Heron, who had found a catfish. I'm guessing the poor fish had gotten himself caught and thrown back one too many times.

Click to enlarge

You can see the faintest hint of green in the sea and the faintest hint of brown in the sand, but otherwise it was bland. Early mornings do tend to be hazy.  The good thing about living here is that eventually I'll see another spectacular sunrise.

Click to enlarge

The sky makes it look cold -- it could be January in Massachusetts -- but in fact it was 80.

My walk this morning was south to Spessard Holland North Park, the third lifeguard stand. There were already a few families out even at 9:00 a.m. on an overcast morning.  The over 4 mile trek back and forth earned me a half-rack of baby back ribs and a slice of pecan pie at Rib City, where our family went for lunch today.

Baby back ribs at Rib City in Grant, FL
Grandson with toast in one hand and a chicken tender in the other.