Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.

Henry David Thoreau

After Carrie leaves

Wednesday-Saturday December 26-29, 2012
Site 6, Oscar Scherer State Park
Osprey, Florida


Things come to a SCREACHING HALT the day after Carrie leaves.




We have been going going going and having fun fun fun and we are both exhausted. 

I do go out running on Wednesday morning.  But beyond that, I hardly move.  I write blogs about our fun times while she was here, finish the last of the 3 Barb Thacker RV travels books and begin my new Barbara Kingsolver novel Flight Behavior.  (thank you Carrie)

David is reading The Yearling on his laptop.  He liked our reading of Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings Cross Creek so well that he downloaded The Yearling version with Andrew Wyeth’s illustrations.  Free!

We hardly have to cook we have so many leftovers.   It’s a lazy day.  I don’t take one photograph.



On Thursday morning, David goes over to Venice to a Lab Corps for his twice monthly blood draws.  In the afternoon it warms up a bit and we decide to go down to Venice Beach.  We’ve been to Siesta Key, Caspersen and Nokomis Beaches but not to Venice.  Time to see it.

Our verdict:  Too urban and today too windy, too cold.

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So we go back to Venice and walk along the main street, Venice Avenue, enjoying the artistically decorated dolphin and sea turtle statues.  They remind me of the decorated buffalo all over in Custer, S.D.  Here are some of my favorites.
(click on any of them to enlarge, they really are beautiful)

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The mosaic work is just amazing.  The pictures do not do it justice.Venice and Venice Beach 043

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What painstaking attention to detail.

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All of the sculptures had a “sponsor” whose plaque was on the base. This one just made me laugh.  Do you see the “ears”

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Wish I’d gotten a close up of his moustache.

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These are just a few of the sculptures lining 4 or 5 blocks of  “downtown” Venice.


Next, we stop in for a delicious Peanut butter MALT (I’m in heaven) and a great pizza.  David has a cherry coke at this old fashioned soda fountain.  It’s a great place with metal stools in front of the wooden counter and old fashioned soda machines.  There are too few places like this left anymore.   Way to go Venice!   A real soda fountain!!

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After lunch, we cross over the boulevard strip and finish walking down the other side of the street window shopping.


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The orchid trees are still in bloom.

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Even the trash cans are decorated in this darling city by the sea.

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Friday I’m running again in the morning.  There is no rain predicted and we have tickets to visit Historic Spanish Point.  We pack up our lunch and head out to make a day of it.

This is a very interesting 30 acre historic site and it is decorated with lights for what they call “holy days” and have extended hours until 8pm.  We arrive thinking we will see the outside during the daylight, have lunch and enjoy the buildings, exhibits and then the lights after dark.   We have just finished watching the movie inside the Visitor Center, which is located in the original Osprey Elementary School now on the National Register of Historic Places, when all of a sudden the sky opens up and it POURS rain.

I check weather.com on my phone.  They are still saying zero chance of rain.  HA!  It’s pouring outside. 

We wait for a while hoping it is just a quick shower feeling grateful we are not out walking around when the drenching began.  We hang around and chat with the cheerful volunteers for nearly an hour but it becomes apparent that it isn’t going to let up.  They give us a “rain check”.   We head out with plans to come back tomorrow or on Sunday when there is again zero chance of rain.  IF you can believe the weathermen.

Instead David runs some errands.  He is part of the holiday returns crowd.  His rope lights have 2’ that don’t light so he exchanges it.  He finds his FM walking radio doesn’t work well for his purpose and gets a set of FM headphones instead.  I get to do the kind of shopping that I love.  I wait in the car and read.  Perfect!!



It rains continuously all night long and into Saturday.   They’ve changed the forecast and today more rain is predicted so we decide not to return to Historic Spanish Point.  But of course the rain never comes.  By the time we realize this, it’s too late to go to Spanish Point.

Instead David does a half hour of his stretching exercises with the new video he got as a holiday gift and then goes on a brisk walk.   He says he’s turning over a new leaf to up his exercise quotient now that he can.  Probably no running but perhaps some weight lifting in addition to the stretching and walking.  We’ll see how this pans out.

I do an hour’s worth of yoga and then we putter around the coach cleaning the upholstery,  cleaning off the roof and slide toppers, taking off Winnona’s old rear BRAVE decal so we can replace it with a new one curling one that Santa brought to me.  

In the late afternoon, we take a walk over to see the Eagle’s nest.   





The nest is located on a section of Oscar Scherer’s Green trail and is blocked off at  a long distance.  The tree is visible as is the huge nest but binoculars or a spotting scope is really necessary.  The sun is dropping in the sky making quite a glare.  The nest tree is at the far end of the “road” you can see behind the blockade.



Click the photo to read.




I’m zoomed in quite a bit here.  The nest is in the crook of the tree almost in the center of the picture below.







We set out for home as the sun sets.  Sunset from the scrub on the way home from our Eagle visit.DSCF4963


In the past 4 days we haven’t done much of note but the days have been easy and that has been great. 

With this post I am finally caught up just in time to get behind again no doubt.


Caspersen Beach

Tuesday December 25, 2012
Site 6 Oscar Scherer State Park
Osprey, Florida
Hi 76, Low 55


Carrie wings away today.


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Her flight back to Baltimore is this afternoon.  As has become our routine, I pick her up when she comes and David takes her back when she leaves.  They need to start up for Tampa at 2pm.  

But that gives us the morning and she wants to see “the shark teeth beach”.   So we have a quick breakfast and head out to Caspersen Beach in Venice.



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Caspersen is another different beach with a different coast and sand.  This beach has a  beautiful rock lined coast.  We are all pretty amazed at the variety of water front, development, shells and sand on the various Sarasota County beaches.






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When we arrive, there are few people.  We aren’t quite sure where these shark’s teeth are so we make ourselves comfortable and  watch the pelicans and friends while we wait for more people to arrive and begin their hunt.




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There are a lot of birds in the water fishing today.  They are floating and dipping.   They are circling and dive bombing the water.  It is fabulous entertainment.    I forget all about sharks teeth

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After an hour or so more people begin to come and they bring all kinds of equipment.  Hand scoop sifters.  Sifters with long handles.  Shovels.  Sieve boxes.   We have no equipment.  Oh well.   These are professional shark teeth hunters.  We are clearly amateurs.




I walk a ways down the beach watching the various methods of looking.  I stop and talk to this family who is using a shovel and this sieve.   They have had good luck with it.  Such good luck that when I exclaim amazement they pick one out and give it to me.    COOL!



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There are 4 shark’s teeth in this picture.  Click to enlarge and see if you can find them.  Hint:  Far heel of his hand is one.

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I  see some folks just digging in the sand and stop to talk to them about the non-equipment approach.  They say they’ve found some teeth.  Only a few,  but it works for them.  I have been imagining that it is very difficult to find even one shark’s tooth but clearly folks with equipment are finding many per scoop in some cases.   These folks say they’ve found 4 or 5 with the dig and examine method.

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David’s not interested but Carrie and I take on the challenge.  He volunteers to be expedition photographer.


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You dig as deep as you can in the sand and shells.  Bring your handful up to the shore.

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And examine it for teeth.

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In 8 or 10 tries Carrie finds two teeth.  I find none.   Time is growing late and we need to get back and make some lunch before they leave for the airport.  So this is our take for the day.  Carrie finds two and one donation for me.  Way to go Carrie!  Hers are also bigger than mine.  Wonder how Homeland Security will feel about them on the plane.

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We take our final long arm 3-some shot.

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Back at Winnona we put together a BIG lunch of the Yuletide leftovers which should get her through the 90 minutes before the flight, the 2 hour flight and the drive home.


They leave for the airport and I begin the clean up and put away.  3 people in Winnona makes for some tight quarters.   I do dishes, vacuum, take the herbs outside for a good watering.

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David gets back about 5 and we head over to Nokomis Beach to catch the sunset.  

From now on we’ll say “get your terns in a row”.

We’re sure going to miss Carrie.  She brightens up every day.  We’ve been quite lucky that she has been able to fly down to be with us for both Thanksgiving and Christmas in such a short period of time.


We don’t see the sunset only a sliver of color.
I wonder if David is looking for shark’s teeth in the shells. 

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Walking away we come across this shell sculpture.
People do very interesting things here at Nokomis Beach.
Last time we were here we saw ‘Nokomis Christmas’ written in huge letters and this time……..is it a butterfly?  an angel??
The red is seed pods, the rest shells.

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