Friday, December 31, 2010

Our New Neighbors

We’ve settled in northern Florida for who knows how long. Hello you handsome guy.  Aren't manatees photogenic? The sun is streaming in the windows as I write and we are relatively pleased with the Internet speed, so that will do us for now.  Our spot here at the Sumter Oaks RV Park in Bushnell is reasonably priced, off-the-beaten-path, situated on the back row where we prefer and the neighbors are nice.  What more could we ask?!

Speaking of neighbors, let me introduce them.  Each day we hear the trumpeting of three feathered friends. This Sandhill crane family comes for the vittles. The family of Sandhill cranes leisurely stolls around in the Escapees RV park in Bushnell, Florida.  There is a breed of Florida Sandhill cranes that do not migrate north in the summer.  I'm not sure if these birds are in that category or if in a few months they will take the journey to Canada. I believe it’s the same mated pair that we have seen in past winters when we stopped at this Escapees’ park.  But now, they have a juvenile that is growing rapidly and will probably by next season have his own mate.  The humans that live in back of us are trained to bring out the bird food as soon as they see mom and dad and junior approaching every day.  In my photo they are just outside our door as they were exiting after a yummy meal. The youngster is displaying the happy courting dance that he is perfecting. Should be quite attractive to the ladies.   Don’t you think?

Also very friendly are the precious-looking donkeys and their buddy who live next door to the park.   While out for a walk the other evening I just happened to have my camera.  Apparently :), The baby of the group was ready to say hi as well.these animals are very accustomed to attention.  As soon as they caught sight of me they came meandering over. As might be expected in this type of gathering, there was one pushy fella that had to be in front when I tried to get a pic of the adorable little one.  But, I persisted.

I’d been at the fence talking with these guys for a while when I heard a snorting sound.  Yes, there’s one little piggy who lives here too. Don’t know my pig species, but this long-Miss Piggy seems to be a trusted companion haired orange and black creature seemed different somehow.  Anyone out there who knows what kind of pig this is?  Or maybe he’s not unusual.  I’m very uninformed on pigs. That’s for sure. Anyway, he thought he might be missing a treat and came to check me out. Disappointment.  I didn’t bring goodies.

But how about other types of neighbors that speak English?  We learned via email that friends of ours are volunteering at the nearby Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuge, where the endangered West Indian Manatees (see first photo in this post) migrate to the warm waters this time of year.  The refuge is only about 40 miles west of us, so we visited Bonnie and Joe the other day.  Bonnie, Joe and Jerry in Crystal River, Florida, on a sunny, crisp day. We met a few years ago at the Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge in New Mexico when we were all donating our time to help with the refuge’s bird habitat preservation.  Haven’t had the opportunity to cross paths in a couple of years. Two hours at lunch over a few beers and a super hamburger at Cody’s in Crystal River and we were somewhat caught up on all of our lives.  Then they introduced us to the folks at the refuge while we had a pleasant look around the visitors center where they are volunteering three days a week. We learned that the manatee is declared by scientists to have evolved from the elephant.  Not surprising considering the humongous gray creature that can reach 13 feet long and over 3,000 lbs. If you’d like to get more info on manatees, here’s a link.

We didn’t spend a great deal of time outside since a cold snap that destroyed a great deal of Florida citrus crops was passing through that day. Lots of sun, but cooler than normal temps. As far as activities, we weren’t in the market for a touristy event that day.  But, from past experience I know that it is sure fascinating to see those underwater swimming elephants that one can watch in abundance at the local Crystal River State Refuge. This was a different type of visit.  After the quick tour of the town, we spent a few more hours at Joe and Bonnie’s motorhome meeting their new kitty, Shadow, and doing what we do well, talking.  As you know, we are experiencing our first Apple technology with the iPad.  These friends happen to have an impressive Apple setup that they use extensively and happily for communication, movies, photos, music and whatever. Sooooo, we proceeded to pick their brains about MacBooks, MacAirs, Mac minis, software and setups and on an on.  Of course, there were several other humorous and stimulating topics of conversation….Good to see you Joe and Bonnnie.

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!!  Talk to you later.


  1. Hi You Two, As always your posts are well-written and interesting. It is good to see that you are enjoying Bushnell, a place we also stayed and loved last winter (but only for short bursts). We are currently driving between Indio and Q and will be sorry not to have you with us once we get there! All is well with us and we are sending you BIG HUGS!!!
    Love, Mary & Elaine

  2. Just checking in to see where you two are...drats, in Florida, guess we won't be seeing you this winter after all. We're not going to Alaska this summer, getting a Workamper job instead..have fun!

    Hugs, Sharon & Ron


Hi: Thanks for your thoughts.