Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Avian Visitors

 I lived near a rookery of great blue herons when I lived on Peggoty Beach in Scituate. The birds were always skittish and difficult to approach, but in Clearwater they are as tame as gulls. This one was hanging around Pier 60.

 This osprey liked to use our balcony as a fish-spotting platform.

 An anhinga (water turkey, snakebird) dries his feathers on the dock after diving for fish.

An egret landed on our railing and stared at us through the slider.
I finally relented and hand-fed him a piece of ham.

Monday, January 23, 2012

The Condo

We liked everything about the condo: the location, the layout, the space, the furnishings, the view. The living room and each of the three bedrooms were equipped with LCD televisions and I-homes for our Ipods.

Taken from the slider to the balcony, this picture show the living and dining areas and the kitchen.

The living area

The kitchen

The master bedroom

 The Harborview Grande faces northeast, overlooking a lagoon that opens to the intracoastal waterway. The view always included pelicans, and frequently dolphins and ospreys.The beach is across the street.

View from the balcony, looking right

View from the balcony, looking left

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Clearwater Beach: The Trip Down

Instead of our usual brief junket to the Caribbean, Kathleen and I opted to take advantage of our mutual status as retirees by spending two full months in Clearwater Beach. Last winter's unprecedented snowfall made a compelling argument.

Kathy's propensity for motion sickness convinced us that I would take the Xterra southward while she battened down the hatches and then followed me via the air. I made the trip in short easy hops, relying on relatives for overnight stays: on the first night, I stopped in Greenwich where Joan and Don treated me to filet mignon; on the second night I stayed with Kathy and John in Silver Spring, where they treated me to an Afghan meal at Faryab in Bethesda. From their home it was a short ride to the Autotrain in Lorton, Virginia.

On the overnight trip I made the acquaintance of John Daly, author of several crime novels. After discussing books for a while, he good-naturedly declared me a literary snob, which I guess I am. Dinner and breakfast were served on the train. I didn't get a lot of sleep during the 17 hour trip, but all in all it wasn't a bad experience. I arrived in Sanford, Florida, and drove to the Orlando airport to pick up Kathy. Our transportation plan had worked to perfection.

It was about a 90 mile drive to Clearwater Beach. We arrived at our condo just as the sun was setting over the Gulf of Mexico.

Our home for January and February: the Harborview Grande