be sure to check out Joan's latest on her website:

be sure to check out Joan's latest on her website: (usually she updates her blog every Sunday evening but she can and will surprise you) **Special Note: all of Joan's archives are now up--almost ten years of 'bitter girl.' As Joan says, go wild!**

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


This is the dire warning that graces both ends of this cracked and repaired sea wall on beautiful Singer Island, the view here being the north looking south (again, left-click the picture for a larger version). I wanted to comment on this previously but first I desired a picture, for ultimate effect. With all the retirees around here having so much time on their hands, the homeowners' association thought it prudent to protect themselves against a possible lawsuit, a la McDonald's hot coffee spilled on a patron's lap type of thing. As mentioned in earlier posts, this sea wall can be dangerous when the tide is higher, but as this shot from yesterday shows, timing truly is everything.
Anyway, as you can see, it was overcast for much of the day so not much sun but I did get plenty of exercise. Also, I found out those jumping predators I thought were tarpon are actually spinning sharks--there was a helpful warning up at the park to caution all potential swimmers (see next post, Possible Shark, for a picture).
Normally February's a washout for the beach anyway, but global warming is proving highly entertaining in more ways than one. The National Weather Service first predicted mostly sunny and clearing, which then changed to partly sunny and ended up being mostly cloudy. Sometimes the sun was out and when it was it felt very nice but mostly it was overcast.
This did not prevent many people from visiting the beach--there were locals as well as tourists, judging from the license plates in the park where I started out from. Lots of man-o-war in the water also, I gathered from what washed up on the beach. The water was freezing as well, so I did not go in and few others that I saw braved the deep.
I mention the sign on the sea wall in the larger context of strange things that I've seen at the beach over the years. Up at the Juno pier, there is a similar stock admonition to keep 75 feet from the pier which everyone ignores. At the park north of the condos there are the frame and short block of a car someone tried to float onto the beach--from the front and rear bumpers that still exist it appears to have been a 1960s eastern European model, maybe something someone imported into Cuba, perhaps. Every once in a while, when the beach is eroded enough, you can still see it there, settled on some bedrock, a reminder of a failed attempt of someone thinking he could float his car off his boat onto Florida. And he almost did it, too.
Most of the stuff that ends up on the beach originated from boats and ships--trash, tar, pallets and the like. Sometimes you can see evidence that the boat was on fire or perhaps exploded.
Boats wash up on the beach all the time also. Sometimes they are abandoned by drug dealers or by people who don't want to pay for having the boat towed. Occasionally we have the illegal immigrants--a few years ago, a small homemade boat was being guarded by the police and the rumor around it had nine people aboard. On a boat you might comfortably have two on puttering around the harbor, but never nine in the open ocean.
A guy and a girl from the turtle place were out on their ATV, looking for the early sea turtle nest, while I spied none. The beach restoration project in Juno is almost done--I have some pictures but most are too dark to post. Many older people walking and riding bikes for exercise up in Juno. Mother and daughter couples looking for shells along the beach, especially where the widening's been.
I've been doing more work on the sequel. The Miami Film Festival called about a volunteer photographer assignment that I inquired about, but I may have second thoughts about driving down to Miami again. Other than the occasional telemarketer or wrong number, the telephone is quiet.
At the end of January I entered a contest with the Florida Writers Association where the top three winning entries in every genre category are submitted to the acquisitions editor at four publishers, to get either feedback on the first thirty pages of the first book along with a synopsis I submitted or a request for more material. I am supposed to be notified in March. That and the Census 2010 is all I have left. Money is almost gone. I feel more and more that something is just wrong with this area and I need to sell my place and get out--anywhere, just away from here.

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