Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Destination: Florida

Poinsiana, Florida
A note to update.  Well, the RV made it south but it was not without some issues down here.
First, despite no engine lights, when we finally hooked up the full water west of Tallahassee we blew a water line, later in Lutz, when we were having a repairman look at it, the leak was where the feederline for the hot water heater went into the coach behind the shower. To repair it would take quite a bit of work and many people.  Large items would have to be removed.  No one here wanted to have any part of this.  The result.... we will be stopping at Red Bay, Alabama (the home of Tiffin) to get it fixed on the way home and drop it off for a while.  and.....we would therefore be camping this entire trip without having water.

Secondly, I ate that lettuce, you know, the lettuce they recalled.  I got salmonella and had a week of abdominal pain, but I fought it for days and before I started myself on antibiotics, diagnosing myself with....appendicitis, an ulcer, alcohol induced gastritis, a kidney stone, an appendicitis again, and e. coli from bad hamburger.  It went away as we left Pasco County Florida on our way to Poinsiana.

Thirdly, I have had a bit of amnesia.....walking home from the bar the other night after the Eagles loss,, my right knee started to hurt and then swelled up.  I really hadn't been drinking that much...really.  There was this white Russian someone bought me and...?  This has slowed up my birding somewhat, and led to my third sleepless night due to pain on this trip.  I guess it is always something.  I just wish I remember what I did....

Some say I was singing Grandma got run over by a Reindeer in front of a restaurant but I corrected them, that was Saturday night, NOT Sunday night.

Despite feeling like death earlier last week, we went out with a bunch of couples for Buddhist breakfast near Tampa

The temple was quite nice again and despite having something eating away on my inside, the Thai noodle soup was to die for and later, I almost did.  but....it was worth it.   A word to the wise...if they recall lettuce again....don't eat any!   .

So we got over to Central Florida.  We met up with couples from St Martin.  My stomach held and we survived a rather odd Christmas show although truth be told, our guests Paul and Nancy left before the "show" started....they could be said to have been the lucky ones.

I could describe this event in great detail but let me say you had to be there.  It was actually undescribable and not necessarily in a good way.  Have you ever had the morbid fascination of being unable to look away? I chose this picture as no one is recognizable to avoid calling out anyone who may not want to be known to have been here.  Alvin's Christmas carol and Dominic the Donkey, which I hope to never hear again.

Back to birding.....

Someone reported a smooth-billed ani up the road a few miles so I drove up to chase it.since it is a good bird, especially way up north near Orlando

 smooth-billed ani

I was recognized by a local resident Barbara Taylor who I let post my picture on Facebook.and that made me laugh for a morning.

I chased some of the hard to get local birds, all year birds for my rather mundane list which should top out near 400 for the year.  

 brown-headed nuthatch

Florida scrub-jay

Snail kite photos are always special

 Muscovy ducks  flew in

loggerhead shrike

My wife Silja liked this red-bellied woodpecker with an acorn...

Despite some cool weather, we also spied a few butterflies, nothing exciting but a few lifers no less

 barred yellow

 large orange sulphur

white Peacock

We've had the lucky fortune to reconnect with St.Martin AND Minneapolis friends down here so far.  I feel like had a social outing every day which when I think about it, we had.

It is cold outside for here, 44, and I'm sitting  here writing this with a gimpy right knee, but all is well, even if the local spa/massage office is closed today, I'll have to find something else to do....oh the problems I have to ponder. Maybe...I'll go birding....

All I can say is.....Don't drink and walk
If I could only remember what I did



  1. What an amazing trip so far. Glad to hear the engine instruments are behaving but I'm curious. Do you have a water pressure regulator installed on your city water hookup line? If not, may I suggest you do so? It may help to prevent future plumbing issues.
    Re: Lettuce, I remember when folks considered my Harley Davidson too dangerous...but Lettuce, really?

    1. we do and did, I think it was frozen there when we hurriedly tried to winterize after got it back from Cummins....not sure we got anything in that line after bypassed the hot water heater...we had ran a water line in S. Missouri, but did NOT un bypass, and the hose froze over night in fact, the faucet at campground froze open, left the campground with it open, suspect a day or two later, someone got a surprise.

    2. I agree....really? I guess I could also blame pizza I ate but I don't think the timing was correct

  2. To quote Sir William Osler: “The doctor who treats himself has a fool for a patient.”

  3. High Olaf. Would you consider reading a book I am about to publish about the birds and wildlife of Chincoteague Island ? I am looking for some advanced praise should you like it ? I hope you might be willing. My email is danielptthomas@gmail.com


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