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Written By: OC Fotoguy
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    I was doing things to fill the time like sort my maps.  Then my battery powered radio went silent.  I’ve learned from experience, that following the instructions to throw away the whole set of batteries when this happens is not the thing to do.  They are in cahoots with battery manufacturers.  When that happens it’s time to get out the battery tester and ID the weak culprit.  Again one was nearly dead, but the others still had enough energy to keep on doing their thing.  I looked for something else with a touch of excitement to pass the time.  I’ve been collecting children’s pool noodles that I’ve seen lying along the road.  They make great guards for the corners and edges of my hitch packer rack that carries my kayak, bike and other stuff on the rear of my nest (slide-in camper on a pickup truck).  Yeah, I’ve banged my knee or something else on it and if I can avoid a hurt, that’s a good thing.
    As I was tying string around it to hold it in place, I felt this velvety touchy feeling on my toes.  I looked down and saw a pigmy rattle snake slithering over them.  OMG, I jerked my foot.  I’ve seen lots of snakes that have been run over on the road, but this one actually ran over me!  Then I thought, usually the only critters I encounter in the wilds that don’t heed a human are snakes, spiders, and ants.  Panthers, bears, and alligators, etc., all go the other way.  There’s so many ant hills in this camp ground here in Big Cypress, America’s Jungle, that I spray pieces of cardboard with Raid and place each tire on one to retard the ants from getting into my nest.  I thought, Gee maybe I could liven up my day by stirring up an ant hill and putting the snake amongst the swarming ants, so I did.  The snake would not stay in the ants for a second, so I got a stick and launched that critter to a safe distance away.  Maybe it’ll remember not to mess with me, because I’ll feed it to the ants.  Pigmy rattle snakes are poisonous, but not fatal, but the bite is painful and can get infected. I really shouldn’t have been messing with it, but here in this peopleless, quiet, relaxing, naturally beautiful place I need a touch of excitement occasionally, while the northeast, Baltimore and Ocean City, are getting pommelled by a nor ‘easterner on this eighth day of December.  It’s in the mid 60s here today with abundant sunshine.  Several days before have all been gorgeous and in the 80s.
    I’ve been here for a week now and my days have taken on a touch of regularity.  My day begins with listening to a Naples talk radio (WGUF) show to get the weather, as I make my mega cup of coffee, and prepare for my morning walk to see what nature has to show me. About noon I come back and listen to more talk radio - Dennis Miller, who’s part news commentator, knowledgeable about American Popular Culture, a comedian, an original on Saturday Night Live, and a sportscaster who has been on Monday night football all rolled into one person.  He accompanies my brunch of whole grains (kind of like oatmeal) with fruit, then maybe I take a bike ride or find a task to occupy my afternoon or just putter around and listen to Dave Ramsay give financial advice and preach his debt free adage to fill the afternoon til it’s time to go check out the sunset; then my evening meal, have a solitary HH, plus I do nothing very well, and then I get to view the day’s photos on my laptop computer (powered by the reddy killowwatts supplied by the solar panels on the top of my nest), usually of something most people never see in a life time.  By the time I’m done editing them, making some notes of the days happenings and more puttering, it’s bedtime.
    There’s no TV or cell phone service here and I don’t need or miss them.  Radio is fine.  There’s plenty of music there, plus I have a library of music on my computer, on DVDs, and I enjoy talk radio.  On the weekend there’s the Digital Goddess, all things computers, and Bob Brinker’s money show in addition to Ramsay and Miller during the week.  I don’t listen to any talk show people that I wouldn’t enjoy having coffee with in the morning or HH in the evening.  That helps me keep in touch with reality, which in today’s world has gotten rather crazy.  I do very well in a much simpler world without schedules, rush hours, staring at a screen, and society’s demands.  The wilds and nowherelands are a great escape, especially when it’s warm.  By Christmas I’ll be ready for Key West, though, but I’ll be back here for round two in February, then I’ll meander west to wherever the weather cooperates!
    One thing for sure - I’ll be in Vegas for the St. Patrick’s bash on Fremont Street, I’ll be kayaking in St. Elena Canyon in Rio Grande River at Big Bend N.P., Tex. and be amazed by the phenomenal migrating birds on Padre Island, Tex.  Maybe I’ll see a Baltimore Oriole there, because I’ve never seen one in Maryland.  As an alternative to going to Texas, I may go to southern Utah north of the Grand Canyon.  Which place will be determined by which gets Mother Nature’s Touch of Warmth!  On the DownSlide, watchin’ and Lovin’ It.  Ask me about a free photo.
Bob R  o.c.FotoGuy
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