As a youngster growing up in the mountains of Western Pennsylvania, seeing “critters” in the backyard such as rabbits, squirrels and occasionally a deer was commonplace. It just seemed to me that almost everyone had critters of some sort in their backyard.
Having traveled many places in the world and observing different animals, I developed an appreciation for the diversity of wildlife on every continent. Few animals are the same around the world. But they certainly are interesting. Everywhere there are new critters to discover and enjoy. This story is about discovering the Cape Coral Burrowing Owl.
In the 1960’s there was a popular television series called TheBeverly Hillbillies. In it Uncle Jed, a poor mountaineer, lived a peaceful, mediocre life in the mountains before striking it rich one day. That day was when “Texas Tea” bubbled up from his ground when he was shootin’ at some food. On moving to “Californy”, he and his family found a whole new world of swimmin’ pools and movie stars.
Similar to the Hillbillies, my good friend “Coconut Pete” moved to Florida where he found a whole new life in which he could go back in time to a simpler way of living the way Florida used to be.
One of his favorite hangouts is “Bert’s Bar and Grill” in Matlacha where every Saturday evening turtle races are held. This is my story about Coconut Pete’s favorite saying “enjoying mediocrity” and the turtle races at Bert’s.
As a recent Yankee transplant to North Carolina, I have learned about the loyalty people of the “Tar Heel State” have for their preferred brand of slow cooked pork barbecue.
There are two primary variations of North Carolina barbecue. “Lexington Style” (sometimes referred to as “Piedmont Style”) claims to be the best barbecue in the world.
North Carolinians living along the Atlantic coastal areas eat more “Eastern Style” pork barbecue. And they have a different point of view about this “world’s best” claim.
My story, however, is not to draw distinction to barbecue preferences but rather is about my recent visit to the 35th Annual Barbecue Festival held in Lexington, NC… the legendary world capital of slow cooked barbecue.
I was recently hospitalized for four weeks in Budapest for a serious emergency surgery. There were numerous experiences to record in my blog during this time but because of the remnant effects of the anesthesia, it is often difficult for me to determine reality from my vivid imagination. One, though, is certain when my nurse Etta required me to wear pajamas citing in easily understandable English “No nudie in hospital!”
In a few months I will have lived in various places in Europe for four years. My explorations have spanned geography from the Iberian peninsula in the west to the mountains of Transylvania in the east. One thing is consistent in every location, the Romans have been there.
The vastness of the Roman Empire is difficult for me to comprehend. In the history of mankind, their story is relatively recent. Even so, I find it to be more than a simple curiosity. And such it has been in my exploration of Aquincum, the Roman provincial capital of Pannonia Inferior. Aquincum is a treasure trove of antiquities such as the limestone statue of Nemesis, the goddess of fate, created in the 2nd century.
Recently I and my brother and his wife visited Asheville, North Carolina. Asheville is a beautiful “Southern” city situated on the edge of the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains in the western part of the state. There are aspects of Asheville that are quirky or strange. However, I don’t think it has yet demonstrated sufficient quirky qualities to truly be considered “weird.”
Over the past few years I have traveled throughout several countries in Europe. Along the way I have been snapping photos of those showing their affection. My plan was in contemplation of posting the photos for Valentine’s Day… the day we think of love, whether good, bad or none at all.
This story is about the photos… those sharing their love in public. I did ask for people to let me take their photo (and use it in the blog) and once I explained what I was doing, almost everyone agreed.
I hope you like seeing the photos and that they bring nice thoughts for you and a smile to your face.