A very busy day

Yesterday I had to drop off one daughter at a camp in Jupiter, so I took the opportunity to visit my other daughter in Loxahatchee, which is in Palm Beach County, where there are some beautiful beaches.  T is living on untamed land with her boyfriend and his father, which has a small portion dedicated to cattle.  So, yesterday, I took photos of cows, beaches, and wild stuff and today I’m going to try to make some kind of cohesive post about my adventures.

Soon after I arrived, Mark came home with food for the cows.  He works in produce, and gets to bring home the unsellable fruits and vegetables for the cows.  He gathers it all in a huge trashcan, then takes that out to the pasture and tips it over for the cow buffet.  The cows, and bull, all come running over and stand around eating it all.  It’s interesting to see how they pick through it to find their favorite bits.  One of them picked out all the corn, while another munched on the watermelon.  Those ears in the front of the photo above belong to Bruno, the dog.  He didn’t find the feast quite to his taste, but couldn’t resist the opportunity to tease the cows a bit.

Even the baby sniffed around some, even though she’s too young to eat any of it yet.  She licked a few pieces, but overall, she found mother’s milk much more satisfying.

The bull scared me a little, but as long as he was eating, he didn’t care what I did.

After the feeding frenzy died down a bit, we headed over to the beach, about 20 minutes away.  Yeah, I know, this is supposed to be the rest of Florida, not the beaches, and especially not the touristy beaches like the ones in South Florida, but, hey, I like beaches.  And this was a beautiful beach, with bright blue waters and sparkling sand.  A very, very hot beach, but beautiful.

We took shelter under the pier, where it was much cooler.  Not that we stayed there for long; the water was too inviting to stay out of.  MJ had already gone out into the water when T and I waded in.  She was absolutely in heaven swimming in that clear blue water.  See all those waves?  Yeah, this would be why I laugh when people talk about surfing in Florida.  Unless there’s a pretty good storm brewing, there really isn’t anything to surf on.

At some point, I managed to move the mode dial without realizing it, and ended up with some very overexposed images.  The effects were interesting, so I included a few.  The Good Year blimp flew over while we were there, and everyone looked up to see it pass over.  I wish I’d gotten a little more detail, but the disembodied heads looking up at it tell a bit of the story.  One of these days I will learn to pay more attention to that little dial, rather than assuming it is set right.  Of course, paying attention to what it tells me in the viewfinder would help too, but usually I just focus on the aperture and ignore the rest of it.

As we were leaving the beach, we noticed a tree with unusual roots that had fruit growing on it.  A closer look revealed this beautiful flower.  T picked one of the fruits, which we believe is a guava.  If it isn’t, and someone out there among my wonderful readers recognizes it, let me know.

Meanwhile, back on the farm (or something like a farm), wild Impatiens were growing everywhere.  I never knew Impatiens could grow wild, or that they got tall, but they do.  There were also wild poinsettias growing around in the wilderness.  This one is trying to get ready for Christmas a little early.  Cherries grow all along the fence line.  The one I shot is bright red, but apparently they get much darker as they ripen.

We wandered through the back lot, which is almost completely wild.  There were birds calling all around, but they kept well hidden.  We did come across a baby raccoon that we thought might be hurt, but since he managed to escape rapidly, it’s more likely that he was just terrified of the dogs who accompanied us.  All those birds and raccoons left evidence of their diet lying about everywhere with these huge snail shells.  Each of them is about the size of my hand, and there were trails of them everywhere.

Along the canal, sugarcane grows wild. It’s a pretty grass, but of course, it’s also a sweet grass.  We cut off a piece to sample, then carried the stalk around for the rest of our travels.  As we were stomping around, we came across an old truck, sitting out in the woods.  I’m not sure when it was left here, or who put it there, but it certainly has a nice patina by now.

*****

As usual, I had so much fun that I forgot to leave when I should have.  Instead of leaving at about 5, when it would have been light for most of the trip home, I left at 7 and had to hurry to make it home by midnight.  Ah, well, a lack of sleep was worth the extra time with my daughter.

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