Mom heron feeding babies … if you like nature, don’t miss this post.

May 29, 2015 at 7:42 am | Posted in Books, dogs, publishing, Reading, Uncategorized, Writing | 2 Comments
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The old saying “A picture is worth a thousand words,” is one with which my human disagrees. He says a good writer should never use that many words to describe anything. Sigh. He’s wrong. Remember he’s human. Those who visit me regularly know we have a growing rookery behind our house. If you like nature, birds, etc., don’t miss viewing the clip below. The film clip and pictures show something my humans (and me) were privileged to observe. Its of a mom night heron feeding her young. The photos are of neighboring young herons that hatched several weeks earlier. I’ll let the clip and the photos do most of the woofing, sorry humans that’s talking in your lingo. Tell you friends to have a look.

Two juvenile Night Herons just starting to show adult plumage.

Two juvenile Night Herons just starting to show adult plumage.

 

Young adult pruning

Young adult pruning

Mom heron getting ready to feed her babies

Mom heron getting ready to feed her babies. There are two. Can you find them?

The clip is of the parent feeding the babies regurgitated crabs. The fact that Mrs. G was able to get a clip of such a rare sight as the feeding was great, but unfortunately there was an even better shot that was missed. Humans don’t walk around with cameras ALL the time. That would have been the film of the night heron parents collaborating with one of the green herons who also nest in the mangroves across the canal. The three birds caught and drove off a four foot long black snake that tried to rob their nest. It was a once in a lifetime sight!

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Sometimes signs simply don’t tell it all …

May 26, 2015 at 12:51 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment
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The grandson of the Seminole chief who resisted the loss of his tribes lands.

The grandson of the Seminole chief who resisted the loss of his tribes lands.

Sometimes signs simply don’t tell it all. If you have a surface knowledge of history, you probably know that the Seminole Nation was one of the Native American people that first colonists, and later the U.S. Government, “displaced.” What is the word I want to describe their treatment? Unfair? Detestable? Corrupt? Dastardly? Yep, all of those.

The Seminoles emerged as the principal inhabitants of what is Florida today after the Calusa and Timucua tribes were decimated by early white settlers. Fighting caused some fatalities, but European diseases introduced by the Conquistadores practically exterminated these people. The survivors were absorbed into the Seminole tribe as were portions of other tribes in the area. The tribe was a true “melting pot” as many of the villages became havens for escaped slaves, some being accepted as peers by the Seminole. (But, some blacks became their slaves as well)

When the English gained control of Florida in the mid-1700s, the first serious influx of white settlers invaded the “Fourteenth Colony.” The Spanish had been less than enthusiastic caretakers of their Florida holdings. Their focus lay further west and south. In most ways Florida had been a disappointment to Toledo – no gold, poor soil, disease infested, war-like inhabitants … those facts didn’t pique Spain’s interest. Their Florida Colony was held at arm’s length. Because of this the Spanish and Seminole relationship wasn’t strained past minor hostilities that arose spasmodically. Then the American Revolution occurred.

Two things happened. The Tories (loyalists) fled the fledgling United States where they weren’t welcome (Having people wanting to kill you IS a sure sign of not being welcome). Many crossed the border into Florida which remained “loyal” to the king. The second event was that Florida was returned to Spain as a result of the Treaty of Paris (1783), ending the both the Revolutionary War and a wider conflict between Europeans. It meant Spain was given something it was luke warm about receiving. In many ways it was like the Wizard of Oz being congratulated on getting a blind date with the Wicked Witch of the West. Spain never took full control. Anarchy reigned.

The Seminoles had seen what happened to the Cherokee, Creeks, Calusa and Timucua. When they tried to protect their lands from an increasing number of white farms and plantations, things became violent. Raids, destruction and massacres became more frequent. Both sides were guilty. Basically, the Seminoles were indicted for protecting what was theirs. Enter Andrew Jackson. Jackson cared little about minor things like a country’s boundary. He gave the Spanish governor an ultimatum, the governor caved, and Jackson conducted what became know as the 1st Seminole War. Though the Seminoles made brave efforts to defend, it was more of a slaughter than a war. The whole story of Florida’s early days was one of violence, broken treaties, violated white flags, false accusations, murder, destruction and anarchy. It makes the old West seem as menacing as a Quaker prayer vigil by comparison. For example, the Seminole Wars were the most costly of any fought against Native Americans. The Seminoles never signed a “final” peace treaty with the US government.

The sign pictured at the beginning of this post is testimony to the ruthlessness of the period’s history. Billy Bowlegs III was the grandson of the primary leader of the Seminole Nation during what is called the 3rd Seminole War. After realizing that he’d been cheated when he signed the Treaty of Payne’s Landing in 1832 agreeing relocate his people to Oklahoma, he successfully resisted forcible eviction until 1858. Exiled from his “country,” he died of smallpox in 1864 on the Oklahoma reservation. Interestingly, Billy served with distinction as a captain in the Union Army during the Civil War.

His grandson, for whom the sign is erected, returned to his grandfather’s home lands years after the great chief’s death. Billy Bowlegs III became an outstanding member and leader of the Seminoles that remained in Florida.  Sometimes signs simply don’t tell it all.

 

The "original" Billy Bowlegs - Seminole Chief - 1858, six years before his death.

The “original” Billy Bowlegs – Seminole Chief – 1858, six years before his death.

 

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What happened here? …… Read the signs …..

May 4, 2015 at 2:42 pm | Posted in Books, Uncategorized | 1 Comment
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A roadside historical maker - take the time to stop and read them and learn a lot about what made the US.

A roadside historical maker – take the time to stop and read them and learn a lot about what made the US.

The Geezer is at it again. The old boy has been working on this for four years. He’s deeply immersed in research for another book. He calls what he’s writing a “near-history novel.” His fictional characters accompany historical individuals as they relive their lives on the pages of his book. This one is titled, The Claytons: The Wild, Wild East. It documents the formative early days of Florida starting with the Battle of King’s Mountain in South Carolina during the Revolutionary war and ends with Florida’s disastrous 1928 hurricane. The Claytons flee the colonies fearing retribution because of their loyalty to the English. They migrate to Florida where they hope to restart their lives. The family settles in an area and time that is one of the most violent in American history. Political intrigue, Indian wars, anarchy, civil war, unscrupulous leaders, greed, and a hostile environment test generations of Claytons ability to survive and their character.

Usually, when he searches for historical facts, I get left at home. Au contraire, mon amie. This time he stretched his meager human mental capacities and decided he’d take me along where my keen canine intellect would add depth to his observations. With the exception of certain museums and county records offices where there is still a bigoted bias against canines, he said he’ll take me everywhere.

The Geezer believes in visiting the historic places he writes about. It may look completely different than it did at that time, but he doesn’t care. He says he wants to develop a relationship with the place and visualize what it must have been like. The Geezer won’t admit it, but I believe he thinks he can establish a bond with the souls that lived there.

We visited a number of sites in the last couple weeks. I’ll be telling you about them in my next few posts. One thing is for sure: If you want to learn about a place, start by reading the signs.

Here I am, pointing the way to the next historical site. Note the royal pillow the Geezer provides for my head.

Here I am, pointing the way to the next historical site. Note the royal pillow the Geezer provides for my head.

It’s that time, the birds, the bees, & the manatees.

April 14, 2015 at 2:02 pm | Posted in Books, dogs, life, publishing, Reading, Uncategorized, Writing | 2 Comments
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A baby heron stands in front of its nest.

Tis the season. Spring time brings birth in SW Florida. We now have eight night heron nests, two green heron nests and a kingfisher all nesting in the mangroves across the canal. Up higher a red-tailed hawk pair is raising their young. The young night herons are about ready to leave the nest with the others all a little behind. There are seven Osprey nests scattered through our neighborhood, we wake up to their screaming every morning.

The manatees have returned to the canal to have their young as they do each year. We’ve only been able to identify one “baby” this year. There are seven who are spending most of the time in our canal. They come and go. But mom and little one stay there; it is a lot safer than braving the propeller blades they’d face in Charlotte Harbor or Pine Island Sound. Hope you enjoy the pics.

 

This years crop is ready to leave - adult colors are in place

This years crop is ready to leave – adult colors are in place

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Mom Heron is friendly and comes within a few feet to stand on our dock pilings.

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Mom Manatee and baby – BIG baby!

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Papa Manatee out for a cruise on Sunday PM

Spring has sprung!

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Advice – They’re talking about me … So what!

April 6, 2015 at 11:56 am | Posted in Books, Cats, life, Uncategorized | 4 Comments
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Secrets? Oreo & The Geezer in conference

Secrets? Oreo & The Geezer in conference

Do you ever get the feeling that people are talking about you? I saw Oreo my feline friend and The Geezer in a secretive conversation yesterday. I watched them whisper back and forth, glance around the room, and exhibit all the signs of two individuals engaged in a conspiracy. My vantage point was from under the dining table, a place hidden from their probing eyes.

I just KNEW they were talking about me! What had I done? What was wrong? Had I rolled in something more offensive than normal? Was my breath bad from the garlic on the left-over Italian steak scraps? Was I snoring in my sleep again? Then I considered that it might be something my human could be planning. Was he and Mrs.G going off on a trip? Leaving me behind? Would the pet-sitter be my only companion? For how long? Were they taking me to the vet? Shots? Did I have a mysterious malady? Was it Serious?

After their conversation broke up, I began to stew and fret. What disaster was about to befall me? I spent a sleepless night. This morning I looked at Oreo and the Geezer suspiciously and gave them the silent treatment. To my chagrin, they didn’t seem to notice. Finally, I couldn’t stand it any more. I cornered Oreo and asked, “Old Buddy, I know something is wrong – tell me, I can take it.”

Oreo looked puzzled. He asked, “What are you talking about?”

“I saw you and the Geezer talking about me on the stairs the other day.” I tried to be contrite. “I sorry.”

Oreo laughed. “We weren’t talking about you. The Geezer was asking for suggestions. He’s looking for ideas for things he might give Mrs. G for their anniversary. He said he’d asked you also. You have a case of Canine Paranoidus?”

I remembered he had and I said, “Oh.” Where was my red rubber nose, my pointed hat, huge shoes, and clown make up? I felt foolish.

The Geezer wrote a piece of advice in one of his books that one of his characters gave to another – “It’s not important what others say or think about you as long as you’re happy with what you say and do. You can’t control their judgment … you can only control your actions that they base those judgments on … and, most importantly, only to the degree to which you want.” I have to remember that.

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Ever listen to TV ads? Are humans THAT stupid?

March 28, 2015 at 10:53 am | Posted in Advertising, Books, Current events, Media, TV, Uncategorized | 3 Comments
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Sandy says - Really?

Sandy says – Really?

 6 is > than 1

Really?

Anybody know how much a thirty second spot costs on national TV? I know they’re expensive even if they aren’t shown at the same time as the super bowl. Just a guess, but it’s probably at least in six figures. I’m sure some unbelievably smart human devises these brief messages composed to indelibly  etch a message on the viewers mind. But really? Are humans that stupid?

A couple of examples should suffice. Let’s start with the one that intends to enlighten it’s human audience about a product you stick up your nostrils. It’s supposed to do wonders for those with nose problems. It has six active ingredients, though the ad doesn’t spend much time saying what they are or what they do. What message does this bit of TV magic leave you with? My goodness – 6 is greater than 1! What a revelation! I assume the Madison Avenue geniuses fashioning this ad believe the majority of humans hunkering in front of their TV’s never made the third grade. Maybe they thought that college professors are teaching elementary schools and those students are learning nothing just like those being taught in universities. Whatever IQ level you assign canines, we know six is greater than one. Who wouldn’t want six treats instead of just uno.

Then there is an ad for something – I think it’s for a car, but the ad missed its mark with me. Maybe with you. If you’ve seen it, can you tell me who the manufacturer is? It’s about a bunch of humans cringing in an office building afraid of drones hovering outside. One human gives advice and, of course, everybody does just the opposite. They run – the drones attack – chaos – but why? The Department of Justice isn’t allowed to use drones to attack us like they said they wanted to, or so they claim they won’t. The superior smart ass in the ad rides off into the sunset as his car’s technology, the car whose name I can’t remember, outsmarts the drones’ technology.

And they pay humans to invent and produce those ads? It’s a wonder the low intellect species has survived this long. But, you can’t cheat evolution. Watch TV news – the way things are going, humans will be extinct in no time.

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Take this Poll … I know it’s early … Animals vs Humans for President in 2016

March 10, 2015 at 4:11 pm | Posted in Books, Current events, dogs, Elections, Humor, News, TV, Uncategorized | 7 Comments
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Geezer & I share a Christmas kiss

By word (or treat) of mouth – my choices to out run the front-runners.

Didn’t we just go through the modern version of the Spanish Inquisition? An election? The ballots haven’t had a chance to mold and the news media is consumed by 2016. Humans should revolt and burn down the TV news networks and newspapers and give us all a rest. The idiots incorrectly labeled “journalists” remind me of Shakespeare’s witches in MacBeth … huddling around the caldron chanting “Double, Double, Toil and Trouble, Parties Burn and Nonsense Bubble.” Instead of the caldron, their instruments of evil are microphones, word-processors, and polls.

Like their Shakespearean counter-parts they’re up to no good, trying to keep the populace angry, divided, and misinformed. Half the population wants to cut the other half’s throats and all are ready to burn Washington. (That might not be a bad idea if all the politicians and bureaucrats are there at the time it’s made into ashes.)

The information these news folks put out sounds as though it was gathered at a sixth grade sleep-over. It sometimes is a series: one side dares the other, the other side double-dares the first, and the first side double-dog-dares the second, and so on. Think … the tongue-froze-to-flagpole scene in the “Christmas Story.” Of course those actors were more mature. But, remember, we’re talking about humans.

Then there are the polls. You know, those things the media says measure your thoughts, but are designed to shape them instead. They try to make one candidate inevitable and one mission impossible. Well, I’ve decided to give my readers a chance to pick animal competitors for the 2016 Presidency against two of the front-running human candidates. Take the poll and encourage others to do so. I’ll send the results to the TV networks.

Words of wisdom from Dogfucius

February 27, 2015 at 2:49 pm | Posted in Books, dogs, Humor, life, publishing, Reading, Uncategorized, Writing | 8 Comments
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Words of wisdom from my canine cranium

Words of wisdom from my canine cranium

My human, The Geezer, often tells me how important it is to share our knowledge with others. As a respected member of DOGSA, I’ve decided to impart canine wisdom to my human readers in the hope of advancing that backward species. I will quote the great canine philosopher Dogfucius from time to time.

Dogfucius says – “Human men never complain about rain or snow at a football game, but cannot tolerate a light dew when cutting grass.

Dogfucius says – “Human women have great memory for everything that has been done to offend them, but can’t remember their weight, their age, or the last time they got a traffic ticket.

Dogfucius says – “”It is no coincidence the human spelling for big-shot and big-shit is almost the same.”

Dogfucius has spoken.

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Why do some people hate puppies?

January 28, 2015 at 11:57 am | Posted in Advertising, Books, Current events, dogs, News, publishing, Reading, Uncategorized, Writing | 9 Comments
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Back when I was a puppy ......

Back when I was a puppy ……

The Internet and TV are alive with a controversy. Is being a puppy a crime? Does it matter where you come from? It seems that featuring a puppy in a Go-Daddy commercial that doesn’t strictly conform to a portion of the public’s belief system, is causing all kinds of consternation. I can identify with the star of the commercial; I looked a lot like ’em when I was that age. See my picture above? The poor pup’s debut in the Super Bowl ad is cancelled!

The last ten seconds of the ad were … ah … let’s not call it stupid, but I can’t find a better synonym right now. Who is the advertising agency appealing to, the Marquis De Sade? Those humans on Madison Avenue are supposed to be geniuses. Right? I guess if your hat size and IQ are within a few points they qualify.

With that said, how can a commercial get some folks’ panties wadded up so tight? (Glad I’m canine and don’t wear them.) I came from a breeder. They’re not all evil like the tone of much of the doggie poop I see on the I-net would have you believe. My breeder slept on the floor with my brothers, sisters, and mommy to get us used to living with humans, insisted on interviewing prospective families, and helped match our traits to the house we’d soon call our own.

Think of the poor puppy in the commercial. A career that could rival Lassie’s or Rin Tin Tin’s has been sidelined. The dangers that puppy faced: trains, no planes, but automobiles. Neither rain or sore paws could dampen her or his acting effort. Leave it to snarky narrow-viewed humans to louse things up. Oh well, you expect it from the species.

The decision is made

My humans, the Geezer and Mrs. G at their interview … I picked them.

 

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Color doesn’t matter to canines … Another reason why dogs are better than humans …

January 17, 2015 at 10:23 am | Posted in Books, Current events, Uncategorized | 8 Comments
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Sorry, I'm on my soap box today.

Sorry, I’m on my soap box today.

One of the greatest things about being a dog is that we don’t care about color. No, we’re not color blind. We just don’t have the weakness that humans suffer from … over reaction to the shade that something exhibits. They get very emotional about the whole thing.

Take red for example. They give it all sorts of traits it doesn’t have. Humans equate it with stop. Why? Something green like a cactus might mean you want to stop before touching. Red’s the color humans have assigned to be associated with sex. Think about it: Red dress, Red-light district … When a lady changes the color of her night gown from pink to red it isn’t because she’s dreaming of eating chicken soup for lunch.

This is one of those things I could get preachy over so I’ll cut to the most important difference I see between humans and canines AND one of those things that make us so superior to humans.

Like canines, humans come in all sorts of colors and shades. The crazy part is that humans react emotionally to those colors without any logic to what they say and do. Certain colors mean certain things to them and they refuse to look at the members of their own species objectively. Other dogs don’t look at me as a friend or enemy because of my golden coat. White dogs don’t look at black dogs and make a negative value judgment. And the reverse of that is true. What counts in canine relations is how that individual treats us. We don’t want to be denied OR given credit for what we do because we are a different shade than the canine next store. It’s what we do not the way we look that’s important to the way we dogs interact.

To bad humans are slow learners – they could improve themselves if they just watch us more carefully.

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