So as we were leaving Brandon the other day (Monday it was, and this is Wednesday, well since it's 12:31 as I write I guess it is technically Thursday) I was thinking about how "neat" it was to be passing orange groves and green grass etc. knowing that many of those we love are ass deep in snow - some loving it for daily four or five mile runs (oh you crazy boy), some loving it for who knows why and some detesting it as we well understand - some having their cars stranded on ice three feet from entering their garages ..... different strokes for different folks and I sure in hell hope none of that was interpreted as patronizing because it was NOT meant that way, but we sure don't miss the snow times - people yes, snow no (what a poet I am) ...
Anyway, above in the top photo is one of the orange groves we passed as we were leaving Brandon the other day, the photo directly above is strawberry plants by the gazillion near ready to be picked while the photo below are beds by the thousand waiting for strawberry (I think) plants to go in (what say you Candy and Chuck?) These raised and covered beds remind me of a picture of my Connor taken a few years ago when he was in a strawberry field (oh Beatles fans rejoice!) in California - one of the greatest photos his "Grammie" has of him eating a juicy red strawberry with those big huge gorgeous blue eyes looking into the camera!!!
below are acres of strawberry fields behind the moss laden trees (remember my quirky favorite things down here in the south are tin roofs and moss laden trees)
About 40 or so miles east then south of Brandon we came across these tomato plants darned near close to harvesting (today's travel, about 120 miles south of this photo we came across tomato plants whose red fruit was laying on the ground - UGH, I was sure it should have been between two slices of toasted whole wheat with light mayo and salt and pepper rather than laying in the dirt - strangely enough no one consulted me however)
All along the way we crossed paths with these trucks loaded with oranges (Rick has a "joke" - term loosely used - about a duck, a bar and some oranges - ask him ONLY if you have ten minutes to listen to the foolish "joke" or you want to humor him by asking about said "joke")
And beef farms (or are they called ranches?). I am reminded every time we travel through these parts about the misconception - well mine anyway - about Florida. I had no idea until I was in these parts for the first time at least a few years ago, about the agriculture here - I mean up until that point if you mentioned Florida I would think of a famous rodent, then beaches and warm water - seriously, what would YOU think of?
Just as we were nearing Clewiston (on the south side of Lake Okeechobee - what is the stat about that lake .... anyone???) we came across this accident - it didn't appear that anyone was physically hurt, but there were several men (crop laborers) scrambling to pick up the thousands upon thousands of oranges that were rolling about the roadway. Although you can't see it from this photo, there appeared to be four large trailer trucks and a car involved in this crash - two of the trucks were pretty much destroyed, but it did not appear that there were personal injuries involved - hoping my observations were accurate.
So, the above photos were taken on Monday and it is now Thursday (well the wee hours of Thursday morning) and in our travels today (a whole additional post of the adventures and where's and whys of today and our late arrival) below is a corn field somewhere between Ft. Lauderdale and Homestead - I'm guessing around Dade City, but then again it really doesn't matter where the hell it is does it?!?!?
and below an inflatable Santa next to azaleas for sale at one of the many many nurseries along the road. I remembered from the last coupe years here that there were many nurseries offering orchids for $5. and I had wanted one but knew it was quite likely if I had one, it wouldn't survive much travel with us, but I did decide today that we really should have at least ONE this trip around! Bets anyone on how long it may survive under our care?
With all that said we finally arrived here in the Keys quite late this afternoon - a post for another time about our adventure getting here - but for now it is way way way past my bedtime - in fact I suspect that King Richard may be waking up any moment (which isn't bad, because he can take Sir Arlo out and start their day as I am ending mine)
Since we are back at MY lodge, we have signed up for providing the champagne for the New Years celebration - not that there is much chance that we shall see "the ball fall" (well it has been many many years since I've seen midnight on December 31st) so it isn't likely this year either ...