Saturday, December 5, 2015

November 24 - November 30, 2015 - Horseshoe Beach, FL

November 24

Edith was able to get up long before the sunrise.  The moon was starting to set in when she was ready to drive off.  She used Stellarium app to determine the rising sun’s location. The first spot she went to was not ideal, so she drove to the boat ramp near Main St. Cafe.

It was 40˚ and Edith hoped she was dressed warm enough to stay outside for a period of time. To make the matter worse it was very windy, so she spent time staying inside the Jeep with the heater on at full blast.  

The birds were already busy catching baits before the sun rose at 7:04 am.  

When Edith got back to the campsite she was surprised to see how super low the tide was.  

Our "home" away from home
Low Tide
Lots of American Pelicans, eagles, egrets, herons, Brown Pelicans, different kinds of seagulls were around.  

American Pelicans (White)
American Pelicans (White)
Great Blue Heron
Juvenile Eagle
We went to meet Gracie and Jerry who had just arrived Horseshoe Beach, made arrangements on what we plan to do for the evening.  

After supper we four got together and watched a DVD movie “Fire in the Sky”.

November 25

Erwin woke Edith up around 6 am to let her see beautiful puffy clouds.  Beautiful morning…She was too lazy to get out of the bed and into clothes to go outside to get pictures.  She chose to stay in bed.

After breakfast we biked to meet with Gracie and Jerry for a little while.  After we left we biked some more.. On Main Street they were repaving the road. Strong smell of asphalt!

The osprey was feeding on a piece of fish on top of the weathervane.  There were two more nearby.  A great morning of catching fishes for ospreys, pelicans and eagles.

The sunset was lovely. Edith then drove to the east side of the village to try and get a picture of the rising full moon.  

We, along with Gracie and Jerry, watched a DVD movie “Sanctum”.

November 26 - Thanksgiving Day

It was a beautiful morning. The tide was super low again, but not as low as it was the other day.  The white pelicans were back at the far side of the water. Only two boats went out.

Juvenile Brown Pelicans

Great Blue Heron
Pelican divebombing
A couple was harvesting oysters from the bank near us.  They probably wanted them steamed to be eaten or chopped up for turkey dressing.

Edith started preparing green bean casserole (not the typical french green beans with cream of mushroom soup ).  She decided to try Ree Drummond’s recipe.  She then prepared fresh asparagus by cutting off the stems, washed/dried the spears, drizzled them with robust olive oil, salt/pepper and sweet basil.

Working on the lighthouse puzzle (1,000 pieces)
It was around noontime that we got ourselves dressed and got ready to go over to Gracie and Jerry’s place.  

Gracie got a 16 lb turkey and it was her first time to use gas stove.  Because of this she was not sure how long it would take before the turkey is really done.  Thank goodness for the microwave to cook the pieces when needed.  A lot of foods on the countertop that is enough to feed an army.  Jerel (Gracie and Jerry’s young son) and his girlfriend, Sam came to join the feast with us.  

Gracie and Jerry getting ready to carve the turkey 

Sam, Jerry and Jerel
That is Edith's plate!  Too much?
After early supper we spent the rest of the afternoon with the family.  Then we drove to the dead end to watch the sunset.

Another movie night for all of us.

November 27

Edith was awaken by loud noise outside around 6 am. It was an airboat taking off!  

Another lovely morning.  The boat trailer parking lot was starting to get full.  The anglers would rather go fishing than shopping on Black Friday.

Snowy Egret
Tricolored Heron

Gracie and Jerry stopped by the campsite, wanted to see white pelicans and other birds.  They liked the view from inside our Lil’ Home. 

 Edith took Gracie to the library because she wanted to set up wifi connection on her IPhone.

Gracie had Thanksgiving leftovers, so we went over for lunch.  

Osprey ready to take off
We took things easy for rest of the day and night.  Nothing much except spending time with Gracie and Jerry.

November 28

It was foggy when Erwin went outside, but he said it was not as foggy as it was two weeks ago when we camped here.

We went over to see Gracie and Jerry to say good-bye before they went back home.  Their son, Jerel and his girlfriend, Samantha were getting ready to go home, also.  

We decided to go out for the day visiting some places.  Erwin wanted to check out campgrounds at two parks: Otter Springs and Hart Springs near Fanning Springs, FL.

Otter Springs campground was almost crowded when we drove through.  While it is nice we did not think we would want to camp here.  We went to Hart Springs RV campground. Much better, clean.  $375 a month for full hook-ups.  We may want to stay there for a week to see how we like it before we decide to stay there for a month.

There are two entrances at Hart Springs: one to RV campground and one to the park and springs.  To visit the park and springs the admission is $1 for seniors over 60 and wristbands are required when spending the day there. There were few boys swimming at the spring.

Erwin wanted to look into modular homes at a dealer north of Chiefland, FL.  He wanted to go in some models to see the layout and size for our future home if we ever have it built on a lot.  He was not impressed with the quality and workmanship!

After leaving Chiefland, FL we stopped by Dakota Winery to sample their wines. It has a bird sanctuary (wood ducks) and a pond with kois.  

1934 Ford 1 1/2 Ton Flathead V8 Truck
The store is filled with lots of wines, jellies, sauces, oils, etc.  The cellar is in the back, but is not accessible.  We wanted to sample 3 wines and one juice: Carlos, Blush, Noble and Muscadine juice.  We liked them all, got one bottle of each except two for Noble because it goes well with beef dishes.  Carlos is perfect for seafood dishes.

On way back home we stopped at Cross City cemetery. It did not have many statues, but there was one tombstone that caught Edith's eye. A guitar shaped tombstone.

When we got back to the city park/campground the parking lot was full.  There were anglers cleaning/filleting fishes they caught.  Nice sized ones - redfish and speckled trout.  The pelicans were by the cleaning station waiting for the discarded guts and skins.  It was fun watching them fight over the piece.

Edith could not see the Milky Way, but went ahead and took pictures.  She finally found where it was and started taking a couple pictures.  She noticed there was a black streak on one picture, went back inside the Lil’ Home to check.  Oh, the shutter is not functioning properly, got stuck.  Out of commission!  This means a trip to the camera repair shop when we get back to Jacksonville, FL soon.  It was a good thing that she had a point/shoot camera around.  Not as great as the DSLR camera, but it will do for a while.

November 29

What a really nice morning!  No clouds anywhere.  This time we did not feel vibrations from airboats going by.

A very disappointing morning for Edith because she is not able to use her DSLR camera to get close up shots of Great Egrets and Snowy Egrets that were walking by us. 

Light breakfast for us.  We just wanted a cup of coffee, sat outside and enjoyed the breeze and the view.  The moon had not set.

The motorhome on campsite #2 was having trouble backing out. Erwin walked over to find out what was going on.  The motorhome’s reverse gear is blown out and the guy cannot back it out.  One truck did come by and tried to pull it out, but its rear wheel drive was not powerful enough. Finally someone driving a heavy duty truck was able to pull the motorhome out of the campsite.  The owner said he has to drive 300 miles to get home.  We hope he did not have any trouble on his way.

It was a very busy morning at the city park/boat ramp.  The parking lot was full and few of the boat trailers were illegally parked on campsites.  They do not care because they did not want to having to drive few blocks from the ramp. The park attendant had warned us about it.

We biked around the town for about an hour and half, checked out some lots, took pictures.  

The Crooked Palm Tree 

We fished at the bank for a while, few bites but no catches.  Few anglers came by to fish at the bank and the dock.  

Edith went to the dead end park to get time lapse of the sunset.  Not as many spectators was it was yesterday.  

Campsite #6 was vacant, so we built a campfire there. Edith was planning on making Fruit Smores, but decided to go fishing at the dock.  Erwin joined in.  We had frozen shrimp left over that we got two weeks ago.

Edith caught two speckled trouts, 4 whitings or croakers and one ladyfish. Erwin caught a gar (boy, it had lots of teeth).  While fishing we were able to enjoy looking at zillions of stars and the Milky Way.  

By the time we got back from fishing the campfire was starting to go out. Erwin changed his mind and ate the fudge that Jerry made for us.  Guess we will have Fruit Smores tomorrow night.

It was a beautiful night and the breeze felt just right.  You could see the reflection of the stars on the water.  Edith wished her DSLR camera was working, so she can get pictures of the universe.  Next time!

November 30

Very cloudy, but the breeze felt nice. No white pelicans in sight.  Lots of butterflies were fluttering around flowers in front of our Lil’ Home (LH).  

It was so quiet at the boat ramp. Few airboats went out. 

After breakfast we worked on the puzzle a bit after we decided not to go to Shired Island today. We will visit it another time when we camp here again.

Erwin was going to the shrimp place by bicycle to get live shrimp, but the rear tire was flat, so he took the car.  Erwin got 25 live ones and we fished at the bank not far from the LH.  Lots of bites, but no keepers. Edith caught a pinfish (some people do eat it, not us).

The sunset was beautiful. We watched it while eating spaghetti.  The clouds were very colorful and interesting.  

By the way, yes, we finished the puzzle this afternoon. It took us 5 days from start to finish. We found few puzzle pieces that fell on the floor under the dining table.

The Finished Puzzle
The universe was not as starry as it was last night.  We were planning on fishing at the dock, but Erwin had a nagging headache and took medicine.  Edith went to the library to use wifi while he rested.  The wifi was so SLOW and it took forever to open/read emails. We will be home tomorrow and Edith will go to one of the Starbucks stores because their wifi is fast.

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