Well the dog days of winter are here. Just grey, damp and cold, dark and endless. Gloomy. Especially in the Pacific Northwest. Especially in the time of Covid.

I think we have binge-watched every possible show from Netflix to Prime, my library is full, my house is pretty clean and the clothes and dishes are washed. I have the Panama Bird Feeder Live Cam playing on the TV- it is a live feed from Panama, Central America of a feeder where they put out tropical fruits for the critters- you never know what you’re going to get. At night, the nectar bats drink for the hummingbird feeder and feast. Coolest thing in the world.

A few years ago, my husband and I went down to Panama-we found a little house to rent on the beach. It was absolutely amazing. Panama has this crazy tide, something like a negative 25, so when the tide is out, you can hardly see the water, and the beach exploring had the most incredible shelling I have ever experienced. (Most shells were occupied, so no keeping them!) My husband picked up a huge conch shell, really excited for the find, but when he turned it over, this giant claw came out- the biggest hermit crab I’ve ever seen. We put that right back down. Can’t wait to get back there. Soon, I hope!

So I’m taking advantage of the dog days to explore our next vacations- we are going to Florida in the spring, and are mapping out our trip. We base camp out of a certain destination and spiral out from there. I enjoy investigating surrounding areas and use Google Earth a lot. I haven’t been shelling for a while, so I think Sanibel and Captiva are definitely on the list. We will find a place inland to base from though; I cannot rationalize a 300.00 per night stay just to sleep! We have never really spent time in the Ft Meyer’s area. Been to Disney World and Epcot (I like Disney Land better).

Once, we went to the Keys; I got it into my head to search out Key Deer, so off we went! I read that the best time to spot them would be around sunset, and the best Key would be Big Pine. So we got there just before sunset, parked, and hiked into the key. I am a mosquito magnet, and sunset was ‘wake up time for the little nasty’s-I became their breakfast buffet-but we found one! Got some great pictures. When we made it back out, it was almost full dark, and there was an entire herd in the parking lot next to the car. Sheesh. But I digress.

I’m really looking forward to this trip though. Already, today looks a little brighter as I plan ahead. These dog days of winter really aren’t so dreary if I’m not concentrating on them! Maybe we need them to appreciate what is next. Maybe I will tackle a closet…

As always, my hopes are for your hopes and dreams! T