Saturday, December 6, 2008
7 am saturday
What a gorgeous morning. H-Mom and Madison did a long walk, the kind that she used to do with Booker. Headed east through Rio Vista, over the first canal and up to the cul de sac past the Huizenga compound, which is absolutely romantic and beautiful and huge, huge, huge. Then east again and after a couple blocks, south along the next canal to 9th, back west to Federal Highway for some practice walking in a well-behaved "heel" on the sidewalk with dense city traffic - trucks, motorcycles in addition to speeding cars. A "sit" at the stoplight and then across a few parking lots to home.
Along one of the medians there was a huge tree that has been cut down and sawed into giant sections. The cross cut reveals the work of a Florida Strangler Fig, which starts as a seemingly harmless seed in the canopy of its host and gradually sends roots to the ground, wrapping the host tree in lattice work. The Figs leaves overtake the host tree, and it is eventually choked to death. We don't know why the host trunk and the Fig roots are outlined in white paint, but it makes a good educational photo.
A few blocks away, the morning quiet was crackled by a flock of giant green parrots, quarrelling for position in a tree next to the sidewalk. They were large, bright green parrots with brilliant red tail feathers, not Fort Lauderdale's more common Monk Parrots. If you look closely, you can see them in the tree branches. Many of the more exotic large parrots are escapees, or their progeny, from Parrot Jungle, during Hurricane Wilma.
Madison got a good workout, and so did H-Mom. Madison is exhausting to walk, with her short puppy attention span and propensity to dart from right to left and back again, winding behind and then remembering that "heel" is on the opposite side. Distractions abound. A flower. A palm frond. A coconut. A discarded Starbucks cup. A soggy newspaper.
It doesn't take much, either a sight or a sound, for Madison to go into "high alert" for a moment. She is busy figuring out the world. Body tall. Ears swivelled in the necessary direction. Madison's ears are like little satellite dishes, rotating with precision at the slightest sound or any verbal command or praise from H-Mom.
H-Mom's back and shoulders pay the price for insisting upon an orderly excursion. Madison makes a good effort, and does very well for her age. She delivers a "heel" better as she tires, of course. By then, though, H-Mom is dragging.
Nothing like a mid-morning nap.