The End of March

The End of March

As each new month begins, I make a folder on my computer that ends up containing all of the photos that end up gracing the pages of Camera Crazy. I can tell you that when I made the folder for March, 2020, I never in my wildest dreams could have imagined how the month would end. While there have been photos of empty shelves created by panic buying, I've tried my best to remain positive because, frankly, what else can we do? Call me crazy, but I've found that complaining generally does no one any good.

Around here, nature has been providing more than its fair share of drama. One afternoon, Bruce saw a cat trying to get to a duckling, running outside and shooing it away. Picking it up, he tried placing it amongst the Mallard ducklings and there was a bit of havoc. Apparently, the ducklings began attacking it, and then Mama became a little violent as well. While I've not seen any other ducklings, I suspect it was a Wood Duck and Mama Mallard was having no part of caring for another. She's got her hands full already!
For the most part, we can get very close and they stay put quietly observing us as we observe them. Which brings me to more drama that includes the otters. Oh my goodness, it was so scary! Out the window I noticed the swirling water, the tell-tale sign that the otters are near. I ran outside just in time to see two otters clamor onto the shoreline, ready to pounce, and our little family was frantic, squealing and trying to get away. I started shouting--get away!--and I swear, they listened, after a time. Meanwhile, the family became separated and I became frantic, but Mama kept calling out and found two way down along the shoreline. As they waddled closer to where I stood, I kept hoping they would make it and the good news is that they did! Telling Matt about it, he said it was like watching a nature program on television except this was very close to home!
Amazingly, there are still ten which is two shy of when we first saw them, but to tell you the truth, it seems pretty miraculous because more often than not, every day one usually disappears. How many will eventually survive is anyone's guess, however,  I'm doing my part to keep them safe.

With the Coronavirus seemingly the only news anywhere, the lack of rain here has hardly been mentioned, but it is noteworthy how little there has been, to the tune of 0.02" for the month. What is normal? 3.51"! The lakes are getting low, thus our shoreline is very muddy, in part because our beautiful trees drop lots of organic material daily.

What else is noteworthy is how creative people are getting in the wake of this pandemic. All over social media people are posting fun stuff that helps keep us from sinking into despair. While I had left the complex but once all week, when I saw my friend Candy post a photo of 16 Wood ducklings at Lake Davis, I drove over for a quick look-see. As you may recall that is where Bruce and I walk, that is until the pickleball craze took over. As I walked the path, I came across some affirming chalk drawings,
and before long, there they were. Horrible lighting, but fun to see nonetheless.(note muddy bank and someone putting out food)
Before too much longer we should have some on our lake, yet they are way more skittish than the Mallards, so I don't suspect they will allow very much close contact. Then again, the world is upside down right now, so maybe they will!

Here's the little shelving unit Bruce painted with mostly library books filling the shelves.  One jigsaw puzzle that took Bruce and I most of one day to complete, is now on there as well. Too bad we don't have any more.
The other night I learned about "P. E. with Joe" from Gayle who said her grandson was doing it at the urging of his school. Here is the link if you think you might be interested.  Because he is from London, I asked Matt about him and he said he was already famous in the UK, and now even more so as he has turned his attention to getting kids to exercise at home doing pretty much the same exercises we did in elementary school. Later on Matt texted me back, saying he'd done the workout and it was something he thought we should try. As Nancy was at the pool, and Bruce was outdoors reading, I gave it a try. Oh my word am I ever out of shape! I got about halfway through before stopping as my arm was giving me fits. That's my excuse anyway! Seriously, my arm is so darn sore from serving that I am trying to rest it, sitting out while others play. Nancy is picking it very quickly and having fun in the process.
To reiterate, we are using precautions, wiping the balls down after playing. Hands, rackets, car, gate, we are doing all that we can.
Sadly, the pictured chair is one we purchased for camping, but that's not happening anytime soon as all of the parks are closed, and in fact, we have already received our refund from the state for our May 15th reservations at Silver Springs State Park. Oh that this would all be over before May, but it seems as if that may not happen. Remember how I said I was putting the Florida cases on the calendar, beginning on March 17 with 216 reported cases. As of the 29th, there are 4,950. Of course there is more testing, explaining some of the numbers, certainly not all though.

Are there any amongst you who know someone who has had Covid-19? Mostly I am curious. Are there any amongst those reading who know someone who has lost their job? I believe it was reported in Saturday's newspaper that the unemployment rate in Florida at the end of February was 2.8%, an historic low. Although we won't have any figures for a while, I can tell you that in that same article the number of unemployment claims rose from something like 26,000 in the first week of March to 228,00 in the next. The tip of the iceberg, or so I fear.

Let's see, what else? Nancy gave Bruce a haircut on the front porch, for one thing.
Meanwhile my hair, well, let's not even go there.

We finally have a little baby gardenia bloom on our new plant.
So many folks are enjoying new orchid blooms while mine continues doing well. Because of how dry it has been, I finally remembered something our old market neighbor, Jim, used to advise people when they purchased his orchids. Spray them lightly with water. Done.
Yes, with no rain, it has been way too hot for March. Wednesday is Bill and David's birthday, but of course we won't be celebrating just yet. So very many of the things we have taken for granted have gone by the wayside for the foreseeable future, haven't they? Matt and Tom remained home to celebrate their sixth wedding anniversary yesterday, making the best of things, as we all are trying to do. Saturday night would have been the concert we were hoping to attend with Jon and Alissa in Austin. For a time we had considered driving there, camping along the way, however, now it is a good thing we canceled because, get this, our governor is not letting people from Louisiana travel to our state due to their high number of cases and deaths. As I type there have been 60 deaths in Florida so far. I have been informing myself from this site hosted by Johns Hopkins University.  Pretty grim reading.

Our groceries are holding out pretty well; should we need something from the store, Nancy has volunteered to be our designated shopper. This Anhinga gets his food for free.
Tell me a little something about how things are in your world as we travel through these extraordinary times.

Wishing for you "the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding"......
your friend,

Gail #NoRainInOrlando #MallardDucklings #CoronaVirusHysteria
NoRainInOrlando MallardDucklings CoronaVirusHysteria

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