Friday, June 27, 2008

Continuous Canvas

YOU JUST NEVER KNOW when the sky will come up with some new painting. It's random (Tyler's favorite word) and spontaneous, and when you least expect it, the most interesting lights and clouds appear. This morning there was an incredible rainbow as I crossed the Biloxi-OS bridge. This last few few weeks have been scattered and isolated thunderstorms. The best part of that is there is plenty of room between them to be able to see the tops from near and far away.

Still can't believe that awesome bay, always there to glide around in, sometimes just inviting you to bump around crossing from shore to shore like a ball on a pool table. That was about the size of this evening's paddle.
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Thursday, June 26, 2008

Early Morning Storm

I saw this storm building Wednesday morning before 6:00am. Called Mom to see if she could see it from the bay. She saw the storm building and a little later saw this waterspout in the gulf in the picture below.

There are a lot of thunderstorms these days. Last night I paddled the 8 miles to the gulf from Graveline Bay. There were storms in the area but none too close. Just enough to keep most boaters home; only one boat passed me the whole time. It was quiet and calm... the usual jumping mullet in the water... birds fished the shoreline... rumbling thunder in the distance... air temperature was perfect and the water was nice. Most amazing --- absolutely NO BUGS! Not one single mosquito or gnat. What in the world were those bugs thinking, missing a night like that?

Every now and then I think about a new boat. I want to get an optimum glide through the water... to be ONE with the boat. Smaller cockpit, good thigh braces, long and sleek design for fast and smooth travel. Something with good gas mileage : -). I've been happy with mine, but you know, life is short! I've had it for 3 years now. Might be time to try something new.
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Sunday, June 22, 2008

Summer Thunderstorms

It's raining intermittently again today and I've filled up the day with other things, so unfortunately another weekend goes by without paddling. But, no worries, I will go a day or two after work this week, if the weather cooperates. Today we had the proud parent moment of dropping the kid off at camp! I sure hope he has a good time. I know we will. Anyway, for lack of a paddling trip from this weekend, I've uploaded some pictures from an evening paddle a few days ago. Never assume it's too late in the day, just because the sun is on its way down. There is still time! Especially on the bay where there is no boat traffic after dark.

I went out by myself this particular evening and the water was perfect, the sky was beautiful, and the frogs were loud.

Another evening I went out with Mom, and we watched the sky turn all its different shades of orange after the sun went down. We wondered, "Where's the moon?", knowing it was due to rise as a full moon. We were headed west back to the dock and I looked back at the most amazing sight -- a RED full moon rising over the water. It slowly changed from red to deep orange to orange to yellow, and finally white as it got a little higher in the sky. I've never seen such a thing. It was awesome. Didn't have the camera with us though.

I love these shades of blue and pink on the water when it looks like polished metal.

I thought as I always do how much BETTER it is to be 1) outside and 2) mildly exercising, than sitting at home on the computer (like I am now) or watching TV. The body craves that, the mind craves it, it's what we are supposed to do. Unnatural things happen when we don't live the life we are biologically meant to live - a life filled with frequent activity, fresh air, rhymic movement, physical labor, exposure to the elements, natural light, and sounds of nature. Then we spend our time addressing the problems that come from the symptoms of this unnatural state we tend to create for ourselves. I think that regular doses of the things that made up the life of our ancestors for thousands and thousands of years would do us all a lot of good. And speaking of that, what makes people these days think that we have the right to drill up, and USE UP, all of the oil in this earth? What's so special about US, NOW, that makes it all ours to use? That's about as close to political as I'll get here, and generally I don't even take it into politics -- I just see it from a historical perspective and marvel at how narrow of a view some people have of our dependence on oil and lack of any inclination to reduce it. I'm not radical, but I a willing to suffer a little pain at the gas pump to get me thinking about how to use up less gas, and I'm glad to see everyone else thinking about it.

Since I'm on the subject, let me add one more FASCINATING thing I saw in the newspaper. When thinking about a fuel-efficient vehicle, don't just look at MPG. It's more important to think about gallons per mile. For example, 2 families driving 10,000 miles per year go out a buy a more fuel efficient vehicle. Family A goes from 25 mpg to 50 mpg (Prius, or whatever). Family B goes from 10 mpg (Excursion?) to 15 mpg. Who saves more -- Family A by increasing mpg by 25? Or Family B by increasing mpg by 5? You sure would think it's A, but no....

10,000 miles/25 mpg = 400 gallons
10,000 miles/50 mpg = 200 gallons; Family A saves 200 gallons per year.

10,000 miles/10 mpg = 1,000 gallons
10,000 miles/15 mpg = 666 gallons; Family B saves 333 gallons per year.

That sure makes you think.

Happy paddling...
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