Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Long Key State Park Week 2, Sometimes the Doldrums Set In

Here we are in the middle of week 2 at Long Key State Park and the doldrums have set in.  We've been lucky to have the kind of breezes we have been enjoying-but they are gone baby gone.  Early morning when we sit out having our coffee there is a nice breeze, but by 8 am it's gone and it's eerily still.  The water and sky somehow look huge when there is no wind.  It feels like you could get lost out there very easily.  And when the tide is out it feels like you could walk for miles before the water got up to your knees.  The Keys have their own special magic.

Depending on the time of day the skies could be bright silver white or deep blue with huge puffy clouds.  And the water can go from steel blue to shades of blue and green in a heartbeat.  That's what I love about this area-it's just stunning and so peaceful watching the changes.

We finally got a little wind and that night we had an amazing lightening storm-I almost crawled under the bed with Hailey it was a little scary having the sky light up so much  !  But that was just one day that the wind actually blew  the umbrella a bit.  We are back to the doldrums and when there is no wind guess what?  There are armies of mosquitoes !  And for some reason these little guys in the Keys are fearless-Deet they say, I don't care about your stinkin Deet, I'm coming to get you -and get me they did.  These little guys leave huge welts too.  Needless to say I've been inside a lot this week.

Jim went out in the kayak several times and wahoo, he caught a sponge.  Shhh don't tell him I told you.  He won't appreciate the humor.  Although I'm sure he had a fish on that just took his line into the sponge and broke away.  He won't live this one down for awhile.

This little guy comes around every time the tide goes out, I still haven't figured out what kind of bird he is.  Anyone know ?

And I think these guys are Whimbrels according to our little birding book. We've seen egrets,pink spoonbills,herons,a few pelicans,lots of gulls and some small sandpipers.  There are lots of crabs around the campground along with lizards and huge iguanas.  The iguanas avoid humans and when they see you they run away like little Velicoraptors !

We haven't been doing a lot of cooking inside-too hot and it's a challenge to cook outside while trying to battle the huge flies and the mosquitoes.  One day I made these little sliders adapting a recipe I had for my "Oregon Tuna Melt" sandwich.  I wasn't sure how they would taste without being grilled but they were delicious and now I have a new keeper recipe .

Long Key Tuna Sliders:
Makes 8 small sliders or 4 hamburger bun type sandwiches
Two 6-ounce cans albacore tuna 
1/4 cup finely diced red onion 
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil 
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar 
 3 tablespoon minced basil 
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper 
Salt and freshly ground pepper 
8 Hawaiian bread slider buns 
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard 
 3 tablespoons  mayonnaise 
4 slices of Swiss cheese,each slice cut into 4 pieces so you end up with 16 little squares 
8 1/8-inch-thick lengthwise slices of kosher dill pickle or bread and butter pickle

In a medium bowl, mix the tuna with the onion, olive oil, vinegar, basil,mustard,mayonnaise and      crushed red pepper. Season with salt and pepper.

Slice the Hawaiian Bread buns in half and  place a slice of cheese on each half.Spread the rolls with a scoop of the tuna salad mixture. Top each mound of tuna with a sliced pickle. Bring the two halves together, sit back and enjoy !

If you want to try the Oregon Tuna Melt you can find the recipe by clicking here.

The one day I did fire up the microwave I blew out the power. I don't what I was thinking,problem was I wasn't thinking.  I had cooked most of the pizza in the convection oven and thought it was done.  I turned the air conditioner back on and when I looked at the pizza I thought ,hmm ,just a few more minutes, so I popped it back in the oven for 3 minutes.  Well when the air conditioning is going full blast Ruby just doesn't have it in her to run the convection/microwave at the same time so the power went kaput !  Jim was out walking Hailey and I thought oh my gosh , he's going to kill me.  It's 92 degrees outside and getting hot inside-how are we going to sleep ? No breeze,no air-I felt like stealing the little raft that's been anchored off our campsite and heading for Cuba.  Before Jim got back I discovered how to reset the generator but I had to break the news to Jim that he had to climb under Ruby , in the sand, in the heat.  Gosh this man must love me .  Generator reset,lesson learned, air conditioner back on and delicious pizza for dinner.

What you ran the air conditioner and the oven ? Sheesh

Another doldrum day in paradise

So it's Wednesday when I'm writing this, about 830pm and we can hear some pretty loud thunder and the sky is lighting up like a hundred flashbulbs going off.  Maybe we'll get some rain, maybe just maybe we'll get some wind ! No matter what this sure is an awfully pretty place to "enjoy" the doldrums in.

Happy Trails my fellow windwatchers and safe travels.

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