Friday, January 8, 2010

The Florida Keys

Pine Mountain News
We are into the first week of January already.
We had a couple small snowstorms in December
but the snow only lasted a few days. Now it is
January and winter seems to be taking a break.

We have the usual farm chores and this year we
have catfish in the greenhouse as well as fresh

We have a few small furniture orders mostly
tables, chairs, and bookcases that keeps the
wood shop busy.

This mountain is a windy place but our wind
turbines turn the wind into electricity.

Poem of the Week

Cap Hill Cool

by emily d stine

It’s the beat.neck neighborhood that
above the in the shadow
of the purple
mountain majesty. Backboned by
tarnished Colfax Ave
America‘s longest street, where
good time’s always had.

The ghosts of Kerouac and Ginsberg
through the streets like demons in the
night, whispering
poetry and bebop, words glittering in
the light.
Flash forward sixty, the place feels
the same.

Reeking of hippies and hipsters, the
dive bars
and the fast cars zooming east, forever
until they chance upon some spot, hang
boots for a walking few. It’s the
conversation that
surrounds the scenester bars, the
tattooed arms,
the snow on your boots as you arriving
on the scene,
& it’s the enigma in that cap hill cool

Feature Story of the Week

The Florida Keys

Just south of Miami a chain of islands called the
Florida Keys begins. The islands stretch in a
southwestern arc all the way to Key West 127
miles later.The islands separate the Atlantic
from the Gulf of Mexico. The main islands are
connected by by US highway 1.

The keys were formed as part of a coral reef
about 130,000 years ago when a warming trend
after an ice age made the sea level rise about 25
feet higher than it is today.

Approximately 1/3 of the population of the keys
lives in Key West, which is 94 miles from Cuba.
Altogether there are over 1700 islands in the keys
although most of them especially the section called
the Dry Tortugas are uninhabited.

The original inhabitants were Tequesta and Calusa
Indians. The first European to find the keys was
Ponce De Leon on his search for the fountain of youth.

Until 1910 the Keys were only accessible by water. In
1910 Henry Flagler built a railroad that went all the way
to Key West.

The railroad lasted until 1935 when a category 5 hurricane
with winds over 200 mph took out some of the train trestles.
U S highway 1 was being constructed at the time and
between 400 and 600 people died most of them in
construction camps.

The railroad was never rebuilt and the U S 1 highway
replaced it. It has one of the longest bridges in the world.
This bridge is just under 7 miles in length.

Each of the major islands in the chain have a different
charm. There is even a shark research center.

In the 1980's drug smuggling increased and the U S border
patrol set up a checkpoint on the northbound side. Tourism
decreased and the mayor of Key West finally decided to
succeed from the U S as a publicity stunt. After a minute of
succession calling themselves the Conch Republic and asking
for one billion in foreign aid, the mayor surrendered to the navy.
The stunt worked and the checkpoint was removed.

When you travel to the keys life moves at a slower pace than
back in the big city like Miami. The tropical climate makes the
keys a nice place to live except for hurricane danger.

Pine Mountain Evening
It is evening once more at Pine Mountain ranch
we just finished dinner of mashed potatoes,
gravy and a pot roast. A fresh garden salad
made from lettuce,tomatoes, and peppers,
from the greenhouse.
Desert was fresh baked apple pie.

Now we are gathered in the family room by a
warm fire in the fireplace. Laurel and Grace
are watching a movie and I am seated in my
favorite easy chair by the fire reading my
discover magazine and enjoying the coffee
flavor of the day from tonight my coffee
flavor is Chocolate Mint. This American roast
coffee has the cheery taste of chocolate
and mint intertwined. It is just the right
after dinner coffee to snuggle up by the
fire on a cold winter evening.

Well my coffee and the movie are finished now
and it is time for bed. Everyone have a good
evening and we will see you next week with a
new adventure.