So you don't believe in fairies; I thought I didn't too
But there she was to my surprise, and with purple wings she flew
Right past my yard, then through my heart and back to me again
With dirty feet and bent up wings, we had to take her in
You need a bath, my pixie dear, so let me have your wings
No, you can't, they don't come off; fairies are attached to certain things
All right I say but hurry up, we're going out to eat
Now here she comes, fluttering by, at least she has clean feet
At dinner she's the only fairy, so people stop and stare
She doesn't seem to mind at all; my Lily doesn't care
Calvin "Cheese Grits" Yerke
A friend of mine paid a visit to Scale Lily the other day, and then he wrote me to tell me that I was a good dad. I should have been more honest and humble in my response because, quite honestly, these are pictures and stories of the good times. This website was a promise I made Lily 5 years ago but didn't start till a couple of months ago. She looked at me and said, "you're never going to do the website, are you?" My word no longer carried the weight it use to, and I realized I had fallen in her eyes. They told me the time would go by too fast. It's not like I wasn't warned, yet if my mind wasn't still at work, then it was devoted to the stupid tv show I was watching, and telling the girls to hush so I could hear. I have wasted hours sulking on the couch about the things I didn't have or couldn't do. So because you can't afford to do those things, you do nothing? How did I become that dad I never intended to be? I am sorry Lily, and I am sorry Drew. I am awake now and I am listening, and if its not too late, I would like to be allowed back, in to the world of fairies.
I asked the tortoise how he came to afford beach front real-estate.
He said, "it was simple; I did not ask for much, and I built my own home.
I learned to eat what others did not care for, and room with someone who others did not want around.
He kept out the rats and the fear of his fangs and shaking of his tail would stop most would be intruders.
I myself, walk the earth unassuming and unthreatening. So as long as there is open ground, then I shall have a home, and as long as it is here, then I shall enjoy the music of the waves and rising of the sun upon the dunes.
This was a beautiful gopher tortoise that we saw grazing at Ponce Inlet. His color was a little different then the tortoises where I live, who appear more gray at that size. A beautiful day though and I was happy that we got to see him on the way out. Both sides of Ponce Inlet have parks, and on the South side there is really nice boardwalk through the dunes. Yesterday, we went to the Daytona side, which is also quite nice, with a fishing pier on the jetty and a wonderful light house in the back drop. I recommend both parks; they are a nice break from the concrete and high rise buildings that have taken over most of the nearby landscape.
Most the time when you go fishing you take a good friend
But sometimes you go fishing, and make friends instead
I guess it just depends
One time at Sebastian, I was fishing from the boulders
Using crabs for bait, hooked through the shoulders
But the crabs weren't coming easy and something kept taking them
I'm done feeding this fish; it's time to start braking him
So I searched through my box, and I found a smaller hook
The girls caught a smaller crab and said, "let's go get this crook"
We crossed over the rocks and headed to his lair
I tossed the crab to him, and he took the dare
So I lifted him out and laid him down at my feet
This strange little fish; I did not expect to meet
"What are you?" I asked, and what's worse, he answered me
He said, "I'm a fish called a Blenny, and my name is Lenny"
Lenny kept on talking and what a nice guy
He told us his life story starting from a fry
But then Lenny stopped talking and said he felt dry
So we took Lenny to Dennys for water, while we ate some pie
But this wasn't enough because Lenny needed full immersion
Sow we got to go boxes and put our desserts in
We headed back to the river, which was now at lowest tide
Played hide and seek with Lenny, and man could he hide
He blended in with the rocks, a true master of disguise
And how could anyone resist those big goggle eyes
So the girls and I decided we would take Lenny home
We just had to tell their mom, who we found playing on the phone
"Playing video games,' I said, 'we thought you were sleeping
Anyway, this is our new friend, Lenny, that we're keeping"
"No you're not,' she said, 'you gave away your last tank
I'm not buying you another one, there's no money in the bank"
"You don't love me,' I said, 'you just like being mean"
She said, "you sound just like Drew. I'm going back to Final Fantasy 14"
I headed back to the water to tell Lenny goodbye
Drew shed some tears while Lily flat out cried
Anyone who reads this can see my wife committed quite the crime
So its goodbye for now dear Lenny, but maybe not next time
Meegan rolled her eyes and said, "come on, lets go"
I placed Lenny in the river; I had to let him go
Calvin "Cheese Grits" Yerke
It was Monday, and I don't like Monday's that much
Getting up early and going to work and such
But here it is Monday, and I'm up without a hitch
A nice, quiet morning, the perfect day to ditch
So we loaded up the car and pointed her down south
Down to Sebastian, to play at the mouth
We walked out on the beach and the sky was so gray
The wind had picked up, but this was our Monday
So we played and had fun, Lily learned to cast net
Took some great pictures of the animals we met
Then just as we were leaving, oh yes, and just because
There he is, the sun, no longer hiding like he was
Calvin "Cheese Grits" Yerke
Life is way too rushed. There are so many places along the trail, but we get caught up in the race from point A to point B. I like to leave early, no matter where I am going, so if I see something wonderful I have the time to stop. Nature moves at a much slower pace, and I remember my neighbor telling me this when he was trying to teach me how to hunt.
"Slow down, Calvin, You're not moving at the same speed as the woods." You miss the small indications when you are going too fast, the flick of a deer's tail or his ear, the branches that aren't branches.
The place in this picture is a bike path called Ridge Manor. It is on 50 West, but just east of I75, and it is a great place to bring a bike. The Withlacoochee bike trail overall is about 46 miles, but there are several trail heads like this along the way if you don't feel like doing the whole trail. The parts that go through Croom are really cool and offer great opportunities to view wild life. I have seen deer, pigs, rabbits, hawks, eagles, blue belly swifts, all sorts of snakes and other wonderful creatures. One time I even had a brief moment with a Bobcat. This is a place we found on the way to somewhere else, and now it has become point B, and I am still looking for and stopping at other points on the way here.
The hawk in this picture allowed Drew and I to get pretty close. We slowly moved forward, a post at a time till we could see what he was eating. Maybe that's why he let us approach, because he didn't want to relinquish his meal. Very beautiful bird, and the pic below is what was left over of the giant grasshopper when he was done. So the next time you're time driving down fifty and see a sign for Ridge Manor and a seemingly ordinary green bridge, Pull Over!
What kind of animal lives on wood but not necessarily in trees
We often find him both sides of the bridge that crosses the way called fifty
Sometimes he's light and sometimes he's dark
Sometimes we see him and other times he's bark
His name invokes a quick flying bird, but he has no wings to leave the ground
His belly has the saddest look, but not, its just the way it sounds
Do you know who he is now, or do you need another clue
"No daddy, I know the answer, he's…."
Calvin "Cheese Grits" Yerke
We often play this game to pass time in the car, especially on long trips. Sometimes its just descriptions about where the animal lives or what he eats, but the girls love it even more when you can muster up a riddle. I love animals and am glad to see the kids share in my passion for nature. This particular lizard has held my fascination since I was very young, and probably in part because there were none around the neighborhoods that I grew up in. This elevated him to exotic status in a young boy's mind, even though he was here long before my family arrived.
On the east side of Orlando I have seen the same type of spiny lizard but in a much darker phase. There are several variations within the genus sceloporus that cover a very wide range in the Americas. Maybe the pic below will help you figure out what we've always called them.