Rants and reactions to contemporary politics, art and culture.
Thursday, January 26, 2017
Florida Keys Journal: Bird on a Wire
"birds on wires" over Long Key Bridge (photograph by Hallie Cohen)
You won’t regret seeing the egrets in Long Key State Park
and here’s a fact that you learn when you travel the Golden Orb Nature Trail.
In 1886 Egret feathers were so valued for use in women’s hats that they sold
for twice the price of gold. If you take the over two mile Long Key Bridge to
Conch Key you will see all manner of exotic birds competing with the local
fishermen who wheel their wagons of bait and tackle to their favorite perches.
Looking out on the ocean side, it’s a Darwinian Olympics with birds swooping
down to nail their prey just as anglers cast their lines, their faces lighting
up as they reel in a catch. Leaving the village of Islamorada, the sign reads "catch you later." After you cross Grassy Key, one of the 1700 that
you may never have heard of, you will come to the Dolphin Research Center, where
you can also watch and learn about sea lions. Here is a typical morning at the
DRC, 9:30 Play With Dolphins, 11:30 Manatee session, 12:30 Dolphin
Encounter. RememberFlipper? Many of the stars of the l963 movie were
dolphins trained by Milton Santini the fisherman who first brought dolphins to Grassy Key and whose training methods would pave the way for the DRC. Was Leonard Cohen
thinking about the Keys when he wrote “Bird on a Wire?” As you travel south
on Route 1 passing little islets with names like Fiesta and Duck and witness the daily feast of nature, you can’t help humming the notes of the song to yourself.
Francis Levy's debut novel, Erotomania: A Romance, was released in August 2008 by Two Dollar Radio.
His short stories, criticism, humor, and poetry have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The New Republic, The Village Voice, The East Hampton Star, The Quarterly, Penthouse, Architectural Digest, TV Guide, The Journal of Irreproducible Results, and other publications. One of his Voice humor pieces was anthologized in The Big Book of New American Humor (HarperCollins). He is presently the Co-Director of The Philoctetes Center for the Multidisciplinary Study of Imagination (philoctetes.org), where he supervises roundtable discussions on topics as varied as “The Psychology of the Modern Nation State” and “Modern Traffic Theory, Behavior, and Imagination”.