ROMANTICISM DEFINED


Osprey Nest

ROMANTICISM — now that’s a word I feel akin to — conjuring warm feelings and blue eyed notions. Yet I often hear it dissed with a negative spin:

“Oh, you’re such a (foolish) romantic.”  “That’s just a romantic ideal”

So the other day I was surprised to discover the actual definition of Romanticism.

It was in my book about the history of language. (The Horse The Wheel and Language – David ANTHONY)

“The Romantics wanted to discard the cold, artificial logic of the Enlightenment (1650-1700)  to return to the roots of a simple and authentic life based in direct experience and community”

Which led to looking it up on Wikipedia:

Romanticism (or the Romantic era/Period) was an artistic, literary, and intellectual movement that originated in the second half of the 18th century in Europe and strengthened in reaction to the Industrial Revolution.[1] In part, it was a revolt against aristocratic social and political norms of the Age of Enlightenment and a reaction against the scientific rationalization of nature.[2] It was embodied most strongly in the visual arts, music, and literature, but had a major impact on historiography,[3] education[4] and natural history.[5]   The movement validated strong emotion as an authentic source of aesthetic experience. It elevated folk art and ancient custom to something noble, made spontaneity a desirable characteristic (as in the musical impromptu), and argued for a “natural” epistemology of human activities as conditioned by nature in the form of language and customary usage.

Our experience in Cedar Key is very much aligned with a Romantic point of view – not as romance (albeit it cultures that) but in the way we live here: Simple roots, authentic life, based in direct experience and community.  So is New Hope for that matter.  And when I look in the rear view mirror of my life, I see that most everywhere I’ve lived has those elements. (maybe because: wherever you go, there you are)

This past weekend, we had house guests to share this ideal Romanticism: Matt (an old HS friend) and his new girlfriend Pam.

Hurt Osprey

When visiting the cemetery on the first day, we saw an osprey in his nest. He flew off  but later on, walking back from the cemetery park, we found the same osprey in the grass, unable to fly. As we continued our driving tour of Cedar Key, I made dozens of phone calls, hoping to find someone who handles such things.

**
**
**

**
**
**

Pam and Matt - off to bike the trail

Our search brought us up to the Wildlife Refuge where we dropped off Matt and Pam to bike a 9 mile trail while we went to the refuge office to see if they knew what to do.

Well, the direct experience of community on that score came from the new head of the refuge (Andy – direct from Washington DC) who said: “we just let nature take it’s course – otherwise, we’d be overwhelmed”  mmmnnnnmmm.

*

*
*

Daisy Enjoying the RIde

He’s got a point — but I was glad to make the calls and at least try. The next day, we met another couple who’d also seen the fallen osprey – but found it gone, later on. I also learned how to capture one from one of my  calls  who left a message, (blanket over their head, gather in the wings, pick up from behind, put in box). Now THAT would be an Authentic, Direct, Experience +  Community = a Romantic way of life.

*
*
*
*
*

my Johnny

While waiting for Matt and Pam at the bottom of the nature loop, we took a walk along the road….. It is a hard packed, one lane, dirt road that’s usually empty. A few weeks ago, we attended a lecture about the refuge and they explained about the controlled burns they create  to keep the landscape available for a wide range of creatures. The thick underbrush prohibits certain species from thriving, so they conduct regular burns — section by section – every 3-4 years. As we walked along, we had direct visuals of the process:

//

BEFORE BURN — AFTER BURN  — PLANTING OF GRASSES IN BURN AREA —- A YEAR AFTER BURN

BEFORE BURN: Thick Brush - something in the bushes Daisy likes

It’s a very dramatic difference

But as this area is also the lightning capital of the world – or at lease florida –

it is a natural phenomenon.

Recently Burned Area

One Year after Burn

Grasses planted after the burn

*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
Then they have volunteers help plant the grasses

/

/

/

/

/

/

Pam and Matt complete their 9  miles and we head back to cedar key – in search of oysters and other such goodies.

First Stop:  ATKINS to buy oysters.

With no one at the counter, we wandered around back and found the OYSTER SHUCKING MACHINERY —

Shuckers in Action

INSIDE: a line of people whacking shells, scooping out the oysters and sliding the shells down a shoot to a conveyor belt leading to an every growing conical mountain of shells.

Shells on conveyor belt

*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
That’s where we found Miss Joan, the owner, working alongside her workers.

Miss Joan

Usually, Miss Joan has on beautiful western attire – but not today.

She sold us a half bushel of oysters and gave us the box and ice to transport them home.  Right friendly!

Off we set again, headed for MOES famous mullet dip –

/

/

/

/

/

MOE, as you may remember, is our neighbor who is in his 80’s and fishes and preps his smoked mullet dip (yum), selling it from a roadside stand every weekend – along with shrimp and stone crabs.  (Note to self: You want a long, contented life – find yourself something to do that you enjoy.)

Moes Seafood Stand

/

Matt was very hungry and bought out the stone crabs

Mr. Moe

/

/

/

/

//

/

/

/

Back home — it was a feast, AGAIN!

Matt could barely stop to breathe in his rush to crack and eat the crabs And then Pam got to shucking oysters for the first time and found out she was really good at it.

Stone Crab Claws are so pretty

Stone Crabs bring out the creative in everyone

Pam seizes the shucking

Proper Gloves and Knives make all the difference

WhackaWhacka

Fresh Shucked Oysters

/

/

/

/

/

/

/

//

*
*
*
*
*
*
**
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
**
*
*

Laura and Matt mug for the Camera while cleaning oysters

The evening continued on it’s bacchanalian theme –

Shucker Extraordinaire

Cooking them up on the grill - with garlic butter!

This slup says it all -- YUM

The next morning – Feb 18 –  ooooo, the kitchen floor was disgusting.

After a clean up, we rented kayaks for three hours.  Nice paddle in the back bay.

Then Matt and Pam rode their bikes around town,

They returned and fired up the grill again – for there were more oysters and stone crabs and steaks and sweet potatoes and rice & beans to consume.

I have to admit, I almost lost it that night.

One thing I’ve learned is that oysters and darkness is not a good combo.

Being the organized hostess I am, I’d already made a plan for the sequence of cooking events.

Raw Oysters first, followed by a few open-face on the grill, followed by the steaks and while we are eating the steaks, the rest of the oysters can roast on the grill top.  But instead, our neighbor Martin came over and decided to show Matt and Pam how to steam oysters.  That threw the schedule off – into the darkness – and we don’t have a bunch of tiki torches to rage against the dying of the light.

dinner by lamplight

Well, I didn’t lose it altogether – I just removed myself from the cooking process  –  found extension cords and a standing lamp and pierced the darkness with it!  Alls well that ends well — and I FINALLY got my roasted oysters – which I like very much, indeed!

"Its so romantical"

*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
**
*
*
*
*

Happy Birthday Dear Buckaroo!

BTW- THAT night was Buck’s official Birthday -13 dog years!  (91 human years!)

He sleeps a lot but still has a great appetite, solid poops and walks about and is a lovely cuddlebug.

After Dinner on  Sat Night – we went over to Martin and Lonna’s – who have a deck and open sky – to view the stars.

I let everyone go ahead so I could spruce up a bit —

(sweep and give the floor a quick wash — sand tracks in – ugh)

And took this shot of the empty but lit campsite. (smile)

Ahhhhh

*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*
*

Matt had his telescope, Martin had one too, and there were blue binoculars too!

stargazing equipment

Ipad Star Watch App - a great learning tool!

but the best thing for John and me was Lonna’s I Pad with the Star Watch App — how much fun it was to hold it up to the sky and actually see the shape of the creature or personage the cluster of stars represent.

I now actually see the shapes —

My Mom would have LOVED that App.

Enough for now.

Must prep house for Greg Andriate arrival this afternoon — and if the weather holds – a fishing trip on Saturday on an Airboat!  yeeeeha!

This Romantic Life is a delight.

Thanks for checking in! xoxo  Laura

Advertisements

What do you think? Share, Please!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: