Sunday, May 19, 2013

The Cicadas are coming!! The Cicadas are coming!!

The Cicada is an insect that is pretty large and has wings.  The east coast of the United States is about to be hit with a wave of cicadas from a Brood II infestation(?).  Apparently there are two prominent types of cicadas.  The ones that live underground for two to eight years and the ones that live underground for seventeen years.  This is the year of the coming of the seventeen year breed.

Now it is rumored these guys will be in the millions this coming week. (Maybe next week).  According to the all knowing Wikipedia  these little guys only live about 4 to 6 weeks after maturing to the adult version.

I am no expert on insects.  I do not pretend to know all that much.  That is why a wanted a little more information on these critters to make sure there was no danger for me or my family.

Turns out they are pretty much harmless.  To humans anyway.  The female will crack open a tree limb or two and plant thousands of new eggs for 2030.  I am sure I don't want to see them again.  However, I am sure I will.  If blogger is still going strong in 2030, I will have to write something about them again.

Now as you can tell from these photos, they have wings.  I am not sure why, I have never seen one fly.  There are about 15 or so flopping around in my driveway and front porch.  I was watching them earlier today and it looks like they are crawling everywhere.  Then when they get flopped over, they struggle to get back on their feet.  Do they fly away? Nooooo.

Anyway, here in NOVA, we are preparing for the infestation.  How you might ask?  Everyday I get up and I go to work.  That is about it.  You can search on the web and find some ways to protect your trees, however, I have mostly pines and they don't like pines.

Have a great week.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Air Boat Rides!!!!

If you are on a trip to south Florida, the Everglades are place to stop.  The landscape is majestic and different from just about anything you can see anywhere else in the world.  There are wetlands everywhere, but the Everglades are awesome.  In the tradition of things to do when you are on vacation, an airboat should be on that list. I had the opportunity to visit the Florida Everglades in Coopertown, FL.

We woke up early on Saturday and hit the road heading south on I75.  Florida uses lanes that have tolls without toll booths.  I believe they called them "Hot Lanes"  Apparently they take photos of your license plate and send you a bill if you do not have an EZPASS device.

Regardless, we arrived at the airboat ride establishment at a good hour.  They had been open for about an hour, but there was no traffic.  Our group was big enough for a small boat.  (The boat could hold 8 and there were 5 of us)  They have larger boats for bigger groups, however, our was a good size.  The driver/boat captain was very knowledgable and gave a great tour.  Even though the everglades water level was low, he was able to run the boat at a high rate of speed, take us to some sandbar type locations and pointed out several large gators.  Apparently, some people have been releasing pythons into the everglades which is causing problems.  However, we did not see a single snake.

Check out this guy.  He seemed awfully interested in our passing.  Alas, no one was hurt and he could not give us directions back to the dock.

A great experience and everyone should add an airboat ride to their bucket list.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Planning for Summer 2013

Welcome back to

The A to Z Challenge is over for 2013.  I had such a great time and enjoyed reading several of the blogs I had not seen before. 

I have been on break for a couple weeks.  We had an extremely busy work week and I was just plain tired afterwards and did not have the opportunity to update the blog.

The challenge concentrated a lot on the adventures of Tronster, and I have decided to stick to that philosophy.  If we get into my thoughts, that could be a long dark trip and professional help maybe required to recover. In that case, I will continue to talk about some of my adventures.

Sunshine and I are planning our summer vacations at this time.  We have so far identified Dollywood, Lake something or another in Canada and the Baseball hall of fame.  I also think one weekend we are going to go Monticello.  Other road trips will include visiting friends and family in South Carolina, Tennessee and Ohio.

Thursday, May 02, 2013

Survival- Reflections of the 2013 A to Z challenge

This past month has been very good for  I personally started the challenge last year and missed two days.  This year, I was better prepared.  When I knew I would not be able to get online and update a post I did them in advance.  A great way to complete the challenge.  In addition, I talked about something I have a lot of experience about.  I also began to add more photographs.  There was even one day when I changed the layout on my blog. (Incidentally, I might be changing it again soon)

I also found many blogs to follow.  I have added them to my bookmarks.  I see many great posts on the challenge this year.  Here is a list of a few that I enjoyed.  There are many more, but I haven't got them all posted in my bookmarks yet to share.

Kat In Africa     Adventuring At Home    A Passion and a Passport   Traveling Suitcase

Most of these focused on similar topics as mine.  Traveling.

Even last year's challenge presented me with several that I follow.  This year's list of participants seems longer than last year.  This year I visited a total of 97 blogs. Although, according to the challenge I was suppose to visit closer to 150.  Next year I will continue to try improve seeing more of the blogs on the challenge.

I want to send a shout out to our organizers, Arlee Bird from Tossing it outThe Madlab Post (Nicole Ayers), Alex J. Cavanaugh (Alex J. Cavanaugh), Life is Good (Tina Downey), Cruising Altitude 2.0 (DL Hammons), Retro-Zombie (Jeremy Hawkins), The Warrior Muse (Shannon Lawrence), The QQQE (Matthew MacNish), Leave it to Livia (Livia Peterson), No Thought 2 Small (Konstanz Silverbow), Breakthrough Blogs (Stephen Tremp), Spunk on a Stick (L. Diane Wolfe).

These guys and gals have done a great job on hosting and managing the A to Z Challenge.