West Palm Beach Area First Full Day

December 28, 2010 12:06 – 12:06

We’ve rented a house on Palm Street in West Palm Beach, Florida. The house is 80 years old and definitely needs a lot of work. It’s also not a house to be in when the outside temperature dips below 50 degrees. The only working table surface on the main level is the dining table. Unfortunately, it’s one of those high tables with high chairs that are impossible to scoot close to the table once you’re sitting. If I’m the only one at the table, I scoot the table towards me, instead.

Yesterday, we decided to head up to Hobe Sound National Wildlife Refuge. There’s a visitor center and a short nature trail. There were a few birds, but their main claim to fame—the gopher tortoises—were hiding. Probably waiting for warmer weather.

In theory, the refuge is also home to bobcats, eastern indigo snakes, scrub lizards, spotted skunks, and pileated woodpeckers—along with a few others. But, we didn’t see any of those, either.

What we did see were a number of high-flying birds, an eagle’s nest (I think), a sandy trail, and lots of trees against a beautiful blue sky.

There’s lots of driftwood-in-waiting.

It’s hard to see the scale of this nest… it was 3 or 4 feet in diameter. My guess was that it was that of an eagle or an osprey.

After leaving the main Hobe Sound NWR, we headed up the road to what our Garmin told us was another segment. It turned out to be a beach segment. As we were leaving there, I noticed a large column of smoke slightly to our north and west. While we tried to drive closer to see what it was, the road configuration didn’t cooperate. Several hours later, the fire—which turned out to be a brush fire—had spread to over 175 acres. We learned later that it was probably started by a downed power line that was felled by the strong winds that swept through. By 11 last night, it was 85 percent contained.

After leaving Hobe Sound, we headed down to the Costco in West Palm Beach. Because the horrible Cisco router isn’t working very well, and because I’d forgotten my main travel router, I had decided to pick up a router from Costco. I bought an XWR100, highly rated by CNET. It seems to work well for the most part, but its middle range network stopped working for Karen this morning. I’m not sure why (might be a range limitation), but connecting her to the n network seems to have fixed the problem for now.

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