Fishing in a central Florida swamp.

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Sunset reflecting on distant clouds.

I took a much needed break to see my son in Florida for a few days this week.

I made a vow that this time I would put my camera away and actually just enjoy our time instead of constantly brandishing my phone to get dozens of “must have” pictures, most which I never bother posting or ever looking at again anyway.    I mean, how many more beach pictures do I (or you?) really need?  Yes, the Gulf Coast beaches are stunning (especially at sunset) and I’m a sucker for beach pictures of any type anyway, but I successfully resisted the temptation to snap photos this time.   There are plenty of beach and sunset pictures on this blog already.

However, I did cave when we went fishing on our last day (Friday), because we were in a stunningly beautiful wetland area in an inland town called Inverness.

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Yes, you would be correct to assume it was beastly hot and almost unbearably humid, as you might expect such an area in Florida to be in August, but we still had so much fun.    It was surprisingly un-buggy (probably due to all the dragonflies around who catch the mosquitoes), and the fish were definitely biting!

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First, we drove to a brackish lake to catch the small bait fish (I caught five but had to throw two back because they were too large to use as bait fish), then on to the wetlands to do the real fishing!    My son (who purchased his fishing license at Walmart that morning), my daughter, and a friend all caught a few rather large freshwater bass (they were thrown back except for two, which will be eaten later, though not by me).    I caught no bass, but had a blast taking pictures of the scenery (we stayed past sunset) and everyone else’s catches.

Enjoy the photos. (The above photos were taken at the lake where we caught the bait; the ones below were taken at the actual fishing site about a mile away, as was the one at the top of this post which was taken near sunset).

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I love her slightly disgusted expression.  But she was thrilled about catching her first fish ever.

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That’s Spanish moss dripping from the trees, and in the background you can see a makeshift swing hanging from a branch.  I guess people actually swim here.  Yuck.  I sure wouldn’t.

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The same view as above just before sunset.

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The water was like a mirror.

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Here you can actually see a bit of the small bait fish inside the bass’ mouth.

 

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Gone fishing!

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I got up pretty late again today, and while my son slept (he got home from work around 7 AM) I went to Wal-mart and picked up a few things we needed, including bug spray, and then went down to the apartment complex’s pool for about an hour.   By the time I returned, my son was up and it was nearing 5:00.

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So far, the only damper  on this vacation was what my son told me about my mother.  On the way to pick up his friend Tal (who got my son into fishing),  we talked about her.   Seems she’s been attempting to triangulate against me. Fortunately he’s not in any danger of becoming a flying monkey because he doesn’t like her or the way she talks about people, especially me (he’s very protective of his mama, bless him!)  But that doesn’t mean she doesn’t try!  He said she is very condescending toward him, much like she always was with me. He said she’s negative and judgmental, which is absolutely true.  Apparently she had told him she didn’t like the idea of me visiting him (MY OWN SON!) because I would be a “bad influence” (huh, what?) and tried to get him to tell me not to come.    She also told him he was making bad life choices (he’s doing very well, in fact and is making great choices that make him happy) and should have become a journalist (he’s a good writer, but he doesn’t enjoy it).   She was always on me too about all the bad choices I supposedly made. Now she thinks I’m going to “infect” him with my “loser-ness” or something.  She’s also telling everyone I’m still with my ex and that I’m as bad as he is! These are all just lies. Oh, and she asked him if I was still “writing that thing” (referring to my blog).  Why would she even need to ask him since she can easily get the answer to that question herself?  She stalks my blog.  Welp, that’s narcissist “logic” for you.


The wind picks up as the storm clouds move in.

Now I’m convinced she really is malignant.  Malignant narcissists like my mother love to keep the scapegoat (me in this case) isolated from the rest of the family, even from their own children if they can get away with it.    I felt hurt by the things he told me but he’s on my side and doesn’t want anything to do with her either.   It’s also not as if any of this is news–I already knew she badmouths me to everyone who will listen, but hearing about her attempts to keep me from visiting my own son just really bugged me.    At that point I told him I’d heard enough and I just wanted to have a good time fishing.   He was sympathetic.  My son is definitely not a narcissist!  As an aside though, he told me he was tested recently for personality disorders and he does in fact have one–Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder (not the same as OCD). In fact, he scored very low in both narcissism and antisocial traits.

We picked up Tal, stopped at a bait and tackle shop and picked up some bait.  Then headed off to the mangrove park with a fishing area and nice view of the Gulf at the end.

It was rocky, and very buggy, so I was glad we brought the bug spray.  I got bit in a few places anyway.   It was also cloudy and we could hear thunder in the far distance.  Tal’s a weather buff and he said we wouldn’t have to worry about any storms for about 2 hours, so there was plenty of time to fish.   He showed me how to bait the line, and how to operate it, and then had me practice casting without bait for awhile.  The last time I ever fished was when I was at summer camp in the ’70s and we went deep sea fishing.    I caught onto casting pretty quickly, so maybe a part of me remembered how to do it from when I was at camp.

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Practicing casting a line.

It was getting darker, not just because night was coming, but also because the storm seemed to be getting pretty close.  Tal said it was still about a half hour away.   I started throwing some lines with small pieces of shrimp.  Once I got my line caught in a tree, and a few times I threw my line too far over to the right, getting it caught with my son’s and Tal’s.    I didn’t catch any fish (though I almost caught a small pinfish but he let go).  After awhile gave I gave up and decided to sit down ( we had our stuff laid out on a picnic table) and watch them instead.   They weren’t catching anything either.   A piece of shrimp I’d left on the table from earlier was already covered with ants.  it was gross but kind of cool at the same time, so I took a picture of it.

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After watching them for awhile, I noticed the sky had turned a fiery red and decided to walk to the end of the park overlooking the Gulf.  There I saw the most incredible sunset I think I’ve ever seen.  I started taking pictures like a crazy person, before the rain started.

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The storm was moving in fast from behind me.    When it rains in Florida, it REALLY rains.  I shoved my phone back into my purse before it got soaked and ran back to the car as fast as I could get there. There, my son was grinning like a maniac and holding up a fairly big catfish!    I got a quick picture of that.  I asked him where Tal was and he said he was still fishing.  “In this weather?” I asked.  “Oh, yeah, he never lets any kind of weather stop him,” my son said.

A few minutes later, Tal came back with a catfish of his own.   They both decided to release the fish because these weren’t good for eating, apparently.

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Finally the rain died down enough for me to go back and get one last picture of the sunset over the Gulf before dusk fell.

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Gone fishing!

So my son who lives on the Gulf Coast of Florida applied for his fishing license today. He has gotten into fishing in a big way thanks to a friend of his. They went fishing today in spite of somewhat unpleasant weather and my son just caught THIS!

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He’s even going to take me fishing when I go visit him later this summer or in the early fall. I’m excited! He might get me “hooked.”