marsHen's WunderBlog

north florida - rocky hammock

By: marsHen, 12:26 PM GMT on March 31, 2012

07:05, 66F, partly cloudy, fog on pasture. roosters yelling, dogs barking. grits for breakfast.
went out last night around 22:30 to check on reddog who had to sleep in the doghouse last night and a waxing half moon was moving in and out of the clouds. had a hazy ring around it. pretty. (68F)
11:10, 75F, brisk SW wind. thunder to the west. clothes on the line........
3 deer in the back yard. hawks carrying on over something over the house. dogs barking. more thunder. raining now..
11:50, good strong rain with gusty winds. clothes all soaked. 72F, partly cloudy. thunder in the distance. sun's out.. got 0.7" rain.
16:20, sun shining on back door, 88F, gusty winds from SW. partly cloudy. deer browsing in front yard. red-shouldered hawk has nest in donkey woodlot. clothes drying. got 5 eggs.
20:50, 68F, clear, calm. waxing half moon and all the planets and stars shining brightly. dogs howling. at least the coyotes will stay away with all this racket..

Updated: 1:26 AM GMT on April 01, 2012

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north florida - wild florida

By: marsHen, 11:26 AM GMT on March 30, 2012

06:55, 57F. fog out in pasture. dawn chorus, roosters. pale sunrise. found a tick when I was showering last night. not a good sign. already had red bugs.. with this warm weather so soon, we might have a horrendous buggy summer.
08:00, 63F. the sunlight came in the east window of the house, through the door, across the hall into the dining room where I was answering email, and reflected off the west window.. 3 deer resting under the big cabbage palm in the cactus field.
11:20 - on my way to CK with 2 feedbags of sheep manure for the memorial magnolia that was planted today at the lab in honor of our dear friend and administrative assistant. 2 red-shouldered hawks playing tag over a pasture. medium tide at CK.
low to mid- 70's. mostly cloudy. wind, S, 10 knts. water choppy. tide coming in.
16:00, high tide and a big flock of ducks by #4 bridge. got 5 bales of hay that looked dry from the hay guy. he was all dirty and sweaty and had been planting peas. we need rain.
17:00, 82F at the farm. guard dog in heat. reddog howling. had to move the dogs around. unloaded hay.
20:10, 73F, overcast. no moon, stars or planets. dogs all barking..

Updated: 1:05 AM GMT on March 31, 2012

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north florida - wild florida

By: marsHen, 11:26 AM GMT on March 29, 2012

06:50, 56F. pale sky with 3 pink contrails crossing from the SE. usual dawn chorus. roosters contributing. foggy.
07:50, 67F, fog lifting. encountered br'er rabbit in the lane while walking one of the dogs. he/she darted out of a clump of grass at the base of a sand pine and charged down the lane in front of us. I'm hoping that it was a ms. brer rabbit, whose offspring will populate the cactus field that runs along the lane. but - this encounter is nothing compared to what I saw on my way home from CK this afternoon. on SR 24, bordered by the CK Scrub, I passed a golden eagle snacking on a road-killed deer! it was not an immature eagle - this eagle was a very large mature golden eagle, who looked me in the eye as I passed in my truck. wow! some of the biologist have been swearing that they've seen golden eagles in the vicinity but except for a sighting out in the marsh from a distance away that I was not sure of, I had not seen one. but this was for real. that bird was magnificent.
otherwise, low 70's in CK with ibis in the marsh and scaups in the tide. high at 16:20. variable light winds shifting from the NE to the S.
20:00, 66F. waxing crescent moon high in the west. floating over the cabbage palms like in the S.C. state flag!

Updated: 2:19 AM GMT on March 30, 2012

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north florida - wild florida

By: marsHen, 11:55 AM GMT on March 28, 2012

07:20, 57F, foggy. no smoke. calm. birds singing with roosters and crows. pear tree has a few blossoms. slept late. rice and muffaletta for breakfast. have a fish i.d. test this afternoon..
10:40, low tide at CK. upper 60's in a.m., low 70's in p.m. wind, 5-8 knts. SE, clocking to W in the afternoon. sunny. chased great egret out of the boatyard where it was stalking the lizards..
reviewed the fish. general lab meeting on procedure. got 100% on the fish i.d. test. plotted next month's sampling sites on the map of our universe. coral bean's been blooming for the past month. sparkle berry's blooming at the lab on the little dune.
16:30, high tide at #4 bridge. scaups in the tide.
17:oo, sun at the back door = 98F.
17:40, 75F. got 5 eggs. topped sheep's water. hay to all the herbivores. need rain.
20:10, 69F, clear. waxing crescent moon to the north of orion tonight. stars and planets all out.

Updated: 1:05 AM GMT on March 29, 2012

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north florida - wild florida

By: marsHen, 11:00 AM GMT on March 27, 2012

06:30, 54F, calm, a few stars still showing. dawn chorus inspiring. roosters and crows butting in.
08:10, 68F, clear and sunny. heating up. hung wash on line.
10:50, low tide at CK. low 70's. wind ~ 5 knts. all day. SE clocking to W through the day. worked on all the trawls to get them ready for april's sampling.
16:00, high tide with ducks. heading for cow town for feed and groceries. pastures everywhere green but sparse. feed store has hay at $7.50/bale. that's a dollar increase.
wild blueberries blooming. blue flags in the ditches.
17:40, 78F at the farm. unloaded feed. stew for supper. took clothes off line. got 3 eggs. took long walks with inside dogs.
22:30, 68F, clear. stars out. moon and planets moving apart. constellations clear. finally finished all the chores. tired.

Updated: 2:57 AM GMT on March 28, 2012

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north florida - wild florida

By: marsHen, 11:30 AM GMT on March 26, 2012

07:05, wolf light. 52F, misty. birds very loud. roosters singing, too. pale sunrise at 07:30. took boniva. still have 40 minutes to go before I can eat .. got 5 eggs yesterday. mulberry tree has little green mulberries. pear sprouting out.
08:15, 62F, breeze sprung up. got 3 eggs.
10:30, low tide at CK. herons and shorebirds wading in the skinny tide. low 70's. worked on the trawl. fixed a large tear. lunch at annie's with an old friend - fried oysters and greens! continued working on the trawl.
17:10, high tide leaving the island. ducks still around. almost all of them scaups except for a few red heads. white pelicans circling the sound.
17:40, 71F, a light breeze, clear and sunny. half a dozen quail crossing the lane by the front gate.
stew for supper. got 1 egg. was late getting the chores done. alot of complaining going on. 2 large deer by the pecan trees in the back.
20:10, 65F, clear. another conjunction of waxing crescent moon near venus with jupiter below. had to go out into the south pasture to get a good view.

Updated: 1:35 AM GMT on March 27, 2012

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north florida - wild florida

By: marsHen, 10:09 AM GMT on March 25, 2012

05:50, 64F, clear. stars out. woke roosters up. yard dog carrying on. wet out. thinking there's probably fog.
07:20, 61F, foggy. a young doe with twin fawns was resting on the edge of the cactus field under the oak. behind her, the sunrise and fog. the fawns were the size of a long-legged young cat and all spotted. made my day!
08:50, low tide at CK. low 70's, a breeze from SW.
sunny. very light chop at the sand spit.
12:10, medium tide coming in when I left the island. 2 pairs of red-head ducks in the backwaters.
no other ducks in sight. the usual herons.
13:00, 78F at the farm. sunny. 89F when the sun came around to the back door.
15:00, 81F. slight SW breeze. went out and got the garden together. planted field peas, tomatos, and green and chili peppers. guard dog kept me company.
20:20, 72F, clear. waxing crescent moon and jupiter and venus amazing in the western sky! made my evening!

Updated: 1:10 AM GMT on March 26, 2012

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north florida - wild florida

By: marsHen, 11:49 AM GMT on March 24, 2012

07:05, 66F, mostly cloudy. songbirds belting it out. roosters crowing.
07:30, bright orange sunrise. line of showers out in the gulf have disappeared. rats. hoping they reappear as the day heats up or whatever .. we need rain! caught another mouse. took it down to the hay barn. it's these old cracker houses - not mouse proof at all. and then the rat snakes come in. dog even found a young possum once - under the couch.. and folks wonder why I have several dogs ..
eastern skies bright gold now.
lower suwannee wildlife refuge has an open house today from 10-4.. might go. but I should do my garden. they'll have food.. decisions, decisions..
14:20, 76F. overcast SW wind with gusts. it rained - just a shower. just enough to get my clothes wet.
went to lower suwannee. the food was good! had swamp cabbage! the talk from a fellow from mote marine lab was even better than the food - about shark movements. with an aside on sturgeon in the suwannee and pythons in the everglades. very enjoyable and informative. rained there too.
seems like there might be a break in the showers. will have to keep an eye on it so I can get my clothes in before they get wet again..
16:20, 75F, wind SW with gusts. after a lull in the rain, it began to drizzle. got my clothes in and hung them around the house. distant thunder except for one big clap over the house. made us all jump.
18:10, another break in the rain that gave me enough time to feed the sheep and the donkeys. then it began to pour. got 0.7" rain. more thunder.
19:30, 66F, rain ended. SW breeze. clouds golden to the east. rounded up the dogs and fed them.
20:00, 68F, SW breeze. overcast. not going to see that crescent moon tonight..

Updated: 12:56 AM GMT on March 25, 2012

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north florida - wild florida

By: marsHen, 12:11 PM GMT on March 23, 2012

07:10, 65F, calm, orange sunrise. roosters up. song birds singing. crows stealing cat food. got another mouse. it's heading down to the hay barn to live in the world of talon and fang..
10:30, med. low tide in CK. red-tailed hawk crossed road along the way.. swallow-tailed kite hunting in pine tops off 345. no ducks at # 4 bridge, just herons fishing and some shorebirds picking through the mud flat to the west. low to mid 70's. SW wind 6 knts. sunny. fed the fish, worked on the trawl. got the bait seine put away.
shrimp guy was on the road so got some shrimp for supper. picked up tomato and pepper plants from a friend who was kind enough to get them from lowes in g'ville. the moon will be right for planting this weekend!
16:00, very high tide going out. ducks all over.
was happy to see them. was afraid they might have headed north already.
16:30, sun at the back door = 99F. slight breeze from SW. everyone snoozing except the rooster.
18:40, 81F, sunny. thought about starting chores. got 3 eggs. trapped one mouse. took it down to the sheep barn. house feels warm.
19:30, 75F, fed sheep and donkeys and took a walk with the dogs.
21:00m 69F, clear. cooler outside than inside. stars and planets out. waiting for the new crescent moon!

Updated: 1:57 AM GMT on March 24, 2012

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north florida - wild florida

By: marsHen, 11:35 AM GMT on March 22, 2012

o7:05, 66F, foggy. songbirds singing, roosters crowing. got woken up at 01:05 by a barred owl calling outside my window.. gave me a start. then dogs started in barking and howling.. got up, looked out but it was black out there. decided to let the dogs handle it. owl got quiet, dogs settled down and I went back to sleep. got a mouse in the trap last night.
07:20, 66F, misty. went to check the barn and let the mouse out. everything o.k. down there - right # of sheep, guard dog sleeping, donkeys griping that I made them clean up their hay last night. all's right with the world on my side of the fence.
I have a solar calender at the farm.. every year, within a day of the equinox - fall and spring - the sun rises through the east and west door of the workshop.. never fails, unless it's cloudy..
11:00, medium tide coming in at CK. mid-70's, SE wind, 10 knts. veering to SW in the afternoon, 5 knts. passed a dead cotton-mouth on the road. snakes are crawling. a friend killed a 5 ft. diamond-back in her flowerbed a few days ago.
washed the 2nd trawl, mended 2nd bait net, worked on the tore-up trawl. that great egret that walked past me in the boat yard last week has adopted the lab and is spearing all the lizards.. not what I like to hear. ospreys have set up house-keeping again and are bringing fish back to the nest. hot in the boatyard today. all the guys were sweating while they were working on the boats. the bugs got bad when the wind died.
16:30, really high tide with a lot of ducks in the tide and egrets back in the marsh. ran through a big rain storm on 345 about 4 miles south of the farm. things were damp at the farm.
17:00, 81F, slight breeze. got 2 eggs.
18:00, 75F, muggy, partly cloudy. everyone's lethargic but the rooster. a bird was shrieking at dusk. maybe the owl got it..
20:20, 72F, stars and planets out. can see the big dipper from the front yard but not the north star.

Updated: 1:36 AM GMT on March 23, 2012

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north florida - wild florida

By: marsHen, 12:02 PM GMT on March 21, 2012

07:40, 63F, calm. sun's up and so are we.. (really slept late. have to stop this!) roosters in tune, though ... oatmeal for breakfast. wish it was fried fish.
10:40, medium tide at CK coming in. low 70's, SE wind, 10-14 knts. worked on the trawl that I washed yesterday. kept finding rips. washed the other bait seine. ospreys have reclaimed their nest. lots of mockingbirds around. hot when the sun moved to the back of the building where I mend the nets.
town full of sightseers. there was even a line in the local market! and they were not on island time ...
16:20, very high tide (going out) with a lot of ducks. red-tailed hawk sitting on a post on the way home. a flock of goats busted through their fence at a local ranch and were mowing the shoulder of the road.. cute, actually.
16:50, 105F in the sun by the back door! 86F within the hour. mowed the nettles on the east side of the house and in the back. ran over some hidden baling twine.. drat. thunder in the NE with dark clouds. got 1 egg. left-overs for supper. noticed that the larger elderberry bushes in the back yard have put out some blooms! early!
19:05, 76F, totally cloudy with distant thunder. nice cool breeze from the east. put sheep hay in the barn. dark clouds spitting at me.
20:10, 75F, started drizzling right when I went to fill the sheep water. finally!

Updated: 1:08 AM GMT on March 22, 2012

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north florida - vernal equinox

By: marsHen, 11:24 AM GMT on March 20, 2012

06:55, 61F, calm, clear. rosy skies to east. dawn chorus amazing. roosters up. crows flying. the world would be drab without birds..
11;05, equinox/new moon high tide at CK. sunny, 70's, slight breeze. washed and dried the trawl we used last week. found holes in it. mended the bait seine. big slashes in the bag from the oysters and rocks south of corrigan's reef. no-see-ums bothersome.
16:10, tide still up at #4 bridge. ducks all around, diving and preening. heading for cow town for fuel, feed, and groceries. cows grazing in clumps in the rye fields. noticed when I backed up to the feed store dock that there was no hay displayed, just straw.. turns out my predictions from months ago were correct. there was no hay. and none to be found. most of the hay growers have run out.
with yesterday's hay run to the hay guy down the road, I have several weeks worth of hay in my barn since I've been storing hay over the past month. but I thought on how his hay barn was getting low so I swung by again and bought 10 more bales. he said the feed store asked him about his hay but he told them he was saving his hay for his regular customers.. :) he's a good guy!
18:10, 81F at the farm, partly cloudy. chicken livers for supper. then I unloaded the hay and feed. got 4 eggs. sold 3 doz. eggs today.
20:05, 79F, overcast. no stars showing. walked jack russell after feeding the herbivores.
21:00, 75F, clear with a breeze from SE. stars and planets all out and shining brightly, esp. venus!
happy that I have almost a month's worth of hay in the barn! and it could last even longer if we get some rain and the pasture keeps growing - or not that long if we get a long dry spell ...

Updated: 2:29 AM GMT on March 21, 2012

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north florida - wild florida

By: marsHen, 11:37 AM GMT on March 19, 2012

07:05, 56F, foggy, pink to the east. waning sliver of a crescent moon in the SSE was blocked by the hammock's oaks. had to go into the pasture to see it. 2 egrets flew across. dawn chorus with crows and roosters. last night, could smell smoke from orange lake's fire but not this a.m.
10:50, medium tide at CK, low to mid 70's, wind clocking SE to SW, 5-8 knts. sunny. ducks all over. mended the trawl most of the day. tomorrow must wash the other trawls and mend bait net.
16:20, high tide. wood storks and egrets flying over the back creeks. stopped off at the hay guy's farm for donkey hay. brief discussion on the high price of seed, fuel, and fertilizer.. hay guy heard a whip-poor-will, too. a sign of no more frost. 17:30, 82F at farm, sunny. unloaded 12 bales of hay. pileated woodpecker in donkey woodlot. gave donkeys and sheep a whole bale of hay. they didn't seem too thrilled but didn't walk away either. got 4 eggs.
21:15, 68F. misty. stars and planets dim. late feeding the dogs because I forgot to make their rice earlier.. dogs howling now. probably hear the coyotes.

Updated: 2:29 AM GMT on March 20, 2012

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north florida - wild florida

By: marsHen, 11:39 AM GMT on March 18, 2012

06:50, 56F, foggy. dawn chorus with roosters, amazing! rosy to the east. overslept..
09:00, high tide going out in CK. low 70's, slight breeze from N. sunny. late to church. blamed the rooster. none of us here at the farm have adjusted to dst.
11:00, still high tide. ducks and herons. heading for fowler's bluff via 347 for lunch at the treasure camp cafe. a pair of swallow-tail kites hunting the tops of pine trees. pileated woodpecker flew over the truck. not much wildlife around in the middle of the day. suwannee river beautiful and greening up. pleasant to sit next to it and eat an oyster po'boy.. children playing on a dock. made me smile and remember when I was a child playing on a dock.
12:50, 86F at the farm. sunny. wrapped up the plants in the yard, put the yard dogs in the pen, and let the sheep in again.
17:40, 77F. lazy sunday afternoon. read paper, answered e-mails, took a nap with the cat. when I woke up the sheep had gone back to their barn and were loafing and chewing their cud; the guard dog was snoozing in the horse barn. I let the yard dogs out of the pen. wisteria blooming all over now - up in the oaks, on the back chicken pen, in the bamboo.. pecans putting out new green leaves. sheep did a good job of mowing.
20:45, 68F, misty. stars out. venus and jupiter have finished their conjunction and are slowly moving apart. venus is the brighter of the two. mars almost overhead and very orange.

Updated: 2:04 AM GMT on March 19, 2012

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north florida - wild florida

By: marsHen, 10:56 AM GMT on March 17, 2012

06:25, 58F, clear. waning crescent moon to ESE in pecan trees. little rooster crowing. dogs barking. funeral this morning for my friend.
10:30, high tide at CK, 70's, slight breeze. sunny. it was heartening that almost everyone from the lab, plus employees from the past, came to the funeral. lunch at kona joe's. alot of fisheries talk..
14:00. town full of folks. had to park 3 blocks away from the library. great talk there by dr. ken sassaman about the shell mound cultures in the suwannee/cedar key area! standing room only.
17:05, 83F, sunny, slight breeze at the farm. ran around and covered palatable plants, locked yard dogs up and let the sheep in the yard. sheep were thrilled and tucked right into the rye grass, the new elderberry growth, and my pear tree and confederate jasmine sprouts.. clouds building to the north. distant thunder. fried fish for supper.
19:00, 75F, overcast, small red sunset. begins to sprinkle, a few gusts of N wind. sheep move to front yard. a big thunder clap, sleep head for the barn.
19:40, 69F, drizzling. got 6 eggs. fed everyone.
21:00, 66F, clearing, stars and planets out. walked house dogs. foggy/misty. damp. a bitter-sweet day.

Updated: 2:47 AM GMT on March 18, 2012

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north florida - wild florida

By: marsHen, 11:40 AM GMT on March 16, 2012

07:20, 56F, calm, foggy. waning crecent moon in the SE over the house. roosters crowing. songbirds really belting it out. oatmeal for breakfast. doing a wash. cat's sleeping in ...
10:40, 70's, high tide at CK. lots of white pelicans. fed the fish, did some research on salt-tolerant plants, worked on the trawl. mostly grackles in the boatyard. cleaned out the boat and washed gear and stored it away for next month.
16:50, still high tide, slight breeze. heading back to farm.
17:30, 79F. guard dog sleeping in horse barn. pileated woodpecker in donkey woodlot. donkeys didn't eat their hay. got 2 eggs. can't find my cell phone. hoping it's in my net mending box at the lab.
21:10, 67F, clear. stars and plantets bright. big dipper standing out, orion, too.. venus and jupiter are slowly pulling apart. heard coyotes back in the south woods. guard dog on duty.

Updated: 2:27 AM GMT on March 17, 2012

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north florida - suwannee delta

By: marsHen, 10:39 AM GMT on March 15, 2012

05:50, 58F, clear, calm. waning half-moon to SE. foggy. woke up dogs and roosters. everyone howling. going out on the water..
09:30, medium tide going out, flat calm with no-see-ums rampaging. low 70's. 2 bald eagles on cypress on our way out. ducks. another day with low catches in the back creeks and stingrays and mullet along the shoreline in the big seine. a big flock of white pelicans on coon island that never budged when we set the big net. got one redfish, 3 sheepsheads, and one large gulf flounder along with the stingrays and mullet, both striped and silver.
wind picked up at noon, SE, 5 knts. and got rid of the bugs. tore the bag of the bait seine on the oysters in double barrel creek. an easy fix next week. put some holes in the big seine when we snagged on a large barnacle-covered stump in salt creek. something to keep me busy if I ever finish that damn trawl. a pleasant day except for the bugs. pink phlox blooming all along the roadsides.
17:05, 81F, sunny. roosters crowing when I got back to the farm. took a brief nap. soup for supper. have to unload the feed. dogs all napping, too.
19:15, 75F, breeze from SE. mostly cloudy. 2 deer by donkey water. wisteria blooming in the oaks and out by the back chicken pen. smells delicious! bright orange sunset, smokey by sheep. got 4 eggs.
21:00, 72F, clearing but lightning to south with distant thunder. 2 fireflies flitting through the sheep woodlot. stars and planets all out and lovely.

Updated: 1:14 AM GMT on March 16, 2012

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north florida - wild florida

By: marsHen, 11:40 AM GMT on March 14, 2012

07:20, 58F, fog on the pasture. a few pink clouds. roosters up - finally figured out both roosters are calling, "it's a love nest.." one tenor, one bass.
songbirds singing. waning half moon over the house.
grits for breakfast.. maybe a sausage, too.
10:40, medium tide at CK. light winds, low 70's, sunny. fed fish (a favor for one of the biologists who's out of town.) and worked on the trawl. ospreys, mockingbird, and cardinals kept me company. it was pleasant sitting there, weaving the net together. watched the tide come in. one of the clammers gave me a bag of clams. "they're big," he said. "that's o.k. with me," I replied. "they got fritters or chowder written all over them," he said.
16:20, high tide at #4 bridge. a few wood storks flying over the high marsh. white pelicans in rafts out on the water. ducks in the tide.
17:20, 78F and sunny at the farm. clams steaming on the stove. might gum a few of them and drink some broth but planning on freezing most. fritters sounds good. rooster crowing. almost time to start the chores..
19:50, 72F, big thunderhead to NE. lightning. clams were very good. pink and gold sunset. put sheep hay in barn. got 2 eggs. 2 deer in donkey woodlot by the west fence. faint thunder. clouding up. hoping for a sprinkle but it looks like it's moving to the NW. cool breeze.
21:10, 68F, drizzle. lightning to NW and W. cloudy but the conjunction of venus and jupiter showed through the clouds with lightning behind. wow!

Updated: 1:49 AM GMT on March 15, 2012

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north florida - suwannee sound

By: marsHen, 10:31 AM GMT on March 13, 2012

06:10, 58F, calm, clear. waning gibbous moon over the house. woke up rooster and 1 songbird. fog in the pasture. going trawling offshore.
09:40, medium high tide on the suwannee delta, due to turn. upper 60's, wind SE, 4-8 knts. water temp, 20C (68F.)
did boat sets in a few back creeks before going off shore. 8-9 ft. alligator snoozing on a muddy bank just before our 1st set. he slid off into the tide. (the big ones are males.) ducks and coots still around and a pair of horned grebes. lots of ospreys inshore, and a bald eagle on a dead cypress by mcgriff channel. offshore, a bird that I thought was a loon turned out to be a juvenile gannet.first time I've seen one!
all catches were low but the trawls brought in a lot of by-catch of drift algae and ctenophores (comb jellies). made the boat rather slippery and I nearly went overboard when a swell caught me unawares. we passed a large school of cow-nose rays. mostly sunny and warmed up to low 70's, with not much of a breeze. no-see-ums swarmed in the back creeks. the bullrushes and arrowhead are greening up, the salt marsh should follow soon. a pleasant low-key day.
17:20, 78F at the farm. partly cloudy with just a slight breeze from the SW. soup and spinach for supper. have to go unload the feed and hay from the truck. but taking a break now ...
21:50 but not much of a break. got a call that a dear friend just died - cancer.. spent the evening on the cell phone and doing chores.
got 4 eggs. did get to see the venus-jupiter conjunction that looked like 2 bright eyes in the sky. smokey-haze back again. a sad ending to what had been a pleasant day.

Updated: 2:28 AM GMT on March 14, 2012

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north florida - wild florida

By: marsHen, 12:16 PM GMT on March 12, 2012

07:30 dst, 63F, flourescent orange sunrise, mostly cloudy, calm, no moon. usual soundtrack. got 0.2" rain yesterday p.m. trapped another fat mouse. took it down to the hay barn and wished it luck..
10:50 low tide at CK. partly cloudy. wind E 10-15 knts. upper 60's. fed fish, gave a tour, worked on the trawl. wind veered to SW and died to a slight breeze in the afternoon. low 70's. no-see-ums came out as the wind died and intensified my sinus head-ache.
16:10, high tide at # 4 bridge. ducks in the tide. large flocks of white pelicans resting on the flooded oyster bars.
16:40, 75F at the farm. a large flock of cattle egrets flew over the farm when I was coming down the lane. first I've noticed them. back from south america! took a nap.
18:50, 73F, mostly cloudy. a smokey haze forming over the pastures. someone is either burning their fields or burning brush. got 6 eggs. orange sunset.
pileated woodpecker in the donkey woodlot. 1 deer in the front yard.
21:00, 70F, dark and smokey. no stars or planets visible. dogs arguing over who gets to use the dog house. dst sucks!

Updated: 2:09 AM GMT on March 13, 2012

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north florida - wild florida

By: marsHen, 11:08 AM GMT on March 11, 2012

06:50,  61F, mostly cloudy, breeze from ENE.  waning gibbous moon peering through clouds and the bare pear tree.  rooster crowing.  dark out.  I loathe daylight savings time.  
caught a fat mouse in my mouse live-trap. took her down to the hay barn and released her with a hand full of horse feed, scattered in the straw.
09:10. tide going out at CK, brisk breeze, overcast, chilly. was late for church but got there in time for communion.
12:10, low tide when I was leaving CK. ibis in the backwaters, ducks, mostly scaups.
14:45, 76F and overcast and raining back at the farm. attempted to plant some st. augustine grass from cuttings but was stymied by the rain..
fried oysters for lunch. still drizzling so I went out and finished planting the st. augustine grass in the front yard. got 2 eggs. sheep got hay in the barn. lettice's leg is better.
20:50, 68F, drizzling. black out. sheep snoozing in the barn.

Updated: 1:26 AM GMT on March 12, 2012

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north florida - rocky hammock*

By: marsHen, 11:42 AM GMT on March 10, 2012

05:50, 63F, overcast. got up to see the moon but it was obscured. a chill to the air. rooster up. took a pill, ate some yogurt, and took the old dog out to pee. wrote a poem. songbirds tuning up. dogs barking. a typical early morning.. wolf light. think I'll go back to bed just for a little while ...
09:50, 71F, stiff breeze from the east, partly cloudy, partly sunny. discovered a fresh rabbit's foot and cottontail in the lane during the dog walk. it was down-wind of the dogs so they were unaware of it. I tucked it under a palmetto fan. guess an owl?, fox?, coyote?, ? got it.. thinking either an owl or fox. the guardian would have been aware of the other possibilities - I hope. but she was down by the sheep barn ...
the cherokee roses are lovely. I wish they bloomed more than once a year, but will appreciate them while they last. heading down to the barn to give out some hay.
took a walk around the entire farm and found an inner fence with two holes that needs fixing, and a tree down on the back corner of the yard fence, plus a dead persimmon had fallen on the SW corner of the boundary fence. luckily the fence isn't flat on the ground but the tree was too heavy for me to pull it off. I enjoy walking around the farm but always find things that need fixing. also found a new gopher tortoise burrow in the sheep pasture, and an old one that had a large snake track going into it. hope it's an indigo and not that big diamond-back that plagued us last summer.
19:40, 66F, windy, clear. got 2 eggs. lettice's leg seems a bit better. she was walking around on it this evening. did not give the sheep hay since they had not eaten their hay from this morning.
mars like a flame in the eastern sky. jupiter and venus startling in the west. every night they get closer to each other. their conjunction occurs on the 13th.
already sprung the clocks ahead.

Updated: 1:38 AM GMT on March 11, 2012

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north florida - rocky hammock

By: marsHen, 1:21 PM GMT on March 09, 2012

07:05, 60F, fog in the pastures, blue sky, sun's up. roosters carrying on. crows calling. cuban toast and coffee for breakfast. not going to work today since I have to go to cow town to get this tooth out at noon. with the cost of fuel and my old ford ranger only getting 18 mpg, I'd work an hour just to pay for gas, then only get a few hrs. in..
and on and on.. not worth it. there's lots to do around here ... just fed the inside dogs, and then their walk, and then the chores. and then a whole half a day to enjoy!
10:10, 77F, hot. fog cleared, sunny, breeze from SSW. cirrus clouds streaking out from the SW. 3 deer back by donkey water and mineral block. pileated woodpecker slamming the tall dead laurel cherry. watered camellias. put new hay in chicken nest boxes. got 6 eggs. guard dog kept me company. she found a cool spot, I'm sweating..
12:00, totally overcast, starting to rain. waiting for my ride to the dentist. just heard that an old friend of mine who is dying from cancer is being moved to hospice this afternoon. that cancer is a plague. I've lost many friends to it. it's the way we live, what we eat, and what we have to breathe and the water we drink. poison..
16:00, 78F, partly cloudy with a haze. sunny. took a while to get that damned tooth out.. I went through the Kyrie many times before it finally gave up and exited my jaw.. then I had a hassel with the drugstore over my pain medication. but I'm finally home and resting before chores. hear the rattle of a smaller woodpecker, crows calling, a mockingbird.. noticed that the lone dogwood in the lane and the cherokee roses in front of the house are starting to bloom! good to be on the farm.
20:30, 68F, still, misty with a cloud bank to the east. did chores slowly. got 1 more egg. no moon in sight although I did go out into the pasture and look. the planets are bright. orion is straight up. found the big dipper and the north star. mars was very red. venus and jupiter continue to approach each other.
jaw is aching so I should just call it quits and head for bed.. perhaps I will wake up and the moon will be up there in the pecan trees outside my window.. good night.

Updated: 2:03 AM GMT on March 10, 2012

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north florida - wild florida

By: marsHen, 12:30 PM GMT on March 08, 2012

06:35, 56F, clear and calm. roosters, crows, songbirds belting it out! donkeys griping, dogs howling.. whew! wake up! wake up! hazy smokey.
today is international women's day. find a gathering, you women out there, and join it to show your solidarity. we are gathering for PEACE today at noon on dock street at CK. join us if you can!
10:00, medium tide at CK. wind clocked from the east through the south into the west, 5-7 knts. sunny. warm, low 70's, at the rally for peace out on the fishing dock. had a good turnout. mended the trawl before and after the rally.
while I was mending the trawl, I looked up and a great egret, in breeding plumage, paced sedately by me in the boat yard! he totally ignored me until I went to get my camera, then hid behind a tree, then flew off. the ospreys are settling into their nest again. tide coming in.
16:30, high tide with ducks. bought some oysters for dinner. thought I needed the protein before I get my tooth pulled.
17:10, sunny at the farm. no smoke - looked like they got the fire out. low 70's. had a visit from a botanist. some of my young cabbage palms are dying so she took some tissue samples. did some chores in-between digging up the roots. fried oysters and fresh cherry tomatos for dinner. got too dark to get eggs, hoping no snakes will discover them.
68F at moon rise! stood out in the pasture after dusk and watched that huge, orange moon rise above a cloud bank with red mars above and to the north of it! to the west, just above the oaks, bright venus and jupiter were setting a hand's breadth apart. the skies this evening were awesome.

Updated: 2:34 AM GMT on March 09, 2012

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north florida - wild florida

By: marsHen, 3:39 PM GMT on March 07, 2012

07:20, 63F, mostly cloudy, breeze from east. slept late. roosters up. songbirds tuning up..
10:25, 69F, partly cloudy, E wind. watered cypress and pines. cypress all sprouted out. I find wild pine seedlings in the cactus field but about half of them die within the 1st year. everyone I find I give some water to. I want trees in there! fed chickens.
hay to donkeys. lettice has a sore foot. she's favoring it. she won't let me look at it. these are "wild" donkeys and I usually don't mess with them except to feed them and pat them on their necks.. they chase coyotes and dogs.
12:30, high tide at CK. upper 60's to 70F. SE wind, 5 knts. partly cloudy. tide's turned. did office stuff. mended a few holes in the trawl. the osprey came into the nest with a mullet and disappeared. ducks in the tide.
16:40, water slowly going down. flock of ducks on an exposed mud bar, preening and sunning. herons hunting. a lazy day.
17:20, 72F, breeze from east. big fire to the east. black smoke boiling that I could see from CK. looked like it was off in the woods. worried neighbor stopped me and asked me about it. said it was "out of control." smoke drifting over the sinking sun. by sundown, smoke was wispy. hoping they got it under control. there's enough fire folks around. saw 3 of their forestry trucks in front of robinson's seafood in rosewood at lunch time.
put a 5 gal. bucket of water out for lettice by the hay. she walked back to the water trough, though, for her dinner and is getting around. saw a deer browsing behind the workshop. got 1 egg.
20:10, 65F, calm, fog rising out in the pasture. beautiful full moon and mars rising up to the zenith. venus and saturn sinking in the west. guard dog finishing up her kibble and egg. it's bright out there!

Updated: 2:17 AM GMT on March 08, 2012

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north florida - suwannee river

By: marsHen, 12:05 PM GMT on March 06, 2012

06:20, 47F, clear, calm. songbirds singing, lil rooster's been crowing since 05:00.. moon must have gotten to him. going out on the river even though the forecast calls for 20-25 knts. of wind.. not my call.. have seen whitecaps on the river and had the bait net blown into the marsh, but ... should be pretty out there. cypress should be leafing out.
10:00, very low tide on the Suwannee delta, sand bars and mud banks exposed. a few alligators snoozing on them, lots of ducks and coots. upper 60's, stiff breezes, E 12-15 knts. tide coming in.
medium sized catches, blue crabs, YOY bait fish, one catch got half dozen juvenile mangrove snapper.
up to our butts in mud and surrounded by poison ivy in little dead boy creek. got a bait seine full of mud and detritus and 5 fish. flushed a small flock of buffle-head ducks as we entered the creek. so beautiful! they flew off every which way.
saw one eagle on east pass. water temps, 16-18C, depending on the depth. east pass has some deep holes. cypress were leafing out along with a lot of other swamp trees, esp. the maples. blue flag (iris) blooming in among the cypress and lizard tail. coon tracks.. did 10 sets - trawls and boat sets with the bait seine. a super day on the river.
15:30, 70's in cow town. got feed and fuel, was ready to go back to the farm.
16:50, 72F at the farm and breezy. unloaded feed and hay. got 3 eggs. dogs were glad to see me.
20:10, 65F, clear and calm. waxing almost full moon rising in the east right above the lane. venus and jupiter continue toward their conjuction. coyotes howling off to the NW, dogs answering fiercely! mars bright in the east. great day. I feel priviledged that I get to see the wonderful things I see every day. wonderful, wild north florida!

Updated: 2:11 AM GMT on March 07, 2012

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north florida - wild florida

By: marsHen, 11:32 AM GMT on March 05, 2012

05:50, 38F, calm, clear. roosters crowing. oatmeal for breakfast. going out on the water.
08:00, low tide at CK. upper 50's, no wind to speak of. got out on the water by 09:00 temps slowly climbed into the low to mid 60's and wind picked up, NW-W 5-12 knts. choppy offshore. tide coming in pushed by a west wind. mostly did trawls. picked up a lot of algae and in several trawls 15-20 different species of critters. bait seine only pulled in 2 different kinds of anchovies and the last bait set was over rocks that tore the net up, but we pretty much have to go where the computer tells us.
lovely out there with the sun sparkling on that choppy water and the brisk breeze! dolphins followed us most of the day. lots of cormorants, white pelicans, ducks, and a few loons.
17:10, 68F at the farm. slight breeze from the west, sunny. need to bring in some firewood and start the chores. noticed when I drove into the yard that a tall, dead laurel oak broke off 6' from the ground in the sheep wood lot. went out and it had shattered when it hit the ground. the debris was scattered over a 20' radius, some of the limbs driven a foot or more into the ground. lucky there were no sheep nearby. wasn't like that this a.m. this was a big tree and must have made quite a noise when it hit the ground!
went out with my wheelbarrow and gathered enough 2-3 ft. pieces to use in the fireplace this evening. don't generally like the way laurel oak smells when it burns - a sour smell - but it's warm. wish I had some hickory but there's none on the farm and folks around here hoard it for their fires.
fed all the chickens. got 5 eggs.
20:10, 56F, clear and calm. waxing almost full moon climbing the sky in the east. mars very red. venus and jupiter still approaching each other. orion high in the sky. if it's not cloudy, there's no light pollution out here and the night skies are magnificent!

Updated: 2:40 AM GMT on March 06, 2012

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north florida - wild florida

By: marsHen, 11:49 AM GMT on March 04, 2012

05:50, 49F, overcast, drizzling, dark.. 0.25" rain in the cat's bowl. stiff breeze from NW. roosters up. oatmeal for breakfast.
07:45, 51F, mostly cloudy, rain's stopped. birds singing. azaleas survived the wind and rain for the most part. cabbage fans scattered through the yard but otherwise all seems o.k.
08:30, 52F, clearing but windy. driving down the lane, I startled a red-shouldered hawk who flew before me all the way down the lane with a rat in its talons..
09:05, low tide at CK, birds out on the mudflats. crossing # 3 bridge, a flock of ducks flew in from the east and settled in the channel. their feet, spread upon the water, threw up rainbows of spray as they landed. 60's, fierce wind from the NW. went to joe rain's beach after church. tide was very low and I walked the beach looking for pottery sherds and whelk shells. found the phryngeal plate of a black drum, and a brown-stained femur that I threw far out into the water. this area is the washed out edge of a vast shell mound. I made notes on the paste and designs, if any, of the sherds which can be vaguely dated by such. some of the sherds were several thousand years old and badly eroded. the whelk shells (lightning and crown conch), broken, I collected to make a wind chime. also found an old pepsi bottle.. very windy, but sunny, at the beach. it reminded me of walking the beaches of the low country, where I grew up.
12:00, tide still low. heading back to the farm.
12:30, 65F, sunny, and windy, NW. everything's looking beautifully green..
17:30, 58F, clear, wind dying down. got 2 eggs. fed lil rooster. he must have been hungry. he ate 3 days worth of food in one day. sheep spending alot of time out in the pasture on that new grass. forecast calls for patchy frost. hoping it won't be here but this is not an area where it always frosts.. built a fire in the fireplace. caught right away. getting low on firewood. 4 deer under the big pecans by the donkey's water.
19:40, 51F, clear and calm. venus and jupiter heading for a conjunction. brilliant in the sky. waxing gibbous moon high in the eastern sky. bright enough to make shadows. field tomorrow. should go to bed early..

Updated: 1:11 AM GMT on March 05, 2012

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north florida - rocky hammock

By: marsHen, 2:04 PM GMT on March 03, 2012

07:20, 73F, stiff breeze from SW. overcast. slept late! all 2 roosters singing. cabbage palms whipping around. gotta walk the dogs. guard dog snoozing in sheep barn. sheep in pasture. 3 deer in cactus field border by the big grape vines. new green leaves sprouting from all the oaks and deciduous trees. azaleas have put out new blossoms to replace those killed by the freeze several weeks ago. carolina wrens busy. crows stealing reddog's breakfast..
12:01, 79F, stiff wind from the SW. partly cloudy, partly sunny. lil rooster went back to his aviary. guess he's realized that it's a smart move. he tried challenging big red but that didn't work and the laying hens were unapproachable so he back-tracked. somewhere there has to be someone nearby with some banty hens for sale. will keep looking. got 2 eggs.
storms out in the gulf - leading edge to a cold front. supposed to get here tonight. did 2 tubs of wash which are out on the clothes line getting blow dried. lovely out!
15:10, 79F, some wicked gusts from SW. CK is getting gusts up to 30 knts. limbs dropping. a big one on the falling-down-horse-barn. clothes all dry. got 3 more eggs. sold 3 doz. eggs last week.
helps buy chicken feed which is almost up to $14/50 lbs. outrageous! gave sheep and donkeys hay. 4 deer loafing under the oaks along the fence line of the cactus field when I walked the dog at dusk.
20:00, 75F, wind's wailing out there from SW. lightning flashes in the NW. distant thunder. waxing gibbous moon riding high in the sky. venus and jupiter slowly approaching each other. a blustery night with mostly cloudy skies.

wildlife farm life estuaries

Updated: 2:36 AM GMT on March 04, 2012

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north florida - wild florida

By: marsHen, 11:33 AM GMT on March 02, 2012

05:40, 66F, foggy, mizzling. eaves dripping, ground wet. woke up the 2 roosters. dogs barking.
06:30, wolf light. all songbirds singing. clearing. oatmeal for breakfast. might go on the water today..
08:05, low tide at CK. tide coming in. went out on the water! misty, overcast, no breeze. water temps in the back creeks, 19.9C = 68F. felt good on my hands. did 8 sets, 4 with the bait seine and got mostly YOY blue crabs. 4 with the 600' haul seine. got a shitload of stingrays, mostly Das. sabina, the Atlantic stingray, but several very large Das. say, the bluntnose stingray. also pulled in some redfish, trout, hard-head catfish, mackerel, whiting, one small sheepshead, and a lot of baitfish - finger mullet, spots, pinfish, pigfish... since the waters are warming up, the fish are coming back inshore. just a light chop. lots of ducks flying off, and several large flocks of skimmers and oystercatchers. the white pelicans and the cormorants had all the oyster bars covered.
a great day even though we had a lot of fish to work up for mercury, heavy metals, and plastics when we got back. I still smell like fish.
high tide at 11:00 but it was still high when I left CK at 16:30.
17:30, 75F at the farm. not a peep out of any of the roosters but I assume they are roosting. got 2 eggs. sheep and donkeys were waiting for their hay.
19:05, 71F, mostly clear, fog forming. still on the ground but whispy clouds are flying across the moon from the SW. waxing gibbous moon, venus and jupiter bright in the evening sky. nice to see them all again. what a super day!!

Updated: 12:44 AM GMT on March 03, 2012

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North Florida - Wild Florida

By: marsHen, 12:41 PM GMT on March 01, 2012

06:55, 66F, very foggy. condensation dripping from roof line. ground wet. both roosters singing along with all the song birds. little rooster spent the night in a elderberry thicket. glad owls didn't get him. left-over spinach pizza for breakfast.
09:20, 69F, mizzling.. lit. rooster on farm house roof. yellow dog barking up side of the house. got 4 eggs.
10:15, flock of turkeys in a pasture on the way into work. low tide at CK. tide coming in. very foggy and mizzling on and off there too.. 60's. slight breeze. no-see-ums decided to wake up and harass the human population. worked on trawl. watched immature eagle buzzing the osprey nest. ospreys not there. could it be for rent?
met with poetry group today. brought diamond-back poem and there were no changes suggested. hard mizzle downtown but lots of tourists around. still foggy. washed off the boat and gear when today's crew returned. water temps, 19C, 66F. too chilly for shorts. had one hard pull in mud, oysters and current where they caught over a thousand silver perch, Bai. chrysoura, and a good number of hard-head catfish, Ari. felis, and Atlantic stingrays, Das. sabina.
16:30, high tide. ducks abound, mostly scaups, but saw one redhead pair. causeway full of amateur photographers with very large cameras.. catching the ducks in the fog. millions of pictures must be taken of CK scenes annually and I wonder where they all end up.
18:05, 69F, overcast and damp at the farm. lit. rooster on roof again with yellow dogs barking. enter - the guardian, who put bruiser on his back and impelled dixie to retreat to the pen. then she sat in the back yard and kept things quiet until I went to feed the sheep. got 2 more eggs.
19:15, 69F, mostly cloudy. waxing half moon directly overhead, sometimes clear and reflecting in the sheep water, sometimes just a light smudge. fog building.

Updated: 1:10 AM GMT on March 02, 2012

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About marsHen

marine biologist around the Suwannee River delta. Raise Cracker sheep on an old Cracker farm ~ 12 mi. (as the crow flies) from the Gulf.