marine biologist around the Suwannee River delta. Raise Cracker sheep on an old Cracker farm ~ 12 mi. (as the crow flies) from the Gulf.
By: marsHen, 12:23 PM GMT on May 31, 2013
06:50, 71F, clear. roosters crowing, birds singing. a breeze from east. pup and old russell out. guardian in front yard. seems that wrens have moved from side of house to front and the sheep woodlot. thinking cardinals are partly to blame. those pretty birds are bullies.
yesterday, got to work and back in truck so feeling a little hopeful but probably need to find some old clunker with less problems. what to do, what to do?
12:00, 91F, sunny, slight breeze. wash on the line. waiting for friend to bring some new hay. swept kitchen floor, went out to get pup, pup hanging out in mud puddle from leak in hose.. sigh.
14:30, 92F, clouding up. still, barely a drizzle. hay shows up and we unloaded it. donkeys and sheep on the fence. first they need to eat what they got this morning.
16:30, amazing east wind blowing through farm. only lasted a little while but had all the trees dancing. 88F. got 2 eggs. wash dry.
21:00, 78F. a mist. a few stars showing. guardian barking down the lane. 'possum? deer? armadillo? fox? coyote? racoon?
Updated: 2:46 AM GMT on June 01, 2013
By: marsHen, 1:56 PM GMT on May 30, 2013
08:00, 75F. blue skies, sunny, east breeze. pup out. roosters crowing. carolina wren calling on front porch! russell out yapping. donkeys complaining. checked radiator water level. down some but not extreme. going to try to make it to work. road crew boss called to tell me that they would NOT herbicide the lane, as per my request. thank you l.c. road dept.
11:00, 83F. 2 wild turkeys on side of road. one big gobbler alone in a pasture.
medium tide rising at CK. 80F. east wind, 15 knts. cloudy/sunny.
fed cat. moved trawl to breezeway by stairs. mended same in shade and delicious breeze. mockingbird serenade. cat asleep on net. closed the big tear. rain moved in at 15:00.
16:10, 78F, east wind, 15-20. more rain. high tide at #4 bridge. whitecaps. 3 ducks in shallows, scaups, 1 female, 2 males.
16:40, rain in rosewood. 85F at back door. clouds moving in but only sprinkles.
19:50, 78F, one burst of rain lasting less than 1 minute. pileated woodpecker in sheep yard. doe, fawn and yearling in donkey woodlot. got 1 egg. overcast and still.
21:10, 76F, hazy. some stars includng big dipper. a slight breeze. red and white lilies, Crinum sp., blooming. sheep love them.
Updated: 12:05 PM GMT on May 31, 2013
By: marsHen, 11:56 AM GMT on May 29, 2013
06:30, 69F, a fog. waning gibbous moon high above. sun's up and so are we. roosters crowing. crows cawing. pup and old russell out. guardian shows up. big black racer in hay barn.
10:00, 78F, sunny, SE breeze. heading for work when water hose blew on truck. pulled over. 3 people stopped to help but I sent them on. CK mechanic on the way. brought 2 gallons of water to add to the one I always carry and several large cable ties. got me going and followed me in.
11:30. high tide rising at CK. 81F, east wind, 12 knts. engine damage from overheating. rescued by friend who fed me lunch before bringing me to lab.
12:40, fed starving cat. too hot to work on nets. spent afternoon labeling mercury bottles in a.c. and worrying.
17:00, 83F, sunny. south wind, 10 knts. mechanic jury-rigged truck to get me back to farm. very high tide at #4 bridge. comforting flock of ducks hanging in shallows. rained in rosewood. 5 miles from farm, temperature starts to climb. pull over. slow drip beneath truck. hot. temperature slowly dropping on thermostat. made it back to farm with temperature slowly climbing again. guardian meets me at gate. farm sweet farm..
19:30, 83F, hot but small breeze.. got 2 eggs. phone call from sister says childhood friend died today. damn! pup actually behaves on walk.
21:10, 78F. a haze. some stars showing. talked to brother walking down lane with obediant pup. went inside and cut off all my hair. tomorrow is another day. very glad for friends.
Updated: 2:47 AM GMT on May 30, 2013
By: marsHen, 12:32 PM GMT on May 28, 2013
07:05, 65F. blue skies with a waning gibbous moon setting over the falling down horse barn. slight easterly breeze. pup and old russell out. guardian shows up. roosters crowing. donkeys complaining. some birds singing. have noticed a dearth of carolina wrens this spring. usually there are a lot of them, building nests everywhere. wondering about this. I miss their loud singing. did the cardinals chase them off? did the snakes get their young from the nests they build under the house? come back, you wrens, you. I miss you!
11:00, medium tide rising at CK. east wind, 12 knts. 74F. brown pelicans.
cat food full of ants. fixed that. washed 4th trawl, laid out to dry. began mending old 600 ft. seine. right away, a large tear! joy!
sun came around and breeze died. too hot to continue in any comfort. grackles eating discarded cat food and ants...
16:00, high moon tide at #4 bridge. flock of ducks in shallows. equal number of males and females, diving and preening.
long drive to cowtown for feed. passed several large cornfields being irrigated with vast amounts of water. peanuts planted on corners. concerned about water waste and the aquafer. actually some decent hay at feedstore!! got 5 bales.
17:20, 88F at back door. unloaded feed and hay. critters all happy and tucked right in. hot and dry.
19:30, 85F, hot. heard a wren while filling sheep water. could not locate it. got 1 egg. caught 1 mouse. pup finds short length of snake backbone in bushes. what a nose! ex-lunch for owl or hawk?
21:10, 79F, stars out. lightning to SW. radar shows storm off CK. a SE breeze. heavy odor of skunk in defensive mode. drama in the dark ...
Updated: 3:23 AM GMT on May 29, 2013
By: marsHen, 1:19 PM GMT on May 27, 2013
07:30, 60F, clear. pup and old russell out. roosters crowing. guardian comes around. mice have gotten into the vacuum cleaner. grrr. going to fire the cat. wish I had my son's cat who always was a good mouser when she visited, even though she did climb the beams in the kitchen.
09:00, 71F, blue skies. birds singing. need to get some gas and fire up the lawn mower. wash is done.
remembering my daddy who was a sea bee and a hard-hat diver in okinawa during WWII. he was a good hard-working man and I miss him every day. he told me once, "they always say the marines go in first, but the sea bees had to clear the mines and lay down a track for them before they went in ..."
12:20, 87F, sunny. wash on line. mowed most of the virginia creeper that takes over the shadier areas, about 1/3rd of yard. grilled cheese for lunch. pup tired after yapping while I was mowing. nap time.
18:50, 85F, cirrus clouds. got 2 eggs. new ram lamb still misses his mama but is eating and staying with the flock.
21:10, 77F, a mist. some stars. 1 deer bedded down on edge of cactus field. an owl in tree beyond sheep barn. slight east breeze. good night world.
Updated: 2:20 AM GMT on May 28, 2013
By: marsHen, 11:34 AM GMT on May 26, 2013
06:30, 58F. a cirrus overcast. dixie and guardian at back door. pup and old russell out. roosters crowing. songbirds singing. heating up coffee. reading nancy lord's "fish camp," a biographical book on gill-netting salmon in alaska in the late 1900's. a good read. especially enjoyed the chapter on net mending - don't often see this. a lovely cool morning. creaky from catching lambs yesterday. think I picked up a few redbugs, too..
09:00, low tide rising at CK. 72F, east wind, 10 knts. sunny. town full of tourists and 'photographers." herons and egrets in the marsh.
church was good. we celebrated the trinity. what is the sound of 3 hands clapping? and had a great reading about wisdom, who is female, of course..
13:50, high tide rising at #4 bridge. fed cat who raced under the boats, bellied under the chain link, and met me as I got out of the truck. brought him a special tuna treat. flock of ducks, scaups, in the shallows. little blue heron stalking though the spartina. 77F, west wind, 8 knts. with small and varied gusts. a light chop.
14:30, 89F at back door. partly cloudy, partly sunny. read 2 papers. hogtown paper hardly worth reading. even the funnies were mediocre. NY times some better but not much. getting grumpy in my old age. pup wanted out, then wanted in 'cause it was hot. better get used to it.
21:30, hazy, some stars. deer bedded down on edge of cactus field under oaks. turned and walked the other way. guardian barking by house. pup a pain in the ass. no moon showing. a very lazy, warm day.
Updated: 3:04 AM GMT on May 27, 2013
By: marsHen, 12:36 PM GMT on May 25, 2013
07:30, 63F, light fog. nice and cool. roosters up. guardian at back door. caught 1 mouse. took pup and russell for walks. smoked mullet spread on saltines for breakfast. yummy. supposed to sell the lambs today. also that ram yearling who is dangerously unafraid. he could hurt me.
14:30. 89F, partly cloudy. just finished loading up the lambs. sold them all except for beauty's daughter. traded the dangerous red-neck ram for a 4 month old cracker ram who misses his mama. but he's savvy and went for the evening grain even though the big ones shoved him around. he'll work. catching them took awhile because I don't have a chute but patience and moving slow got it done. no one got hurt and that's what's important.
17:40, 85F, hot out. took a nap. got no eggs. hmmm. better not catch a snake in there ... gave the sheep limited feed but the last of the good hay. a few ewes are looking for their lambs. limited feed will slow down the milk production. don't want any cases of mastitis. sad to see the bottle lambs leave but know they are going to a good farm and will be appreciated. life on a farm - a lot of good-byes.
21:20, 72F, misty. at dusk, a few of the ewes wandered out to the pasture and called, waited, then turned back to the barn. sigh.
full moon coming up orange over the treeline to the ESE. a few stars.
Updated: 2:09 AM GMT on May 26, 2013
By: marsHen, 12:40 PM GMT on May 24, 2013
06:40, 72F, some fog. pup and old russell out. roosters crowing. guardian shows up. doing a wash. got stung by a wasp last night when I brushed a palmetto fan. this heat makes them testy. caught 1 mouse. good coffee this a.m.
11:00, high tide at CK. 84F, north wind, 5 knts. some cormorants flying. sunny.
fed cat. back-up trawl dry. checked through it and packed it away for june. dry bait seine needed serious mending. some large rips required sewing. the bait seine has very small mesh, ~1/4" mesh. small holes get mended with small cable ties, which are faster than sewing. bait seines get a lot of wear and generally only last for a year so spending a large amount of time on them isn't cost efficient. but large rips stay mended better if they're sewn with waxed thread and each stich requires a half-hitch so it takes longer to sew them.
the 600 ft. seines last for years so it pays to mend them properly. they need proper mending anyway so they will hang correctly when they're in the water. mending nets, though, is getting to be a lost art. a stiff breeze and shade from trees made mending fairly pleasant in the afternoon.
16:10, high tide falling at #4 bridge. 81F, west wind, 12 knts. 7 ducks in shallows. 2 ibis.
17:00, 82F at back door. pleasant northerly breeze. wash dry. got 7 eggs. chickens created a new nest in a back corner which I just discovered.
19:30, 77F, good breeze. guardian found a small coral snake on our evening walk. she snapped at it. it snapped at her. I popped her butt with pup's leash and she jumped backwards. snake quickly slithered under a pine stump. dumb dog.
21:40, 73F, a fog. waxing gibbous, almost full moon above sheep pasture. deer in cactus field and in lane past sheep barn. difficult walk with pup. stars out. pleasant with north breeze.
Updated: 3:06 AM GMT on May 25, 2013
By: marsHen, 12:08 PM GMT on May 23, 2013
06:50, 67F, clear. sun's up golden. roosters crowing. pup and old russell out. no one at back door. another half inch of rain yesterday. needed it. also need to put sheep in yard again. maybe sunday.
10:00, 80F, sunny. on the way to work, the farm with the llama made me smile. all the cows, horses, llama, and goats were under one tree or another loafing and chewing their cud. (excluding horses who don't chew cud, but were also relaxing in the shade.) the goats were all piled together under two trees.
10:30, high tide with small flock of ducks at CK. 79F, north wind, 2 knts. sunny.
fed cat. finished mending 1st trawl. cleaned out boat, washed gear and bait seine. drying bait seine billowing in the breeze that finally appeared was very calming. green leaves fluttering. doves cooing. washed back-up trawl which was full of sand even though it hadn't been used. ? a mystery.
16:00, still high tide, although falling, at #4 bridge. 80F, west wind 10 knts. felt delicious.
19:50, 75F, clouding up. got 2 eggs. rested abit. pup outside but wanted in. cooler in kitchen under fan. sheep demanded hay.
21:00, 72F, a fog. waxing gibbous moon with rainbow ring over sheep pasture. stars out.
Updated: 3:12 AM GMT on May 24, 2013
By: marsHen, 10:59 AM GMT on May 22, 2013
05:50, 66F, foggy. moisture dripping off eaves. dixie at back door. pup and russell out. roosters crowing. guardian shows up. packing a lunch.
09:10, high tide rising on the suwannee river. 72F, east wind, 8 knts. sunny. sampling fishes by trawl and bait seine offshore between barnett creek and the sand bar that was once coon island. catches were low at all sites. water very dark from tannin flowing in from the swamps. visibility inshore, less than 2 ft. visibility offshore, 6-8 ft. water temps ranged from 25F, 77F, inshore to 27C, 80F on surface offshore. warming up quickly. majority of fish netted inshore were anchovies. offshore the majority were small flatfish. all fish identified, measured, and returned to water. tore a huge hole in trawl in last set. ghost crabtrap. a few cormorants and brown pelicans. one large sea turtle. got hot by noon. a light chop. sawgrass putting out tall bloom spikes on the river.
14:20, still high tide at boat ramp. 79F, west wind 6 knts. managed to avoid no-see-ums. definitely the last trip in waders until the fall.
15:00. back to cowtown. mid 80's. sunny. feed, fuel, and food on the list. tired.
14:30, clouding up at farm. 95F in sun at back door. unloaded truck. pup out. sheep in pasture.
17:30, 88F, thunder rolling in. overcast. rain begins. unplugged computer.
20:10, 73F, wet out. muggy. finished chores. remnants of pink sunset. clearing.
21:20, waxing gibbous moon with rainbow ring. stars out. a fog. smells great - pines, cedars, wet grass, 4 o'clocks..
Updated: 3:17 AM GMT on May 23, 2013
By: marsHen, 12:14 PM GMT on May 21, 2013
07:20, 67F, foggy. guardian at back door. pup out and howling. roosters crowing. songbirds singing. donkeys quiet. turkey sandwich for breakfast. ligustrum and confederate jasmine smelling really great! squirrels ate all the buds on pear tree. not that many anyway since it tried to bloom in february and got frosted.
prayers going up for the foks in oklahoma. awful! how helpless they must have felt!
11:00, high tide falling at CK. 1 lone duck. a little blue in the marsh. 73F, east wind, 5 knts.
fed cat. mended trawl until mid-afternoon when breeze quit, no-see-ums got fierce, and the sun came around. fair weather cat left for cooler spaces. mending the trawl is always deceptive. in the beginning there seems to be just a few holes but as the day progresses, more and more rips appear. since the trawl is dragged along the bottom, there's always damage and one day's mending can drag on and on. no pun intended. packed boat. gloves disappeared until I found them all wet and smelly and disgusting in the bucket under the secci disk. washed gloves.
16:00, medium low tide falling at #4 bridge. 80F, west wind, 7 knots. clouding up. great blue heron fishing off oyster bar.
16:29, 76F, overcast and dark. walked old russell and pup. rain began. sheep heading for barn. thunder but not close. rained hard. got 0.5". yay!
21:10, 71F. partly cloudy. muted sunset with stark red streaks of clouds. waxing gibbous moon with rainbow ring. some stars. fog.
Updated: 2:34 AM GMT on May 22, 2013
By: marsHen, 12:49 PM GMT on May 20, 2013
06:30, 67F, overcast. rain to the south. roosters crowing. dixie and guardian at back door. pup out. caught 1 mouse. old brownies wants to go back to the sheep but she's too weak. gave her grain. hoping she will rally but she's old and decrepit. computer really slow this a.m. it's been slow for days. thinking I should just end this blog for good. scrambled eggs for breakfast. dogs got most.
11:00, high tide falling at CK. 77F, south wind, 5 knts. ducks in the shallows. mostly sunny.
fed cat who was not hungry. spoiled. cleaned algae from a trawl. washed, dried trawl and packed it up for mending tomorrow. reading a paper from 1950 on fish survey at CK. still catching the same fish with some new additions of fish that are moving up from the south like the emerald parrotfish, the scorpionfish, and we're catching more snook, including young-of-the-year, than in the past. read another fish survey of CK from the 1880's. some of the names have changed but still catching the same fish generally. the archaeological record from the shell middens shows the same thing but the numbers are greater. whether there were more of certain species, or those species were just targeted by the indians, is unknown.
15:40, medium tide falling at #4 bridge. shorebirds perusing the mud flats. some herons and egrets.
16:30, 108F in the sun at the back door. sunny. not sure what average temperature is but feels rather hot. even pup was glad to be inside under the ceiling fan. old brownie eating herbaceous foliage in corral.
17:20, 88F, clouding up. got 1 egg. 4'oclocks blooming. all the "sweetheart" roses in flower.
19:50, 79F, cool breeze from east, thunder. wind chimes clunking. gusty. turned computer off. waxing gibbous moon in among the clouds.
21:20, 69F. rained for 10 minutes. dogs wet. misty. overcast. no moon or stars.
Updated: 12:29 PM GMT on May 21, 2013
By: marsHen, 11:42 AM GMT on May 19, 2013
06:30, 66F, clear. sun's coming up. old russell and pup outside. dixie and guardian at back door. dog biscuits for everyone. roosters crowing. brer rabbit in the lane. another good day.
09:00, high tide at CK. -76F, west wind, 8 knts. no ducks. ibis flying. church was good. gala send-off for old priest.
10:50, 77F, west wind, 5 knts. high tide at #4 bridge. still no ducks. herons in marsh.
12:30, 86F, partly cloudy, partly sunny. washed truck. dogs helped. :)
18:50, 78F. got 4 eggs, broke one. dixie got it. moved old brownie to the corral in front of falling down horse barn because she's old and puny and can't hold her own against the rest of the sheep. she started right in on the weeds. used wheelbarrow to move her. according to a friend in the know, cracker sheep are genetically different from gulf coast natives and are going to be classified as an endangered breed. doe with fawn following in cow pasture to the south. 2 deer in donkey woodlot.
21:00, 75F, overcast. shrouded waxing gibbous moon over the old farm house. radar showed rain to the east. oh well ...
Updated: 3:03 AM GMT on May 20, 2013
By: marsHen, 12:48 PM GMT on May 18, 2013
07:10, 64F, clear. sun's up. rosey skies earlier. russell and pup out. guardian at back door. roosters crowing. got 2 eggs. red-shouldered hawk calling from pines.
08:30, 69F. vacuumed kitchen. burnt my toast. gave it to dixie and guardian. cardinals singing.
11:50, 84F, partly cloudy, partly sunny. weeded flower garden. got 3 eggs. need to go to feedstore for sheep feed. taking guardian, she likes the occasional ride in the truck.
19:40, 80F, mostly cloudy. called sheep shearer to see what's happening. he hurt his back but expects to be heading to florida within a week. hope so. sheep are getting hot. and need to sell the lambs, tagged, wormed, and sheared.
20:40 , 78F, overcast. lovely back-lit sunset earlier. waxing 0.55 moon shining above sheep pasture. thin clouds obscuring stars. warm out.
Updated: 2:17 AM GMT on May 19, 2013
By: marsHen, 12:40 PM GMT on May 17, 2013
sleep, blessed sleep. at midnight, barred owl hoooing in the sheep woodlot across from farm house.
07:30, 64F, clear. sun's up. roosters crowing. sheep guardian at back door. pup and old russell out. songbirds singing. might scramble some eggs. very creaky this morning.
12:10, 84F, partly cloudy, partly sunny. wash drying on line. donkeys want hay. caught 1 mouse. pleasant walk with pup before it got hot. watered tomatoes. nap time.
16:30, 85F, cloudy/sunny. wash dry. pup chases deer in donkey woodlot. doe deer chases pup back into yard. back and forth, both panting. doe must have a fawn nearby. snag pup cooling in donkey water. rotten pup gets locked up for rest of afternoon. pileated woodpecker pounding on dead laurel cherry by horse barn.
20:50, 72F, misty. waxing half moon over corn crib. some stars. fireflies and spider eyes.
Updated: 3:19 AM GMT on May 18, 2013
By: marsHen, 10:33 AM GMT on May 16, 2013
05:40, 60F, foggy. some stars. dixie and the guardian at back door. pup out. roosters crowing. packing a lunch. stayed up late working on another story. another day out in the wild..
08:00, high tide falling at CK. a neap tide. 72F, south wind, 8 knts. choppy inshore, 1-2 ft. seas offshore where we were trawling. the volunteer was greenish from the roll of the boat but hung in there. water temperature, 23C, 73.4F. about time to leave the waders behind.
trawled up the usual baitfish, flatfish, etc. one trawl netted a lovely maroon octopus that was pissed-off. the main body was the size of my fist and the tentacles were about 18" long. that octopus was moving from one end of the trawl box to the other, burying itself in a big pile of sponge and sand half-dollars, reappearing ... finally I grabbed it with a hook-out and threw it overboard where it disappeared in a cloud of ink. another trawl netted an electric ray. the ray wasn't happy either. we gingerly measured her and threw her back. inshore pulls with the bait seine netted large pigfish in one pull, and a stingray and several large catfish in another. one distant flock of brown pelicans. cormorants. sunny and breezy. one pod of dophins.
16:10, high tide rising at #4 bridge. 75F, SW wind, 6 knts. large flock of scaups in the shallows. a peacock on the roadside heading home.
16:50, 88F at back door in the sun. 5-lined skinks on steps. really tired. walked pup and took a nap.
19:30, 75F, cloudy. got 2 eggs. several deer in north field.
21:00, 70F, clouds. waxing almost half moon over sheep barn. lovely in the clouds. fog forming.
Updated: 2:54 AM GMT on May 17, 2013
By: marsHen, 2:30 AM GMT on May 15, 2013
05:15, 53F, foggy. stars. woke roosters up. cardinals tuning up. dixie at back door. pup out. guardian shows up. packing a lunch. meeting crew at 7:00 in cowtown.
09:30, high tide falling on the econfina river. 68F, no wind. no-see-ums terrible. we got out on the grass flats as fast as we could. like a mirror out there. waters dark with tannin. sunny. trawling offshore for young-of-the-year (YOY) gag grouper, hogfish, black sea bass, and snapper. only found 1 target species - less than a dozen black sea bass. but pulled in lots of YOY pinfish, pigfish, and spot tail pinfish and a few YOY flounder. there will be lots to eat for the target species recruiting into the estuary. only found 3 very small scallops. all fish measured, counted, and returned to water. wind picked up quickly making it hard to see the bottom. water temps low 70's. pulled in a lot of algae by-catch.
almost every trawl, (after the banana appeared on the boat and was blatently eaten,) brought in about 25 gallons of algae, along with a few urchins and some mixed seagrass species, which we picked through for the fish. did 10 trawls. not many birds. some herons in marsh on the river.
15:00, 73F, west wind, 11 knots. still sunny. napped on way back to cowtown.
17:30, 75F at back door. tired. walked jack russell. pup on tether which didn't last. pup out romping and swimming in donkey water. finally got her inside with a piece of fried fish.
19:50, 72F, lovely red sunset. got 3 eggs. draggin' through the chores. deer passing through donkey woodlot. a lot of barking.
20:50, 67F, partly cloudy. some stars. waxing fat crescent moon behind thin clouds. very lovely..
Updated: 2:30 AM GMT on May 16, 2013
By: marsHen, 12:08 PM GMT on May 14, 2013
07:10, 47F, blue skies. the dogs love it! roosters crowing, songbirds singing, crows singing tenor. dixie at back door. guardian snoring down by the sheep barn. caught 1 mouse. after everyone woke up there was a big wrestling match in the front yard. chilly, but pleasant. herbivores patiently waiting for hay, such as it is. small spotted fawn poking around the lane.
11:00, low tide rising at CK. egrets, ducks, brown pelicans. 69F, NE wind, 10 knts. sunny.
fed cat. whipped up 5 "long lines" for jax crew sampling snapper and grouper offshore in the gulf. packed boat for tomorrow. cat would like some tuna. folks in hell want ice water..
15:50, high tide at #4 bridge. 73F, west wind, 10 knts. sunny. small flock of scaups in shallows. wondering if these ducks came up from down south and are resting, or are they the remnants of what was here all winter?
16:30, 75F at back door. several deer in donkey woodlot driving pup nuts. pup tethered. guardian barking. deer ignoring it all.
19:10, 72F, clear. got 2 eggs. minerals for sheep.
21:00, 62F, clear. stars. waxing fat crescent moon over horse barn. good night.
Updated: 2:27 AM GMT on May 15, 2013
By: marsHen, 12:38 PM GMT on May 13, 2013
07:30, 65F, overcast. a chilly north breeze. wondering if this will be one of those cool summers that seems to happen every 20 years that beach-goers complain about.. guardian at back door. dixie under house. pup out and barking. rooster crowing since 5 a.m. crows carrying on. chipped a front tooth last night on a pretzel. damn! ever since chemo, my teeth are not the same. muffin with peanut butter for breakfast.
11:00, low tide rising at CK. ducks in channel. egrets in the marsh and mud flats. 69F, north wind, 10 knts. mostly sunny.
fed cat. washed boats. packed, and unpacked, and repacked boats. dried trawl from last week. found holes and replaced it.
15:00, 73F, NW wind, 10 knts. clouding up. high tide at #4 bridge. ducks in the shallows. heading to cowtown for fuel and feed.
16:30, 76F, north breeze. unloaded feed. got 2 eggs. soup for dinner.
19:30, 70F, no one likes the new bale of hay. pup and guardian in cactus field. lots of yellow flowers. scarlet sunset. guardian barking in the bushes.
20:50, 60F, north breeze. waxing slice-of-melon moon low over the horse barn. stars out. a mist.
Updated: 2:46 AM GMT on May 14, 2013
By: marsHen, 12:03 PM GMT on May 12, 2013
06:30, 64F, clear. roosters crowing. crows cawing. dixie at back door. guardian runs up. pup out. caught 1 mouse. raisin muffin for breakfast. happy mother's day to the farm.. especially the sheep!
08:50, passed wild turkey on way to church. medium low tide rising at CK. 73F, west wind, 10 knts. sunny. small flock of ducks in channel! egrets. church was good. celebrated ascension day.
fed cat. was taken to brunch by my lovely, thoughtful daughter-in-law.. had shrimp hash and creme brule for dessert. on mother's day, dessert is a must after brunch.
13:30, high tide with ducks at #4 bridge. 74F, west wind, 10 knts. heading for scrub for visit with friends. red-shouldered hawk.
15:00, 99F at back door in the sun. pup out. reading sunday paper. a few of the funnies were funny. got 4 eggs. son called.
19:00, 75F. sheep grumbling about something. guardian barking. pup digging holes.
20:50, 72F, foggy. a few faint stars. no moon in sight. fireflies.
Updated: 2:43 AM GMT on May 13, 2013
By: marsHen, 12:49 PM GMT on May 11, 2013
07:20, 69F, overcast. a mist. (don't know how, it's so dry.) guardian at back door. pup out, russell out. cleaning up kitchen floor. deer in donkey woodlot. roosters crowing. making rice. promised scrambled eggs for breakfast. better get crackin'.
13:10, 85F, mostly cloudy, some sun. everyone got scrambled eggs and their comfortis. scrubbed kitchen floor. bed clothes and towels drying on the clothes line. hot and dry out. hoping for some of that rain out in the gulf. old jack russell and pup asleep in kitchen under the fan on their cushy dog blankets. sounds like an idea ...
16:20, 78F, overcast. gust of wind opened and closed doors and woke us up. thunder. just barely got the clothes in before the heavens opened up. one big thunder crunch even had the cat on the floor. rain!!
19:00, 72F, rained on and off for awhile. thunder to the north. hung out in the kitchen with pups and cat. made half bottles for lambs. sheep decided to eat the hay. donkeys still being picky.
slowly clearing. from the rain in the donkey pans, looks like we got about an inch. the grass will grow tonight!
21:10, 69F, foggy. misty stars shining. dark out. fireflies.
Updated: 2:21 AM GMT on May 12, 2013
By: marsHen, 12:25 PM GMT on May 10, 2013
07:20, 59F, fog. sun rising golden. dixie at back door. pup out. roosters crowing. cold fried chicken for breakfast. saved a few pieces out from last night. doing a wash. another day ...
11:00, high tide rising at CK. ducks seem to have left for the north. thought I saw a spoonbill flying but could have been an egret with a rosy reflection on it's feathers. 76F. SE wind, 7 knts. sunny.
fed cat. think he missed me. gave him some salmon. spent afternoon breaking down used hook, line, and leaders and setting up new rigs for our offshore fisherfolks who sample for grouper and snapper for life history, diet, and mercury and petroleum contamination studies. circle hooks were used for all rigs. short break for a slice of crab quiche..
14:30, still high tide at #4 bridge. the neap tides seem to be getting higher and higher. even the lows are higher.* 76F, west wind, 10 knts. egrets in mangroves, ibis flying across marsh.
17:30, 83F at back door. got 3 eggs. sheep eating some of the hay. no rain and cooler evening temperatures have stunted pasture growth. rain out in the gulf but... clothes dry, at least. clouding up.
21:30, 72F, overcast. disappointed that the new moon was covered. fog. no stars showing. guardian barking down the lane. dead 'possum still stinky. can't find it to cover it up so must have crawled under the house. watered the herb/flower garden. pretty dry. will have to put the sprinkler on the side yard this week-end if we don't get some rain. camellias, azaleas, and olives looking thirsty. need to get the lawn mower running too and knock down the virginia creeper that gives cover to snakes..
Updated: 2:58 AM GMT on May 11, 2013
By: marsHen, 10:31 AM GMT on May 09, 2013
05:50, 56F, foggy. some stars. dixie at back door. pup waiting to go out. making lunch. roosters crowing. songbirds singing. guardian snoring in front yard.
09:00, high tide on steinhatchee river where we launched to trawl the grass beds offshore. 70F, west wind, 6 knts. a light chop. can't say it was a sampling day from hell because no one got hurt unless one counts sore backs and muscle aches. the PI was in a bad mood and snapped at us when we asked if he brought a banana on the boat* when we had to abort our first set twice due to snags. one of the crew was hung-over from a b-day party the night before and was having nicotine withdrawls. we had to abort 4 more sets due to heavy algae by-catch which was impossible to pull into the boat. we had to re-set the 5th trawl 4 times and ended up with the lines wrapped around the prop when the tide took the trawl under the boat. we had to pick through at least 150 gallons of drift algae, in a total of 5 sets, for fish, mostly pinfish, that were about 1" long. we collected no young-of-the-year gag grouper, hogfish, or snapper which were our targeted species. we did get a few black sea bass and very few scallops from the scallop capital of florida. got no water temps from the grumpy PI. luckily, the volunteer and myself maintained an upbeat attitude. and we did see one or two interesting fish - a BIG striped burrfish and a very large red seahorse. it was a long grueling day and we all got sunburned despite the sunscreen but we got the sampling done and the data down and did what we were supposed to do. altogether we set and retrieved 18 otter trawls by hand on what was supposed to be a 10 set day.
and yes, the PI did bring a banana on the boat...
16:30, 72F, sunny, breezy with a west wind, 7 knts. and a lot of spray on the trip back to the boat ramp where half of steinhatchee was trying to haul their boats out at the end of the day.
18:00, 75F, sunny. guardian a welcome sight at the middle gate. got 2 eggs. finished up the last of the fried chicken thighs. tired.
20:50, 68F, a fog. stars out including the big dipper and the north star. and that's all folks.
Updated: 1:02 PM GMT on May 10, 2013
By: marsHen, 10:50 AM GMT on May 08, 2013
05:50, 53F, clear. one star. roosters up. cardinals tuning up. pup out. dixie at back door. fog in the tree tops. packed lunch. heading to south of east pass in the suwannee delta.
09:00, high tide on the suwannee river. 67F, east wind, 3 knts. not enough breeze to knock down the no-see-ums. banana on the boat. our first set just south of east pass snagged on a peat overhang and we pulled in 20 lbs. of peat and 1 redfish. had to un-snag the net with the boat since there was a drop-off. no-see-ums added to the misery. could not get crew member to ditch the banana. next set had us in mud with stingrays.. catches were low generally, with the usual dangerous catch designation of stingrays and large catfish. a lot of young-of-the-year menhaden, Brevoortia sp., in the bait seine. they are just recruiting into the estuary. pulled 2 sets with the 600 ft. seine. banana got eaten and things went more smoothly. the wind picked up and the no-see-ums left! sunny. catfish and stingrays in the big seine with pinfish, a few mullet, and a few sheepshead and trout. did catch several young-of-the-year black drum. cute little fish with black stripes and little barbels on their chins. could not hear them drumming like the big ones do. had an archaeologist volunteer who was a big help since we are short-handed this month with several of our crew sampling off-shore on SEAMAP and baitfish cruises. water temperature hovered around 22F, 73.5F. water was very turbid from tannin flowing in from the swamps. a light chop.
one large alligator crossing east pass. another small one throwing itself off the bank into big trout creek. turtles sunning on logs in the river. ospreys in nests. some herons, including a green heron, and egrets in the marsh. water very high reaching deep into the marsh. sampled to just north of deer island, including up big and little trout creeks. a very pleasant day.
13:20, tide still high. 71F, west wind at 8 knts. Sesbania, a poisonous road-side legume, blooming. phlox and brown-eyed susan in full bloom along the highway back to cowtown.
18:00, 75F at back door. got 3 eggs. sheep in the yard. they mobbed the gate and demanded to be let in. took a nap. 3 deer in cow field to south. something dead and stinky in front yard. 'possom?
21:30, 65F, clear enough to see stars. a mist. fireflies. guardian barking at soemthing invisible in cactus field. deer, probably. good night.
Updated: 2:50 AM GMT on May 09, 2013
By: marsHen, 12:16 PM GMT on May 07, 2013
06:40, 51F, mostly cloudy. gold sun coming up. roosters carrying on. songbirds singing. pup out. dixie and guardian at back door got the moldy muffin. clouding up. peanut butter toast for breakfast. 17 yr. old jack russell who sleeps all day caught a big mouse.
10:50, 65F, drizzling on the road to work. 1 hen turkey walking along the shoulder.
high tide rising at CK. 68F, west wind, 15 knts. brown pelicans on disappearing oyster bar.
fed frantic cat. mockingbird harassing him. packed boat for 2 field days. office work.
15:20, high tide falling at #4 bridge. 69F, west wind, 15 knts. choppy. folks out fishing on old bridge.
16:00, sunny at the farm. west breeze. clothes dry. go figure. fried up some chicken thighs. pup wants in. got 1 egg. no one likes the hay.
20:30, 62F. clearing. stars out. north star and big dipper. guardian sleeping by truck. fireflies.
Updated: 2:35 AM GMT on May 08, 2013
By: marsHen, 11:31 AM GMT on May 06, 2013
05:50, 54F, clear. wolf light. dixie at back door, guardian barking in front. possum family hunkered down in cherokee roses. roosters crowing. songbirds tuning up. walking the pup. packing lunch.
08:00, medium tide rising at CK. 57F, north wind, 6 knts. sampling the fish populations between goose cove and corrigan's reef including dog island and scale key. water temperature, 21-22C, 69.8-71.6F. a light chop. catches were low. majority of catches with the 600 ft. seine consisted of catfish, hardhead and topsail, and stingrays, bluntnose, cownose, and atlantic. did get some pinfish, spot, blue crabs, and mullet. caught a few medium size sheepshead, sand trout, speckled trout, permit, and whiting and several small flounder. catches in bait seine were very light except for one pull in the back waters over a muddy substrate that netted youn-of-the-year redfish, spot, pinfish, and mehaden and a few anchovies. all fish were identified by scientific name, measured, and released. wind picked up in the afternoon and backed to the northwest and then to the west. tide was high and incoming for most of the day except for our last set when it rapidly fell and almost stranded the boat out by corrigan's reef while we were pulling the big seine back into the boat. the big seine weighs around 1,000 lbs. and the boat was bumping on the oysters by the time the seine was loaded into the net well. got some big stingrays in that set. birds were scarce except for seagulls, a few brown pelicans, and a flock of black-bellied plovers resting on an exposed oyster bar.
14:00, high tide falling at #4 bridge. west wind, 10-12 knts. choppy with some whitecaps. 63F.
15:10, guardian at middle gate. 82F at back door in the sun. skinks not around. 'possums gone. need a nap. bum leg sore.
20:50, 58F, partly cloudy. got 4 eggs. let pup run earlier after she woke me from my nap. no one eating their hay so not giving out anymore. wondering if I can return it.. stars out and unfamiliar. saturn in east. must be time for a new moon. been overcast all week so lost track of the cycle. fireflies.
Updated: 12:24 PM GMT on May 07, 2013
By: marsHen, 11:23 AM GMT on May 05, 2013
06:30, 54F, clear. dixie at back door. guardian in front. pup got a walk. lighting in the east. caught one mouse. no lamb bottles in a.m. now, just at night. roosters carrying on.
08:30, 58F, north wind. wood storks around dug out pond at ranch with llama. peacock in ditch. quail crossing road. one wild turkey.
09:00, medium tide rising at CK. oyster bars still showing. brown pelicans. north wind, 10 knts. 62F. sunny. church was good.
11:10, higher tide at #4 bridge. 67F, north wind, 10 knts. a light chop. sunny with hunting herons.
14:30, 82F at back door. chilly breeze. beef brisket for lunch. reading sunday papers.
20:40, 66F, mostly cloudy. no stars. a drizzle. got almost nothing done. a sucessful sunday.
Updated: 2:31 AM GMT on May 06, 2013
By: marsHen, 1:21 PM GMT on May 04, 2013
07:30, 67F, overcast and damp. a mist. walked the pup. guardian came too. roosters crowing. prickly pear blooming. cactus field* is full of yellow flowers.
10:40, 75F, overcast. old brownie the sheep was missing so I cut through the sheep woodlot to the pasture to look for her and ran across another diamond-back, hunkered down in the pine straw. the 22 jammed so I had to get the shotgun. blew it away, all 4+ feet of it. ruined my day. just couldn't get my rhythm back after that. buried it out in the sheep pasture after snagging the rattles - 9 of them. this one was smaller than the other so the other was over 5 ft. thinking this one was the one I saw in the cactus field last winter. the other one looked like the one that's been plaguing me for the past 2 years. I hope that I don't have to do this again for at least a year or so. those big chunky rattlers give me the willies. hung wash out on the line. hopeful me. gave in and let sheep, including old brownie, in yard. dixie hiding under house. she hates gunfire. guardian in corral by horse barn. pup grumbling inside on her cushy dog bed.
15:30, 82F, overcast and mizzling. the 2 amorous broad-head skinks warming up on the back steps again. took wash in. damp so hung it in the house. needed socks, etc. spent afternoon vacuuming. oh joy.
19:50, 67F. overcast and mizzling. with 4 days of mist/drizzle, we've managed to rack up 0.3" of the wet stuff. plants are happy, though. finishing chores before total dark. fireflies starting in...
Updated: 1:52 AM GMT on May 05, 2013
By: marsHen, 11:06 AM GMT on May 03, 2013
05:50, 69F, overcast, damp, some fog. dixie at back door. roosters crowing. magnolias blooming. packing lunch and heading for the river!
09:00, high flood tide on the suwannee river. swift current! 70F, east wind, 10 knts. overcast, misty, drizzly. it was beautiful! yellow astors, red suwannee roses, and water hemlock blooming. sawgrass was putting out bloom spikes. early for that. ospreys in cypress. kingfishers.
catches were very low due to all the water reaching back into the swamps. the big catch was (drum roll!) a young-of-the-year sturgeon!! about 2 foot long. a beautiful bronze color that very sharp looking prehistoric fish. measured it immediately, put it back, and watched it dive for the bottom. we seldom catch them. the largest one we've ever caught was 10 ft. trawled it up in #4 channel off north key. it was too big and too strong to measure but it stretched across the entire net well which is 10 ft. wide.
13:00, tide still high on the river. water temps, 22C, 71.6F, on the surface. 21C, 69.8F on the bottom of the river, around 3 meters, 9.5 ft. deep. water very dark from the tannin flowing in from the swamps. overcast, NE wind, 12 knts. drizzling. saw no alligators all day but did see river turtles. most of the catches were a mixture of channel cats (freshwater) and hard-head catfish (salt water). this is fairly common towards the mouths of the river.
14:30, 73F at the farm. overcast. guardian met me at gate. dixie snoozing in horse barn. got 3 eggs. took a nap.
20:20, 67F, mostly cloudy. a few stars peeking out. cool NE breeze.
Updated: 2:11 AM GMT on May 04, 2013
By: marsHen, 12:58 PM GMT on May 02, 2013
07:30, 67F, overcast and damp. slept badly last night. dixie at back door. roosters crowing. didn't get much rain, 0.2". better than no rain at all. lamb bottles heating up.
11;00, wedium tide with exposed oyster bars. NE winds, 12 knts. 70F. mostly cloudy.
fed cat. etc. good shower around 14:00
16:00, medium tide at #4 bridge. 73F, SE wind 10 knts. off to cowtown to get pup!
17:30, 80F. 2 broad0headed skinks lying on warm stairway at back door. pup happy to be home. we all missed her..
20:30, 73F. mostly cloudy, no stars. drizzling. fireflies all over.
Updated: 11:04 AM GMT on May 03, 2013
By: marsHen, 11:26 AM GMT on May 01, 2013
06:10, 66F, overcast. waning gibbous moon a pale spot over the farm. rosy skies in the east. dixie at back door. roosters crowing. songbirds in a twitter. lamb bottles heating up. taking pup to vet to be spayed.
09:30, cow town temperature/time sign says 18C, 64F, but it feels warmer. mostly cloudy, breezy from east. dropped pup off.
11:00, medium tide rising with oyster bars. neap cycle. 70F, east wind, 16 knts. mostly cloudy. rain out in gulf. a cormorant sitting on a derelect boat out in the marsh. white pelicans circling in the west.
fed cat. finished mending newest 600 ft. seine. still varnishing measuring boards. mockingbird scolding cat. first trip of the month went out around gomez for sampling. caught 1 redfish, trout, flounder, whiting, and sheepshead.. plus other assorted baitfish and spat..
16:00, high tide at #4 bridge. overcast. a mist. 76F. east wind, 12 knts. no ducks. probably got scared away by the guys working on the causeway putting in a new pipeline to the island.
16:40, 78F. overcast and drizzling. pup overnighting at vet. guardian at gate.
20:10, 70F. drizzling. overcast. dark early. did chores early. got 2 eggs. happy for the rain. miss pup.
Updated: 12:59 AM GMT on May 02, 2013
marine biologist around the Suwannee River delta. Raise Cracker sheep on an old Cracker farm ~ 12 mi. (as the crow flies) from the Gulf.