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, 12:39 PM GMT on September 30, 2013
07:20, 68F, mostly cloudy. waning crescent moon in east. wimpy sunrise. roosters crowing. brisk walk down lane with pup. guardian comes into yard. hay to sheep and donkeys. roast beef sandwich for breakfast...
10:50, high tide rising at CK. great egret in spartina. east wind, 10 knts. 76F. mostly cloudy.
someone else fed cat. mended sleeve for cod end of two trawls. one of the sleeves was full of rips and tears from that big catch of stingrays we got 2 weeks ago. it needs replacing end of the month. finished mending old 600 ft. seine. we'll use it tomorrow. no-see-ums really bad although I sat in front of the big industrial fan. they attacked me in the lee. darkly overcast in afternoon. looked like rain but only a few sprinkles.
16:20, high tide falling at #4 bridge. SW wind, 2 knts. 79F. spoonbills and snowy egrets on edge of emerging mud flats. spoonbills on docks. white pelicans on shell bars.
17:30, 79F, mostly cloudy on farm. guardian greets truck in yard. pup eager for a walk. got 1 egg. too late to let sheep in yard.
19:00, 76F, mostly cloudy. hoping for a shower but don't think so. brush guardian. pup, whos fur looks like it's painted on, is unhappy. muted pink sunset.
20:10, 75F, overcast. not a single star showing. dark out. guardian in with sheep. skunk odor. dixie barking.
Updated: 2:13 AM GMT on October 01, 2013
By: marsHen, 11:56 AM GMT on September 29, 2013
07:05, 68F, mostly cloudy. overslept. roosters crowing. lack-luster pink and gold sunrise. down the lane with the pup. guardian comes into the yard. no time for wrestling. hay to herbivores. chickens have to wait until later. muffin for breakfast. hot cup of coffee.
08:50, high tide at CK. gulls and kingfisher on wires over bridge. NE wind, 12 knts. 74F. partly cloudy. a light chop. church was good. lesson on treasuring the wrong thing ..
12:00, high tide at #3 bridge, white pelicans on a flooded shell bar. NE wind, 10 knts. 73F, a light chop. fed cat.
wild turkeys in cow pasture off 345 - a big fat tom with 2 hens. cow belly deep in pond.
14:30, 90F at back door in sun. roast beef sandwich for lunch. funnies were amusing. sheep in the yard. guardian somewhere in the back by cactus field. dixie comes out from under house to say hello to sheep. sheep know dixie. pear tree shedding leaves. not many acorns dropping.
19:05, 78F, sunny. sheep in fold. guardian under truck. got no eggs. orange and purple sunset.
20:30, 76F, foggy. brighter stars showing. good night.
Updated: 1:58 AM GMT on September 30, 2013
By: marsHen, 1:12 PM GMT on September 28, 2013
07:20, 68F, a mist. partly cloudy. muted sunrise. roosters crowing. walk down lane with pup. guardian in sheep barn ready to enter yard. smoked mullet spread on toast for breakfast. pup attentive.
11:50, 78F, overcast. northerly breeze. wash on the line. gardening done. time to get some seeds for greens and carrots, etc. chores done. all correspondence taken care of. life is good.
18:00, 78F, overcast. wash dry. got 2 eggs. hens now will lay less and less until after the winter solstice.
19:20, 76F. mostly cloudy. sunset layered in orange and purple clouds. amber light gilding west side of oaks in donkey woodlot. 1 deer slips across the back.
20:30, 75F, overcast. not a star shining anywhere I can see. dark. gunshots echo from down the road. guardian barking out in sheep pasture..
Updated: 1:33 AM GMT on September 29, 2013
By: marsHen, 12:45 PM GMT on September 27, 2013
06:40, 68F, mostly cloudy. heavy dew on grass. waning horned moon above the house. purple cloudbank to east with pink sky behind. roosters crowing. short walk down lane with pup. guardian waiting to enter yard. dixie barking. strong odor of skunk. biscuits for breakfast.
10:30, mid-tide falling at CK. NE wind, 8 knts. 72F. oyster bars emerging. herons fishing.
fed cat. all trawls dry. packed them up. continued mending big seine. found a ragged tear that was a bear to mend. getting to the end.
15:45, low tide at #3 bridge. several flocks of white pelicans resting on the shell bars.
16:10, low tide at #4 bridge. north wind, 8 knts., 82F. mud flats exposed. mostly egrets, some scattered spoonbills out on them.
17:30, 85F. guardian met me when I parked the truck. cactus field walk with pup. got no eggs.
19:00, 77F, misty. odor of woodsmoke persists. is lower suwannee conducting controlled burns again? technicolor sunset, ranging from violet to gold. whew.
20:10, 75F. a fog. stars up in the mist. a dark night. thinking of pumpkins. never have been able to grow them..
Updated: 3:33 AM GMT on September 28, 2013
By: marsHen, 12:38 PM GMT on September 26, 2013
07:00, 74F, clear. waning half moon over the house. a mist. roosters crowing. 2 deer, one browsing on the edge of the cactus field, the other, a young buck, in the lane. pup sees him. pup dragged back to house. guardian comes into the yard. does not want to play. a turkey calling from south woods. or perhaps a fish crow..
8:15, sun has moved far enough south so that first rays move through the south bedroom into the living room. love this old house that was situated perfectly for the equinoxes.
10:30, mid-tide falling at CK. NW wind 10 knts., 79F. partly cloudy, sunny. spoonbills poking around spartina banks. white pelicans on the shell bar by #3 bridge.
fed cat. #3 trawl almost dry. spread other 3 trawls out to dry. all trawls including back-up trawls, soaked from salt spray and then rain. dried them in sun and good breeze. washed #2 trawl which had been used to trawl offshore. a disintegrating starfish was the clue. pleasant out, 80F, good breeze from NW. mended past the last turn corks on the old 600 ft. seine. 100 ft. more to peruse and mend. the new seine is waiting to be mended next.
16:20, mid-tide rising at #4 bridge. spoonbills and egrets working along the spartina banks. 2 brown pelicans swimming by fishing bridge.
17:00, 82F at back door. guardian waiting at the gate. pup waiting at back door. sunny and warm out. walk with pup along south edge of cactus field under pines and in shade.. a lot of young pines coming up. most are probably sand pines which grow fast but only last 60-70 years. could transplant smaller ones farther out in the field in january. got 2 eggs.
19:00, 80F, clear. sun setting in shades of bright orange. lovely amber light shooting through donkey woodlot. one deer slips through. pup on alert. the son calls. sheep stand waiting...
20:30, 77F, a mist. the smell of woodsmoke. no fire apparent. stars dim and seem far away. dark out.
Updated: 2:33 AM GMT on September 27, 2013
By: marsHen, 12:08 PM GMT on September 25, 2013
97:10, 72F, raining. brief trip out with pup so she could pee. let dry guardian out of mud porch. roosters crowing.
07:40, rain slackened. thin streak of pale salmon on east horizon. hay to donkeys and sheep. 1 deer in ex-goat yard which opens to cactus field. pileated woodpecker calls. big glob of rain in gulf. rain guage reads 2.6" since sunday morning. suwannee is rising.
10:30, 75F, overcast, not raining. 2 mature bald eagles in a pine on 345. cows lying down. a mist.
11:00, mid-tide falling at #4 bridge. SW wind, 15 knts., 78F. overcast, damp.
fed cat. washed #3 trawl. not a great day for drying but sooner or later.. continued mending old 600 ft. seine. 2/3rds done. super breeze in boatyard. helped a lot to keep temperature tolerable but trawl still damp at end of day.
15:10, low tide at CK. spoonbills and egrets out on flats. heading for cowtown via 347 for feed. maples are turning - 50 different shades of red, orange, and yellow. cypress getting rusty. willows shabby looking. suwannee river barely within its banks at fowlers bluff.
16:30, 83F at back door. mostly cloudy. muggy. guaardian at gate. clothes I washed this morning almost dry though they got an extra rinse this morning. unloaded feed.
19:10, 80F, partly cloudy. muted orange sunset. got no eggs. 3 deer in donkey woodlot got pup and guardian all in a fret. damn dogs.
20:30, 78F, misty. distant thunder. stars hazy. to the north a bank of clouds full of lightning. north star above cloud bank. sometimes thunder. storm over suwannee river, looping around to waccasassa flats that are full of water too. hunters say deer are going to high ground.
Updated: 1:17 AM GMT on September 26, 2013
By: marsHen, 12:06 PM GMT on September 24, 2013
07:05, 74F, overcast,dripping, foggy. rained last night. clouds hide sunrise. light seeps into the landscape. roosters crowing. guardian waiting to enter yard. pup takes long walk down lane. so far, 1" of rain has slowly fallen on the farm since early sunday morning. radar shows rain to south and out west in the gulf.
10:30, mid tide falling at CK. 2 spoonbills, 2 egrets, and 1 brown pelican standing on oyster bar. SW wind, 10 knts. 80F. a mist. cloudy.
fed cat. washed new bait seine. patches of blue sky. some sun. bait seine mostly dry. no mending needed. got packed up and stored in shed. finished mending bag of big seine just before rain begins at 15:00. tomorrow the trawls get sorted out.
14:00, mid tide rising at #4 bridge. great egret in spartina. dark sky to north and east. SW wind, 8 knts. 81F, overcast.
14:50, 80F, rained at the farm, 1.0". soaked guardian waiting at gate. sheep out in pasture. overcast. quick walk with pup before rain begins. guardian under truck..
19:10, 79F. overcast, mostly. some clearing. got 2 eggs. pup spots deer at far end of donkey woodlot. pup gets reined in. slight breeze from north. rain out in the gulf.
21:00, 77F, clearing above, foggy below. misty stars. ambiant light. pup spots armadillo in lane. oh boy..
Updated: 2:27 AM GMT on September 25, 2013
By: marsHen, 12:15 PM GMT on September 23, 2013
06:30, 73F, overcast and drizzling. the radio said the front was stalled. yesterday, CK and the coast got a lot of rain. so far, the farm has gotten less than an inch. dark and wet out. short walk with pup down lane. damp guardian comes into yard. don't know why she sits out in the drizzle and doesn't go into the sheep barn.. the sheep would just move out of her way. they're used to her horning in. roosters crowing. must have an alarm 'cause there sure wasn't a hint of daybreak until after 07:00. donkeys whining for hay so gave them a book. bacon and biscuits for breakfast.
10:50, low tide rising at CK. spoonbills and a few egrets swishing around in the mud. SE wind, 10 knts. 78F. mostly cloudy.
fed cat. hung, washed, dried, mended and put away a bait seine. the breeze and a lack of rain got the net mostly dry. dark clouds to west and south.
16:10, high tide at #4 bridge. white pelicans crowding each other on a disappearing shell bar. herons in the marsh. SE wind, 10-15 knts. a light chop. 79F.
17:30, 84F, mostly cloudy to overcast. guardian met me at gate. no precipitation. rain event offshore has gone NE of us. rain event down south slowly moving north. clothes from saturday damp. will rewash them tomorrow. got 1 egg. turkey chili with spinach for supper. and cherry garcia..
19:20, 81F, overcast. hay to everyone. 2 deer in donkey woodlot. pup and guardian wrestling.
20:50, 77F, really dark out. no moon, stars, lightning, thunder, anything, except 2 fireflies and a coon climbing a tree in donkey woodlot.
a deep-throated amphibian singing outside window in herb garden.
Updated: 1:56 AM GMT on September 24, 2013
By: marsHen, 11:15 AM GMT on September 22, 2013
06:10, 72F, overcast. waning gibbous moon peers out from behind clouds. rained last night and this morning, 0.25" in dog bowl under a tree. woke up roosters. strange odor in walk down lane with pup. very dark out. damp guardian sleeping in big hole in sheep fold. woke up and came into yard. noticed yesterday that dog fennel beginning to bud. pecans dropping. beauty berry beautifully purple. hoping for more rain and maybe a little cool-off.
08:40, mid-tide falling at CK. flock of snowy egrets fishing in tide pool. 1 spoonbill on distant oyster bar. south wind, 7 knts. 78F, overcast, slight drizzle. church was good. I rang the bell and served the wine! the sermon was on helping those in need.
11:40, real low tide at #4 bridge. small flock of spoonbills with 1 egret in a tide pool. osprey with mullet. Sw wind, 6 knts. 80F. overcast. light rain.
18:30, 77F, overcast, a drizzle. got 1 egg. 3 deer in donkey woodlot. drizzled/rained all day. probably got a half inch. CK and the scrub got 3.0" of rain last night.
20:20, 76F, foggy, a mist/drizzle. overcast and dark. guardian in sheep fold. pup snoring on couch.
Updated: 1:13 AM GMT on September 23, 2013
By: marsHen, 12:38 PM GMT on September 21, 2013
06:50, 69F, a fog. full silver moon above the sheep barn in the west. a pink preview to the sunrise. moon surrounded by pink clouds just lovely. roosters crowing. energetic walk with pup down the lane. guardian chases errant sheep, gets scolding, does not look sheepish.. donkeys sighing over hay. need to clean up last night's hay before they get new hay. so there..
07:20, 70F. open mud porch door to welcome equinox sunrise. 07:30, sun beams sweep through mudporch and enter kitchen, gilding old yellow pine beaded wood paneling around the sink. at 07:47, sun enters east and west doors of workshop, directly to the east of house, and sweeps down path to house. cat, pup, and myself welcome the end of summer/beginning of autumn sun.* according to "those who are in the know" today is the last full day of summer, tomorrow is the beginning of the fall season. we here at the farm saw the east/west alignment this morning through our rural solar calender. this evening, the last rays of the sun will shine directly through the mouse hole in the back screen door and on to the washing machine. primitive, but accurate. I love the clockwork workings of our solar system!
12:10, 88F, sunny. trimmed cabbage palms, raked and burned leaves from pecan and elm trees that are shedding now. clothes on the line. donkeys finally got hay. pup wore out, needs nap.
19:10, 81F, overcast. wash dry. got 3 eggs. a warm day. all dogs lethargic.
20:40, 79F, overcast. moon a dull smudge in the east. no stars. rain in the gulf. hope we get some even though I have another wash on the line ...
Updated: 1:45 AM GMT on September 22, 2013
By: marsHen, 12:27 PM GMT on September 20, 2013
07:10, 68F, foggy. roosters crowing. golden sunrise in the making. missed the moon-set. pleasant walk down lane with pup. guardian comes in yard. doesn't want to play. hay to sheep and donkeys. thinking scrambled eggs, cafe-au-lait.. the dogs will be happy. they love scrambled eggs.
10:10, low tide rising at CK. east wind, 10 knts., 76F. snowy egrets out on the flats.
fed cat. was caught up on yesterday's meeting. discovered to my chagrin that we won't fall behind until november. rats. plotted october's sampling sites on map of our universe. office work.
crab quiche for lunch while watching incoming tide with brown pelicans diving after whatever was riling the waters by the black mangroves. suspect scaled sardines pursued by redfish or mackerel.
white pelicans paddling around #3 bridge.
16:00, high tide at #4 bridge. south wind, 5 knts. 83F. heading back to farm.
19:30, 81F, partly cloudy. slight SW breeze. got no eggs. 2 little ground doves taking dust bath in front driveway.
20:20, 79F, partly cloudy. big orange full moon rising in the east. lovely. stars dim. guardian with sheep. good night, moon..
Updated: 1:51 AM GMT on September 21, 2013
By: marsHen, 1:08 PM GMT on September 19, 2013
07:30, 70F, pale orange sunrise. roosters crowing. cool out, feels good. brief walk with pup down lane. guardian in yard. biscuits for breakfast. pup wants one..
13:30, 93F, partly cloudy, partly sunny. slight NE breeze. spent morning weeding garden. hot. wash on the line. at noon went to hay guy's for a load of hay. guardian rode shotgun. unloaded hay. light lunch. nap time.
boss called wondering where I was. "at home weeding the garden..." would have gone over my alloted hours had I gone into the lab today.
19:30, 82F, partly cloudy. big wheelbarrow full of weeds from herb gerden. everything watered with the last of my 5 gal. rain buckets where I collect run-off from the tin roof. got 3 eggs. 1 doe, 2 yearling twins, and 1 fawn in donkey woodlot. a lot of barking.. dumb dogs. wash dry. took inside. BIG bright orange moon rising in the east. beautiful!
20:50, 78F, partly cloudy. lovely pale full moon in the east. moonlight walk with pup down lane. guardian in sheep fold barking. stars dimmed out from moon's light.
Updated: 3:00 AM GMT on September 20, 2013
By: marsHen, 12:19 PM GMT on September 18, 2013
07:05, 73F, neon orange sunrise. a faint mist. dueling roosters crowing. pleasant walk down lane with pup. guardian in sheep barn. sheep not happy. guardian rolls in sheep manure before entering farm yard. pup ecstatic. dogs ... bacon for breakfast. hung out a wash.
10:30, medium tide rising at CK. small flock of roseate spoonbills and egrets on flooding oyster bar. east wind, 13 knts., 80F. sunny, partly cloudy.
fed cat. wet lab work most of my day. big redfish from yesterday was a female.
14:10, high moon tide at #4 bridge. herons in the marsh. east wind, 15 knts. 82F. crew finishing up sampling for this month worked in heavy chop and breakers out by corrigan's reef.
17:20, 85F, sunny. wash dry. took it in. breeze from NE during pup walk on shady side of cactus field under the pines. a lot of youn pines growing at various heights but most crowd the tree line that borders the lane. heavy green odor of dog fennel.
19:00, 81F, peach sunset. got 2 eggs. need another run to get hay. have hay but need to squirrel away more since donkeys and sheep eat a half bale a day now when grass is still green. cold use a good rain, too. dusty on the grade road now. grass getting short.
20:20, 78F, mostly clear. waxing full moon in east. moonlight walk with pup down lane. NE breeze. pup stretches out in the grass not anxious to go back in the house. guardian in fold. dixie eating her supper.
Updated: 2:24 AM GMT on September 19, 2013
By: marsHen, 11:00 AM GMT on September 17, 2013
05:40,72F, foggy. stars bright overhead. orion beautiful. roosters waking up. dark walk down lane with pup. head lamp a cone of light in the fog. guardian comes into the yard. a cuban sandwich with swiss and turkey for breakfast. coffee...
09:05, low tide rising, suwannee river and north creeks. east wind, 8 knts. 76F. sampling the fish populations north of the river from bumble-bee creek to cat island - 5 sets with the big seine and 2 with the bait seine. catches in both seines were similiar to yesterday's sets in the middle grounds of our sampling area with the exception of a few fish. big seine netted a snook, a 5 ft. florida gar, and a 3 ft. redfish that had been attacked by (just guessing here from the tooth marks and the chunk out of its side) a shark. it was a beautiful fish, bronze from the tannin in the river water and it was probably a male. almost every summer we catch one or two redfish like this - wounded and hanging around the river delta. these big reds should be offshore in a breeding aggravation but his wounds brought him inshore where the brackish water might heal him and food is easier to find. water temperatures were 26-28C, 80--82.5F depending on location. water very dark. tide very high. currents moderate. 2 mature bald eagles flying across a marsh. the usual cormorants and brown pelicans. sunny to mostly cloudy with numerous wind-blown cirrus clouds. towering cumulus far off on west horizon. wind clocked to the south in the afternoon. air temperature, mid 80's. beautiful day. water refreshing.
17:10, 85F at back door. partly cloudy, partly sunny. unload feed and groceries.
19:00, 83F, orange sky to west. got 1 egg. deer in back of donkey woodlot. pup sees them.
21)10, 80F, clearing. waxing almost full moon in the east. moon light dims the stars.
Updated: 2:00 AM GMT on September 18, 2013
By: marsHen, 11:03 AM GMT on September 16, 2013
05:50, 72F, ground fog, clear above. stars shine brightly. orion overhead. dark walk down lane with pup. guardian comes into yard. doesn't want to play. roosters waking up. next week we fall behind. lighter for morning chores, darker for evening chores. we try to go by sun time here at the farm but not always possible..
08:00, low tide rising at CK. NE wind, 4 knts. 76F. woodstork flying over road. egrets in shallows. white pelicans crowding on a disappearing shell bar. fed cat.
sampling the fish populations with the 600 ft. seine and the bait seine in the back creeks between little trout creek and shell mound. catches were moderate. the big seine caught a lot of hard head and gaff topsail catfish along with some speckled trout, a few sheepshead, singrays, ladyfish, pinfish, mullet, one big gar, a small mangrove snapper, and a large mackerel which might have been a king but was probably a spanish. brought it back for i.d. the bait seine caught scaled sardines, a lot of anchovies and silversides, and a few pinfish and spot. fish measured, counted, and released.
a sunny day with not much wind but a light chop. water temperatures ran 28-29C, 82-84F, warmer than offshore due to shallower water. water the color of green tea and pleasant. a fair amount of birds - terns, cormorants, brown pelicans, osprey. dolphin fishing alongside of us in several places. had to put the bimini top up in late morning when air temperatures climbed into the low 80's with a lot of reflection from the sun. an enjoyable day. the back creeks, most which are not named, drain the woods and have salt water vegetation along their banks that gradually changes into fresh water plants, such as bullrush and sawgrass, as you motor up them. most are shallow, less than 6 ft. deep at mid-tide, but some have steep drop-offs, and most have oyster bars guarding their entrances. alligators frequent them as well as rattlesnakes and moccasins. contrary to popular belief, none of the above avoid salt water... alligators doze in the marshes in cooler weather and the snakes swim across the creeks and even sun themselves on oyster bars. deer swim from island to island and racoons peruse the bars and flats at low tide. it's a wild and beautiful community.
15:20, south wind, 3 knts. 84F. high tide at #4 bridge. think I got a mild sunburn despite the sun screen.
16:00, 108F at back door in the sun. walked pup down south end of cactus field where there was shade. got 2 eggs.
19:00, 85F, clouding up. thunder grumbling from the south. several deer on edge of sheep field under grape vines. pup charging around in donkey woodlot, jumps fence to be with guardian. pup's an athlete.
20:50, 80F, overcast. cloud-shrouded waxing gibbous moon in the SE. pup and I jumped a deer in front yard. deer disappeared into cabbage palms and over sheep fence. disappointed pup was reined in. good night, deer..
Updated: 1:43 AM GMT on September 17, 2013
By: marsHen, 11:35 AM GMT on September 15, 2013
06:30, 71F, ground fog. rosy on the eastern horizon. orion over the house. brighter stars showing. roosters crowing. pleasant walk with pup down the lane. guardian comes into the yard, brief scuffle with pup. pup wants more. drag pup back into house for breakfast, english muffin with laughing cow swiss spread.
08:00. 79F. sunny. wild grapes almsot gone but what's left are really sweet. big snake track out by grapes. found a patch of sandspurs while scouting for snake and pulled them out, then another, then another patch..
09:00, high tide rising at CK. seagulls and kingfisher swinging on electric wires on bridge. church was good. sermon on change.
11:10, high tide falling at #4 bridge. fed cat. herons fishing in marsh. deer darts across road om 345. have frozen pizza , white with spinach, for lunch.
12:20, 93F at back door. guardian met me at gate. heating pizza. walked pup briefly.
13:40, 91F, clouding up. let sheep in yard. dixie came out from under house, said hello to sheep, went back under house. read papers. nap time. pup already asleep at back door after counting sheep.
16:20, windy, gusty out, wind chimes clunking. overcast. wind coming from east, thunder growling from SE. some sheep heading back to barn. radar shows storms popping up over levy county. need some rain.
15:00, 80F, gusty drizzle. more thunder. herd recalcetrant sheep back in fold. guardian checking it all out. wind feels great. uncover camellias.
19:10, 78F, overcast. got just enough rain to wet things down. got 2 eggs. pup scooping out sheep manure. guardian tucks under pick-up.
21:00, 77F, overcast. no moon or stars. foggy. pup sniffs every inch of lane. a lazy day..
Updated: 1:51 AM GMT on September 16, 2013
By: marsHen, 12:47 PM GMT on September 14, 2013
07:10, 70F, clear. orange sky in east. roosters crowing. walk with pup down lane. guardian comes in yard and plays coy with pup who doesn't know from coy. english muffin with smoked mullet spread for breakfast.
11:10, 85F, wash on clothes line. pup on tether to keep her from chasing deer. guardian under pick-up, snoozing. working on lawn mower, looking for oil.
12:30, 88F, sunny. found oil, got mower working. mowed front yard, side yards, back yard to clothes line. raked up 5 gallon bucket of mowed grass for chickens. muggy out. soaked my tee-shirt. pup and I collapsing in kitchen. smells great outside - fresh mown grass!
17:10, 85F, partly cloudy, partly sunny. clothes dry, folded, and taken in. got one egg. long walk with pup.
19:00, 83F, bronze light, long shadows. muted orange sun set. 2 deer hurrying across donkey woodlot.
21:20, 77F, a mist. waxing gibbous moon over sheep pasture. stars dimmed from moonlight. barred owl carrying on in donkey woodlot. guardian in sheep fold. dixie prowling yard.
Updated: 2:15 AM GMT on September 15, 2013
By: marsHen, 10:38 AM GMT on September 13, 2013
05:40, 71F, clear above, fog on ground. stars out and bright. orion above house. roosters awake. caught 1 mouse, took it to hay barn. pup discovers armadillo in hay barn, oh boy. drag pup back to house. guardian yawning in yard. another day..
07:50, 83F, really high tide falling in CK. north wind, 2 knts. fed cat.
friday the 13th and we're going on the water. heading out to sample the fishes of suwannee sound, between mcgriff channel, one of the mouths of the suwannee river delta, and derrick key, with the trawl and the bait seine. a slight swell and light chop. water temps averaging 28C, 84F. visibility low. water the color of dr. pepper. strong currents with tide rushing out.
catches were dangerous. 3 trawls basically consisted of stinging jellyfish plus around 100 atlantic bumpers, Chl. chrysurus that were the size of my thumbnail that had to be measured and counted. everyone got stung except the PI. one of the crew took the banana out of her lunch and ate it. afterwards, the last 2 trawl catches changed to a lot of stingrays, 12 and 17, and catfish, a few bumpers and some very small "fish ID's." collected an adult female atlantic stingray for "fish health" . she had a mis-shapen nose and patches of paler pigment on her body. suwannee sound is a healthy estuary and things like this are not common. the trawls were followed by 3 sets with the bait seine - swift current and jelly stings on the legs. last set, pulled seine on derrick key. key crowded with birds - brown pelicans, cormorants, large terns, skimmers maybe too far away to tell for sure. they took off and landed on a nearbar sandbar. PI says, "it's 13:13 on friday the 13th."
I say, "don't forget to shuffle your feet." moves stingrays out of your way.
a huge ray, probably spotted eagle, jumped 6 ft. out the water in front of boat. big splash. thrilling. pleasant trip back to marina, watching wake and clouds. low tide, barely made it through the shallows under the bridge.
15:30, low tide at #4 bridge. spoonbills in the mud. heading back to farm with smoked mullet dip and saltines. north wind, 5 knts. 80F at CK
16:20, guardian at gate. 110F at back door in the sun. 86F in the kitchen window. mullet dip and left-over clam pasta for supper. collected 3 eggs.
10:50, 75F, a mist. waxing gibbous moon over sheep fold. guardian barking out in pasture. hazy stars shining.
Updated: 12:40 PM GMT on September 14, 2013
By: marsHen, 11:08 AM GMT on September 12, 2013
05:50, 71F, fog on ground, clear above. stars are bright, orion almost overhead, jupiter nearby. roosters crowing. uneventful walk down lane with pup. guardian enters yard. dixie barks from under the florida room. fixing to make lunch.
08:00, fog on the road. high tide falling at CK. NE wind, 8 knts. 75F. sampling the fish populations beween gulf jackson clam leases and corrigans reef, with trawl and bait seine. catches were low. dominant fish in trawls were batfish, followed by pigfish and pinfish. in an offshore trawl, we caught a new species of flounder for our area. have to i.d. it. when over sea grass, bait seine pulled in pin fish, pig fish, anchovies, scaled sardines, and some small juvenile fry that were also brought back for i.d., either sardines or menhayden would be my guess. all fish identified, measured, counted and tossed back except for the i.d.'s.
wind clocked to the west through the day and temperature climbed into mid-80's. sunny. water was clear again. water temperature averaged 28C, 83F. there was a slight swell and a light chop. a lovely day. saw some dolphin, just a few birds including a female frigate bird being harassed by seagulls.
15:30, low tide at #4 bridge. spoonbills and egrets out on the flats. white pelicans on sand bar by #3 bridge.
15:40, 108F at back door in sun. walked pup. deer in front yard and cactus field. guardian in back yard. 86F in kitchen window.
19:00, 82F, sunny and dry. got no eggs. cooper sunset going on. overhead clouds peach. donkeys want hay.
21:10, 78F, partly cloudy, partly clear. waxing half moon riding almost at zenith. stars bright in clear areas. night sky a wonder in several dimensions.
Updated: 2:22 AM GMT on September 13, 2013
By: marsHen, 12:49 PM GMT on September 11, 2013
06:40, 72F, clear. gold skies in the east. a dozen large flocks of cattle egrets fly north over the lane, barely clearing the old pines that survived but were damaged by the 1950 hurricane. the egrets shine pink and gold in the first sun rays. heading either to the dug-up peanut fields or the dairy. guardian in sheep barn shows up at gate when I whistle. she and pup have a wrestle in the lane.
on this day, 2001, I was with a crew sampling the fishes of the suwannee delta with the big seine. we caught a lot of fish that day and it took a while to work them all up - identifying, measuring, counting.. someone remarked on the lack of air craft. it was blissfully quiet. we returned late to the lab and had not turned on the truck radio on our way back to CK. the boss was with us and after we parked the boat in the boatyard he went upstairs to check his e-mail while we unloaded and washed the boat down. he reappeared shortly, eyes wide, and out of breath. "we're at war." he told us..
not, but later we were for the wrong reasons.
late that afternoon, my son, a jr. in high school, drove back to the farm with me after long-distance practice and narrated the events of the day as he saw them on the tv at the CK school library where he had gone around 09:00 to return a book.. it seems that our crew was probably the last folks in florida to learn about the events of that awful day.
10:30, medium tide falling at CK. a roseate spoonbill flies over the lab when I am parking, its wings hot pink in the morning sun. east wind, 12 knts. 80F. sunny. white and brown pelicans and a few cormorants hanging out on exposed shell bar by #3 bridge.
cat glad to see me altough he'd already been fed. dragged a new 70 ft. bait seine out of the box, measured it, and strung it on poles for use tomorrow. one new bait seine left which has to last us a year. we have 3 ready for use but the 3rd seine is not long for this world being heavily mended and getting rotten. sun, salt, fish slime, mud, etc. take their toll on these nylon nets. they get washed, dried, mended, and put away in the shed after we finish sampling each month but are heavily used and oysters, barnacles, and the elements wear them away and break their fibers down. almost done with mending the hole the tarpon busted through in the big seine but had to put it aside to get a boat ready for trawling tomorrow, which included unloading a newer 600 ft. seine out of the boat's net well to make room for the trawl.
16:10, medium tide rising at #4 bridge. hot and sunny, 86F. heat tempered by an ENE wind, 12 knts.
17:00, 90F at the back door. house a cool 82. guardian met me at gate. walked pup. 3 deer scooting through the donkey woodlot. got 3 eggs. brought home some pasta clams. will steam them after the sun goes down behind the trees in the donkey woodlot.
19:20, 80F, partly cloudy. copper sky heralds sunset. pretty. pink clouds overhead. fed sheep and donkeys. watered marigolds. clams were delicious.
21:10, 79F, a mist. waxing horned moon above sheep fold. hazy stars showing. pup stirred up a wasp nest during our evening walk. I got stung. both of us scurried down the lane to get away from them. turned my headlamp to red bulb and eluded the dive bombers. think she got stung too since she did not hesitate to move out. guardian with sheep. dixie prowling back yard. good night wasps..
Updated: 3:11 AM GMT on September 12, 2013
By: marsHen, 12:50 PM GMT on September 10, 2013
07:20, 70F, clear. roosters crowing. golden sunrise. 2 does and a yearling in cactus field. guardian in yard, pup wants to play. washing clothes. raisin muffin with blue-cheese for breakfast.
09:30, 80F, blue sky, sunny. today was a proofing data day. 'nuff said..
14:20, 90F at back door. guardian met me at the gate. pleasant walk down lane with pup. tried to stay in shade. pup wanted to lie in sun.. wash dry. clean, line-dried sheets tonight! hope there's no ants.
19:00, 84F, sun slowly sinking. got 0 eggs. unloaded feed. hay to all herbivores. big ram still chasing some skittish ewes and pounding the young ram. breeding season began late, early august, this year. between ranky hay last winder and getting sheared a month late, ewes lost weight and cycled late. a lamb in december, when lambing usually begins, will be a surprise. expect most lambs in january.
20:40, 78F, a haze. pallid sunset earlier. waxing crescent moon above the palmettos. stars dimmer tonight except in the north where the dippers, casseopia, and the north star are visible. some planet hiding behind the oaks in the west. a NE breeze refreshes the evening walk down the lane with pup. guardian with sheep. dixie grumbling under house.
Updated: 2:03 AM GMT on September 11, 2013
By: marsHen, 12:13 PM GMT on September 09, 2013
06:40, 67F, dawn, a fog. roosters crowing. guardian whirls around the fold several times before coming into yard. pleasant walk with pup down lane. golden sunrise. need to unload firewood, fill bird feeder, hay, etc. muffin for breakfast, thinking about bacon..
10:50, chores done, bacon was good. low tide in CK. spoonbills perusing the shallows. pink against the green mangroves, lovely. east wind, 5 knts. 80F.
cat had food. continued mending big seine. finally got to bag and hole the tarpon ripped through. everything soaking wet. pulled it out of box to dry. hot and dry so should dry quickly. worked in library in afternoon pulling articles on silversides, anchovies, and herring for one of the biologists.
16:10, high tide rising at #4 bridge. east wind, 10 knts. 87F. herons in the marsh.
17:00, 92F at back door. sunny. got 3 eggs. pup and guardian lying in dirt. hot and dry. plants need watering.
19:20, 79F, blue sky, sun an orange ball. pileated woodpeckers calling in woodlot.
20:50, 78F, clear. stars out and bright. milky way arching over the farm. both dippers and north star showing. waxing crescent moon yellow in the west over the sheep barn. beautiful night.
Updated: 1:52 AM GMT on September 10, 2013
By: marsHen, 11:34 AM GMT on September 08, 2013
06:30, 69F, wolf light. roosters crowing. rosy sky in the east. heavy fog. pup tracks some invisible varmint down the lane. guardian checking out sheep pasture. hay to herbivores.
09:00, carnage on the road going into CK. an adult wild hog and 3 young shoats smeared along the road. a family wiped out. low tide falling in CK. NE wind,76f. white pelicans on shell bar by #3 bridge. church was good. sermon on active prayer, ie. don't just pray for the poor, help them out... storm that came through on friday took a limb off of an oak in the church yard. warden using chainsaw to cut limb up. snagged some firewood.
11:10, very low moon tide at #4 bridge. all bars exposed. east wind, 8 knts. 81F. spoonbills, egrets, and herons fishing in the tidal pools. fed cat. heading to fowlers bluff for lunch with friends at treasure camp.
12:00, pleasant breeze on the suwannee river. river very high and extremely swift. yellow lab fetching sticks really exerted herself to get back to shore. lunch was good - pulled pork sandwich, sauce on the side.
14:00, 85F on thermometer in kitchen window. sunny. hot outside but low himidity. read paper. doonesbury very funny! red chickens doing well. got no eggs. nap time.
19:00, 78F, partly cloudy, partly sunny. b'rer rabbit in back yard. guardian spots him but no chance there. rabbit disappears in tall spanish needles. capture some young mosquito fish from the stock tanks and some submerged aquatic vegetation, coontail, to add to florida room tanks. one tank is missing a male. cow lilies (spatterdock) are growing in horse barn tank. wasn't sure if they would take. (last month, rescued a cow lily root system that river was taking out to sea.)
20:10, 76F, a light mist. waxing thin crescent moon with venus setting in west right after sunset. beautiful!! guardian perusing sheep pasture. goodnight, moon..
Updated: 3:13 AM GMT on September 09, 2013
By: marsHen, 12:26 PM GMT on September 07, 2013
06:40, 68F!, dense fog. roosters yellin'. 2 tall beautiful alert deer in cactus field watch pup and I on our morning walk down lane. pup senses them. deer bound away. guardian back in yard from sheep fold. something going on with chickens. big red rooster from back coop outside of front coop. lil' rooster in front coop spitting mad. back coop door open, little red hen nowhere to be found. plucked feathers litter the ground. strong smell of skunk ... peach sky in the east. day begins with mystery and big bereft rooster threatening take-over of front coop. dixie, a chicken-chasing fool, is gonna love this..
08:30, 78F, sunny with a mist. heading to hay guy's farm. 3 does and 1 buck cross grade road in front of pick-up. hundreds of cattle egrets in dug-up peanut field. get 12 bales, trade snake stories and water-in-the-woods data.
10:10, 85F, unloaded hay. hung a wash out. hear clucking by back chicken coop. head there with a pocket of corn. red rooster has found little red hen! she's alive! with feathers missing. shoo chickens back in coop. can't find a hole in wire. repair damaged door and secure new latches. happy! prepare to burn yard trash. let sheep in yard to work on weeds.
13:10, 90F, sunny, partly cloudy. east breeze. getting hot, let fire die down. sheep flagging. pup wants out. tough.
17:30, 84F, sunny, dry, smell of wood smoke. put sheep back into fold. wash dry. guardian checking farm yard. pup gets a walk.
19:00, 81F, misty, almost sunset. got 3 eggs. fed sheep. going to feed donkeys, pass back chicken coop and discover half a panel of chicken wire ripped out of side of coop. am I blind? no, wisteria that drapes that side hid the damage. have no chicken wire. move red chickens to the finch aviary. rooster screamed all the way. the hen went quietly. food, water, hay, a roost, wire between red chickens and the world.. almost dark.
20:50, 78F, a fog. many hazy stars visible. distant lightning in the south. owl hoos. guardian barks. good night chickens..
Updated: 2:39 AM GMT on September 08, 2013
By: marsHen, 12:26 PM GMT on September 06, 2013
06:40, 73F, wolf light. roosters crowing. enough light in sky to block star light. walk with pup down lane. a mist above pastures. strong odor of dog fennel. guardian comes into yard but doesn't want to play. washing clothes. pallid sun rising.
10:00, low tide rising at CK. east wind, 3 kts. 83F. partly cloudy, partly sunny. spoonbills in the shallows with a few snowy egrets.
fed cat. cat also got advantage while eating treat. hot in boatyard. mend more of the 600 ft. seine in front of big noisy fan. most of work was replacing selvage on lead line. oysters, rocks, anything with barnacles gradually wear out the selvage (the twine that binds the body of the net to the lead line.)
14:20, high tide at #4 bridge. west winds, 10 knts. 88F. a few herons in marsh. heading back to farm with half slab of smoked ribs. gray skies to east. did not check radar. clothes on line. hay guy thinks I'm on my way to get hay. puddles on road in rosewood. begins sprinkling at farm with ponds and, today, goats belly deep eating aquatic vegetation.
17:00, clouding up. hay guy says it's clear by him. raining in rocky hammock. cancel hay purchase. run home to take clothes off line. thunder. guardian at gate.
17:15, 88F, more thunder. clothes dry, brought inside. got 2 eggs. drizzle. quick walk with pup.
18:10, 78F, raining hard. waiting for a break to run do chores. thunder and lightning. pup and cat under kitchen table by my feet. ribs were good! everyone got a rib.
20:50, 73F, overcast and dark. drizzling. new moon yesterday. great rainstorm! got almost 2.5"
Updated: 3:18 AM GMT on September 07, 2013
By: marsHen, 10:45 AM GMT on September 05, 2013
05:55, 71F, a mist. stars bright up there. orion with them. roosters crowing. guardian comes in yard. pleasant walk with pup down lane. dark out.
06:30, 71F, pumpkin orange sunrise. bunch of deer heading to cactus field from donkey woodlot. pup watching them. hay to donkeys and sheep.
09:00, low tide rising on suwannee delta. river high and swift. sampling fishes from mcgriff channel to bumblebee creek with 70 ft. bait seine, 10 sets. east wind, 5 knts. 78F, partly cloudy. lots of ospreys on oyster bars going out. big flock of terns on another bar. brown pelicans. catches were moderate depending on substrate. water temperature, 28-29C, low 80's, dark with tannin from river. refreshing. netted mostly anchovies and silversides, plus some juvenile scaled sardines, pinfish, and silver perch. last boat set in river mouth pulled in 2 beautiful young mangrove snapper. fish measured, counted, and released. no surprises today except a juvenile black crappie netted offshore. must have gotten caught in river flow. river at fanning springs highest I've seen all summer.
14:00, south wind, 3 knts. 85F, sunny and hot. glad for bimini top on boat. strangely, bugs left us alone except for a few persistant horseflies.
16:00, 88F at back door, mostly sunny. 5 deer running along the sheep pasture fence. got 2 eggs.
21:10, 76F, a mist. stars showing. guardian being stubborn about going into sheep pasture. had to get stern. pup goofy, as usual. lightning flashing in the north to NE.
Updated: 2:29 AM GMT on September 06, 2013
By: marsHen, 11:41 AM GMT on September 04, 2013
06:30, 74F, wolf light. roosters crowing. jupiter and another bright object shining. a layer of fog above the pastures. heavy dew. guardian and I walk out looking for the waning crescent moon. not there. purple and intense pink clouds radiating from eastern horizon. pleasant walk down lane with pup. muffin with blue-cheese for breakfast.
10:00, low tide rising at CK. east wind, 3 knts. one spoonbill and two egrets in shallows. white pelicans on usual shell bar at #3 bridge. truck going for oil change.
fed cat. continued mending old 600 ft. seine. finished tore-up end and mended to the orange floats that signal the turn, about 100 ft. big fan on. sunny. cement from boatyard heating up.
13:20, 1st crew comes in. wash down boat and gear. water temp, 29-30C. mid-80's. crew netted, along with the usual sports fish, a small cobia (not usual) and a snook (didn't used to get them). global warming. worked in wet lab.
15:15, picked up truck. high tide at #4 bridge. great egret in spartina. west wind,4 knts. 86F. swamp maples turning color. all colors from pale green to pink to red to purple. pecans slowly dropping leaves and some nuts. hickory nuts dropping. beauty berries turning purple.
16:10, 87F at back door. partly cloudy, partly sunny. got 1 egg. a lot of butterflies.
19:40, 81F. partly cloudy. tangerine sunset. long amber light in donkey woodlot. distant thunder from north and east.
20:50, 81F, a haze. some stars showing. guardian in fold. pleasant breeze from south. pup enjoys walk down lane. fall is very close.
Updated: 2:36 AM GMT on September 05, 2013
By: marsHen, 10:23 AM GMT on September 03, 2013
05:40, flash of light and thunder woke me up. not raining so went out. 74F. orion high in the east. jupiter too. stars bright overhead. lightning to the east, distant thunder. dark, warm and dry out. guardian running around in fold, barking. smell skunk. guardian comes into yard. pup checking out bushes in lane. woke roosters up..
06:50, 75F, overcast. thunderstorm moved in from west with heavy rain and trapped dogs and myself in hay barn. pileated woodpecker calling from donkey woodlot. donkeys eating damp hay.
08:05, 77F, sprinkling. meet crew at cowtown to go to suwannee but after discussion and looking at radar on Iphone, PI calls trip off due to weather.
09:00, medium tide rising at CK. mostly cloudy, NE wind, 5 knts. rained in rosewood but not in CK.
catfood full of ants. re-fed starving cat. continue mending 600 ft. seine. big rips. seine has seen better days. have another big seine in three pieces that I need to start putting back together. will replace present old seine.
according to radar, thunderstorms have moved inland. would rather be out on the water.
15:10, high tide at CK. west wind, 5 knts. 85F. distinct lack of birds at high tide. probably at least 2 more months before ducks return.
16:30, 87F, sunny. got 2 eggs. 0.25" rain this a.m. ground still wet under foliage.
19:30, 83F, bedspreads left on the line overnight mostly dry. take them in. pup wants to run. wrestles with guardian. a few deer in back yard. orange sunset with amber light.
20:50, 81F, slight mist. more than usual stars out. pretty. big amphibian tentatively croaking in wetlands tub with duck potato (Sagittaria sp.) - also called arrowhead. heard him last night, too.
Updated: 2:41 AM GMT on September 04, 2013
By: marsHen, 12:17 PM GMT on September 02, 2013
06:30, 73F, partly cloudy. a light fog. waning thin crescent moon in the east with one visible star off to the north. pink clouds on eastern horizon. enough light to see snakes. roosters crowing. guardian comes into yard. walk with reluctant, sniffing pup down lane. something in front yard last night draws her attention. smelled skunk late night - might be that. or the buck that I smell on our evening walks.
glad for a day off even though there's no pay. figure a lot of folks in same boat. at least we have jobs and can pay our bills if we live simply.
11:30, 89F, partly cloudy, partly sunny. sheep in yard chowing down on the spanish needles, Bidens pilosa. cardinals and wrens emptying the bird feeder.
14:20, 93F, sunny. several deer browsing in back yard. sheep in barn loafing and chewing their cud. hung out 2 bedspreads.
17:10, 85F, sheep back in yard weeding in front. got 1 egg. looked around for a snake but no snake in chicken coop. days getting shorter, chickens lay less eggs, especially since they're older, 3 years. still eat the same amount, though.
19:50, 80F, a haze. sheep back in fold. guardian persuing the yard. black racer on back steps. probably after the skinks. or the toads.
22:00, 77F. stars distant. can make out casseopia in the NE, and the north star. maybe part of big dipper, too. strong odor of dog fennel. and buck. buck might have run through the fennel. pup poking around in the bushes. guardian out in the pasture. dark and warm tonight.
Updated: 2:43 AM GMT on September 03, 2013
By: marsHen, 11:26 AM GMT on September 01, 2013
06:30, 74F, some fog. partly cloudy. brief shower in early morning. waning crescent moon hidden by trees to east. september! at last! yahoo! brief walk in dark with pup. snake still in bucket. will dump it down road on way to church. roosters crowing. crows calling. 2 deer in bushes down the lane, 3 more in cactus field. pup beside herself.
09:00, high tide rising at CK. roseate spoonbills and snowy egrets roosting in black mangroves. white pelicans crowding at a slowly submerging sand bar. south wind, 12 knts. 78F. church was good. serman on racism. waves at sandspit. anchored sailboat swamped by waves and filling with water.
11:00, high tide at #4 bridge. west wind, 8 knts. 82F. fed starving cat who was prowling the yaupon holly bushes (Ilex vomitoria) across street from lab.
heading for hogtown to view movie - the grand master. kick-ass movie. could see it again. dinner, bought latest j.l. burke book.
18:00, 85F, sunny and hot. slight breeze from SW.
17:20, 82F. hay to donkeys. got 1 egg. pup wants to run.
21:40, 78F, foggy. some stars showing through haze. still and dark. guardian with sheep. good night.
Updated: 3:38 AM GMT on September 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.