north florida - wild florida - rocky hammock

By: marsHen , 1:34 PM GMT on December 08, 2012

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06:30, 62F, very foggy. very quiet. dixie at back door. pups out and running. lamb bottle heating up. me and the dogs fed excessively on red mullet roe last night - the first of the season which doesn't last very long. it was more than delicious and I had more than the dogs did ... crows calling. roosters low key this morning.
12:10, 69F, overcast. fog lingered until late morning. did a wash and hung it out in the fog. got 1 egg. house chilly and damp. built a small fire in the fireplace. smells good. burning red bay from a trimmed tree at the lab.
14:20, 69F, overcast but lightening up some. took dogs to cactus field to throw out some seeded pinecones. cactus field is several acres of bahia pasture that's been taken over by prickly pear cactus, dog fennel, and an assortment of tall "weeds." throwing an open pine cone with seeds releases the seeds that spiral down to the ground on their one "wing." an on-going project is seeding the field with native plant seeds that will grow into trees that will shade the cactus into extinction.. there are about a dozen knee-high pines so far.
you have to be careful walking in the cactus field. the dogs stay on the perimeter where the shade from bordering trees discourage cactus growth. gopher tortoises live in this field. they have several burrows. picking my way to a nearby burrow to check the apron, I glanced to the side and was startled to see a 3 ft. diamond back lounging in the frost burned grass next to the apron. it's head was about 10 inches from my boot. I stepped to the side quickly. the snake raised its head and looked at me. we studied each other, then I left, gathered the dogs from the edge, and went back to the farm yard. my suspicion concerning rattlesnakes in the cactus field was confirmed.
17:10, 65F, mostly cloudy. took damp wash in. hung inside. fog already moving into the cactus field. lambs went for the bottle. sprayed the ewe's rear end for flies. this warm weather is not conducive to birthing.
18:20, 63F, heavy fog. brief walk down the lane with dogs. some stars showing. jupiter bright in the east. fog got heavier while I waited by the pines for dogs to return.. fog like waves. finally got pup inside and sent sheep guardian down to hay barn to keep an eye on things. woodsmoke mingling with fog reminds me of the night my son was born. foggy and smokey at midnight. almost didn't make it to the hospital on time..

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About marsHen

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