north florida - wild florida - snake key*

By: marsHen , 11:50 AM GMT on February 08, 2013

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05:40, 59F, misty. faint stars. no moon. roosters up. dixie at back door. oatmeal for breakfast. lamb bottles heating up.
08:05, blow-out tide rising at CK. overcast. 57F, NW wind, 2 knts. no-see-ums taking advantage of the lack of breeze. did not wear enough shirts. began sampling east of corrigan's reef and worked west. catches were low. YOY pinfish and spot in the bait seine. only a few stingrays and a couple of mullet. pulled the 600 ft. seine three times and first two sets netted less than 6 fish each pull. third pull on snake key netted 1 flounder and 6 beautiful red fish, bronze with blue tails. ducks were all over today. one very large flock out by corrigan's- hundreds of black, as in the color, not the species, ducks circled us, then settled farther out off the reef. small flocks inshore plus white pelicans around in the marshes. seagulls, emperor terns, oystercatchers, and cormorants out on oyster bars. mud up to our knees in one set. water temperature, 16.5C, 61F. varied over 1 degree centigrade depending on location. felt/was warmer than the air. wind picked up to NW, 10 knts. early afternoon, a moderate chop. 60F high temperature for day. sun came out once for half a minute. still a lovely day. water out by snake key was south-florida-clear.
14:30, high tide at #4 bridge with ducks. osprey carrying a mullet. fed lab cat a fair amount to carry him through saturday. hung up selected waders for repair on fence to dry. overcast and chilly all day on island but sunny and pleasant on mainland.
17:30. 67F, sunny. got 1 egg. pup glad to get out and run around. guardian feeling frisky. gave out last of short, green hay. still have bales from hay guy. everyone tucked right in. pink sunset.
19:50, 59F, clear with many stars. jupiter at zenith. the dippers and north star bright. little dipper looks tilted. orion, sirius, the pleides, all out and sparkling. fog forming on ground. guardian barking out back..

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1. marsHen
2:57 PM GMT on February 09, 2013
* snake key is perhaps the most remote out-island in the cedar keys. it lives up to it's name, being the home of water moccasins. archie carr wrote about this island in an essay and commented on the number of snakes, plus the fact that, back in the 30's, or 40's, not sure which, he found red mangroves and white mangroves intermixed with the stands of black mangoves along the shore line. snake key was once used as a quarantine island for those who had yellow fever during the 2nd seminole war and, perhaps, the civil war. because it is the fartherest of the out- islands, no mention has been made of it being settled by "white" settlers, although several shell middens attest to the fact that it was once the home of the earliest floridians, aka pre-colombian indians... it is a lovely island when viewed from the water but not many folks brave walking through it.
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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.