north florida - wild florida - deer island

By: marsHen , 11:38 AM GMT on April 01, 2014

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06:40, 46f, clear. stars out earlier. woke up roosters. sheep coming in from pasture to get their hay. coyotes woke me around midnight - a pack yipping and howling running by the north fence. dixie and guardian standing their ground. turned on 1 outside light and they all got quiet. could hear guardian prowling perimeter off to east.. figured she and dixie had it under control, went back to sleep.. another day... love my dogs.
09:00, suwannee river very high but low tide rising in back north creeks. east wind, 5 knts. that did not discourage the no-see-ums from plaguing us most of the sampling day. sampling the fishes with the 600 ft. haul seine and the 70 ft. bait seine in the back creeks north of the river - part of an on-going study of the fish populations of suwannee sound and the cedar keys. due to swift currents, catches were low in our offshore sets with the bait seine, consisting mainly of YOY (young-of-the-year) spot, pinfish, and breeding silversides.
catches in the back creeks brought in more numerous YOY spot, pinfish, and mullet. the mullet did not show up in offshore sets. the big seine caught just a few pinfish, 3 black crappie (an indication of the extent of the flooding in the river) and finger mullet. the last set also caught a dozen YOY redfish about the same size as the finger mullet.
the water temperature was 17C, 62.5f. water was the color of strong tea. birds were numerous - ducks, cormorants, brown pelicans, willets. one bald eagle perched on a cypress. a few osprey. a pod of dophin sported around the flooding sandbanks off of deer island. one dolphin approached the bow of the boat, causing us to veer away. it fell back and rode the stern wave for a brief time. found a fossilized bone cemented in a mud stone, and a worn alligator scute on the beach at deer island, where we pulled the 600 ft. seine and caught the crappies.. a pleasant, sunny day despite the sand gnats..
wind clocked to the south around noon and died to 2 knts.
14:00, south wind picking up to 5 knts. 68f. tide turning.
16:30, 3 deer in lane when I drove up, bolt across front yard, disappear in sheep yard past startled sheep.
18:30, 70f at back door. got 1 bale of decent hay at feedstore on the way home and parceled most of it out. everyone tucked in. got 2 eggs.. these chilly nights have inhibited the grass growth.
20:30, 60f, clear. waxing new crescent moon in west. a silver bowl holding the dark side of the moon.
21:30, something howling outside to north. sounds more like a dog than a coyote. got the outside dogs all worked up. guardian running around barking, dixie backing her up. all seems quiet in sheep barn. pup asleep on couch...

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11:38 AM GMT on April 01, 2014
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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.