Sunday, December 30, 2007

Ivory Bill, oh Ivory Bill, do you fly wild in Florida still?

These looked like ivory bill nest holes to me.

I have been landlocked for a while, horseytail....the weather has been exceedingly dreary and I have had a cold since last week but today I went out to the river in the afternoon after doing my episcopal duties... I don't remember such a long stretch of cloudy raining weather in these parts. Just as soon as I put in I saw this otter. The suwanee cooters were plentiful and the wintering- over crowd included cormorants, some woodpeckers I haven't identified yet and this black and white duck in addition to the usual gang of ibises, limpkins, egrets, and willetts.

I was looking for the ivory bill again today and now I have a song to sing about the ivory bill as well. I sang it while I paddled but it didn't attract any birds. Stephen B and I got together yesterday and recorded a version for the Will McLean Festival. Will was always writing songs about the flora and fauna of Florida and it fits the genre well, I think. Stephen is very creative and did most of the work but I think it is a good song and should place in the top ten at the contest. He also has a great swing song about the Suwannee which I think will place as well.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Looking for the Ivory Bill on Bruce Creek

I hopped over to the Choctawhatchee River and Bruce Creek which is a prime spot for looking for IBWO after our recording session yesterday in Jackson County. The creek is very swollen with rain but I didn't ' see any IBWO.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas!

Klondike and I have begun to enjoy each other. His excited tour of the new home on his first day, in which he marked several spots in the house with what I decided was excited joy to be with a new pack, and two more days of marking gave way to excellent manners and the unfolding of his personality. He likes his kibble with a spoonful of gravy, he doesn't do toys, he stays in the yard with no leashing, he walks gingerly on the grass and easily on the sidewalk, he gets that car rides go to his home or mine now and he isn't scared, he dislikes being in the laundry room and will bark when he must go in there. He is now given free rein of the house since he is so well mannered and he is proud of this. He barks once at the maintenance men and then greets them amiably, he likes to have his fluffy fur ruffled and petted a lot and he is content at about 6and a half years old to hang around the house. No he is not the dog for me really, since he is a big homebody but I like him and he likes me. He doesn't beg at the table and he sits stays and comes well. he is perfect for mom and dad and I guess his light was shining around us before he came because we knew exactly what he would be like and he appeared like a prayer.
He walks slowly and carefully with dad and he loves moms attention, as well. He is perfect for them and I will take care of him too but I guess its time to find another companion. Nathan may be moving out soon and I could use a hiker, boater, floater, and fireplace guy for myself. No biters need apply! (See my previous post entitled I'm ready, pal.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

The Night before the Night Before Christmas

This is the little hawk which was born in the nest in my tree last spring. He still hangs around his birth home but not as much as he used to .

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

The Move In

Gawd am I sore....I spent the entire day opening boxes, moving furniture, setting up beds, the bano, the living room, the kitchen and we are about 2/3rds done! Now my dear parental units can get easier meals, visit with us more easily, and have help when they need it. I packed them Saturday, Sunday and Monday, the movers packed Monday and traveled up to Tallahassee Tuesday. They moved in the furniture and boxes today and I went into frenzy mode so they could have a reasonably livable home tonight. They had two easy meals today at the Westminster dining room and I got my dad a frying pan for his two egg, ham, potatoes, coffee, and bagel daily breakfast. I loaned him my coffee maker since we couldn't find his.

Nathan has another job selling and managed a 3.09 in business school at Flagler this semester. He graduates in May. How could life be better?

Now I really am going to go kayaking this weekend. With no worries......YES!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

MIssion Accomplished!

For my friends who understand the anxieties, I have now moved my parents to Tallahassee. Tomorrow we move the stuff in! Now I can get a good night's sleep and response time will be seven minutes instead of seven hours!

Back on the river this weekend...YES!!!!

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Otter Day

I slept in this morning after a late night harmony session with the enablers and then decided to ignore the dirty dishes, the piles of laundry, the dusty furniture, and the unwritten paper and go to the river. December first and it was 78 degrees and brilliantly sunshiny. I have been searching for the IBWO now that the leaves are falling and I was hoping to see some more unusual sights such as those last weekend. The more tuned in I am to this river, the more stuff happens....I did see a deer swimming at the deer crossing area ( I recognize it), and I found these otters. Otters are mainly downriver of the springs these days, it seems.
I also saw hitchiker on her airboat and boldly paddled up to it while threatening to ram them ...we had a laugh about this when she told her friends she knew me. There is no love lost between kayakers and airboat owners on this river They keep the gator population down! But really, I can do without the confederate flags, guys!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Wacissa Saturday

I took off for the river in the middle of the afternoon today. The leaves are changing and falling and it is easier to look for the ivory bill woodpecker with the trees dropping leaves. I have been looking down river from Blue Spring. I practiced my bird calls. I have added limpkins, turkeys, ducks, pileated woodpecker calls, and what I thinks sounds like herons to my repertoire.

I saw the reeds moving in this area and sure enough, otters were feeding. They were curious today and leaped onto this log to have a better look at me. In the distance I heard baying dogs. I thought I might see something else if I hung around.

Experience has taught me that baying hounds means something may be jumping into the river any moment. I heard the dogs and waited and this deer with a damaged ear leaped into the river near where I saw the otters. It was pandemonium as the dog began to bite the deer.
This is the hound that attacked the deer first. I left out the attack photo...The deer kicked the dog repeatedly to make him stop his attack.
He swam into deeper water which kept the hound from attacking and she went for the far shore. Another dog joined the first one. But they floundered in the deep water.
The deer kept going for the west shore. The dogs swam about but didn't attack him anymore. He got to the other shore but didn't leave the water. He watched me and then swam up the shoreline waiting for the dogs to go away. They swam about and eventually he got away.
On the way back through Blue Spring I came across Bob The Tame Limpkin. He was serene, as usual as I paddled up for a closeup. Near the end of my paddle I spotted two raccoon siblings mushing the water along the shore looking for goodies. This day was filled with excitement and anticipation. I feel like I will see an ivory bill this winter. And, the young buck escaped his pursuers, so it was a good day.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Kayaking Alexander River (with men!)

The weekend after tie dye Mark passed away I went south to visit the Osceola forest pond where he passed away and to visit my parents and then to visit Larry and Bill in Astor Park on the return trip. Larry was close to Mark. Mark spent a month this past summer visiting him while he outfitted his diesel truck with a step in camper. We wanted to have a memorial to him and to take a kayak trip on the Alexander River. This river is in the Ocala Forest, a forest Mark loved and spent much time in. The river is fed by Alexander Spring. It is shallow, cool, and fast flowing and has much of the same wildlife as other spring fed rivers in the land of flowers. Here are a few photos. The fellas are actually quite civilized (for men) despite their hairiness. They even go at my pace while kayaking. I had fun with my friends.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Good Day on The Wacissa

I consider it a good day when I get an eagle photo.

I paddled all the way to the lower boat ramp and on the way upstream these deer leaped into the river and swam across in front of me to escape a baying dog.

Good Day on The Wacissa

This is the Wacissa River in November on a brilliant although
chilly day as I begin my paddle about 10:30am this morning. It seems like a long long time since I have been on the river.
This fluffed up hawk was holding court at Cassidy Spring.
This fella was one of the few fisherman I saw today.

The Great Blue Herons were numerous but somewhat more skittish than usual.