Friday, April 29, 2011

Who We Met Today

Walking nearly 12 miles in San Felasco Hammock today, we had some fun experiences with wildlife, only a portion of which we were able to capture in photographs. Enjoy with us the ones we photographed and are able to share.

Good Guy #1. We found him on his back and unable to right himself, perhaps flipped by wild pigs planning to make a meal of him. Once rescued and again upright, he beat a beeline for his burrow.
Bad Guy #1. This is poison oak. What more needs to be said?

Good Guy #2. This little alligator is all right with us, at least until he grows up and decides we don't belong in his territory.

Good Guy # 3 Honest, this really is another gopher tortoise, our second of the day.

Good Guy #4 Just when you were getting convinced that all gopher tortoises look alike, we present you with this juvenile, not only smaller, but more colorful than his elders.

Bad Guy #2 This little plant, often bearing pretty white flowers, is called "Tread Softly." If that doesn't tell you enough, consider its other name, "Stinging Nettles."

Thanks for joining us on our little tour of the very slow or stationary plants and wildlife encountered on our walk. Unfortunately the numerous lizards, butterflies, and birds we observed were too quick for us to capture their images.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Shired Creek Paddle

Last Sunday we climbed into our kayaks and followed the Shired Creek paddling trail laid out by Mark Gluckman, finally getting some data to begin putting together our long planned paddling guide for the Lower Suwannee and Cedar Keys National Wildlife Refuges. We were fortunate to be accompanied by a group of experts recruited by friend Melissa Desa. We learned a great deal while having a productive and enjoyable day.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Mozzarella at Kona Joe's

Peg, Edie, and Donna review the instructions
At the urging of chief cook Edie, today we made mozzarella at Kona Joe's, a favorite gathering spot in our own Cedar Key, Florida. Ever the trouper, Edie came up with good cheese milk, an un-pasteurized un-homogenized cow milk from a nearby farmer. Unfortunately, only a half-gallon was available, and we opted to do one small batch with the good milk and another with a full gallon of grocery store milk.

Not bad-looking curds and whey
To no one's surprise, the good milk produced good results, and the other produced almost nothing we were able to salvage.
OMG, it looks like mozzarella!

Not sure we were able to bring about a revolutionary improvement in the ancient art of cheesemaking, but we had a good time and could count one significant success.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Wood Storks

We saw these this morning. We suspect they may have a nest nearby.